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Bayern Munich eager to stamp authority on league leaders Leverkusen

18 December 2020   |   4:03 pm
Second-placed Bayern Munich is eager to stamp their authority on the Bundesliga with a win at current leaders Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday in their third top-of-the-table clash already this season.

Bayern Munich’s Polish forward Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich’s German midfielder Serge Gnabry and Bayern Munich’s German forward Thomas Mueller celebrate scoring during the German first division Bundesliga football match between Bayern Munich and Vfl Wolfsburg on December 16, 2020 in Munich. (Photo by Lukas BARTH-TUTTAS / POOL / AFP) / DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO

Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick says it would be the “cherry on the cake” if his side capped an incredible 2020 by beating Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday to finish the year top of the Bundesliga.

Second-placed Bayern, who won the treble last season, are one point behind leaders Leverkusen, the division’s only club still unbeaten, ahead of their last game before the two-week winter break.

“It would be the cherry on the cream cake if we get the three points,” Flick said Friday.

“(Leverkusen present) a big task for us. (But) if everyone performs at 100 percent, it will also be very difficult for them to beat us.

“They are a very strong team with a lot of self-confidence, who can also put their stamp on the game.

“It will be important to minimise mistakes and be wide awake from the start.”

Bayern showed signs of fatigue in drawing with RB Leipzig and Union Berlin before two goals from Robert Lewandowski, crowned FIFA’s men’s player of the year on Thursday, sealed a 2-1 home win over previously unbeaten Wolfsburg on Wednesday.

“We haven’t played our best football recently,” Lewandowski admitted Friday, having become only the third player to pass 250 Bundesliga goals in midweek.

“But tomorrow we have the last game before a short break.

“We have players with a strong mentality. We’re ready for Leverkusen, we’ll give 100 percent.”

Lewandowski, who has scored 18 goals in 17 games this season, posted a photo of himself in bed with the Champions League trophy last August after Bayern beat Paris Saint-Germain in the final.

The Poland striker joked about why he did not spend the night with his new trophy for FIFA player of the year.

“I would like to spend the night with every trophy,” he grinned.

“It was a special day at the Champions League and sometimes you have to set priorities.

“I’m very happy that I won and very proud of the title.”

Bayern captain Manuel Neuer, 34, was also voted the best men’s goalkeeper on Thursday.

“I worked hard after the injury,” said Neuer, who missed almost the whole of the 2017/18 season with a foot injury which threatened to end his career.

“I am extremely proud and grateful that I managed to do this at an advanced age.”

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