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Football

We are not German champions yet, warns Bayern’s Guardiola

Pep Guardiola

Bayern Munich obliterated Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund 5-1 to open up a seven point gap at the top of the Bundesliga on Sunday but coach Pep Guardiola warned that victory in the top-of-the-table clash had decided nothing yet.

The Bavarians, looking for a record fourth consecutive Bundesliga title, are in a class of their own, racing clear of any title contenders after a record-equalling eighth win in eight matches.

Their superb win over nearest rivals Dortmund, with Bayern scoring three times in 22 minutes, may not be a title-clinching victory.

But with other rivals VfL Wolfsburg and Schalke also failing to keep up after defeats, it is clear this Bundesliga season is quickly becoming a one-horse race.

With a treble of titles firmly in their sight, Guardiola, however, attempted to keep his players’ feet on the ground with a long way still to go in the season.

“We won 5-1 but we also made many mistakes,” said the Spaniard, in his third season in charge. “We have to correct those.”

“No one became German champions today. So we have to stay on the ground,” Guardiola, who has set his sights on winning the Champions League with Bayern, told reporters.

He did, however, praise his players for their consistency.

“I want to congratulate my players, not only for this game, but for the last few months,” he said.

Guardiola’s warning was echoed by club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

“There are still 26 games to go and we would be well advised to continue playing as we have done so far,” the former striker, sporting a traditional Lederhose in honour of Munich’s Oktoberfest beer festival, told reporters.

Any optimism among Bayern players would, however, not be unfounded with Bayern having won every single game in the Bundesliga, German Cup and the Champions League so far this season and breaking records along the way.

Robert Lewandowski struck twice on Sunday to take his tally to 12 goals since the season start, equalling the league record.

One more Bundesliga win after the break for international matches next week, would see them record the best ever opening stretch after nine games.

“Obviously this was a big point game,” said Thomas Mueller, who scored twice to take his league tally to eight.

“Seven points clear and the way we won it today are a signal. But we have to come back well after the break for international matches. But the mentality of the players is unique. Everyone is ready to play.”


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