‘Bayern have it all to lose — we can only win’: Dortmund eye final day drama

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Fortuna Dusseldorf's Matthias Zimmermann in action with Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic at the Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany, on May 11, 2019. (REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler)
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Dortmund's Mario Goetze, center right, celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Fortuna Duesseldorf in Dortmund, Germany, on May 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Updated 12 May 2019
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‘Bayern have it all to lose — we can only win’: Dortmund eye final day drama

  • Dortmund must now beat Favre’s former club Borussia Moenchengladbach next Saturday
  • Hopes that Bayern slip up at home to Eintracht Frankfurt next Saturday

BERLIN: Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has said that the pressure is now on league leaders Bayern Munich after his side bounced back in the Bundesliga title race on Saturday.
Bayern missed the chance to wrap up a seventh successive title when they were held to a 0-0 draw at RB Leipzig, while Dortmund beat Fortuna Duesseldorf 3-2 to keep themselves in the running until the final round of games next weekend.
“We have given the Bundesliga a final on the last day,” said Watzke. “That is good for the league and we are proud of that.”
“We have been under brutal pressure, but now the pressure is heading south.”
“Bayern have it all to lose, we can only win.”
Having held a nine-point lead at the top of the table in December, Dortmund looked down and out after they slipped four points behind Bayern last weekend.
Yet they battled their way through a nervous game against Duesseldorf to haul themselves back into the race.
“We need to control the game better toward the end and stay calmer,” coach Lucien Favre told Sky, after his team survived a frantic last few minutes.
Dortmund must now beat Favre’s former club Borussia Moenchengladbach next Saturday, and hope that Bayern slip up at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.
“We have to give everything to win in Gladbach,” said Favre.
Bayern, meanwhile, were left to rue a missed opportunity after they were held in Leipzig.
They came within inches of securing the title on Saturday. Leon Goretzka’s second-half goal was ruled out after VAR ruled that Robert Lewandowski’s foot was in an offside position.
Bayern president Uli Hoeness called the offside decision “a joke,” but CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said that Bayern were happy with a point.
“We would rather have won the title today, but the result does not put us in a worse position,” he told Sky.
“In Frankfurt, we face a team who have had a very good season, but we have a good chance to win the championship.”
Bayern have home advantage against Frankfurt next Saturday, and the chance to be crowned champions in the Allianz Arena for the first time ever.
The Munich giants have not secured the title on home turf since 2000, despite having won 12 Bundesliga crowns since then.
Bayern coach Niko Kovac also faces his former club next Saturday, and told Sky that he still talks to his former Frankfurt colleagues.
“I still have contact to one or two players and a lot of contact to the officials there,” said Kovac.
“We will need passion and the will to win next week.”


Celtic win Scottish Cup to complete ‘treble treble’

Updated 10 min 10 sec ago
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Celtic win Scottish Cup to complete ‘treble treble’

  • Club appoint Neil Lennon as manager on a permanent basis

GLASGOW, Scotland: Celtic claimed an unprecedented third consecutive domestic treble after coming from behind to win the Scottish Cup by beating Hearts 2-1 thanks to Odsonne Edouard’s double at Hampden on Saturday.

The Hoops were on course for a first domestic cup defeat in 27 games when Ryan Edwards shot Hearts into a shock lead seven minutes into the second half.

However, Celtic quickly responded when Edouard leveled from the penalty spot and the Frenchman sealed another clean sweep of silverware by racing clear to score the winner eight minutes from time.

Neil Lennon was offered the Celtic manager's job on a permanent basis.

Despite consolidating an eight-point lead when Brendan Rodgers left the Scottish champions to take charge of Leicester in February to win an eighth straight Scottish Premiership, and now the Scottish Cup, Lennon had faced criticism for his side’s performances and style of play.

Celtic were again disjointed for long spells and could easily have been beaten but for a bit more quality and composure from a Hearts side missing a host of key players through injury. Edouard had the only decent chance of a poor first 45 minutes when he was played in by Tom Rogic, but John Souttar slid in to make a brave block.

Hearts had not won in five games since their semifinal victory over second-tier Inverness, but they made the breakthrough with their first big chance of the game.

Sixteen-year-old Aaron Hickey fed Arnaud Djoum on the edge of the area, his miscued shot found its way to Sean Clare who backheeled to find the free Edwards to slot home.

Celtic seemed to need the shock of going behind to snap into action and leveled within 10 minutes.

Edouard was tripped by Hearts goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal, although contact was minimal and referee Willie Collum pointed to the spot.

Zlamal could have made amends, but did not get a strong enough hand to Edouard’s penalty to keep it out.

Celtic paid a club record £9 million ($11 million) for Edouard from Paris Saint-Germain 11 months ago and he took his tally for the season to 23 when Mikael Lustig’s forward header somehow evaded the whole Hearts defense.

Edouard kept his cool to slot past the advancing Zlamal and seal Celtic’s sixth domestic treble.

 

Tuchel extends deal to 2021

Also on Saturday, Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel has extended his deal with the French Ligue 1 champions through to June 2021, the club announced.

The 45-year-old German took over in June 2018 and despite winning Ligue 1 has come under scrutiny after the Parisian club’s defeat to Manchester United in the Champions League last 16.

The news cuts short speculation that PSG’s owners would fire Tuchel and hire outgoing Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.

“I’m delighted to extend my contract and commitment to Paris Saint-Germain,” Tuchel said.

“I’d like to thank the chairman and the whole club for their trust in me and my staff. This only reinforces my ambition to bring this team to the very top through hard work,” he told the club website

“I’m also very touched by the backing of our supporters, and I’m sure that the best is yet to come for our club.”