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Gladbach beats Bayern 2-1 to stay top of Bundesliga

By James Ellingworth, Associated Press MÖNCHENGLADBACH, Germany (AP) — Surprise Bundesliga leader Borussia Mönchengladbach showed it's a serious title contender by beating Bayern Munich 2-1 on Saturday with a last-gasp penalty. Left-back Ramy Bensebaini scored both goals for Gladbach, which last won the title in 1977. Bensebaini headed in a corner to draw Gladbach level after Ivan Perisic's volley for Bayern, and then scored the decisive penalty in added time. “That shows why we’re rightly up there," Gladbach coach Marco Rose said. "We tried until the 90th minute to show what's made us stand out in the last few weeks and months, and we got the penalty.” After scoring the opener, it was as if “we forgot how to play football somehow," said Bayern's interim coach Hansi Flick. The seven-time defending champion is now down in seventh after losing back-to-back Bundesliga games for the first time in 14 months. Gladbach leads the league by a point ahead of Leipzig, which beat Hoffenheim 3-1 thanks to two goals from Timo Werner. Jadon Sancho scored twice as Dortmund thrashed Fortuna Düsseldorf 5-0. BAYERN BEATEN AGAIN Another week, another 2-1 defeat and yet more missed opportunities for Bayern. Just as in last week's loss to Bayer Leverkusen by the same score, Bayern had a string of great chances — 15 shots in the first half alone — but a mix of poor finishes and good goalkeeping denied the Munich team. Gladbach keeper Yann Sommer trapped an effort by Joshua Kimmich on the line, and Robert Lewandowski twice flashed shots just wide of the post. After that frustration, Bayern scored with its first shot of the second half, a sweetly hit volley by substitute Ivan Perisic into the top-left corner from the edge of the box. That sparked Gladbach into life. The hosts have been strong at set pieces this season and showed it again when Bensebaini lost his marker to head in the corner in the 60th. Bayern pushed up to chase the win in stoppage time and was caught out by a Gladbach counter. Martinez launched into a desperate slide to stop Marcus Thuram reaching a loose ball and brought him down, giving away a penalty and earning a red card. Bayern's interim coach Hansi Flick started the day with a chance to go within a point of Gladbach, but now finds himself seven points adrift of the top. “The results don’t match" the chances Bayern created, Flick said. Bayern substituted Corentin Tolisso and Jerome Boateng with suspected injuries, which could complicate selection ahead of Wednesday's game against Tottenham in the Champions League. WERNER LEADS LEIPZIG If Leipzig manages to win the Bundesliga title for the first time in its short history, it will be largely thanks to Timo Werner. He's scored 15 goals in 14 league games this season and has nine in his last five Bundesliga matches. Hoffenheim could do nothing to stop Werner giving Leipzig the lead on a counterattack in the 11th minute. Hoffenheim tried fouling Werner, but that just led to the 52nd-minute penalty from which he scored his second goal. Marcel Sabitzer added a third late on. SANCHO'S SCORING RUN Dortmund continued its recovery from a 4-0 loss to Bayern last month, beating Düsseldorf with two goals each from Marco Reus and Sancho. Reus gave Dortmund the lead with a calm finish in the 42nd minute. Thorgan Hazard and Sancho added the second and third goals, before Reus and Sancho each scored again late on. Sancho has now scored in his last four games in the Bundesliga and the Champions League. That makes it three games unbeaten for Dortmund in the Bundesliga since the loss to Bayern, and puts the team third and firmly back into the fight for Champions League places. Freiburg continued its unexpected chase for a Champions League spot, rising to fifth with a 1-0 win over Wolfsburg thanks to Jonathan Schmid's 85th-minute goal. Leverkusen followed up its win over Bayern last week by overtaking the Munich team for sixth place with a 2-1 win over Schalke, which drops to fourth. Lucas Alario scored both of Leverkusen's goals in the win. Augsburg beat Mainz 2-1 to halt Mainz's winning start under new coach Achim Beierlorzer, who had overseen victories in his first two games......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnDec 8th, 2019

