Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann lauded Robert Lewandowski, labelling him a Bundesliga great following his hat-trick in the 5-0 rout of Hertha Berlin.

Lewandowski was in ruthless form on Saturday, scoring three goals to lead Bayern to a crushing win at home to Hertha.

The Poland international, who has been linked with a move away, netted in his 13th successive Bundesliga match – only the late Gerd Muller (16, 1969-70) found the net in more consecutive league games than Lewandowski.

Lewandowski surpassed 300 goals for Bayern, reaching 301 in just his 333rd appearance for the German giants. It is a mark only surpassed by Muller (566 goals in 607 matches) in the club's history.

The 33-year-old forward (15) is second in the list of hat-trick scorers, behind only Muller (32).

"He is definitely one of the best in Bundesliga history," Nagelsmann told reporters post-match.

"You would have to go through many of them, the league has been around for quite a while. But he is very consistent, has a great ability to get himself between the lines in possession. That's what makes him hard to catch.

"He's not just someone who waits for the balls up front, he participates in the game and creates a numerical advantage in the box. He is really dangerous because he can finish with all body parts really well."

"He does that with quality and has a great character. If you win so much like he did in the last two years and are still as hungry from the first game, if you have these transfer rumours revolving around you, which is normal for him, and then still perform as hungry as he does, this is extraordinary.

"No question. He's probably top of the top."

Teenage sensation and Germany international Jamal Musiala was also on target for Bayern after Thomas Muller opened the scoring inside six minutes against Hertha.

On the 18-year-old Musiala, Nagelsmann added: "The best thing is his modesty and humility. He's not one to over-celebrate his performances but wants to keep going. I think this is a prerequisite for a great career if he keeps that modesty.

"He has incredible qualities in one-on-one situations and a good finish. This is hard to find in today's youth teams: players with a certain football ground mentality. He has that and I don't want him to lose it but my biggest task will be making him keep it."

Bayern are unbeaten in 29 Bundesliga home games (W24, D5) – since moving to the Allianz Arena in 2005, the club have only had a longer streak without defeat in top-flight home games from March 2016 to April 2018 (38 fixtures).

Robert Lewandowski created a new personal best as his hat-trick helped Bayern Munich to a commanding 5-0 win over Hertha Berlin at the Allianz Arena.

The Pole netted in his 13th successive Bundesliga match, with Thomas Muller and Jamal Musiala also on target at the start of each half as Julian Nagelsmann’s men moved level on points with leaders Bayer Leverkusen and Freiburg.

Only the late Gerd Muller (16, 1969-70) has found the net in more consecutive league matches than Lewandowski, who surpassed his previous best streak of 12 from the 2012-13 season.

Meanwhile, Bayern are now unbeaten in 27 home league matches against Hertha, who are the only side yet to register a point in the German top flight this term.

Bayern edged in front after just six minutes. A quick counter culminated in Lewandowski dummying Alphonso Davies’ pass for the onrushing Muller to clinically tuck away his first league goal of the season.  
 
The lead was doubled in the 35th minute. Lewandowski’s initial header from Serge Gnabry’s centre crashed against the crossbar, but he reacted quickest by rising above the defender to nod home the rebound. 
 
Fresh from scoring twice in the 12-0 DFB-Pokal demolition of fifth-tier Bremer in midweek, Musiala got in on the act four minutes after the break as he neatly bent a shot into the far corner. 
 
Lewandowski grabbed his second 20 minutes from time. Substitute Leroy Sane played a neat one-two with Muller before squaring for the striker, who made no mistake from close range. 
 
And the Pole completed his treble with six minutes remaining; heading home after Tanguy Nianzou cushioned Joshua Kimmich’s corner invitingly into his path.

Atletico Madrid have completed the signing of Matheus Cunha from Hertha Berlin for a reported €26million fee.

Cunha, who is Brazil Under-23s' all-time leading goalscorer, joins Diego Simeone's side on a five-year deal and will provide capable support to talisman Luis Suarez up top.

Speculation had linked the 22-year-old to Everton, Atalanta and Napoli, but the reigning LaLiga champions swooped in to secure his services after a move for Dusan Vlahovic fell through.

Cunha initially moved to Europe to play for Swiss side Sion, subsequently joining RB Leipzig before finding a new home with Hertha in 2020.

