Remember 2001? Bayern won the Champions League final on penalties (hero: Oliver Kahn). Bayern won the Bundesliga with the last kick of the season (hero: Patrik Andersson). And who did FCB beat in the Champions League quarter-finals? Manchester United! And who did FCB meet in the Bundesliga between the home and away legs against United? Yes, it was Schalke, title rivals then and now. And when? Yes, Easter Saturday, Matchday 29.
The parallels between 2001 and 2010 are remarkable, not to say eerie. And Bayern would certainly have nothing against the season ending as successfully as the 2000-2001 campaign. However, when the Reds travel to face the Royal Blues this Saturday, they will want to deviate from the historical precedent. Back then, Bayern lost and Schalke moved to the top of the table. This time, the idea is for the reverse to happen
Like a final
“It’s very, very important we win on Saturday. We want to win the league without outside help,” stated Mario Gomez. Bayern are currently two points off Schalke with six games to play. “A defeat could tip the scales their way,” Hamit Altintop warned, “so it’s a final for us.”
Directly following the final whistle against United in midweek, the players began turning their attention to the Schalke clash. “The team’s in the dressing room, there’s no wild celebration, they’re already focusing on Schalke,” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge reported, less than an hour after the famous 2-1 victory over the Premier League leaders. “We have to switch track now, Schalke is what matters now. The quicker we do it, the easier it’ll be on Saturday,” observed Mark van Bommel.
The Bayern stars are currently wasting no thought at all on next Wednesday’s return against United at Old Trafford. “I’m much more fired up for Schalke on Saturday,” revealed Bastian Schweinsteiger. Bayern have amends to make after losing their last two Bundesliga outings, 2-1 on each occasion against Stuttgart and Frankfurt, and both times after taking a 1-0 lead. That has not happened to Munich for nine years – it was back in 2000-2001, actually.