Hansi Flick is expected to leave Bayern Munich on a new title.
Bayern will be German champions on Saturday if they win in Mainz. Winner of Leverkusen 2-0, the “Rekordmeister” took advantage of Leipzig’s surprise defeat in Cologne (2-1) on Tuesday to take a 10-point lead and take the penultimate step towards the title.
In less than a quarter of an hour, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (1-0, 7th) and Joshua Kimmich (2-0, 13th) folded the home match against Leverkusen, proving their coach Hansi Flick right, who predicted that the turmoil around his announced departure would not disrupt his players.
“This team has a huge mind, they are completely focused on success, they have demonstrated it quite often, it is even something that characterizes this team,” he assured Monday, in response to a question about the consequences for the group, the explosive situation at the club.
Saturday, Flick had indeed dropped a bomb by announcing live on television that he was asking for the termination of his contract at the end of the season. His leaders, who knew his intention, reacted very badly: according to them, the 56-year-old technician broke a promise to keep the information secret, at least until the end of this crucial week for the Bundesliga title.
KO in 13 minutes
Flick, in open conflict with sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic, however appeared particularly relaxed on Tuesday evening in the pre-match interview, and his team entered the match as they know how: in steamroller mode.
After seven minutes, Choupo-Moting inherited a ball from goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky on a shot from Thomas Müller. The former Paris SG, replacing Robert Lewandowski at the center-forward position, controlled and resumed victoriously with a volley (1-0).
Lewandowski, arrested since the end of March for a sprained knee, should return just in time for the coronation match on Saturday, according to Hansi Flick’s prognosis.
Stunned, Leverkusen did not have time to recover. The knockout came five minutes later by Joshua Kimmich, who placed a superb shot from 15 yards (2-0). Bayern then retained control of the game and could have made the score worse.
If they do not win on Saturday (3.30 p.m.), the Bavarians will have to wait for the result of Leipzig on Sunday against Stuttgart (3.30 p.m.): then the RB would have to do no better than them for the gap to remain at 10 points and that they are assured of the title.
Leipzig running out of fuel
Leipzig suffered a worrying loss on the pitch in Cologne on Tuesday, penultimate and relegation.
Four days after a sad 0-0 at home against Hoffenheim, the team of coach Julian Nagelsmann has yet arrived on the banks of the Rhine in much better shape.
But his attackers were terribly clumsy. Alternately, Amadou Haidara (4th), Christopher Nkunku (5th, 35th), Nordi Mukiele (36th), Alexander Sörloth (41st), Justin Kluivert (90 + 4) either missed the target or stumbled over the Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn, while they were in position to score.
Result: 23 shots on goal for Leipzig against 5 for Cologne. But only one goal, from Malian Amadou Haidara (59th), against two from Cologne captain Jonas Hector (46th, 60th).
The title is definitely gone for the men of Red Bull, but their second place is still solid, provided they regain their effectiveness quickly. The RB is 7 lengths ahead of the third Wolfsburg, which will however come closer if it wins Wednesday night in Stuttgart (8:30 p.m.).
At the bottom of the table, Schalke became the first relegated team this season. Beaten 1-0 at Bielefeld, the Ruhr club are 13 points behind potential play-off Hertha Berlin with four days to go.
His relegation will deprive the Bundesliga of its most legendary derby, the “Ruhr derby”, against neighbor and historic rival Dortmund.