Last term, the versatile attacker scored eight and assisted six across 28 games in all competitions, leading Hertha's charts ahead of second-place Dodi Lukebakio with 12 goal involvements.

The Brazil striker created 54 chances - 18 more than closest team-mate Vladimir Darida – putting him sixth among forwards playing in Germany.

Solely in the Bundesliga, the former Leipzig man has improved in front of goal in every campaign since 2018-19 and most recently scored a career-high seven goals in the German top-flight, finding the target with 62.5 per cent of shots.

Similarly, Cunha almost doubled his touches in the opposition box in such fixtures last year, producing 98 in comparison to 53 last term and 58 the year before.

 

However, it is in terms of dribbling where Atletico's new man comes to the fore.

Since his arrival in Berlin on January 31, 2020, only five forwards across Europe's top-five leagues have completed more dribbles than Cunha's 123 – successful in just over 60 per cent of all dribbles he attempted.

No player in the Bundesliga can match that dribbling tally while Yannick Carrasco is the only Atletico player to have completed more than 100 dribbles in the same time frame.

Cunha will likely be tasked with partnering Suarez as a second striker, perhaps replacing the in-form Angel Correa as Los Colchoneros go in search of back-to-back LaLiga titles.

Makeshift forward Correa has scored eight goals in his last 10 across all competitions - including three in his last two - for Simeone's men, having previously netted seven times in his last 73 for the club.

Cunha could feature as early as Sunday against Villarreal for the defending Spanish champions, who have started a new campaign with consecutive wins for the fourth time during the Simeone era.

Could the Kylian Mbappe transfer saga be nearing a conclusion?

Long linked with Real Madrid, Mbappe is out of contract at the end of the season.

Paris Saint-Germain's attempts to re-sign Mbappe have been fruitless up until this point and the Ligue 1 giants are reportedly willing to cash in.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE NEARING MADRID?

Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to accept an offer for Kylian Mbappe should one arrive from Real Madrid before the end of the transfer window, according to RMC.

PSG have been fighting to re-sign Mbappe, who is in the final year of his current deal in the French capital.

However, PSG have reportedly accepted defeat in their efforts to retain Mbappe beyond the 2021-22 season as Madrid look to lure the Frenchman to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Premier League pair Manchester United and Liverpool have also been linked.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Mirror writes United are prepared to offer cash plus a player-swap – believed to be Jesse Lingard – to sign West Ham's Declan Rice.

- Atletico Madrid are closing in on a deal to sign Hertha Berlin's Matheus Cunha, says Fabrizio Romano. LaLiga champions Atletico had been linked with Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic – also wanted by the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham, Inter and Arsenal – but have so far failed to reach an agreement.

- The Daily Telegraph reports Tottenham are preparing a £40million bid to reunite Nuno Espirito Santo with Wolves star Adama Traore.

Napoli are eyeing unwanted Barcelona midfielder Miralem Pjanic, per Correire dello Sport. Pjanic had looked set to return to Juventus.

- Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira will move to Fiorentina after turning down Eintracht Frankfurt, according to Romano.

Chelsea are continuing to eye Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, claims Romano. The Frenchman is ready to swap Seville for London after agreeing personal terms on a deal until June 2026.

- Inter are monitoring Torino star Andrea Belotti as they seek to replace Romelu Lukaku, says Calciomercato. The Serie A champions have also been linked to Lazio forward Joaquin Correa.

Aaron Ramsey has not set the world on fire since joining Juventus from Arsenal two years ago.

It has been reported in Italy that the Serie A club are ready to listen to offers.

Ramsey reportedly earns £250,000 per week and Juve are said to be keen to ease that burden.

 

TOP STORY - SPURS SHOCK MOVE FOR RAMSEY

Tottenham are lining up a shock move for former Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey, claims The Sun.

Juventus may be looking to offload the Wales international, who has made 46 league appearances in two seasons in Turin.

Tottenham's managing director of football Fabio Paratici is keen to bring Ramsey back to London to team up with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tottenham have ramped up their bid to sign Atalanta centre-back Cristian Romero who will cost around £40million (€46m), according to The Telegraph.

- Marca claims Inter, Sampdoria and Genoa are monitoring Real Madrid's 23-year-old striker Luka Jovic.

