BERLIN, Germany, Jun 14 – Bayern Munich are one win from an eighth straight Bundesliga title after Leon Goretzka inspired Saturday’s narrow win over Moenchengladbach, while injury-hit Schalke claimed an unwanted club record.
AFP Sport looks at five key things from this weekend’s action:
No beer showers, no trophy show
Bayern can be crowned German champions for the 30th time if they win at Werder Bremen on Tuesday, but the hygiene measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic means any celebrations will be subdued.
Traditionally, the winning team chase each other with over-sized glasses of wheat beer on the pitch once they have won the title, but ‘beer showers’ are banned under German league rules this year.
The Mayor of Munich has also ruled out Bayern showing off the Bundesliga trophy at the city’s town hall on Marienplatz.
“I am sure an appropriate honour will be found if Bayern should win the title,” Munich mayor Dieter Reiter told German daily Bild.
Thomas Mueller was reprimanded by Bayern Munich’s director of sport Hasan Salihamidzic, it was revealed over the weekend, for commenting on the club’s transfer policy.
Mueller strayed offside when he was asked last week about rumours Bayern want to buy Leverkusen talent Kai Havertz.
“He’s an extremely good player”, said Mueller, who added he had “no insight into the club’s finances”, but “it’s a bit paradoxical to always talk about new players and save on salaries at the same time”.
With Mueller suspended for a fifth yellow card for Bayern’s 2-1 win over Moenchengladbach, Salihamidzic said on Saturday that he had “told him (Mueller) that it was not correct” for players to “comment on transfers”.
On Sunday, Mueller said on Facebook that his opinion had been “proactively” interpreted by the media and he only wanted “the best possible squad”.
Leipzig braced to lose Werner
Third-placed RB Leipzig can book a Champions League place next season by beating Fortuna Duesseldorf on Wednesday, but head coach Julian Nagelsmann is already planning without Chelsea-target Timo Werner.
Werner has 25 league goals this season and Chelsea reportedly want to action a release clause to sign him for around 60 million euros (£53 million, $67 million).
“Should Timo leave us,” said Nagelsmann on Sunday, Leipzig’s main source of goals will be “gone”.
The transfer is “not sealed yet”, said Nagelsmann, but “when a top player goes, it creates a hole and it is up to us to fill it.”
Schalke’s unwanted record
Schalke, who were missing 10 players, set a club record of 13 league games without a win on Sunday as head coach David Wagner was forced to name an inexperienced squad for the 1-1 draw with Bayer Leverkusen.
A penalty early in the second-half by Schalke’s Daniel Caligiuri was cancelled out by a late own goal from defender Juan Miranda.
Schalke are winless since January’s 2-0 win at home to Moenchengladbach as they drop to ninth in the table having been third in December.
Wagner gave league debuts to Schalke’s Under-19 captain and winger Can Bozdogan and second-half replacement Jonas Hofmann, 23, who was promoted from the reserves.
“It shows that despite the results, despite the difficulties, this squad stands together and tries to make impossible things possible,” said Wagner.
Fuellkrug’s dream return
Bremen striker Niclas Fuellkrug made a dream return when he scored after 273 days out with a knee injury.
Fuellkrug came on for the last 15 minutes at last placed Paderborn and scored the final goal in Saturday’s 5-1 rout which gives second-from-bottom Bremen hope of staying up.
The 27-year-old tore his cruciate ligament in training last September and had to go under the knife again in February.
“It was a very nice moment, a bit emotional and a reward which I have had to earn over a long period of time,” he said after his goal.
Fuellkrug celebrated by jumping into the arms of Bremen coach Florian Kohfeldt, who said the striker is unlikely to start against Bayern on Tuesday.