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Bayern Munich

Niko Kovac safe for now but Bayern Munich results must improve soon

Fri, 12 Oct 2018 07:52:00 PDT

ESPN FC's Raphael Honigstein explains why Bayern Munich continue to have faith in manager Niko Kovac despite their 4-match winless streak. Despite their recent struggles, Bayern Munich players were all smiles at the annual Oktoberfest celebration over the weekend. "I will defend Niko Kovac to the last drop of blood," Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness vowed in an interview with Kicker magazine on Monday, insisting that Sabener Strasse was engulfed by total calmness, contrary to reports. The Croatian coach has escaped censure for a run of four winless games, with most commentators focusing on the German champions' muted activities in the transfer market and the fatigue of key players in their efforts to explain the malaise. However, despite emphatic backing...

Why Guardiola should feel better than Klopp about Sunday's draw, Kovac in big trouble at Bayern

Mon, 8 Oct 2018 07:24:00 PDT

We were expecting entertainment but got very little. Still, you don't need to spin too much for both Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola to turn the scoreless draw at Anfield into a positive. Klopp can say the result, after a very poor performance in Naples, shows his side have the mental strength to bounce back. And being on 20 points after eight games -- including matches against Chelsea and Spurs away, plus City at home -- is not a bad place to be. Particularly when you consider they're also in...

Bayern Munich at Oktoberfest: Stars don lederhosen and drink litres of beer

Mon, 8 Oct 2018 02:45:00 PDT

Despite their recent struggles, Bayern Munich players were all smiles at the annual Oktoberfest celebration over the weekend. Robert Lewandowski and Niklas Sule compete in the beer stein lifting, beermat catching and hat throwing Oktoberfest challenge. Just as they do at this time every year, the Bayern Munich stars donned their lederhosen to attend the club's annual Oktoberfest celebrations on Sunday afternoon. The atmosphere was perhaps a little awkward given the team had suffered an embarrassing 3-0 home defeat against Borussia Monchengladbach the previous day -- but copious amounts of beer soon rectified that. As always, there was a cavalcade of leather and suspenders on show, with the entire Bayern squad stepping out in their traditional...

James Rodriguez earns 4/10 as Bayern Munich bereft of ideas in 3-0 loss to Gladbach

Sat, 6 Oct 2018 12:43:00 PDT

Bayern Munich slumped to their first home defeat of the season, losing 3-0 to old foe Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday in the original Klassiker. Positives Bayern find themselves only four points behind league leaders Borussia Dortmund. The margin was five at the same stage last season when Jupp Heynckes took over from Carlo Ancelotti to save the day. Negatives Below-par Bayern are currently bereft of confidence, pace and ideas, failing to score for a second straight Bundesliga game,...

Bayern Munich exposed by Ajax: Staleness and Niko Kovac's inexperience laid bare

Wed, 3 Oct 2018 07:17:00 PDT

Niko Kovac praised Ajax following their 1-1 draw in Group E of the Champions League. Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben insists his side need to regain confidence after a 1-1 draw with Ajax capped off a week of recent poor results. After the final whistle had sounded in the 1-1 draw against Ajax, Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac appeared no less stunned than the Allianz Arena crowd about his team's puzzlingly poor showing. "I need to first let that sink in and gather my thoughts," Kovac pleaded with TV reporters, making no secret of his struggle to come to terms with the deeply disconcerting concoction of failure he had just witnessed. Bar the determined, muscular opening 15 minutes of the game, his team had been so sloppy...

Franck Ribery, Robert Lewandowski fail to launch as Bayern are held at home by Ajax

Tue, 2 Oct 2018 03:43:00 PDT

Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery cut a frustrated figure in Bayern's 1-1 draw with Ajax on Tuesday. Below-par Bayern Munich stuttered to a fortunate 1-1 Champions League draw against Ajax Amsterdam, despite taking the lead through a Mats Hummels glancing header in the fourth minute. Bayern were pegged back by Noussair Mazraoui's deserved equaliser midway through the first half, and the record Dutch champions could easily have left Munich with the win but for Manuel Neuer's brilliance in the Bayern goal. Positives Fantasy Play ESPN Fantasy Soccer Pick your eight-man team and compete in the Champions League, Premier League, La Liga or Liga MX, then go head-to-head in leagues against your friends or people around the world. Sign up for free! How to play ESPN Fantasy Soccer Your team will be made up of eight players, at four different positions: two forwards, three midfielders, two defenders, and a goalkeeper. Find out more here. - Newcomers to pick and avoid - Champions League names to know - La Liga names to know - Breaking down ESPN's scoring system Bayern were fortunate to gain a point and remain joint-top of the group with the...

