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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Bayern Munich fail to secure Bundesliga title after shock loss at Mainz

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Bayern Munich squandered its first chance to seal the Bundesliga title when it lost 2-1 at Mainz 05 on Saturday and will now have to wait for RB Leipzig’s game on Sunday to see whether it has clinched its 31st German league crown.

Jonathan Burkardt stunned the visitors after three minutes, turning at the edge of the box to score as Mainz enjoyed a powerful start, twice hitting the woodwork in the first 18 minutes.

The in-form hosts, unbeaten now in its last seven league games, got a deserved second goal in the 37th when Quaison drilled in a header from a free kick.

The Bavarians took control of the game after the break, but created far too few chances until striker Robert Lewandowski scored his 36th goal of the campaign, after returning from four weeks out with injury, with the final kick of the game.

The Pole is chasing Gerd Mueller’s all-time Bundesliga record of 40 goals in a season set in 1971/72.

Bayern, which has three games left, is on 71 points, 10 clear of Leipzig, which plays VfB Stuttgart on Sunday. The Bavarians will be champions if Leipzig lose.

Mainz, having played an outstanding second half of the season after collecting only seven points in their first 17 games, is now in 12th place and almost certain to stay up.

Haaland brace gives Dortmund hope of top-four

Erling Haaland scored twice to give Borussia Dortmund a crucial 2-0 victory at third-placed VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday, boosting his side’s chances of a top four finish with three games left in the season.

Haaland, who has now scored 38 goals in his first 41 Bundesliga matches, a run matched only by Uwe Seeler back in the 1950s, pounced on a defensive error in the 12th minute to put the visitor ahead.

Playing with 10 men from the 59th minute following the second booking of Jude Bellingham, Dortmund struck again with Haaland. Mo Dahoud picked up the ball in his own half and sent the forward on a quick break in the 68th with the 20-year-old beating keeper Coen Kasteels to take his season tally to 25 league goals.

The Norway international, the first player in the club’s history to score twice in 10 league games in one season, is seen as likely to leave if Dortmund fail to qualify for the Champions League.

The Ruhr valley club now move up to 55 points in fifth place, one behind Eintracht Frankfurt, in action later at Bayer Leverkusen, and two off Wolfsburg, in third. The top four teams qualify for the Champions League group stage.


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