Flick: Klassiker win a big step for Bayern but title isn't wrapped up yet

By Sports Desk May 26, 2020

Hansi Flick recognised Bayern Munich's victory at Borussia Dortmund was a "big step" towards winning the Bundesliga title.

Joshua Kimmich's sublime first-half chip secured a 1-0 victory for the champions in the behind-closed-doors Klassiker at Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday.

The Bavarian giants are now seven points clear of second-placed Dortmund with six games to play and look destined for an eighth successive Bundesliga title.

Flick did not play down the importance of three precious points, but the Bayern head coach will not be celebrating just yet.

He said: "It was an important win, we took a big step forward.

"Will I win my first coaching title? I'm not a coach who reads too much into the future.

"It just feels good to be seven points ahead now. Before the winter break we were four points behind and we managed to play successful football this year as well as beautiful football.

"We all know that the basic requirement for success is that we approach every game the same way we approached the first three after the restart [following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic].

"If it's safe, then we can talk about the championship, but I'm not doing that yet."

Flick has won 15 of his 18 matches since taking charge of Bayern, a record only Pep Guardiola has previously achieved in the club's history.

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    It is Monday September 28, 1992, and Sevilla's Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan is the location of a media circus rarely seen before or since in the stadium. Bavarian giants Bayern Munich are in town for a hastily arranged friendly.

    Aside from the two teams' meeting in the UEFA Super Cup on Thursday and a Champions League quarter-final tie in 2018, this friendly 28 years ago is the only previous occasion in which Sevilla faced their illustrious German visitors.

    Yet, Bayern were not the focus of the media attention. No, they were there for the first game of Diego Maradona's return to Spain.

    The world's most renowned footballer - formerly of Barcelona - was barely given enough space to take part in the coin toss such was the scrum around him, with microphones and cameras shoved towards his face with little regard by voracious reporters.

     

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    Maradona, wearing the captain's armband, was making his comeback from a 15-month ban for cocaine use which ultimately ended his love affair with Napoli.

    From midfield, the 31-year-old dictated the tempo and stretched Bayern's defence with his imaginative passing. He, Diego Simeone and Rafa Paz combined excellently in the middle, while an understanding with a young Davor Suker showed evidence of promise.

    Maradona forced goalkeeper Raimond Aumann into a smart early save before hitting the crossbar with an audacious free-kick from near the corner flag.

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    His weight was mocked by a banner depicting a Maradona caricature whose belly could not be contained by his jersey, but, his "cosmic barrel" physique aside, this was the same player who had astonished with Napoli and Argentina.

     

    REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD

    His move to Andalusia meant a reunion with Argentina's 1986 World Cup-winning coach – and close friend – Carlos Bilardo.

    Bilardo called the signing a "gift", while Maradona said his "happiness is complete" upon arrival at Seville's San Pablo airport in a striking cerise suit – "I looked a treat," he concluded about his fashion sense.

    Having lost Ivan Zamorano to Real Madrid, Sevilla president Luis Cuervas and vice-president Jose Maria del Nido will have been looking on, certain they had pulled off a masterstroke by getting Maradona in as a replacement, reportedly boosting season ticket subscriptions from 26,000 to 40,000.

    His performances continued to excite in competitive games and he enjoyed what many consider to be his best display in Spain during an ill-tempered 2-0 win over Real Madrid on December 19.

    Madrid, complete with the likes of Manolo Sanchis, Fernando Hierro, Michel and Luis Enrique, simply had no answer as Maradona ran the show. Everything was going as well as it could have, until things – somewhat inevitably – turned ugly in the second half of the season.

     

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