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Bayern Munich 3 RB Leipzig 0: Lewandowski´s brace helps secure domestic double

Lewandowski’s double and a thumping finish from Kingsley Coman ensured Bayern Munich beat RB Leipzig 3-0 to win the DFB-Pokal and complete a domestic double in Niko Kovac’s first season.

Having secured a seventh straight Bundesliga title last time out, Bayern went ahead against a resilient Leipzig – featuring in their first ever major final – thanks to Lewandowski’s wonderful 29th-minute header.

Things would have been different if not for Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who on his return from injury pulled off a pair of fantastic stops to deny Yussuf Poulsen and Emil Forsberg.

Thiago Alcantara passed up a golden chance to extend the lead, but his miss mattered little as Coman made sure of Bayern’s first domestic double in three years before Lewandowski’s delicate chip rounded off a fine day for Kovac’s side.

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Bayern to continue Bundesliga revival against Freiburg


Reigning German champions Bayern Munich have made a mixed start to life under new coach Niko Kovac. However, the Bavarians form has improved of late and they could end the weekend top of the table if they can defeat Freiburg at the Allianz Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Bayern have now won their last four games in all competitions, including their last two in the German top-flight. Last time out in the Bundesliga, Die Bayern recorded a 2-1 win at Mainz.

Despite their seemingly inconsistent start to the campaign, the home side has still managed to score at least two goals in six of their nine league games this season.

Bayern’s usual formidable home form has slipped slightly of late, though, as they have won just two of their last five Bundesliga games at the Allianz Arena.

Their recent home games in the German top-flight have at least offered value for money when it comes to goals, as there have been over 2.5 goals scored in seven of their last eight home league games.

Freiburg have endured mixed fortunes so far in the Bundesliga this season, picking up 12 points from their opening nine games in the German top-flight. However, the visitors have been hard to defeat of late, as they have suffered just one defeat in seven league outings.

The visitor’s recent games in the league have been relatively high scoring, with over 2.5 goals scored in five of their last eight games in the Bundesliga.

Freiburg have struggled for away victories in the German top-flight of late, winning just one of their last 14 games on their travels in the Bundesliga. The visitors have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last eight away games in the league.

Sportseocnds predicts that Bayern Munich’s revival will continue with a home victory in a high scoring game.

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Bayern´s Ulreich warned about ´witch´s cauldron´ at Sevilla

Bayern Munich were pleased to avoid their fellow Champions League heavyweights but will face a “witch’s cauldron” at Sevilla, according to Sven Ulreich.

Bundesliga giants Bayern, who eased past Besiktas in the last round, will go up against the Spanish side for the first time in European competition after Friday’s draw.

However, Sevilla should not be viewed as a soft touch, with Vincenzo Montella’s squad causing an upset by knocking out Manchester United in midweek.

Goalkeeper Ulreich revealed how the Spanish contingent at Bayern have warned their team-mates about playing at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, the venue for the first leg on April 3.

“There was no shouting or cheering, but it is a feasible task for us, a supposedly easier opponent than those still in the draw,” he told Bild.

“However, they have won the Europa League three times. Our Spaniards [at Bayern] have already told us that Sevilla’s ground is a witch’s cauldron.

“They play a typical Spanish style too, with a lot of movement and short passing.”

The draw for the last eight became personal for Hasan Salihamidzic, Bayern’s sporting director who has family based in the Spanish city.

Sevilla finished second behind Liverpool in Group E, before beating Jose Mourinho’s United 2-1 on aggregate in the first knockout round.

“My parents-in-law live in Seville, so I am looking forward to this match. It will be very interesting,” Salihamidzic said.

“This is no easy opponent. You need to be good to eliminate Manchester United.

“We want to advance to the semi-final and we are not going to take this easy.”

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Bayern romp home 5-0 after Besiktas suffer early red card

MUNICH- Bayern Munich, helped by two typical Thomas Mueller goals and two from Robert Lewandowski, romped to a 5-0 win over Besiktas in their Champions League tie on Tuesday after the Turkish champions played nearly the whole match with 10 men.

Besiktas defender Domagoj Vida was given a straight red card for tripping Lewandowski outside the penalty area in the 16th minute, the defining moment in the round of 16, first leg tie.

Mueller, inelegant yet always effective, broke the deadlock with a miskick two minutes before halftime to break Besiktas’s resistance.

Kingsley Coman and Mueller added two more before Lewandowski helped himself to a late brace, virtually assuring the Bavarians of a seventh successive quarter-final appearance.

Besiktas won all three away games in the group stage and came with the clear intention of attacking Bayern but their plans were torpedoed by Vida’s red card.