Leipzig top in Germany at halfway stage, but Bayern revived

By James Ellingworth, Associated Press Is this the season when Bayern Munich's seven-year hold on the German title ends? A poor start and a humiliating 5-1 loss to Frankfurt cost Niko Kovac his job as Bayern coach and gave teams like Leipzig and surprise title contender Borussia Mönchengladbach hope of victory. Bayern has bounced back under interim coach Hansi Flick, though, and is third in the table, four points behind leader Leipzig. That's earned Flick an extension until at least the end of the season. It's been a tale of dueling goalscorers, with Robert Lewandowski having scored 19 goals in 17 games for Bayern, and Timo Werner one goal behind for Leipzig. For Gladbach, goalkeeper Yann Sommer has been crucial to their title challenge. Borussia Dortmund has been powerful on its day, but the team is also inconsistent and brittle. Losing to Bayern 4-0 last month was a big dent to Dortmund's title belief. Last Sunday's games were the last of 2019 and the Bundesliga returns from its winter break on Jan. 17. PLAYER OF THE SEASON SO FAR He turned 31 in August and Lewandowski shows no sign of slowing down. The Polish forward scored in Bayern's first 11 Bundesliga games and has racked up 30 goals across all competitions. He's taking time off during the winter break to have groin surgery. Werner has been almost as prolific, including a remarkable performance with three goals and three assists in an 8-0 thrashing of Mainz last month. For Dortmund, Jadon Sancho's in hot form with eight goals in his last six Bundesliga games. But perhaps no one's been as vital to their team as Rouwen Hennings. The 32-year-old Hennings doesn't have the star status of Lewandowski or Sancho but his 11 goals for struggling Fortuna are four more than the rest of the team put together. SURPRISE OF THE SEASON Gladbach's golden age was the 1970s, when it won five Bundesligas in eight years. With its run to second, Gladbach has been a feelgood story for German fans of other clubs who dislike Bayern's wealth and see Leipzig as less a soccer club than an advertising board for energy drinks giant Red Bull. Gladbach has nothing like the budget of Bayern or Leipzig, but has built a solid team with attacking firepower from Marcus Thuram, son of former French defender Lilian Thuram, and Swiss forward Breel Embolo. A comeback 2-1 win over Bayern this month showed its a serious contender. Kai Havertz experienced the season's most unwelcome surprise when fans of his own team, Bayer Leverkusen, booed him this month. The attacking midfielder started the season rated as one of Germany's most promising young players, but he's looked listless in recent games and last scored in September. GOAL OF THE SEASON Bayern's 46 goals in the Bundesliga have included some gems. Philippe Coutinho scored with an outrageous flick from the outside of his foot against Werder Bremen last week. Lewandowski's hit some long-range free kicks and shrugged off four defenders to score against Frankfurt, the only bright spot in a heavy loss for Bayern. The highlight of Leipzig's title charge might just be Christopher Nkunku juggling the ball through the Bayer Leverkusen defense and past the goalkeeper in October. For sheer fireworks, no one beats Hertha Berlin's Javairo Dilrosun. The Dutch winger picked up the ball on the left wing and cut inside past four defenders — beating one of them twice — before scoring against Paderborn. WHO'LL BE CHAMPION? If Bayern's recovery under Flick continues, an eighth straight title is definitely possible, if only because of the depth in its squad. The Munich team was packed with individual talent, even if Kovac was defeated by the puzzle of how to make them all play well together. There's also a bench filled with hungry young players such as New Zealand midfielder Sarpreet Singh and the Dutch forward Joshua Zirkzee, who's scored in each of his first two Bundesliga appearances. Leipzig takes a four-point lead into 2020, but depends heavily on core players such as Werner and the in-form Marcel Sabitzer and Patrik Schick. Losing any of them to injury could be a fatal blow. Gladbach has less depth than either of them, but unlike them, it won't be balancing the Bundesliga with any European competitions in the spring. CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFICATION The fight for the four Champions League spots is wide open, with at least eight teams making a strong claim. Behind the leading trio of Leipzig, Gladbach, and Bayern, there's a chasing pack of Borussia Dortmund, Schalke, Leverkusen, Hoffenheim, and Freiburg. All have played Champions League football in recent years, with the exception of Freiburg, but they have all been inconsistent this season. WHO'S GOING DOWN? The relegation fight is just as close as the scrap for European places. Promoted Paderborn is last but showed it has claws by beating Frankfurt 2-1 last weekend. The other automatic relegation spot is occupied by Werder Bremen, which is in danger of its first relegation since 1981. Werder ended 2019 with four straight defeats, two of them by five-goal margins, and with club management embroiled in conflict with fans over the sale of their stadium's naming rights. If Werder can climb out of danger, it would likely be at the expense of one of two Rhineland rivals, Cologne or Fortuna Düsseldorf, or else Mainz......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 25th, 2019