- Monaco's Montenegrin striker Stevan Jovetic has agreed to join Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin on a deal until 2024, reports Sky Sport.

- The Telegraph reports that Newcastle United  are keen on signing Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe, with a loan or permanent move discussed.

- Sky Sports claims West Ham are still interested in signing Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, who spent last season on loan at Fulham.

- Italian clubs Lazio and Napoli,  along with Spanish outfit Villarreal,  fancy Liverpool's Xherdan Shaqiri, reports Sky Sports.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has confirmed centre-back Virgil van Dijk is in contention to make his long-awaited return from injury in Thursday's pre-season friendly with Hertha Berlin.

Van Dijk appeared just five times for the Reds in the Premier League last season and missed the Netherlands' Euro 2020 campaign due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained against Everton in October.

The 30-year-old was included as part of Liverpool's squad for their warm-weather training camp in Austria this month, but he was not used in last week's 1-0 win over Mainz and Klopp made clear he would not rush the defender back.

However, the Liverpool boss is now ready to give Van Dijk some minutes at Tivoli Stadion, while fellow centre-back Joe Gomez – who has not featured since injuring his knee while on England duty last November – is also closing in on a return.

"I hope, I am not sure, there is the opportunity Virgil could play a few minutes. He looks really good in training and maybe we can bring him in, but I need to have some final conversations. He looks ready and we'll see," Klopp told Liverpool's website.

"If you see the games now as part of their rehab training, that makes sense. Joe is very close. There is no race between the two of them; they had different injuries and stuff like this, but he is very close.

"If Virgil can play now 20 then probably Joey can in the game after. We will see. In training they both look really good.

"I think from time to time there are some pictures of them from training sessions and everyone can see how good it looks, but there is no rush for us. 

"It is not about they now need five pre-season games to be ready for the start or whatever. It is a long season and we prepare them after these very, very serious injuries for the rest of their careers and not for the first game of the season.

"Losing a little bit of patience for them to return as a supporter or as a coach even is not bad, it just means they were pretty good and we want them to be back in the team."

The imminent return of Van Dijk is a major boost for Liverpool, who sorely missed the Dutchman's leadership and defensive attributes last season, having played every match in their successful 2019-20 Premier League campaign.

Only one defender in the league bettered his 191 aerial wins during that season, while he attempted and completed more passes than any of them. Trent Alexander-Arnold, meanwhile, was the sole defensive player to have more than his 3,624 touches.

Liverpool won 81.4 per cent of the 43 Premier League matches Van Dijk played between August 2019 and his injury, but that fell to just 51.5 per cent between October and the end of the season when he was out of the team.

Van Dijk is not the only player in line to return to the Liverpool side this week, with Andy Robertson and Diogo Jota set to feature against Bundesliga side Hertha.

Robertson and Jota represented Scotland and Portugal respectively at Euro 2020, but both players linked up with their club colleagues last week and are now deemed ready to feature in pre-season action.

"They will have minutes, that's the plan. They obviously trained completely normal all the time now and we try to involve them," Klopp said.

Liverpool also have friendlies against Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna to come before beginning their Premier League campaign against Norwich City on August 14, so Klopp will continue to rotate his side during the upcoming matches.

"Some of the players are ready for 60 minutes. It will be hard for them definitely, but it means then others play 30 minutes and stuff like this, or even maybe 20 minutes and these kind of things," he said.

"Pre-season is about trying. It's a proper, proper challenge to make all these individuals to bring them in the best possible physical shape and make us more ready or stronger as a team. 

"Unfortunately, football is not like cycling, so you don't miss it completely but the pedals and stuff like this just go away so quick that's incredible. So we have to work on that again, that's what we do.

"Today is a really tough [double session]. I like it, the players probably sleep now already and that would be better because this afternoon it would be really hard."

Germany's men's Olympic football head coach Stefan Kuntz says his players had no option but to walk off the field with five minutes remaining of their match against Honduras after defender Jordan Torunarigha was allegedly racially abused.

Saturday's pre-Tokyo 2020 friendly, which was played behind closed doors in Wakayama, was brought to an early close shortly after Felix Uduokhai had cancelled out Douglas Martinez's first-half opener.