A poor pass from Atiba Hutchinson went straight to Lewandowski, who burst past Vida and was tripped as he ran at goal with only goalkeeper Fabri to beat.

Besiktas could still have snatched a priceless goal minutes later when Vagner Love got past two Bayern defenders to give himself a clear shot on goal but his effort was high and wide.

Bayern then laid siege to Besiktas and Fabri denied them the opening goal with a superb one-handed save at point-blank range to turn away Mats Hummels’s header.

Having survived another scare when Ricardo Quaresma burst down the right and forced Sven Ulreich to save at his near post, Bayern broke the deadlock two minutes before halftime.

Coman got to the byline and crossed, Alaba touched it on and the ball fell to Mueller who turned, failed to make proper contact but poked it home.

It was a typically scrappy effort from a player once described on the German Football Federation’s Twitter feed as having the elegance of a swan on ice skates.

There was an air of inevitability about the second half as Bayern took complete control.

Coman sidefooted in from Lewandowski’s pass in the 53rd minute before Mueller struck again in the 66th, this time sticking his leg out to divert Joshua Kimmich’s cross past Fabri.

Lewandowski got in on the act by snapping up a rebound in the 79th minute, before Mueller set up the Pole’s second and Bayern’s fifth.

(Brian Homewood)

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Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer on track for World Cup return, says Jupp Heynckes

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has reiterated his belief that Manuel Neuer will be back playing for the club prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia this summer.

While Heynckes has refused to set a timeframe for Neuer’s first-team return, the veteran tactician was bullish about the goalkeeper’s chances of featuring for the champions before the end of the season and heading to the World Cup with requisite match practice.

Neuer has been out of action since mid-September with a broken foot and Heynckes has sent him to Thailand to work on his recovery away from Munich.

“I’m utterly convinced that he’ll play for us and then go to the World Cup,” said Heynckes when asked about Neuer last week. “The doctors will decide … I’m not putting him under pressure and so we’re not placing a timeframe on it. Manuel’s in a good place mentally, though.

“He’s making really good progress and is working well on his fitness. I suggested that he get a change of scenery, just to get away from Säbener Straße [Bayern’s training base] for a bit. He can’t take any risks and he won’t.”

In the absence of Neuer, Sven Ulreich has taken on the mantle of Bayern’s first-choice goalkeeper and has impressed all concerned – including Heynckes.

“He wasn’t playing well when I arrived, but I told him: ‘You’ll be playing this week, next week and in three months,’ Heynckes said.

“It was vital to say: ‘You are my man,’ and the team soon noticed that he is a really good goalkeeper as well. I have complete faith in Sven Ulreich.”

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Bayern Munich 2 Borussia Dortmund 1: Boateng, Muller earn DFB-Pokal revenge

Bayern Munich moved into the fourth round of the DFB-Pokal after a 2-1 win over holders Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena.

First-half goals from Jerome Boateng and Thomas Muller were enough to keep Bayern’s treble dreams alive and avenge a semi-final defeat at the hands of Dortmund last season, despite Andriy Yarmolenko’s lifeline.

The result is Peter Stoger’s first defeat since taking charge of BVB this month, with his side having won back-to-back Bundesliga matches since he was appointed as successor to Peter Bosz.

Dortmund stunned Bayern in the last four in 2016-17 as they came from two goals down to win 3-2, but their chances of another upset were dealt a blow before kick-off as the injured Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failed to make the squad.

Boateng nodded the home side ahead in the 12th minute after a spell of early dominance and Muller doubled the lead before the break at the end of a fine passing move, shortly after Yarmolenko had seen an effort cleared off the line.

Dortmund improved in the second half but they had Roman Burki to thank for keeping his side just about in the contest, the goalkeeper making excellent saves to deny James Rodriguez and Muller in particular.

Yarmolenko gave BVB some hope but Bayern held out for their sixth win in a row in all competitions, and they can now prepare for a quarter-final tie beginning in January, with duties for 2017 completed.

Bayern’s bright start almost yielded a goal in the third minute, with Arturo Vidal smacking the crossbar with a diving header following Joshua Kimmich’s pinpoint cross.

Burki could only watch the ball bounce clear but the goalkeeper was in the thick of the action five minutes later, standing tall to block Robert Lewandowski’s chip after the striker sprung Dortmund’s offside trap.

Shortly after, Burki blocked a rasping drive from Franck Ribery before Lewandowski hooked the rebound wide, as Bayern continued to threaten in the opening exchanges.

