Bayern Munich hold a four-point lead in the title race, but DW's Davis VanOpdorp doesn't think they're playing like champions. That's troubling with two tough matches against Leipzig and Frankfurt left to play.
A total of 32 matchdays have come and gone in the Bundesliga, and it is still not clear what this Bayern Munich side is.
At times, they are the dominant team that has won six consecutive league titles, dispatching sides left and right with ease. Other times, they look completely lost, dropping points against Nuremberg, Augsburg and Düsseldorf.
Bayern's 3-1 win against Hannover, the team with the fewest points in the Bundesliga, was the latest example of this polarity. After a lethargic start, the defending champions were firing on all cylinders. Robert Lewandowski and Leon Goretzka both found the back of the net and Bayern unleashed 12 shots in the first half while holding Hannover to one.
However, the final score flattered the Bavarians in the end. Hannover's halftime substitute Jonathas came on, converted a penalty and then picked up two quick yellows. Despite being handed a one-man advantage just when their visitors dared to get back into the contest, Bayern took over half an hour to eventually take advantage of it. Even then it took a goal from 36-year-old Franck Ribery (yes, he still plays for this team).
Considering their 1-1 draw with Nuremberg last week — a missed opportunity to take a big step towards the title after Borussia Dortmund's defeat to Schalke in the Revierderby — Niko Kovac will surely be satisfied collecting all three points.
Ready for tough tests?
But the first-year Bayern coach cannot be satisfied with his side's recent performances. Bayern's matches against Nuremberg and Hannover were supposed to be easy wins, tune-ups for their two final league games against Leipzig and Frankfurt. This part of their run-in was supposed to have given them a major advantage over Dortmund in the title race.
However, Bayern's form is all over the place as they collected four points against the two worst sides in the division when they should have easily snatched all six. If scoring against Nuremberg and Hannover is difficult for the Bavarians, how are they supposed to find the back of the net against Leipzig and Frankfurt, two of the league's best defenses?
There have been 32 matchdays in the Bundesliga, and Bayern don't look like league champions. It may not matter how they look given that Dortmund's draw against Bremen puts the Bavarians four points clear with two games to play. But that is more damning for Germany's top competition than an endorsement for the potential seven-time defending champions.