What a difference a week makes. Only last week the despondency levels at Dortmund were peaking after they let slip their lead against VfB Stuttgart to concede a 96th minute equaliser, which let Bayern Munich off the hook following their dropped points at home to Hoffenheim. Seven days later and the ecstasy levels are peaking after replacing the Bavarians at the top of the table. With just five games remaining this season, the Bundesliga title is BVB’s to win (or lose).
For the first time this season the key men at Borussia Dortmund came out publicly stating they did have the Bundesliga crown in their sights. Previously the club have tried to play down their title aspirations and take things on a game by game basis. Now however the tack has changed.
“We want to be German champions” he said in an interview with Ruhr Nachrichten. “We are only two points behind Bayern Munich. We haven’t lost sight of our goal of winning the title. We’re closer than we’ve been at this point of the season in many years.”
“I am convinced that we have the necessary quality. We now need a very good week of training, a bit of anger, some greed, the absolute desire to defend our goal together and the support of our fans. With this combination, anything is possible.”
“The championship is not in our own hands because we can no longer play our direct rivals. But we want to keep the pressure up. The only way to do that is to win a series of matches. And we want to start that on Saturday against Eintracht Frankfurt.”
Dortmund did duly beat Eintracht Frankfurt at the Signal Iduna Park, buoyed on perhaps by knowing that Bayern had been beaten in their earlier match with Mainz. The 4-0 win sees Edin Terzic’s side overtake Bayern at the top of the table and the Schwarzgelben know that if they win their remaining five matches (or at least match Bayern’s results) they will be champions for the first time since 2012.
They have seen Bayern dominate for the past ten seasons (finishing as runners-up six times), but now the Meisterschale could be set to be lifted at the Borsigplatz in Dortmund rather than the Marienplatz in Munich.
Coach Edin Terzic, while delighted with the Frankfurt performance and win is still however trying to keep the players focussed. “We’re satisfied with the performance and with the result too. But it’s only a step that we’ve taken.
“Every player wanted to show that the way we performed in the second half in Stuttgart last week did not meet our standards and was also not what we deserve when you see what we have invested over the course of the season to date. We’re very satisfied with the game today, but we’re still not happy and we still have a lot of work ahead of us.”
That work starts next Friday with the short trip to Bochum, before consecutive home games with VfL Wolfsburg and Borussia Mönchengladbach. They then face a trip to Augsburg before a final game of the season at the Signal Iduna Park versus Mainz. Whether the Meisterschale is lifted on that day remains to be seen, but the ball is very much in BVB’s court.