The breakthrough duly arrived with 12 minutes gone, as Boateng steered the rebound into the right-hand corner of the net after Niklas Sule crashed a header off the bar.

Dortmund had offered little support to Yarmolenko and Christian Pulisic in attack but they almost snatched an equaliser 10 minutes before the break, with Yarmolenko placing a shot past Sven Ulreich only for David Alaba to clear brilliantly off the line.

It proved to be a costly miss as, five minutes later, Bayern doubled their lead. Lewandowski’s clever pass sent Muller free into the penalty area, where he chipped a clever finish past Burki from six yards out.

The home side nearly had a third in the first minute of the second half, with Burki getting down swiftly to claw away James’ effort, before Sule headed the resulting corner over the bar.

Muller thought he had scored a second when he met Alaba’s cross at the right-hand post, only for Burki to produce the save of the match, the Switzerland goalkeeper lifting a foot to keep out the header.

Shinji Kagawa shot wide from a tight angle as Dortmund pushed forward looking for a lifeline, but Muller nearly squeezed in his side’s third on the counter-attack, with James just unable to connect with the loose ball.

Bayern were punished for dropping deeper and deeper with 13 minutes left, as Yarmolenko headed past Ulreich after being picked out brilliantly by Kagawa, but Dortmund could not manage another famous comeback as they ended 2017 in disappointing fashion.

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Bayern Munich 3 Hannover 1: Lewandowski makes history as leaders go six clear

Robert Lewandowski became the first Bayern Munich to score in all of their first seven home Bundesliga games as they took a six-point lead at the top with a 3-1 win over Hannover.

Bayern looked poised for another routine win when Arturo Vidal opened the scoring in Saturday’s encounter at the Allianz Arena after 17 minutes.

That prospect appeared an inevitability when Lewandowski rolled home on the rebound, but his effort was ruled out by the Video Assistant Referee, setting the tone for a chaotic end to the first half.

Hannover almost immediately won a penalty that Niclas Fullkrug netted, but was frustrated as that strike was chalked off for encroachment and the retake was saved by Sven Ulreich.

Charlison Benschop restored parity, though, marking the first goal Bayern have conceded at home since Jupp Heynckes replaced Carlo Ancelotti as coach.

A second-half Bayern onslaught looked set to go unrewarded until Kingsley Coman powered home before Lewandowski made history from the penalty spot, giving Heynckes’ men added breathing room as nearest rivals RB Leipzig slumped to a 4-0 loss at Hoffenheim.

Bayern would have been ahead inside four minutes had Philipp Tschauner not produced a fine diving save to his left to turn away an effort from Vidal, who then struck the right-hand post with a low drive after Lewandowski had wastefully fired over.

Thomas Muller was played in by James Rodriguez only to be denied by Tschauner at the near post as Bayern continued in the ascendancy.

It was no surprise when the combination of Muller and Vidal led to the opener, the latter falling backwards as he met the Germany forward’s far-post cross but still getting enough on the header for the ball to roll into the bottom-right corner beyond a rooted Tschauner.

Muller was instrumental again as Bayern looked to have doubled the advantage, his cross resulting in a fortunate rebound that Lewandowski tapped in. However, Bayern’s celebrations turned to frustration as Lewandowski was adjudged to have strayed offside by the VAR.

Hannover then quickly broke and won a penalty as Ulreich felled Felix Klaus, though his foul did not result in a dismissal. Fullkrug converted from the spot but did so with multiple players in the box, leading to a retake that was kept out by Ulreich’s low save to his right, with a few minutes to forget for the striker compounded as he struck wide on the rebound.

Muller spurned a gilt-edged opportunity to make it 2-0 before Ulreich stopped a Fullkrug volley, but the Bayern goalkeeper had no answer in the 35th minute as Benschop flicked home from Klaus’ near-post corner.

Tschauner produced heroics shortly before half-time by turning Muller’s close-range header against the crossbar, and Rafinha was unable to find the accuracy on a rasping low effort as Hannover somehow reached the interval level.

James appeared the most likely source of a goal after the restart, twice shooting wide and seeing an effort deflected off target.

Coman received no reward for an excellent surge down the left as Tschauner thwarted Bayern again before James skimmed the top of the crossbar. Corentin Tolisso was introduced for Javi Martinez in the 58th minute and within five minutes of his introduction he joined his team-mates in being denied by Tschauner, who diverted the France international’s header over.

But Bayern’s dominance finally told four minutes later, Coman controlling Muller’s deflected cross superbly and rifling into the roof of the net at the far post.

Tschauner’s goalkeeping exhibition continued as Lewandowski and Vidal forced him into further stops, but his valiant exertions were for nought.