Coutinho stars as Bayern bounces back to rout Bremen 6-1

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press BERLIN (AP) — Philippe Coutinho has finally lived up to Bayern Munich's high hopes for the Brazil playmaker. Coutinho scored a hat trick and set up two more goals to help Bayern end its two-game losing run in the Bundesliga with a 6-1 rout of Werder Bremen on Saturday. "That was his game," said fellow goal-scorer Robert Lewandowski, who grabbed two. Substitute Thomas Müller scored the other goal as Bayern bounced back from successive 2-1 defeats to Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen. Bremen's visit came just at the right time for the seven-time defending champion. Bremen had lost its previous 20 competitive games against Bayern, 17 in the league and three in the German Cup. Coutinho gave a demonstration of what Bayern had been expecting when it signed him on loan with a purchase option for 120 million euros ($133 million) from Barcelona in the offseason. "It was fun for everyone who was in the stadium," Bayern coach Hansi Flick said of the 27-year-old Coutinho. "The team was delighted for him, that he produced such a performance on the pitch. Three goals scored, two made – that was simply class!" However, Florian Kohfeldt's team gave Bayern a scare when Milot Rashica rifled a shot from outside the penalty area past Manuel Neuer to open the scoring in the 24th minute. Jiri Pavlenka denied Lewandowski in the 40th, when the Poland star only had the goalkeeper to beat, and then saved Coutinho's effort from the rebound. But the Bremen 'keeper was beaten twice before the break. Serge Gnabry gave Coutinho a tap-in in the 45th and the Brazilian set up Lewandowski to break his two-game scoring drought in first-half injury time. Lewandowski had scored in the first 12 games of the season, a record, before an unexpected dry spell. Coutinho's second goal in the 63rd all but sealed the win, but the goals kept coming with Lewandowski grabbing his second in the 72nd, Coutinho setting up Müller in the 75th and completing his hat trick in the 78th. "Today it was important to get the points to move back up the table," Coutinho said. Bayern moved up to fourth with the win. The Brazilian came off to enthusiastic applause in the 82nd for New Zealand's Sarpreet Singh, who came on for his Bayern debut. LEIPZIG TOP Leipzig went top with a 3-0 win at Fortuna Düsseldorf in the visitors' sixth consecutive win. Patrik Schick opened the scoring early, Timo Werner added a penalty and Nordi Mukiele completed the scoring as Leipzig moved two points clear of Gladbach, which can reclaim the lead with a win at Wolfsburg on Sunday. KLINSMANN'S 1ST WIN Jürgen Klinsmann claimed his first win in charge of Hertha Berlin thanks to Vladimir Darida's rocket inside the left post for a 1-0 home victory over high-flying Freiburg. Darida let fly from outside the penalty area to decide a lackluster game in the 53rd. It was Hertha's first win in six league games. "It was hugely important for the team," Klinsmann said. "The heads will be a little lighter." Goals from Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho, Thorgan Hazard and Nico Schulz gave third-place Borussia Dortmund a 4-0 win in Mainz — its fourth consecutive win since its Champions League loss in Barcelona. Cologne defeated nine-man Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 in the Rhine derby and Union Berlin was held to a 1-1 draw at Paderborn......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2019

