“We still have the Champions League.” – Thomas Müller

On Saturday afternoon, Bayern Munich fell to a 3-2 defeat away to Heidenheim, despite taking an initial 2-0 lead into half-time. A result that will feel even more disastrous as it offers Bayer Leverkusen the chance to be crowned champions of Germany next week after the Werkself dispatched Union Berlin 1-0 at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.

While for Der Rekordmeister, the Bundesliga title has, in truth, been unattainable for many weeks now, defeat to Heidenheim would have hurt. Thomas Tuchel’s side have barely been able to put up a fight during the Rückrunde in an attempt to reclaim their title, as a 16-point gap has now opened up between themselves and Leverkusen.

Regardless, despite another poor Bayern performance, there is still optimism within the squad that this season can end with silverware. Speaking to Sky Germany after the final whistle, Thomas Müller commented, “We still have the Champions League.”

On Tuesday, Bayern will travel to London to face Arsenal in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal. However, while Bayern displayed their vulnerabilities to the Gunners, the Premier League title challengers comfortably beat Brighton & Hove Albion 3-0 away from home.

Tuesday will, therefore, certainly not be straightforward for the record champions. However, Müller remarked that only if Bayern were eliminated from the Champions League would he accept criticism of the squad:

“I would only resort to general criticism – if at all – when we really have nothing left worth fighting for.”

What was meant to be a monumental day for the 34-year-old, making his 400th appearance for Bayern, ended in disappointment. Nevertheless, Der Rekordmeister have the chance to make up for the domestic collapse with continental success, but as to how much fight is left in this Bayern side is not clear to see.

GGFN | Will Shopland

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