Lewandowski made history three minutes from time, sending the penalty into the bottom-right corner after Martin Harnik’s rash challenge on Coman.

Key Opta stats:

– Thomas Muller played his 410th competitive match for Bayern Munich, drawing level with Lothar Matthaus.
– Arturo Vidal managed to score in three Bundesliga matches in a row for the first time.
– Robert Lewandowski has netted each of his last 16 penalties in Bundesliga.
– Bayern have won their last 30 league matches versus promoted teams, scoring 99 goals and conceding only 19.

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Borussia Dortmund 1 Bayern Munich 3: Change in fortunes underlined as Bavarians extend Bundesliga le

Bayern Munich extended their lead at the Bundesliga summit and dealt another blow to rivals Borussia Dortmund with an impressive 3-1 Klassiker win at Signal Iduna Park.

A fourth top-flight win in succession since the return of coach Jupp Heynckes opened up a six-point advantage over rivals Dortmund, who slipped to third after RB Leipzig – four back from Bayern – beat Hannover 2-1 earlier on Saturday.

Bayern’s trajectory starkly contrasts with that of BVB, who have seen their five-point lead after seven matchdays vanish and their hopes of Champions League progression all but dashed amid a run of just one win in seven in all competitions.

Arjen Robben became Bayern’s highest-scoring foreign player in the Bundesliga when his 93rd goal for the club finished off of a lovely move, with Robert Lewandowski returning to haunt his former club again by doubling their lead before the break.

Lewandowski was deemed not to have got a touch to a cross from David Alaba – who was forced off with a hamstring injury in the second half – that ended up in the back of the net as the Bavarians put the result beyond doubt in the 67th minute.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failed to take his chances as his barren run stretched to five matches, but a consolation strike from Marc Barta may not be enough to stop Peter Bosz going back to the drawing board after a chastening defeat that underlined their change in fortunes.

After Aubameyang wasted his first chance of the match, Robben rounded off an exquisite Bayern move to give Bayern a 16th-minute lead.

James Rodriguez brought a sublime cross from Thiago Alcantara – in as one of four changes from the side that beat Celtic 2-1 in the Champions League in midweek – down on his chest at the back post before laying off for Robben to pick out the top-left corner with a sweet strike from just inside the box.

Dortmund proved a threat on the counter-attack despite being penned inside their own half for long periods, Sven Ulreich racing off his line to stop Andriy Yarmolenko steering home from Gonzalo Castro’s pass as the match sprang to life.

Bayern immediately broke and Lewandowski saw his drilled shot tipped over by Roman Burki – making his 100th appearance for the club – before Shinji Kagawa pulled wide as BVB countered from the ensuing corner to cap an enthralling two minutes.

Dortmund were made to pay for their missed chances when Lewandowski flicked Joshua Kimmich’s cross home, a deflection off Julian Weigl looping the ball over Burki.

A foot injury meant Sokratis had to be replaced by Jeremy Toljan before half-time and the hosts’ new centre-back pairing left Lewandowski unmarked within three minutes of the restart, the leg of Burki stopping him heading in his second.

Dortmund passed up a glorious chance to halve the deficit when a lack of communication between Aubameyang and Yarmolenko saw them stop one another from converting Christian Pulisic’s cutback.

That proved costly in the 67th minute when Alaba’s cross was missed by Lewandowski and Burki was unable to stop it finding the net despite getting a hand to the ball.

Bosz’s side pulled one back with two minutes remaining, Bartra curling a fine finish across Ulreich from the left side of the box after Pulisic did brilliantly to keep possession in the corner.

Castro missed another opportunity in stoppage time and the makeshift right-back’s strike provided short-lived relief amid an increasingly dismal run for Dortmund.

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Big Two Meet in Germany

This weekend in the Bundesliga sees the first Klassiker of the season as Borussia Dortmund welcome Bayern Munich to Signal-Iduna-Park.

Not only is this a massive match in its own right, there is a lot on the line in terms of the Bundesliga title this season.

Borussia Dortmund start this match in second place, with 20 points from their ten matches played. This leaves them 3 points behind the current leaders, Bayern Munich. Therefore, a win for Borussia Dortmund would see them move level with Bayern Munich at the top but a win for the visitors would see them extend their lead.

So, there is all to play for in this game.

Borussia Dortmund come into this match having suffered a poor 1-1 draw at home to APOEL in the Champions League. This was a match they were expected to win with ease but despite having much of the play, Dortmund could not take their chances.

That result means it is now just one win in six games for Peter Bosz’s team and that came at Magdeburg in the DFB Pokal.

