The Belgian midfielder, who scored the winning goal for Borussia Dortmund against RB Leipzig on Matchday 18, says BVB will take things game by game in the title race against Bayern Munich. - © 2019 Getty Images
The Belgian midfielder, who scored the winning goal for Borussia Dortmund against RB Leipzig on Matchday 18, says BVB will take things game by game in the title race against Bayern Munich. - © 2019 Getty Images
bundesliga

Axel Witsel says Borussia Dortmund can cope with Bayern Munich pressure

Borussia Dortmund’s midfield maestro Axel Witsel has insisted that his side will take care of their own business rather than worrying about defending champions Bayern Munich.

Dortmund responded to Bayern’s win over Hoffenheim on Friday by securing a 1-0 win at RB Leipzig – thanks to a super strike from summer signing Witsel – to maintain their six-point lead at the top.

Bayern boss Niko Kovac has suggested that his side were ready and willing to hunt Dortmund down, but Witsel believes his own team are capable of dealing with the pressure of a title race.

“Of course we are ready,” he told bundesliga.com after Saturday’s win in Leipzig. “We are still first, but, for us, we’re going to play game-by-game like we did from the first game of the season.”

Watch: Witsel: "We're ready for the battle"

Witsel‘s last league goal came on his Bundesliga debut – in a 4-1 victory over Leipzig on Matchday 1 – and his latest effort ensured Lucien Favre’s men answered the first challenge of the new year from Bayern.

A double from Leon Goretzka helped Bayern earn a valuable win at Hoffenheim in their opening game after the winter break, which had prompted Kovac to lay down the gauntlet to Dortmund.

“We’re the hunters, and want to hunt them,” Kovac said. “I don’t care when we overtake them – the crucial thing is we end up on top.”

Bayern have now won six league games in a row as they look to win the Bundesliga title for the seventh year in succession. But Dortmund will have the chance to test Bayern’s nerve on Matchday 19.

Witsel & Co. host second bottom Hannover next Saturday, meaning that they could open up a nine-point gap over second place before Bayern’s next game. The defending champions welcome third-from-bottom VfB Stuttgart to Munich on Sunday.