With European domestic seasons winding down, the right win against the right team can just about seal the deal for a 2011-12 title. That’s exactly what happened to Ivan Perišić and Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday as they hosted German giants Bayern Munich, who at the beginning of the day, were only three points behind last year’s Bundesliga champions. After a scoreless first half, Dortmund’s Robert Lewandoski played a cheeky deflection in front of Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer to put the home side up 1-0 in the 77th minute. A Bayern win would have put both clubs level on points with only four games remaining in the season but it was not meant to be as Arjen Robben took a horrible penalty kick in the 85′, which would have tied the match and kept Bayern in the Bundesliga title race.
If Bayern can’t catch Dortmund in the Bundesliga title race, they will have one more shot on May 12th as the top two clubs in Germany will face off in Berlin for the DFB Pokal (German Cup) title.
Perišić came on for Dortmund in the 74′ with zero shots to his name and Bayern’s Ivica Olić did much of the same when he was introduced in the 75′. Dortmund now have a six-point lead atop the Bundesliga table, but all is not lost for Bayern Munich yet.
Perišić celebration (0:25) Serbian international Subotić gets in Robben’s face (2:25)
Dortmund’s next two Bundesliga fixtures will not be a walk in the park by any means. This Saturday, they take on hated rivals Schalke in the famous German Revierderby before hosting fourth place Borussia Monchengladback one week later. Points can be dropped opening the door back up for Bayern Munich who will play Mainz, Werder Bremen and Stuttgart in the next three games. However, Bayern have two monster matches in the Champions League semifinals with Real Madrid to concentrate on as well. Expect Ivica Olić and Danijel Pranjić to get some playing time during Bayern’s final Bundesliga matches this season.
It may very well be an all-Croatian FA Cup final this year in England. On Saturday, high-flying Nikica Jelavić and Everton take on crosstown rivals Liverpool at Wembley Stadium in a 7:30AM (ET) kickoff semifinal match. Jelavić was rested in Monday’s 4-0 Premiership victory over Sunderland and should be at full strength for this unique Merseyside derby in London. On Sunday, Luka Modrić and Tottenham will face Chelsea in the second FA Cup semifinal from Wembley at 1PM (ET). Spurs have been out of form, earning only six points from their last five Premiership matches. The slide has opened up fourth place and the final Champions League berth in England, with Tottenham and Newcastle tied on 59 points, and Chelsea only two behind. It will be interesting to see how Chelsea approach this match seeing that they have a first leg Champions League semifinal date with last year’s winners Barcelona on April 18th.