Bayern cuts gap behind Bundesliga leader Gladbach to 1 point

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press BERLIN (AP) — For once, Robert Lewandowski didn’t score. But it didn’t matter as Bayern Munich stayed perfect under interim coach Hansi Flick and cut the gap behind Bundesliga leader Borussia Mönchengladbach to just one point on Saturday. Bayern routed Fortuna Düsseldorf 4-0 away, while Gladbach lost at promoted Union Berlin 2-0. Lewandowski had scored in every Bundesliga game so far, but the Polish forward couldn’t stretch his league record to 12 games against Fortuna — still the only side remaining in the 18-team division against which he hasn’t scored. It wasn’t for lack of trying. Lewandowski sent one shot narrowly wide of the post and his powerful header was saved well by goalkeeper Zack Steffen. He even tried a scissor kick, without success. Goals from Benjamin Pavard, Corentin Tolisso, Serge Gnabry, and Philippe Coutinho gave Bayern its second straight 4-0 win in the Bundesliga after routing Borussia Dortmund before the international break. It stretched Bayern’s winning run to three games under Flick, Germany coach Joachim Löw's former assistant. Flick is filling in for the fired Niko Kovac and has yet to see his side concede. Bayern became the first visiting team since April to leave Düsseldorf with a clean sheet. UNION ENJOYING BUNDESLIGA LIFE Union players celebrated with fans long after the side’s fifth win from 12 games, its third straight in the league. Anthony Ujah’s 15th-minute header and another in injury time from Sebastian Andersson were enough for Union to end Gladbach’s three-game winning run across all competitions, and stretch the promoted team’s own run to five straight victories, including a friendly win over Holstein Kiel. Gladbach made a fine start with Denis Zakaria and Patrick Herrmann going close before Herrmann hit the post in the 12th. But Marcus Ingvartsen produced a fine cross for Ujah to score with Union’s first real chance. Buoyed by the goal, Union pushed on and almost made it 2-0 when Ingvartsen struck the post. Union fans rose to salute goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz for denying Alassane Plea in a one-on-one before the break. It was the visitors’ best chance before Andersson sealed Union’s win. LEIPZIG CLOSES IN Emil Forsberg scored twice as Leipzig stayed second, ahead of Bayern on goal difference, with a 4-1 rout of visiting Cologne. Cologne was hoping for a change of fortune under new coach Markus Gisdol, who replaced the fired Achim Beierlorzer during the international break, but Timo Werner got Leipzig underway in the 22nd and the home side powered on for its seventh win. Leipzig, which was formed only in 2009, looks a good prospect to take advantage of rivals’ travails and mark its 10th anniversary with its first major title. Also, Wolfsburg won 2-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt, where the home side wore jerseys with a message against racism. Schalke won at Werder Bremen 2-1, and Freiburg grabbed a draw at Bayer Leverkusen 1-1. ___ James Ellingworth contributed from Düsseldorf......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 24th, 2019

Gladbach wins 4-2, reclaims Bundesliga lead from Bayern

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press BERLIN (AP) — Borussia Mönchengladbach returned to the top of the Bundesliga with a 4-2 home win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday. Denis Zakaria scored late to seal the victory as Gladbach moved a point clear of seven-time defending champion Bayern Munich and two points clear of Freiburg and Wolfsburg after nine rounds. Breel Embolo whipped in a low cross to give Marcus Thuram a tap-in for Gladbach's opener in the 28th, and Oscar Wendt let fly for the second in first-half injury time, when Thuram was initially stopped by Danny da Costa. Frankfurt improved after the break and da Costa scored for the visitors in the 59th after Daichi Kamada pulled the ball back. Nico Elvedi made it 3-1 with a header off a free kick in the 75th, but Martin Hinteregger kept the visitors' hopes alive with a header to Kamada's corner three minutes later. Zakaria calmed home fans' nerves with Gladbach's fourth goal in the 85th, set up by Lars Stindl despite Frankfurt defenders around him. Wolfsburg stayed unbeaten but missed the chance to go top earlier Sunday in a 0-0 draw with visiting Augsburg. Wolfsburg substitute João Victor thought he'd scored a late winner for the home side, but the goal was ruled out after a VAR intervention for offside. Bayern had defeated promoted Union Berlin 2-1 to move top on Saturday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 28th, 2019

Bayern Munich preparing for life without chief Uli Hoeness

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press BERLIN (AP) — After more than 40 years of Uli Hoeneß, Bayern Munich is going to have to get used to life without the man who helped turn it into one the world's biggest soccer clubs. The 67-year-old Hoeneß formally informed the club's supervisory board on Thursday that he will not stand for re-election as president in November. Unprecedented criticism from club members at the AGM last November played a role in his decision to stand down. "It's hard to say how things will change," Bayern captain Manuel Neuer said. "I think, even if Uli Hoeneß isn't president or isn't there anymore, he won't be able to let go. He will always be associated with the club, always supporting, always helping." Bayern said in a statement Thursday that Hoeneß recommended former Adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer as his successor. The club's advisory council unanimously decided to propose Hainer, who is currently chairman of the supervisory board, to club members as a candidate for president. Hoeneß, a former forward who scored 86 goals in 239 Bundesliga appearances from 1970-79 for Bayern, took over as general manager in May 1979 when he was 27 after his playing career was ended by chronic knee problems. Bayern was nothing like the club it is now. It had 12 employees at the time, 12 million Deutschmarks (about $7 million) in revenue and was 8 million Deutschmarks ($4.6 million) in debt. Since then, Bayern has claimed 51 titles, including the Bundesliga (21 times), German Cup (12) and Champions League (2), while building financial reserves rarely seen in debt-ridden European soccer. Turnover rose to a club-record 657.4 million euros ($723.4 million) for the 2017-18 season. "He is the soul, the head and the heart of Bayern Munich. You can't replace him with another," Edmund Stoiber, the former minister-president of Bavaria, said at a local government reception for the Bayern team on Wednesday. Stoiber said Hoeneß and Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had "disputes" over coach Niko Kovac when he was enduring a difficult spell at the club last season. Hoeneß backed the former midfielder, while Rummenigge criticized Kovac in public. Kovac's team finished the season by winning the league and cup double. Despite the boos and whistles at the club's AGM last year, Hoeneß remains immensely popular at Bayern. Fans chanted his name at the reception on Wednesday. Hoeneß's conviction and 42-month prison sentence in 2014 for tax evasion of 28.5 million euros ($39.6 million) did little to dent his popularity - he served half the term and was celebrated with standing ovations upon his return - but there had been more criticism of late due to club's sponsorship deals with Qatar, and his personal tirades against former and current players. Hoeneß will stay on as a member of the Bayern's supervisory board for the duration of his term until November 2023. He was to hold a press conference before the team's Bundesliga game against Mainz on Saturday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 2019

