Talking points from the weekend's Bundesliga matches

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Bundesliga - FC Cologne v Borussia Dortmund - RheinEnergieStadion, Cologne, Germany - March 20, 2021 Borussia Dortmund's Erling Braut Haaland looks dejected as he walks off after the match Pool via REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay DFL regulations prohibit any use of photographs as image sequences and/or quasi-video.

BERLIN (Reuters) - Talking points from the Bundesliga weekend:


Second-placed RB Leipzig host Bundesliga champions and leaders Bayern Munich after the two-week international break, and only a win is likely to keep the title race open with Bayern four points ahead of their closest rivals.

Bayern's imperious form, underlined by a 4-0 rout of Vfb Stuttgart with all their goals coming after they had left back Alphonso Davies sent off, suggests they are favourites to clinch their ninth successive league title.

Poland striker Robert Lewandowski is firing on all cylinders, having netted a hat-trick to become the Bundesliga's joint-second scorer of all time on 268 goals alongside Klaus Fischer, behind Gerd Mueller who has 365.

Leipzig have also been impressive as they won nine of their last 10 league games to keep up the pressure on Bayern. But the blockbuster clash on April 3 will be the toughest test yet of their title credentials.


Borussia Dortmund clawed out a 2-2 draw at struggling Cologne thanks to a brace from their prolific 20-year-old Norway striker Erling Braut Haaland, who is being sized up by several wealthier and more heralded European rivals.

It is difficult to imagine Haaland staying at Dortmund beyond this season, unless perhaps they can secure a Champions League spot again and their chances suffered a setback after the weekend's action.

Fifth-placed Dortmund lost ground on Eintracht Frankfurt in fourth who are four points ahead of them after a 5-2 thrashing of Union Berlin, although Dortmund have an alternative route should they fail to finish in the top four.

They will qualify if they win the Champions League, but that looks a daunting task as they face Manchester City in the quarter-finals and should they progress, the winner of the Bayern Munich v Paris Saint Germain tie awaits in the semis.

Hence their home game against Frankfurt on April 3, the round's other outstanding fixture apart from Leipzig v Bayern, is pivotal for the club's bid to secure another season in Europe's premier club competition and keep Haaland.


A 3-0 home rout by Borussia Moenchengladbach has effectively vanquished any hopes Schalke might have had of avoiding relegation as the result left them with an almost impossible task of staying in the top flight.

The result left them rooted to the bottom, and with eight games remaining they trail 16th-placed Cologne, who occupy the relegation play-off spot, by 14 points.

Things being out of their hands aside, it is hard to see Schalke engineering a great escape as they have lost nine of their last 12 league games and drew the other three.

(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by William Maclean)

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