A tweet from the official Germany team account read: "The game has ended five minutes early with the score at 1-1. The Germany players left the pitch after Jordan Torunarigha was racially abused."

The Honduras national team later tweeted that the incident "was a misunderstanding", but Kuntz stands by his side's decision to take a collective stand by making their way off the pitch.

"When one of our players is racially abused, playing on is not an option," Kuntz said at his post-match news conference.

"It was a strong statement. After the situation calmed down, the whole Honduras squad came to us and apologised. That was the end of the topic for us.

"We talked to each other about whether we should do anything else, but Jordan said 'No, that was a strong enough statement'.

"We want to end the subject there because now we fly to Yokohama to prepare for our next game."

Torunarigha plays for Hertha Berlin at club level and has represented Germany from Under-16s to Under-23s level.

The 23-year-old was also the alleged victim of racist abuse in February 2020 in a DFB-Pokal match between Hertha and Schalke.

Following the latest incident on Saturday, Hertha offered their support to the centre-back, tweeting of the decision to leave the pitch in unison: "That is the only right decision!"

"His team-mates picked him up straight away and hugged him for a few minutes," added Kuntz, who earned 25 caps for the Germany men's senior side in his playing days.

"He was very relaxed and you could tell he was happy to be with us. Afterwards we even started to joke a bit again.

"This team is great. It helps of course when you can see that your colleagues support you so much. It's also a strong statement from Jordan to say what we did was enough."

Germany face Brazil on July 22 in their opening Group D fixture at the Olympics, before taking on Saudi Arabia and Ivory Coast.

Germany's men's football team walked off the pitch in a pre-Tokyo Olympics friendly against Honduras after defender Jordan Torunarigha was allegedly racially abused.

Saturday's match in Wakayama was tied at 1-1 when abandoned with five minutes to go, moments after Felix Uduokhai had cancelled out Douglas Martinez's first-half opener.

The Germany national team's official Twitter account later confirmed the reason for the game, which was split into three 30-minute sessions, being cut short.

"The game has ended five minutes early with the score at 1-1," the tweet read. "The Germany players left the pitch after Jordan Torunarigha was racially abused."

Torunarigha plays for Hertha Berlin at club level and has played for Germany from Under-16s to Under-23s level.

The 23-year-old was also the alleged victim of racist abuse in February 2020 in a DFB-Pokal match between Hertha and Schalke.

Following the latest incident on Saturday, Hertha offered their support to the centre-back, tweeting of the decision to leave the pitch in unison: "That is the only right decision!"

Germany face Brazil on July 22 in their opening Group D fixture at the Olympics, before taking on Saudi Arabia and Ivory Coast.

Marseille have confirmed the signing of Matteo Guendouzi, who joins on a one-year loan from Arsenal with an option to buy.

The French midfielder moves to Ligue 1 to continue his career after spending the 2020-21 season out on loan at Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin.

Guendouzi made 24 appearances during the temporary stint in Germany, scoring two goals and providing one assist as Hertha avoided relegation with a 14th-placed finish in the top tier.

Signed from Lorient in July 2018, the 22-year-old played in 82 games for Arsenal and was a regular under former Gunners boss Unai Emery.

However, Guendouzi had an altercation with Neal Maupay during a game with Brighton and Hove Albion in June 2020 that led to Mikel Arteta leaving the player out of his squad. He did not feature for the club again, with this latest move seemingly ending his time at Emirates Stadium.

 

Despite departing, the France Under-21international made clear he will recall fondly his time at Arsenal as he prepares to start a new chapter with Marseille.

"Thank you Arsenal, thanks for everything!" Guendouzi posted in the first of a series of tweets.

"I discovered and learned so much during my time here. It would be impossible to list everything without forgetting one memory or word… but I will never forget any minute spent with the Gunners jersey.

"I will never forget the Emirates Stadium. I will never forget the fans. I will never forget the city. I will never forget everything I've been through here. I will never forget that my only will was to defend with pride Arsenal colours.

"Thanks to all of those who believed in me during my time here, during the good and the bad moments. I can only wish the best to the club and its fans who deserve so much, trust me! Goodbye Arsenal, I will never forget you and will be a Gooner forever."