Despite title chances, Bayern coach Kovac s future uncertain

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press BERLIN (AP) — Despite leading Bayern Munich to the verge of two titles, Niko Kovac's future as coach remains up in the air. Bayern can clinch the Bundesliga title at home against Eintracht Frankfurt — Kovac's former team — on Saturday, one week before the team's German Cup final against Leipzig in Berlin. But with persistent doubts over his authority and experience dogging his first season in charge, even a domestic double might not be enough. Bayern's management has been less than convincing in its support for the 47-year-old Croat after a season in which the team hasn't displayed the authority of before. "We'll see," Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said earlier this month to repeated questions about Kovac's future, adding that the club had bigger priorities for now. "At this time when we can achieve a lot and win two titles, we'd be well advised not to waste our energy on questions of personnel." Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz-Rummenigge was also less than forthcoming in defending Kovac, saying he had "no problem with him" and warning, "at Bayern Munich, players, management and coaches have to deliver." Kovac has struggled for authority since Bayern went four games without a win in late September-early October. The club lashed out at the media on Oct. 19 for "derogatory, slanderous reporting" of its bad run, and felt compelled to address an Instagram post criticizing Kovac from Lisa Mueller, forward Thomas Mueller's wife, for only using her husband as a substitute. Kovac, who led Frankfurt to victory over his future club in last season's German Cup final, is going for his first league title as coach. But his team missed the chance to clinch it in a scoreless draw at Leipzig last weekend and dropped points at relegated Nuremberg two weeks before. That Bayern is still in contention has more to do with rival Borussia Dortmund's inability to defend a lead. Dortmund led Bayern by nine points earlier in the season and has developed an inopportune habit of conceding late goals. Dortmund could yet win the Bundesliga title with a victory at Borussia Moenchengladbach if Frankfurt beats Bayern in Munich at the same time. Kovac, who played as a defensive midfielder for Bayern from 2001-03, said Thursday he was uninterested in the speculation over his coaching future. "I'm totally independent. I don't need to earn millions. Money is not my primary concern. Whatever comes, comes," said Kovac, who has a contract at Bayern through 2021. "I like this job and would like to fulfill my contract," Kovac said. "And I've never given up on anything in my life - never.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 18th, 2019

Lewandowski gets superb winner as Bayern beats Freiburg 2-1

MUNICH (AP) — Robert Lewandowski showed impressive dexterity to score an injury-time winner as Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich scraped a 2-1 win at Freiburg on Friday. The Poland striker was near the penalty spot when he jumped up to expertly chest down Franck Ribery's high cross with his back to goal. Lewandowski turned sharply, flicked the ball up with his right foot and then still had enough balance to volley a low shot into the bottom corner with his left. It was Lewandowski's 14th league goal in 17 games this season and arguably one of the best of his career. He had equalized in the 35th minute after German forward Janik Haberer put Freiburg ahead as early as the fourth, beating goalkeeper Manuel Neuer with a powerful shot into the bottom left corner. The 28-year-old Lewandowski smacked a chance over from close range from Brazil midfielder Douglas Costa's cross, but then made amends a minute later when he volleyed in the equalizer. He was just warming up and his outstanding winner took his Bayern tally to 22 for the season and 89 in 125 games since joining from Bundesliga rival Borussia Dortmund at the start of the 2014-15 season. As the German league resumed following the winter break, defending champion Bayern moved six points clear of Leipzig and Freiburg was eighth ahead of this weekend's games. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2017

