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Thursday, April 12, 2012
Robben: Dortmund will be champions

ESPNsoccernet staff

Arjen Robben believes Borussia Dortmund have all but won the Bundesliga title after their 1-0 victory over Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Bayern Munich

• Bundesliga: Dortmund beat Bayern
• Bundesliga preview

Dortmund are now six points clear at the top of the table after a backheel from Robert Lewandowski in the 77th minute of their game at the Westfalenstadion handed them victory.

"We can pretty much say that Dortmund are the German champions now," Robben told Sky.

It might all have been different had Robben held his nerve in the final moments of the game. The Netherlands international won a penalty when he was brought down by Roman Weidenfeller in the last five minutes, but his tame spot kick was saved.

He was then given a chance to make amends when presented with a gilt-edged chance at the death after Mats Hummels headed the ball against his own crossbar, but Robben's shot from the rebound went over the bar.

Robben added: "This is a very disappointing and bitter experience for me. It's embarrassing. In the last three years, I've taken ten or 11 penalties, and today was the first I've missed. I'm feeling bitter."

Bayern's honorary president, Franz Beckenbauer, told Sky after the game that Robben should not have taken the penalty.

"For me, from a coach's perspective, he shouldn't have taken it," Beckenbauer said. "I believe in the rule that the player who is fouled should not take the penalty. Maybe that's not the rule anymore or it's not yet reached the Netherlands. We have strong enough penalty takers like Kroos and Schweinsteiger."

He added: "Dortmund will, like last year, be deserving champions."

Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes was more understanding of Robben's failure to find the back of the net.

"After half-time, we dominated the game, and Arjen had two great chances, but this is football," he said. "Borussia Dortmund now have every chance of winning the title."

With four games still to play, Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp is refusing to rule Bayern out of the race ahead of his side's potentially difficult trip to Schalke.

"Unfortunately, a lot can still happen," he said. "We now have three days to celebrate this extraordinary feat and to enjoy it. Then we have the next obstacle in front of us. Our friends in Gelsenkirchen will do all they can to make things hard for us.

"When things are decided, then you will see us celebrating, but until then, we will just be working hard."

Meanwhile, Robben was taunted by Dortmund's Neven Subotic after missing his penalty and, when asked what he had said to the Dutchman, the defender grinned: "I think I said something like I don't like diving."




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