In the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund have lost two and drawn one of their three games with the point coming against Eintracht Frankfurt in a 2-2 draw away from home. The defeats have come at home to RB Leipzig and away to Hannover.

However, the defeat to RB Leipzig was Borussia Dortmund’s only loss in their last nineteen home Bundesliga games. Interestingly, trends show both teams have scored in eight of Dortmund’s last nine games in all competitions.

Bayern Munich travel to Dortmund having defeated Celtic away from home in the Champions League on Tuesday night and booked their place in the Round of 16 for this season, with two matches to spare.

That win means Bayern Munich have won each of their last six games, defeating Freiburg, Hamburg and RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga, RB Leipzig in the DFB Pokal and Celtic twice in the Champions League.

The move to bring in Jupp Heynckes is paying dividends for Bayern Munich and trends show they are unbeaten in their last seven games in all competitions.

In the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich have lost just one match this season which came at Hoffenheim at the start of September. Trends show they have lost just three of their last twenty-two away games in the Bundesliga.

Team news and Borussia Dortmund are still without Marco Reus, Lukasz Piszczek and Hendrik Bonmann. Dan-Axel Zagadou is suspended and there are doubts over Mahmoud Dahoud, Sebastian Rode and Eric Durm.

Bayern Munich travel without the injured trio of Thomas Muller, Franck Ribery and Manuel Neuer. There are also doubts over Robert Lewandowski, Kingsley Coman and Jerome Boateng, all three of which would be a big miss.

Bayern Munich have won only two of their last seven visits to Signal-Iduna-Park in all competitions but have been in great from recently. This contrasts with Borussia Dortmund, who have been struggling.

It will be a great atmosphere and Borussia Dortmund will expect to score but defensively they have been poor and Bayern Munich will fancy their chances of getting goals themselves. The away win with both teams scoring seems a likely result.

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Bayern Munich 2 RB Leipzig 0: Orban red card helps hosts go top despite Lewandowski injury

Bayern Munich went top of the Bundesliga after Willi Orban’s sending off played a big role in the champions securing a 2-0 win at the Allianz Arena, despite Robert Lewandowski going off injured.

Borussia Dortmund’s 4-2 defeat to Hannover earlier on Saturday meant either of these teams could have gone to the summit, but there only ever looked like being one winner after Orban’s 13th-minute dismissal as Jupp Heynckes’ men cruised.

It quickly became apparent that Leipzig were in for a long day in Munich, Orban sent off for a professional foul on Arjen Robben with the help of VAR and James Rodriguez – who has struggled so far at Bayern – opening the scoring after a fine move in the 19th minute.

Lewandowski essentially wrapped things up with a cool finish before half-time, though he then had to be withdrawn with what appeared to be a hamstring problem, making him a doubt for Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Celtic.

Without their talismanic striker, Bayern were a little less potent in attack and that resulted in a lack of clear-cut opportunities in a second half which had few highlights.

But their control on proceedings showed no sign of dissipating, as Heynckes’ side followed up their DFB-Pokal penalty shoot-out win over Leipzig in midweek by playing some eye-catching football towards the end of a straightforward triumph.

Bayern made a purposeful start and went close to breaking the deadlock after just two minutes, Javi Martinez heading agonisingly wide after David Alaba’s 20-yard drive was deflected wide.

The Spaniard was proving a real nuisance at set-pieces and he nodded just off target again shortly after.

Bayern then received a massive boost as Orban was dismissed for barging Robben over when through on goal.

And Bayern had a deserved lead a few moments later – James tucking a first-time effort just inside the right-hand post after Robben produced a pinpoint low cross from the flank at the end of a charging run.

The chances continued to flow for Bayern, with James seeing a dipping volley deflected just over, before Peter Gulacsi made a strong save to keep a Lewandowski header out.

But the Pole was not to be denied just before the break as he raced on to Martinez’s pass and coolly found the bottom-right corner, though he was withdrawn with a suspected hamstring problem before the half was out.

Bayern were not quite as free-flowing in attack upon the restart, but they did create a couple of half-chances in their search for a third goal, Alaba lashing into the side-netting before Robben shot straight at Gulasci.

The hosts seemed to become more intent on retaining possession and tiring out their visitors, who almost scored an own goal through Lukas Klostermann when Joshua Kimmich flashed a ball across the face of goal just after the hour mark.

Martinez attempted to add a spectacular third 10 minutes from the end when he blasted just wide of the top-right corner from 30 yards.

That miss mattered little, however, as the home side strolled to a fifth straight victory under Heynckes.