Bayern s Zirkzee scores again; Leipzig top for winter break

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press BERLIN (AP) — Defending champion Bayern Munich and Bundesliga leader Leipzig both left it late to secure wins on Saturday with 18-year-old Dutch forward Joshua Zirkzee again proving the hero for Bayern. Substitute Zirkzee scored in the 86th minute for Bayern to beat Wolfsburg 2-0. Serge Gnabry added another in the 89th while the visitors were still recovering. Zirkzee also scored on his debut against Freiburg on Wednesday in Bayern’s 3-1 win. Leipzig needed late goals to overcome Augsburg 3-1 at home, opening up a two-point lead over second place Borussia Mönchengladbach, which was held 0-0 in the late game at Hertha Berlin. Also Saturday: Schalke salvaged a 2-2 draw at home with Freiburg; Cologne beat Werder Bremen 1-0; and Bayer Leverkusen won 1-0 at Mainz. ZIRKZEE RELIEF Bayern labored for long periods and was fortunate not to concede late when Wolfsburg midfielder Maximilian Arnold’s deflected effort went just wide in the 81st. Hansi Flick turned to Zirkzee for the finale and Thomas Müller set up the youngster for the breakthrough just three minutes after he came on. “He has a smile on his face,” said Flick, Bayern’s interim coach who is likely to be kept on for the rest of the season. Robert Lewandowski set up Gnabry to make sure of the win as Bayern consolidated third place before the winter break. Bayern stayed four points behind Leipzig with 33 points for its worst opening half to the season since 2010-11. “We’re really looking forward to the second half,” Bayern captain Manuel Neuer said. HALFWAY THERE Leipzig claimed the unofficial title of “autumn champion” after its 11th win from 17 games ensured it finished top at the league’s halfway stage. Timo Werner’s early goal was ruled out for a hand ball by Tyler Adams in the buildup. The American midfielder was making his first start of the season after recovering from a groin injury sustained in Leipzig’s German Cup final loss to Bayern Munich on May 25. Florian Niederlechner then stunned home fans with the opening goal in the eighth minute. There was a lengthy delay before the goal was confirmed with a VAR check. Leipzig kept pushing for a response and missed a number of chances before the equalizer came through Konrad Laimer in the 68th, again after a long VAR check. Patrik Schick, who scored the equalizer for a 3-3 draw at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, put Leipzig ahead off a corner in the 80th and Yussuf Poulsen made sure in the 89th......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2019

