Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp believes his team prompted Bayern Munich's blistering first half of the season. Bayern raced into a nine-point lead at the midway stage of the Bundesliga season and cruised into the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League and quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal, where they will face Dortmund next month.
That form has followed two trophyless seasons in which Dortmund have won successive league titles. "We have been winding Bayern up for two years," Klopp said. "We have really charged them up.
"The new approach they have taken with a new director of sport (Matthias Sammer) and their transfer activities also have a bit to do with us. You could say we have been pulling their elastic for two years, and all they had to do was release themselves from it."
After back-to-back title victories, Dortmund go into the second half of the season with a 12-point deficit to make up on the Bavarians and aware that they are really fighting for a top-three finish and a guaranteed place in the Champions League next season.
"We just want to achieve something outstanding once again," Klopp told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. "If they (Bayern) don't shoot themselves in the foot now, then there is no taking the title away from them this season."