Bayern Defeat Cologne, Delay Leverkusen’s Title Party

Bayern's win means Xabi Alonso's Leverkusen, who are 13 points clear of the Bavarians, need to beat Werder Bremen at home on Sunday to lift the Bundesliga trophy for the first time.

Bayern Munich’s Portuguese defender #22 Raphael Guerreiro (C) celebrates scoring the opening goal with his teammates during the German first division Bundesliga football match between FC Bayern Munich and 1 FC Cologne in Munich, southern Germany on April 13, 2024. (Photo by Michaela STACHE / AFP)


Bayern Munich defender Raphael Guerreiro struck a brilliant second-half goal and Thomas Mueller scored late to beat Cologne 2-0 on Saturday, delaying Bayer Leverkusen’s Bundesliga title party to Sunday at the earliest.

Bayern’s win means Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen, who are 13 points clear of the Bavarians, need to beat Werder Bremen at home on Sunday to lift the Bundesliga trophy for the first time.

Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel made seven changes to his side ahead of Wednesday’s quarter-final second leg against Arsenal, with Harry Kane and Mathys Tel hitting the woodwork in the first half.

Former Borussia Dortmund player Guerreiro, starting at left-back ahead of Alphonso Davies, unleashed a curling shot from outside the box which broke the deadlock after 65 minutes.

Mueller added a second to seal the result in the third minute of stoppage time.

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The win came at a cost with Bayern winger Kingsley Coman carried off with an injury five minutes into the second half, leaving him a doubt for the visit of Arsenal next week.

“He will undergo further tests but it’s not looking good,” Bayern sporting director Christoph Freund said.

Dortmund and RB Leipzig continued their battle for fourth place — the final guaranteed Champions League spot — with both winning to stay level on points ahead of their clash in Saxony in late April.

Dortmund were reduced to 10 men and made to hold on to a 2-1 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach after Karim Adeyemi was sent off after picking up a second yellow with 35 minutes remaining.

Dortmund were in control after a first-half brace from Marcel Sabitzer, the second from the penalty spot, gave them a two-goal lead after 28 minutes.

Gladbach pulled one back late in the first half when Maximilian Woeber took advantage of some sleepy Dortmund defending from a corner.

Adeyemi, who won a penalty on 48 minutes but had it overturned by VAR after it had been scored by Sabitzer, was dismissed seven minutes later after tripping Stefan Lainer.

“We lost the past three games here so this is a good result for us, especially because we did it a man down,” said Dortmund defender Niklas Suele.

“Now we’re completely focused on Tuesday,” Suele said of Dortmund’s home Champions League quarter-final clash with Atletico Madrid, when the Germans must overturn a 2-1 deficit.

Leipzig, who sit ahead of Dortmund on goal difference, won 3-0 at home over Wolfsburg thanks to goals from Dani Olmo, Benjamin Sesko and Lois Openda.

The victory came just days after surprisingly poaching Wolfsburg’s sporting director Marcel Schaefer, who won the title with the Wolves as a player in 2009.

Mainz boosted their chances of beating the drop, coming from behind to beat Hoffenheim 4-1 with four second-half goals to pull one point behind Bochum, who drew 1-1 at home with Heidenheim.

Bochum sit in 15th, the final safe spot, after Keven Schlotterbeck scored an own goal but then headed in the equaliser for the hosts in the final minute.

Later on Saturday, Stuttgart can draw level on points with second-placed Bayern with a win when they host Eintracht Frankfurt.