Bayern target Dortmund to extend lead
Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has insisted the Bavarians are looking only to extend their 10-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga when they host defending champions Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
Bayern's 2-0 win at 10-man Freiburg on Wednesday took the Bavarians another two points clear of the chasing pack, while Dortmund dropped to third thanks to Tuesday's 1-1 draw at home to Fortuna Duesseldorf.
Dortmund are the next guests at Munich's Allianz Arena in a mouth-watering clash and although Bayern's last league win against Borussia was back in February 2010, Lahm says his team just want to consolidate their league lead.
"We will finish the year at the top, this is already very, very important, but we still have a few games and goals to achieve," said Lahm, with the Bundesliga set to break for winter on December 16.
"We want to expand the lead in the Bundesliga, finish first place in our Champions League group and advance in the German Cup. We have to stay focused."
Bayern took the lead in Freiburg after only 12 minutes when Germany star Thomas Mueller slotted home a penalty after Freiburg defender Oliver Sorg's handball.
The hosts were then reduced to 10 men moments later when Senegal defender Fallou Diagne was shown a straight red when he brought down Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri with only the goalkeeper to beat.
With Dortmund looming, Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes made four changes in the second-half, including taking off striker Mario Gomez, and Munich made sure of the three points when Anatoliy Tymoschuk netted their second on 79 minutes.
Victory in Freiburg means Bayern will finish the first half of the Bundesliga season with the title of 'Herbstmeister' – Autumn champions – something Heynckes was quick to dismiss with all focus on being top come next May.
"The title 'Autumn Champions' doesn't mean much to me," said the Bayern boss.
"It is always very difficult to play in Freiburg, that's the mark of a good side.
"We failed to take a good lead early on, which would have made it easier to bring the result home.
"Our goalkeeper Manuel Neuer made a few good saves, which saved us.
"We did well over long stretches, we only allowed them a few chances in the final third."
With Bayern facing Dortmund at home in three days, then needing to beat BATE Borisov in the Champions League, also in Munich, next Wednesday to keep hold of top place in Group F, the Bavarians' relief was palpable.
"It was enormously important to win," admitted goal-scorer Mueller.
"In the last few years, we have found it tough. It is never pleasant to play Freiburg.
"When the opposition went a man down, we had more problems than when it was eleven against eleven."