Guendouzi's arrival continues a busy offseason for Marseille. The French club had already added Cengiz Under – who was on loan at Leicester City last term – from Roma for the 2021-22 season, as well as midfielder Gerson and centre-back Leonardo Balerdi on permanent deals.

Hertha Berlin midfielder Sami Khedira has announced his retirement from football at the end of the 2020-21 season. 

The 34-year-old's last game will be against Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday. 

Khedira joined Hertha in February after five-and-a-half years with Serie A giants Juventus, where he won five Scudettos and three Coppa Italia titles. 

Prior to that he enjoyed five seasons at Real Madrid, claiming one LaLiga title and the Champions League in 2013-14. 

He made 77 appearances for Germany and was an important part of the squad that won the 2014 World Cup.

Khedira, who won the Bundesliga with Stuttgart in 2006-07, has made just eight appearances for Hertha this season, with only three of those starts. 

"Exactly 14 years ago to the day I was allowed to celebrate the championship with Stuttgart," he told a media conference.

"That was a wonderful day. Today is one that is very difficult for me personally because my football career will be over on Saturday at around 5:15 pm.

"It's a pretty tough step and it's hard for me to talk about, but it's the right decision. Fifteen years in professional football have left their mark and I have to honestly judge what I can and cannot do.

"First of all, I would like to gain some distance and relax. I will stay with football, in what form remains to be seen."

 

Jens Lehmann has been sacked by Hertha Berlin after a racist message he sent to a television pundit was revealed on social media.

The ex-Arsenal and Germany goalkeeper replaced Jurgen Klinsmann on the Bundesliga club's supervisory board in May 2020.

But Lehmann has left his position with Hertha for comments made regarding fellow former Germany international Dennis Aogo, who works for Sky Sports.

Lehmann appeared to accidentally send a WhatsApp text to Aogo, who posted a screenshot of the image via Instagram and captioned it: "Wow, are you serious? This message was probably not meant for me."

Hertha parted company with Lehmann on Wednesday and president Werner Gegenbauer said: "Such statements are in no way representative of the values that Hertha stands for. 

"We distance ourselves from all forms of racism and welcome the action taken by TENNOR Holding."

Lehmann, who also represented Schalke, Milan, Borussia Dortmund and Stuttgart during his playing career, has issued an apology to Aogo.

"In a private message from my mobile phone to Dennis Aogo, an impression was created for which I apologised in conversation with Dennis," he posted on Twitter. 

"As a former national player he is very knowledgeable and has a great presence and drives ratings to Sky."

Hertha Berlin have requested three matches be postponed due to being forced into 14-day quarantine as a result of COVID-19 cases within the Bundesliga club.

Hertha have asked to delay scheduled fixtures against Mainz (April 18), Frieburg (April 21) and Schalke (April 24) after left-back Marvin Plattenhardt tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday. 

Head coach Pal Dardai, assistant coach Admir Hamzagic and striker Dodi Lukebakio had positive tests earlier in the day, prompting the German club to implement the two-week quarantine. 

Hertha initially had planned to play their matches during that period but the additional positive test to Plattenhardt prompted the plea to push them back.

"Due to the cases that have occurred, we are now forced to a 14-day quarantine at home," said sporting director Arne Friedrich, who took charge of training on Thursday with Dardai out.

"From a health point of view, this is absolutely the right step. because we now have to play six Bundesliga games by the end of the season on May 22, 2021 in the fight to stay relegated in May. 

"During the quarantine at home, the team will keep fit with virtual training units under the guidance of the coaching team. 

"We accept the situation despite the difficult circumstances and will throw everything in our power for a successful season finale into the balance."

There was no immediate response from the German Football League (DFL), which had announced new dates for several 2.Bundesliga matches that had been postponed due to coronavirus cases. 

Hertha sit just outside the relegation play-off place on goal difference ahead of fellow strugglers Arminia Bielefeld, while the capital club are three points clear of the automatic relegation positions with six games remaining.

 

Hertha Berlin sacked goalkeeping coach Zsolt Petry following comments he made in an interview regarding immigration and LGBTQ+ people.

Petry, who has spent six years with the Bundesliga club, was quoted as telling Magyar Nemzet that immigration in Europe was causing the "moral degradation" of a "Christian continent".

