15 August 2014 06:37
Borussia Dortmund have set their sights on finishing in Bundesliga’s top three, with defending champions Bayern Munich stronger than ever.
Those are the candid thoughts of Dortmund attacker Henrikh Mkhitaryan, despite Jurgen Klopp’s men 2-0 triumph over Bayern in the season-opening DFL Supercup on Wednesday.
Bayern won their second consecutive Bundesliga title in record time last season – triumphing with seven matches remaining.
Pep Guardiola’s men are expected to retain their German crown in 2014-15 having plucked Robert Lewandowski from rivals Dortmund, as well as securing the services of Sebastian Rode, Juan Bernat and Pepe Reina have been added to an already impressive Bayern squad.
But despite upstaging Bayern in mid-week, Mkhitaryan said Dortmund are targeting UEFA Champions League qualification for a fifth consecutive season.
“It’s going to be very difficult to challenge Bayern – they are an incredibly strong team,” the Armenia international told Bundesliga.com.
“We have to do everything we can to make sure we finish in those top three places and qualify for the Champions League.
“That’s our goal for this season. Anything more is going to be very hard for us.”
Mkhitaryan was on target against Bayern, opening the scoring at Signal Iduna Park.
And the 25-year-old will be crucial to Dortmund’s top-three hopes, having scored nine goals in 31 league appearances in his debut season at the club.
“I’m going to try to do more this season,” said Mkhitaryan.
“I’ll do my best. I don’t want to stay at this level of performance; I want to build on it.
“I always try to give my all in every game and in every training session to make our supporters happy.”