Bayern coach Tuchel congratulates Leverkusen, says Bundesliga title hopes are over

AP , Sunday 31 Mar 2024

Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel ceded the Bundesliga title to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.

Thomas Tuchel
Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel looks on during the Bundesliga soccer match between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, Saturday March 30, 2024. AP

Bayern lost to Borussia Dortmund 2-0 and was 13 points adrift of Leverkusen with seven rounds remaining.

Leverkusen, which is on a German record 39-game run unbeaten run across all competitions, just needs three more wins to win the league for the first time.

When asked if Bayern’s hopes were over, Tuchel told Sky Sport Germany, “Of course. After that game now, we can’t say anything. How many points is it now? Congratulations to Leverkusen.”

If Leverkusen does go on to the title, it will be the first time since Dortmund won back-to-back titles in 2012 that a team other than Bayern has won it.

Bayern became the first club to win four Bundesliga titles in a row in 2016 and the Bavarian powerhouse went on to extend its record to 11 by winning every season since.

But Tuchel’s team has dropped points in eight of its 27 league games this season. Leverkusen has won all but four draws and already has more points (73) than Bayern had when it won the title last year.

Leverkusen has only ever come close to winning it, finishing runner-up in 2011, 2002, 2000, 1999 and 1997. Leverkusen also lost German Cup and Champions League finals in 2002.

Xabi Alonso’s team needed to dig deep to preserve its unbeaten run on Saturday with two late goals to beat Hoffenheim 2-1.

“It’s another milestone,“ Leverkusen goal-scorer Robert Andrich said. “But I think today was really a special one, and I really feel a compliment is due to the team for giving it everything to the end, for believing to the end.”

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