The field is opening up nicely for Bayern. The mark of a true champion after such a defeat as their comic collapse to Cottbus last week, is to pick themselves up, straighten their tie and jolly well stick it to the next poor sap who comes their way. As it happens their opponents last week were as far from saps as fast food is from the rain forest (that gag may not work... its been a long week). Leverkusen are heavy hitters this season and must have hoped to catch the Bavarians off guard at the Allianz. That was never going to happen in a million years though and from what I saw of the game, Bayern were deserved 2-1 winners.
One of the things I noticed when I covered the last season Bayern won the title, was that when they did slip up, their rivals could not capitalise. Well this season the Munich club have slipped up plenty of times and the chasing pack have rarely taken advantage. Indeed Bremen and Hamburg seem content to fight it out for the remaining Champions League places rather than try to challenge Bayern's hegemony. Hamburg faced a tough trip to Wolfsburg and on current form would probably been pleased with a 1-1 draw if were of any real use to them. Bremen on the other hand traveled to the far less daunting location of Bielefeld but also only managed a 1-1 draw.
The resultant foolery has resulted in the places between 2nd and 6th squeezing together like some giant football club shape consertina (if you can imagine such a thing). The winners from this situation are Schalke who are now level with Bremen and Leverkusen on 44 points and, get this, Stuttgart. The Champions are three points back on Schalke (2-1 winners at Berlin) and wait for it... Stuttgart. The Champions are only three points behind the Gelsenkirchen club after they gave Rostock a 4-1 (gerd) mullering. If they have a strong run into the end of the season they are still on for a Champions League spot. What odds would you take on at least one of the teams above them bottling it?
At the bottom its got that kind of four from three look about it doesn't it? Rostock have a three point gap over Bielefeld who are fourth from bottom. Nurnberg could only manage a 1-1 draw with Bochum. Ditto Duisberg against Hannover. Cottbus lost at Frankfurt.
The final word goes to Dortmund. The Ruhr giant spent a moderate sum before the beginning of the season and will be disappointed with their league position. However, salvation has come in the shape of a German Cup Final appearance against Bayern. Along with the prospect of only their third Cup win, this also means that Dortmund should qualified for the UEFA Cup unless Munich seriously mess up and fail to qualify for the Champions League.
European football would be something of a fillip for BVB coach and 80's soft rock wannabe Thomas Doll. I ask you, how many managers do you see turn up for games in jeans? Surely that alone is worth a UEFA Cup spot.
That's it. Results and table here. Follow me and the Bundesbag on Twitter.