Dortmund can defend title, says captain Kehl

18 March 2012 03:47

Borussia Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl has broken coach Jurgen Klopp's title-talk embargo by claiming they are on course to retain the German league title with eight games left and a five-point lead.

Japan's Shinji Kagawa netted Dortmund's winner eight minutes into their 1-0 home win over Werder Bremen on Saturday as the defending champions set a new club record of a 20th match without defeat.

Second-placed Bayern Munich lag five points behind despite their 6-0 win at Hertha Berlin which means they have scored 20 goals in their last three games after routing both Hoffenheim in the league and FC Basel in the Champions League.

Just as he did last season, Klopp has insisted his players refrain from talking about winning the Bundeliga until the title race is over, but with less than two months left, Kehl says false modesty is futile.

"If we say now we aren't serious title contenders then we are just making ourselves look ridiculous," he said.

"Please! With all modesty, we have 59 points. We are confident at the top and that is where we want to stay, of course."

The title race could be decided by Dortmund's home game against Bayern at Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday April 11.

Klopp said Kehl's comments were "no big deal" and admitted he "wouldn't be happy with second place", but said he wants his players to concentrate on putting in performances and save their talking for the pitch.

After Dortmund hit the crossbar, post and failed to score into an empty net against Bremen, Klopp said his only criticism was that his team had not taken their chances and defended only a slim lead.

"We left the game open for too long, but we were very alive and super disciplined," he said.

Source: AFP