Podolski says only a 'miracle' will stop Wolfsburg

AFP - [email protected] • 17 May, 2009 Updated Sun 17 May 2009 09:12 CEST
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Germany striker Lukas Podolski admits only a miracle can now stop Wolfsburg winning the Bundesliga title after defending champions Bayern Munich slipped to a 2-2 draw against Hoffenheim.


While Bayern were held, Wolfsburg hammered Hanover 5-0 with three goals from striker Edin Dzeko and two from Brazilian Grafite which put the league leaders two points clear at the top of the table with just one game to play.

Second-placed Bayern face title rivals Stuttgart at Munich's Allianz Arena next Saturday with both sides on 64 points and mathematically able to claim top spot if Wolfsburg slip.

Podolski says Bayern have to hope Werder Bremen can beat Wolfsburg on Saturday to give his side a fighting chance of winning a consecutive title.

"Now we have to win our last game, and who knows, maybe there'll be a miracle and Wolfsburg will slip up," said Podolski. "Whatever, if we win, we're sure of second place."

After Frank Ribery put Bayern 1-0 up at Hoffenheim after 16 minutes on Saturday, the home side hit back through striker Demba Ba on 21 minutes.

Hoffenheim took the lead through Carlos Eduardo eight minutes later before Italian World Cup winner Luca Toni levelled for Bayern on the stroke of half-time to share the points.

"We were a goal up and could have made it two or three, but then we let in two silly goals in the space of seven minutes," complained Podolski.

"That made it much harder for us, now we need the miracle."

Stuttgart have won eight and drawn one of their last nine games leaving Bayern defender Philipp Lahm to admit they face an uphill task against Markus Babbel's side.

"We have to beat Stuttgart at home, and that's a big ask because Stuttgart are on a roll," said the Germany star.

"We need to win the game and see where we end up. In terms of chances we were better than Hoffenheim. We believed in ourselves and we gave it everything.

"We should have taken a commanding lead in the first half, and we had decent chances after half-time too."

Thanks to their rout of Hanover, Wolfsburg, who have topped the table since April 4, are now in pole-position to win their first Bundesliga title.

"This was a step in the right direction for the Bundesliga," said Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath, who will leave the club at the end of the season for Schalke 04.

"It is too early for speeches, but it is clear that we have made our life easier by winning. We now have a huge chance to bring the title to Wolfsburg."

Wolfsburg's 20th win of the season came largely courtesy of hot-shot strikers Edin Dzeko and Grafite, who between them have now racked up 51 league goals this season.

Having bagged 26 in 24 games as the league's top scorer, Grafite struck twice in three first-half minutes after forward partner Dzeko had laid the foundations for his later hat-trick with an opener in the 14th minute.

Dzeko headed Wolfsburg's fourth on 54 minutes and then completed his second hat-trick of the season in the 79th minute to take his tally to 25 goals for the season in 31 games.



AFP 2009/05/17 09:12

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