Borussia Dortmund can make a statement in light of Bayern's struggles

Fri, 28 Sep 2018 06:34:00 PDT

DORTMUND, Germany -- The crowd reverted to benign applause at the sidestreet bar Viertelliebe, a stone's throw away from the Borussia Dortmund's vaunted Wastfalenstadion, as referee Marco Fritz's final whistle at the Olympiastadion sealed Bayern Munich's first loss of the season on Friday night. The crowd at the outskirts of Dortmund's city-centre did not turn too euphoric although they had just witnessed on the many screens their rivals deservedly lose against a well-organised and ruthless...

Robert Lewandowski, Bayern 4/10 vs. Hertha in first league defeat

Fri, 28 Sep 2018 03:11:00 PDT

Robert Lewandowski, right, simply wasn't good despite getting a midweek rest. Bayern Munich slumped to their first defeat of the season, losing 2-0 to a pair of first-half goals at capital-city club Hertha Berlin on Friday. Positives Despite tasting defeat for the first time this season, the champions held on to the Bundesliga's top spot on goal difference. Negatives Failing to score in the Bundesliga for the first time since February (against Hertha), Bayern also suffered their first defeat during Oktoberfest in over eight years, going down for the first time since...

Sandro Wagner 4/10 as Bayern drop first points of the season vs. Augsburg

Tue, 25 Sep 2018 02:49:00 PDT

Wagner was given a chance up front and didn't take it in Bayern's first misstep of the Bundesliga season so far. Chasing an unprecedented seventh league title in a row, Bayern Munich failed to win for the first time this season against Augsburg, with Felix Gotze (brother of Mario) equalising late on to cancel out Arjen Robben's 48th minute opener as the Oktoberfest Bavarian derby finished in a 1-1 stalemate. Positives Bayern remain top of the table despite the draw and haven't tasted defeat during the world's biggest celebration in over eight years, while Renato Sanches is returning to the form that attracted...

David Alaba 9/10 as Bayern cruised to another easy win vs. Schalke

Sat, 22 Sep 2018 12:57:00 PDT

Alaba was a relentless force down the left flank in both attack and defence as Bayern wrapped up another comfortable victory. Chasing an unprecedented seventh league title on the spin, Bayern Munich maintained their 100 percent record by comfortably seeing off hapless Schalke 2-0 courtesy of a James Rodriguez header and a Robert Lewandowski penalty. Positives After Hertha Berlin deposed the champions for a couple of hours, Bayern serenely assumed their rightful position atop the table with an easy victory over last season's surprise runners-up. Importantly, after losing Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso and Rafinha...

Renato Sanches comes in from the cold to star for Bayern vs. ex-club Benfica

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 03:27:00 PDT

Renato Sanches made the most of a rare start, scoring against former club Benfica in a 2-0 win. On his first Bayern Munich start in 410 days, forgotten man Renato Sanches enjoyed a fairy-tale return to his former club Benfica scoring in a comfortable 2-0 Champions League win in Lisbon's Estadio da Luz. Positives Winning their 15th successive opening Champions League fixture, Bayern easily maintained their 100 percent start this season with former Golden Boy Sanches enjoying a Hollywood-style comeback on his old stomping ground. Interestingly, this was Bayern's first clean sheet away from...

Bayern's lack of domestic competition means they will be judged again solely on European performance

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 10:51:00 PDT

Bayern Munich have seven competitive games in a span of three weeks following the first international break of the season. In Ben Lyttleton's book "Match of my Life," Bayern Munich midfielder Franz "Bulle" Roth recalls the sombre mood after his team had won a third successive European Cup in 1976. The club from working- class-district Giesing -- who had been promoted to the Bundesliga only nine years earlier -- were  crowned champions of Europe again at Hampden Park but the repetition and a foreboding that the team  was about to break up spoiled all the joy. Worst of all, president Wilhelm Neudecker warned...

Arjen Robben turns back the clock but Bayern's injury woes worsen in win over Leverkusen

Sat, 15 Sep 2018 04:15:00 PDT

Arjen Robben continues to defy Father Time,as  the 34-year-old delivered a virtuoso performance vs. Leverkusen. Bayern Munich, chasing an unprecedented seventh league title on the spin, assumed top spot in the Bundesliga after coming from behind Saturday to beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-1, courtesy of goals from record signing Corentin Tolisso, veteran Arjen Robben and substitute James Rodriguez. Positives Bayern regained top billing with a comeback victory and serenely maintain their 100 percent winning start to the season. Negatives Having lost Kingsley Coman for several months in their opening league...

