The Bayern pair helped the champions dispatch Hamburg, while the Borussia Monchengladbach shot-stopper turned in a stellar showing in his final home game
The German championship might have been decided back in March, but there was still plenty of intrigue in the weekend’s Bundesliga action.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen‘s tearful goodbye ahead of his expected move to Barcelona this summer was one of the most moving moments on Saturday and he put in a brilliant performance to boot as Borussia Monchengladbach defeated Mainz in their final home game to give them a glimmer of hope regarding Champions League football next season.
The three-man defence is made up of Wolfsburg’s Ricardo Rodriguez, Hannover’s Christopher Avevor and Werder Bremen’s Santiago Garcia. All three defenders showed excellent decision-making and strong positional play.
Kevin Grosskreutz is the only Borussia Dortmund man to make the grade in the penultimate week of Bundesliga football, strengthening his case to be taken to the World Cup. One man who will almost certainly be in Joachim Low’s Germany squad is Mario Gotze, who silenced his critics by putting in a terrific performance as Bayern Munich battered relegation-threatened Hamburg 4-1. The duo are joined by Jan Polak in midfield, who helped keep Wolfsburg’s Champions League fight going until the final matchday, and Aaron Hunt, who scored twice in a Werder Bremen home farewell.
In attack, Arjen Robben might not have scored but he was pivotal to the Bavarians’ victory, Max Kruse put his a goalscoring show as Gladbach won their final home game, and Heung Min-Son was arguably the man of the match as Bayer Leverkusen clung to the final Champions League qualification spot with an away win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
The Bavarians are ready to sit down with the versatile attacking midfielder to discuss his future amid links with Manchester United
Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has suggested that the Bundesliga champions would consider selling Thomas Muller this summer if the Germany international were to demand a transfer.
The versatile attacker is no longer an undisputed starter under Pep Guardiola and is believed to be unhappy with his situation at the Allianz Arena.
Manchester United are supposedly closely monitoring the 24-year-old’s situation at Bayern and Rummenigge is ready to sit down with Muller and discuss his future.
“Muller’s situation? If a player does not feel well at Bayern Munich, he should come to my office,” Rummenigge was quoted as saying by Bild.
“We will have to talk about things like that.”
Muller has a contract with Bayern until the summer of 2017. He has netted 13 goals in 30 Bundesliga appearances this term.
The Netherlands star has played down the significance of his side’s European exit and says the season remains a success
Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben feels too much has been made of their Champions League semi-final defeat to Real Madrid .
The reigning European champions were sent crashing out of the competition 5-0 on aggregate, with Pep Guardiola’s tactics called into question as a result of their 4-0 hammering in the second leg of their last four tie.
Having wrapped up the Bundesliga in record time, Guardiola’s men remain on course for a league and cup double, with Borussia Dortmund their opponents in the DFB-Pokal final.
Robben feels criticism over Bayern’s recent form is over the top and believes they can cap their season with a successful defence of their Pokal title.
“After the 4-0 (second-leg) defeat to Real, everything was put into question,” he told the Bundesliga website.
“We were the best team in the world for the entire season, then we lose a match and suddenly everything’s going wrong. In my opinion, people read too much into that defeat.
“We’ve been through so much as a team. We’ve had our fair share of disappointments, but we’ve also had plenty of fantastic moments. The most important thing in these situations is to stick together, remain positive and keep going.”
Robben also stated that a victory in the Pokal final would go some way to making up for their European exit.
“Definitely, we’ve already had a great season as it is,” he added.
“I think our fans and all the experts agree.”
The Poland international is moving to the Allianz Arena this summer but he wants to end his career at BVB on a high
Robert Lewandowski may be bound for Bayern Munich but the striker is determined to end his Borussia Dortmund career on a high by beating the Bavarians in the DFB-Pokal final.
The Poland international has already agreed to join the Bundesliga champions on a free transfer this summer, much to the disappointment of BVB fans, who saw Mario Gotze leave for the Allianz Arena last year.
However, Lewandowski was afforded a standing ovation by the Signal Iduna Park faithful in his final home game for Dortmund on Saturday, against Hoffenheim, and he is now keen to repay their continued support by helping Jurgen Klopp’s men claim the DFB-Pokal trophy in Berlin on May 17.
“I’ve learned a lot here in Dortmund and I know that I’m a better player now than I was four years ago,” the former Lech Poznan forward told the Bundesliga’s official website. “But there’s still a lot of football to be played. It was my last game in Dortmund but we still have two more matches to play in Berlin [against Hertha on the final weekend of the league season, and then Bayern in the German Cup final].
“These have been four fantastic years for me at BVB and they’re not over yet. I’ve scored a lot of goals and experienced so many great moments here, both in the Champions League and in the Bundesliga.
“We won the league twice and hopefully we can win the DFB-Pokal twice as well. My story here isn’t over yet.”
Lewandowski could also finish as the Bundesliga’s top scorer, as he currently sits alongside future Bayern team-mate Mario Mandzukic at the top of the charts, on 18 goals apiece. However, the 25-year-old hitman is reluctant to make it a priority.
“I don’t want to put myself under any pressure,” he said. “If I am top scorer at the end of the season, that would obviously be great . But it’s harder to do that if you put extra pressure on yourself.”
The Bavarian giants recovered from their Champions League humiliation with a win over Hamburg and Guardiola feels it sets them up perfectly for their meeting with BVB
Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola lauded his team’s fighting spirit following their 4-1 triumph at Hamburg on Saturday.
The champions went into the fixture at the Imtech Arena on the back of a 5-0 aggregate Champions League semi-final humiliation at the hands of Real Madrid, thus losing the chance to retain their European crown.
Real hammered Bayern 4-0 at Allianz Arena on Tuesday, with Guardiola and his football philosophy coming under intense scrutiny, but Bavarian side bounced back comfortably in Hamburg.
Mario Gotze notched twice and the visitors’ other goals came from Thomas Muller and Claudio Pizarro, with the latter burying an audacious overhead kick.
Hamburg midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu pulled one back with the score at 3-0, but Bayern’s quality shone through and Guardiola believes his side produced a battling display.
“We fought our way into the match,” the former Barcelona boss said.
“The win was good for our rhythm in the preparation for the DFB-Pokal final [against Borussia Dortmund] in Berlin.”
With Hamburg desperately searching for goals in order to keep their hopes of Bundesliga survival alive, Arjen Robben believes Bayern made the most of having more space in the second half.
He said: “In the first half we did quite well, but in the second we had slightly more room which we used well.
“We were very dangerous and scored good goals. We have the quality to do that.”