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Mueller refuses to give up on Bayern's hopes

Updated: 2023-05-22 10:07
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Bayern Munich's Thomas Mueller flicks a header over RB Leipzig's Josko Gvardiol during their Bundesliga match on Saturday. AFP

BERLIN — Bayern Munich captain Thomas Mueller said his side was not out of the Bundesliga title race after the 3-1 home loss against RB Leipzig on Saturday gave Borussia Dortmund the edge.

Dortmund had the chance to go two points clear with one round of games remaining by winning at Augsburg on Sunday, but Mueller, 33, was confident his side could come back.

"Of course, we can still be German champions," the veteran told Sky Sports Germany.

"Dortmund still needs to win twice and we'll see what happens. I've won a few championships, even when we weren't big favorites. There's still a chance."

Mueller, who came through the junior ranks at Bayern, has won 11 titles in Munich, including the last 10 in a row.

"They have to win both games and I want to see that first," he added of Dortmund. "If they do that then I congratulate them, but until then we'll be together and do everything we can to get three points next week."

Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel said "the season isn't over" but admitted to his side's shortcomings.

"When you play so far below your level, then it's hard to win games and when it's hard to win games, it's hard to win (the title)."

Taking over from the sacked Julian Nagelsmann in late March, former Chelsea and Dortmund boss Tuchel has won just five of 11 matches in charge of Bayern, a period which has included elimination from the Champions League and the German Cup.

Bayern's final game is away to Cologne, while Dortmund plays at home against Mainz, with the games kicking off simultaneously on Saturday.

A "deeply disappointed" Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn, who made the decision to sack Nagelsmann and replace him with Tuchel, said it was "bitter" that his side "did not have the title in our hands anymore".

"We had a giant chance to become German champions and we gave it away," he said.

" (Now) we're relying on other results on other pitches — but it's not over yet. It's only over when the referee in Cologne signals that it's over."

Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic defended the decision to fire Nagelsmann, who had lost only three of 37 games before being axed.

"I would do it again because it was necessary. Thomas Tuchel has really done a great job. Things will improve, of that I'm sure," he said.


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