Bayern Munich boss Tuchel: Bundesliga race ‘obviously’ over

Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel said the Bundesliga title race was “obviously” over after his side’s loss to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday left them 13 points behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen with seven games remaining.

Dortmund defeated Bayern 2-0 away in Der Klassiker to leave unbeaten Leverkusen just three wins away from winning the Bundesliga for the first time.

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Asked whether the title race was now essentially over, Tuchel, who will leave at the end of the season, told Sky Sport Germany: “Obviously, yes.

“After today’s game there is no more need to count points. How many is it now? Congratulations to Leverkusen.

“We are very disappointed because we felt we did not bring the necessary passion to win the game. It was too little from us when it came to the basics.”

Karim Adeyemi and Julian Ryerson scored in each half for Dortmund’s first league win at Bayern in 10 years.

Bayern, the 11-time defending champions, were left with the realisation they will most likely have to win the Champions League to avoid their first trophyless season since 2012.

Bayern face Arsenal away in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal on April 9.

If Leverkusen do go on to the title, it will be the first time since Dortmund won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012 that a team other than Bayern have won it.

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

But Tuchel’s team have dropped points in eight of their 27 league games this season. Leverkusen have won all of their games save for four draws and already have more points (73) than Bayern had when they won the title last year.

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

Leverkusen only just avoided their first defeat of the season Saturday when Robert Andrich and Patrik Schick scored late to beat Hoffenheim 2-1.

Leverkusen were heading toward the end of their German record 38-game unbeaten run in their first game since coach Xabi Alonso confirmed he’s staying at the club, when Andrich equalized in the 88th minute and Schick scored the winner in the first minute of stoppage time.

“Every game is a huge challenge for us,” Alonso said. “We were lucky but we showed a very good mentality to keep going, to keep believing. We had a chance to win just like against Qarabag [in the Europa League] and we did it.

“To have this faith, to have a winning mentality, it is something that is created and we have created it this season.”

Information from Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.