Mourinho back in Champs League, on charm offensive at Spurs

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press Jose Mourinho’s charm offensive has been in overdrive during his whirlwind first few days at Tottenham. He has lauded Tottenham’s training complex as being “second to none” and without comparison across Europe “at any level.” He says he has slept in the club’s pajamas at its on-site hotel which he rates as “six star,” with its “soft pillows, amazing duvet.” Now it’s time for a first taste of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium — “the best stadium in the world,” he has purred — as Mourinho continues his quest to win over fans who might still be skeptical about his appointment. Getting the team through to the knockout stage of the Champions League wouldn’t do him any harm in the ingratiation process. Three days after guiding Spurs to a Premier League victory at West Ham in his first match since replacing Mauricio Pochettino, Mourinho will take charge of them in a home match for the first time when Olympiakos visits Tuesday in the Champions League. A victory guarantees progress out of Group B alongside Bayern Munich with a game to spare. It would complete a decent week’s work for Mourinho as he attempts to rebuild his coaching reputation after a fractious, and ultimately disappointing, 2½ year spell at Manchester United that ended almost 12 months ago. The Portuguese coach hugged his players and kept a respectful distance from the traveling Spurs fans while he celebrated the 3-2 win against West Ham on Saturday. It might take some time for them to accept Mourinho and take him to their hearts, especially considering the work Pochettino did in raising standards at Tottenham — even getting the team to a Champions League final last season when it lost to Liverpool. Mourinho has done that with Porto and Inter Milan, winning the title match on both occasions, so is seeking to become the first manager to win European club soccer’s biggest prize with three different clubs — all from different countries. None of them could be classed as modern-day continental heavyweights, either, making that achievement all the more impressive. The closest he has come to winning the Champions League since that 2010 triumph with Inter was a trio of semifinal appearances — all with Real Madrid — in 2011, ’12 and ’13. He got Manchester United out of its group last season, only to get fired before the knockout stages even began. If he was happy to be back in the Premier League — his “natural habitat,” he called it — at the weekend, imagine how he will feel making a return to the Champions League arena. Three teams have already qualified after four of the six rounds of games: Bayern, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus. RESTED RONALDO Seeking a win to advance along with Juventus in Group D, Atletico Madrid is well aware of the dangers of a rested Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo took some time off before the second leg of the last 16 in the Champions League last season and responded with a hat trick against the Spanish team as Juventus overturned a 2-0 deficit. Ronaldo was rested again at the weekend, for Juve’s 3-1 win at Atalanta, as he continues to recover from a knee injury. Ronaldo showed little sign of any problem while playing for Portugal in the recent European Championship qualifiers, scoring a hat trick in one match and also netting in another. Juventus is looking to secure top spot in the group with a win on Tuesday. FAVRE UNDER PRESSURE Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre has little room for error ahead of the side’s trip to Barcelona on Wednesday. A win would put the German side, which is a point behind first-place Barca in Group F, through to the knockout stage, but the manner of Dortmund’s performance will have a big say in Favre’s future. Dortmund fans reacted with fury after a 3-3 draw with last-place Paderborn in the Bundesliga on Friday, berating the players after their latest lackluster performance in a signal that their patience is wearing thin. Barcelona can seal first place in the group with a win. REAL REVENGE Real Madrid can qualify from Group A — and gain a measure of revenge — by beating PSG on Tuesday. PSG overwhelmed Madrid 3-0 in Paris in September, a result that left Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane under some pressure. “We’re in better shape,” said Zidane, whose team is only behind Barcelona in the Spanish league on goal difference. “We had a tough game in Paris, but that's in the past.” Group C leader Manchester City will advance by beating Shakhtar Donetsk at home on Tuesday. Liverpool has a one-point lead over Napoli heading into their meeting Wednesday in Group E, in which Salzburg is a further four points back before its game against out-of-contention Genk. In Group H, Ajax, Chelsea and Valencia are all on seven points. Valencia hosts Chelsea on Wednesday, when Ajax travels to Lille. In Group G, Leipzig and Lyon can advance by beating Benfica and Zenit St. Petersburg, respectively, on Wednesday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 25th, 2019

Dortmund captain Marco Reus blasts shameful performance

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press BERLIN (AP) — Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus apologized to angry fans and blasted what he called a “shameful” first-half performance from his side on Friday. Reus scored in injury time to salvage a 3-3 draw against last-placed Paderborn, but it wasn’t enough to stop irate supporters raging against the players. Dortmund was three goals down and heading for a second consecutive defeat following its 4-0 loss at Bayern Munich before the international break, before Jadon Sancho scored one and set up Reus’ equalizer after Axel Witsel scored. “I have no explanation for the first half. No idea what we did there. It was shameful. We must never, ever play like that again,” Reus told broadcaster DAZN. Dortmund, which started the season with Bundesliga title ambitions, looked far from capable of sustaining a challenge after dropping points for the seventh time in 12 games. Coach Lucien Favre is coming under increasing pressure, but Reus defended the Swiss tactician and laid all the blame on his teammates. “We have to speak about it, there’s no other way,” Reus said. “We didn’t just escape with a blue eye – we were really socked. The coach sets us up super. We’re the ones responsible for delivering our performance.” Streli Mamba stunned the home supporters with Paderborn’s opener in the fifth minute, finishing off a counterattack that began with a Dortmund corner. Kai Pröger outpaced Germany defender Nico Schulz on the right and crossed for Mamba’s simple finish. Mamba grabbed his second goal on another counterattack in the 37th, prompting a chorus of whistles from the home fans, and it got even worse from a Dortmund point of view when Gerrit Holtmann fired through Roman Bürki’s legs to make it 3-0 in the 43rd. Paco Alcácer hobbled off before halftime, adding to Dortmund’s woes. Lucien Favre, who already sent on Julian Brandt for the injured Alcácer, reacted with two changes at the break, sending on Thorgan Hazard and Achraf Hakimi for the off-color Schulz and Mahmoud Dahoud. Sancho pulled one back in the 47th, with Hakimi and Brandt both involved in the buildup. But Dortmund was looking increasingly desperate and Mamba came close to completing a hat trick before Witsel finally scored the next goal in the 84th. Sancho profited from a poor clearance to set up Reus in the 92nd......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2019

