BERLIN (AP) — After just 11 games, Bayern Munich is already closing in on a record-extending 10th consecutive Bundesliga title.
There are still 23 matches to play, but a lack of realistic rivals means this season’s title race is a one-team procession.
“Dortmund lost again, now we can start dusting off the championship trophy,” Bayern’s former chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told the Bild tabloid after the Bavarian powerhouse moved four points clear at the top on Saturday.
Bayern defeated third-place Freiburg 2-1 before second-place Borussia Dortmund lost 2-1 at Leipzig.
Leipzig was Bayern’s closest challenger last season, but it’s not been the same since coach Julian Nagelsmann, captain Marcel Sabitzer and defender Dayot Upamecano left for Bayern in the offseason.
Leipzig is fifth under new coach Jesse Marsch.
Bayern has only one league defeat, a somewhat unlucky slip up at home to Eintracht Frankfurt, while the 5-0 German Cup loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach is unlikely to be repeated any time soon.
Dortmund’s loss in Leipzig was its third in the league under new coach Marco Rose. It’s hard to see how his side can mount a sustained challenge, even if striker Erling Haaland were to stay fit all season. The team has struggled without him.
“It’s always about the quality on the field and that’s where Bayern simply has its nose in front. The coach also fits Bayern perfectly,” Rummenigge said.
Rummenigge acknowledged that another league title for Bayern is “not very exciting” but “it’s still our job to be champion.”
Out of the German Cup and without any major obstacles in the Bundesliga, Bayern can also try to win another Champions League trophy. Nagelsmann’s team is already through to the knockout stages after big wins over Benfica, Barcelona and Dynamo Kyiv.
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Ciarán Fahey, The Associated Press