Manuel Neuer returns to Bayern's No. 1 spot; no room for Franck Ribery

Tue, 4 Sep 2018 07:00:00 PDT

Bastian Schweinsteiger revealed it was a special occasion to play his Bayern Munich testimonial against current club Chicago Fire. Despite offloading Arturo Vidal, Juan Bernat and Sebastian Rudy, the German champions boast a star-studded squad, leading to the omission of some bit-part players -- most notably Franck Ribery and Renato Sanches. Wantaway Robert Lewandowski is still hugely important, but look no further than goalkeeper Manuel Neuer for the key to success. This list is not extensive and has been ranked according to varying factors. Some players still with a part to play have been omitted. Performance, potential,...

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luka Modric among Europe's most important players

Tue, 4 Sep 2018 06:50:00 PDT

ESPN FC's Premier League correspondents each selected their club's 15 most important players, so we thought we'd do the same with the elite clubs of Europe too. Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Juventus has opened up the No. 1 spot at Real Madrid, while PSG have a battle between Neymar and new star Kylian Mbappe. But who else is key? Our correspondents run the rule over their team and select the 15 most important players. Click on each team for a full run down ... BARCELONA: Lionel Messi is still No....

Bayern Munich liken manager Niko Kovac to Joseph Gordon-Levitt - and actor responds

Mon, 3 Sep 2018 07:46:00 PDT

Hollywood actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt has responded to Bayern Munich US' claim he and manager Niko Kovac are related -- and the Inception star refused to rule the possibility out. The Bundesliga side's stateside account posted a close up the two faces along with the caption: "#IHaveAHardTimeAccepting that Niko #Kovac (left) and @hitRECordJoe (right) are not related." They tagged Gordon-Levitt in the tweet and cheekily switched the names around when signalling who was who to confuse onlookers. I'm only 3rd generation American. All my family comes from eastern Europe. We probably are related. https://t.co/MIMlY42Jy2— Joseph Gordon-Levitt (@hitRECordJoe) September 3, 2018 Having...

Leon Goretzka marks first Bayern Munich Bundesliga start with a goal in win over Stuttgart

Sat, 1 Sep 2018 12:48:00 PDT

Bayern Munich, chasing an unprecedented seventh league title on the spin, went to the top of the Bundesliga on Saturday after easily brushing Stuttgart aside 3-0 in the Southern derby, courtesy of goals from free transfer signings Leon Goretzka and Robert Lewandowski, before Thomas Muller added a third. Positives Buoyed by Goretzka's goal on his full debut, Bayern comfortably avenged their biggest defeat of last season and have now won 10 in a row at once-feared foe Stuttgart to notch a new club...

Transfer Window: Ronaldo makes Juventus serious contenders, Barcelona quietly happy

Sat, 1 Sep 2018 12:34:00 PDT

The transfer window is now closed across Europe and while some of the continent's major clubs enjoyed a strong summer in the market, others were left frustrated. ESPN FC's Premier League correspondents have had their say, and now it's the rest of Europe's turn ... La Liga BARCELONA: 8 There's a quiet satisfaction about this summer's dealings at Barcelona. A transfer window that  started with the loss of captain Andres Iniesta ended with what would appear to be a more rounded squad. The four...

Transfer Rater: Renato Sanches to Paris Saint-Germain, Mariano Diaz to Real Madrid

Tue, 28 Aug 2018 02:36:00 PDT

The latest transfer rumours from around the world. Things change in the blink of an eye in football. The Football Whispers Index takes the latest transfer rumours and gives them a score out of five; the higher the score, the more realistic and reliable the Whisper. Here are today's top five emerging whispers. And keep an eye on Transfer Talk for all the latest gossip. Kevin Strootman to Marseille Roma midfielder Strootman could complete a £22m switch to the Stade Velodrome in the next 24 hours. L'Equipe claim the Netherlands international...

Transfer Rater: Julian Draxler to Bayern Munich; Monaco eye Benjamin Henrichs and Quincy Promes

Mon, 27 Aug 2018 03:00:00 PDT

The latest transfer rumours from around the world. Things change in the blink of an eye in football. The Football Whispers Index takes the latest transfer rumours and gives them a score out of five; the higher the score, the more realistic and reliable the Whisper. Here are today's top five emerging whispers. And keep an eye on Transfer Talk for all the latest gossip. Benjamin Henrichs to Monaco Monaco are looking to strengthen with the signing of young right-back Henrichs, according to German outlet Sport Bild. The deal is likely to...

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