He also questioned why RB Leipzig and Hungary goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi had spoken publicly in support of LGBTQ+ rights, saying that, while entitled to express his views, "the majority of Hungarian society does not agree with Peter Gulacsi's liberal opinion on 'rainbow' families".

Hertha confirmed on Tuesday that Petry had been dismissed with immediate effect. Magyar Nemzet described it as "shocking" that the 54-year-old had been punished for a "political opinion".

"Hertha BSC signed the Diversity Charta for German companies and actively promote values such as diversity and tolerance, because these values are important to us. The remarks made by Zsolt Petry as a club employee in the public eye do not respect these values," the club said in a statement.

CEO Carsten Schmidt said: "Zsolt Petry's work over the years at Hertha BSC has always been greatly appreciated. He was always open, tolerant and prepared to help. He never acted in a homophobic or xenophobic way.

"Even taking into account the finer details regarding the translation of his remarks, and the fact that several of Zsolt's remarks from the interview were left out of the publication without consultation, we ultimately concluded that the remarks on the whole do not comply with Hertha BSC's values. We thank Zsolt Petry for his work with the club and wish him all the best for the future."

Petry stated: "I would like to stress that I am not homophobic or xenophobic. I deeply regret my comments about immigration politics and would like to apologise to all those seeking refuge here who I have insulted. I enjoyed working for Hertha BSC and respect their decision. I wish everyone at the club all the best for the future."

Following the interview, Magyar Nemzet published a brief notice saying Petry had asked them to "express his position in a more nuanced way on certain issues", stressing that he "respects the opinion of Peter Gulacsi to the maximum" and "did not discriminate" against LGBTQ+ families.

Matteo Guendouzi insists his Arsenal career is not over and he wants to fight his way back into Mikel Arteta's plans next season.

Guendouzi, 21, has been on loan with Hertha Berlin since last October where he has made 19 appearances for the Bundesliga club.

The French midfielder was a regular starter with the Gunners under previous boss Unai Emery but failed to make an appearance for Arteta's side in the opening weeks of the season prior to securing a temporary move away.

When asked if his Arsenal career was over due to an apparently strained relationship with Arteta, Guendouzi was emphatic in his response.

"No, not at all," he told France Football.

"I am focused on my season at Hertha Berlin. Then, we will make a point with my agent and the people of the club to sit down and discuss the future. I am still an Arsenal player."

Guendouzi joined Arsenal from Lorient in 2018 and has made 57 Premier League appearances for the Gunners, registering just one assist and no goals in the competition.

In those games he attempted a total of 75 tackles, the third-most among Arsenal players across 2018-19 and 2019-20, while his 263 duel wins over the same period was only bettered by four of his team-mates.

His contract with Arsenal expires at the end of next season and he acknowledged his long-term future will be at stake when he returns to the Gunners.

"This summer will be a decisive moment," he added.

"Could I come back to the club with Mikel Arteta on the bench as coach? Yes, of course. I will be with Arsenal for another year.

"I am here to move forward. When I played for Arsenal, I have always given everything for this club, for these fans, for the team, for the staff. I will work hard for the jersey as usual."

RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann insisted his side must "stay on the gas pedal" despite closing within two points of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.

Leipzig defeated Hertha Berlin 2-0 on the road on Sunday, capitalising on leaders Bayern's 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

Bayern also dropped points last week following their return from the Club World Cup in Qatar, drawing 3-3 with Arminia Bielefeld, meaning the margin at the top has been cut from seven to two points within a week, offering renewed title hope for Naglesmann's side.

However, the 33-year-old German maintained the hard work has only just begun for Leipzig, who have finished the past two Bundesliga seasons in third position.

"It's nice to get closer [to Bayern]," Nagelsmann said. "It used to be a seven-point-gap at one point. My team's reaction impressed me a lot… We have to remain focused and try winning our games.

"I think I said at the beginning of the season that February and March will become harder for the teams, as the impact of the Corona pandemic needs to be overcome in the right way.

"There are a lot of games and we need to stay on the gas pedal, and we did that in today's 90 minutes, as we did in the previous Bundesliga games.

"A lot of good teams are coming up now, with [Borussia Monchengladbach] Gladbach on the weekend, which will be a challenge. But we want to keep being successful in the Bundesliga and winning the games should speak for us."

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