Lewandowski grabs 2 as Bayern crushes Dortmund 4-0

MUNICH (AP) — Robert Lewandowski scored twice against his former club to help Bayern Munich return to form with a 4-0 rout of Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga's "Klassiker" on Saturday. Dortmund defender Mats Hummels' own goal in the 80th minute of his first game back at his former club compounded the visitors' misery in their fifth consecutive heavy defeat in Munich. Dortmund lost 5-0 in Munich in April, 6-0 last year, 4-1 in April 2017 and 5-1 in October 2015. Lewandowski got the latest thrashing underway in the 17th minute, heading in Benjamin Pavard's cross after being left in plenty of space by the Dortmund defense. It ensured the Polish striker stretched his Bundesliga record by scoring in each of the opening 11 games this season. Bayern was hoping to send a signal in its first league game since firing Niko Kovac as coach on Sunday. Kovac departed a day after the team slumped to a 5-1 loss at Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayern's heaviest Bundesliga defeat in over 10 years. But Bayern looked a side reborn under interim coach Hansi Flick. The former Germany assistant started with a 2-0 win over Olympiakos in the Champions League on Wednesday and has now overseen two wins with no goals conceded. "We're going to keep going with Hansi for the time being," chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said after the gala display against Dortmund. Bayern had to wait till the 47th before Serge Gnabry got the second goal, though he had to wait for VAR checks to confirm Thomas Müller was not offside. Müller set up Lewandowski for his second goal in the 76th, the striker taking his tally to 16 goals in 11 league games. Hummels' own goal came after he was pressurized by Thiago Alcântara and wrapped up another night to forget for Dortmund. "We lost nearly every ball in the first 25 minutes, it wasn't good. Unbelievable. It was very poor from us," Dortmund coach Lucien Favre said. "Bayern played much better than us. A lot of our players just weren't there today. That's the biggest disappointment.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 10th, 2019

Lewandowski record as Bayern moves top in Bundesliga

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press BERLIN (AP) — He just can't stop. Robert Lewandowski scored again for a Bundesliga record as Bayern Munich went top with a 2-1 win over promoted Union Berlin on Saturday. Lewandowski is the first player in the league to score in each of the opening nine games, breaking the eight game record set by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for Borussia Dortmund in 2015. "We have the place we want," Bayern coach Niko Kovac said of moving to first, "and we have Lewy (pronounced 'Levy'), who has set a Bundesliga record. That's nice." Lewandowski claimed what proved to be Bayern's winning goal in the 53rd minute with his 13th league goal, taking his tally to 19 in 13 games including the Champions League and German Cup. The Polish striker has scored in every competitive game for Bayern this season. Lewandowski thought he had another score in the 84th, but the goal was ruled out through VAR after teammate Serge Gnabry strayed offside in the buildup. Sebastian Polter pulled one back for Union with a penalty in the 86th, the visitors' second penalty of the game. Manuel Neuer had already saved Sebastian Andersson's effort from the first in the 59th. Benjamin Pavard opened the scoring, returning the ball with interest after Union 'keeper Rafal Gikiewicz punched it away, but Bayern went on to miss chances to increase the lead. Canadian teen Alphonso Davies made his first start for Bayern, while Thomas Müller started for the first time alongside Philippe Coutinho. Bayern players held jerseys belonging to Niklas Süle and Lucas Hernández in solidarity with their injured teammates before kickoff. Bayern, the seven-time defending champion, moved one point clear of Freiburg, which kept pace by beating Leipzig 2-1. DISAPPOINTING DORTMUND Borussia Dortmund escaped with a 0-0 draw at Schalke, which dominated their Ruhr derby for long periods and twice hit the goal-frame. The nature of the performance will increase the pressure on Dortmund coach Lucien Favre, whose side has only two wins in eight games across all competitions. "They only got through once or twice, but there was no one in the penalty area who could put the thing in," Schalke goalkeeper Alexander Nübel said of the visitors' toothless attack. Schalke was left to rue a potential penalty call after Thorgan Hazard appeared to block the ball with his arm. There was no intervention from the video assistant referee. "We can take a lot of good from the game, just not the best - the three points," Schalke coach David Wagner said. MORE VAR CONTROVERSY Bayer Leverkusen came back to draw with Werder Bremen 2-2 in another game with a questionable penalty call. Bremen substitute Benjamin Goller's cross was blocked by the falling Nadiem Amiri's arm in injury time as the Leverkusen midfielder slid in to challenge in the penalty area. However, despite VAR checks, no penalty was awarded. Also, Hoffenheim won at Hertha Berlin 3-2, and Paderborn enjoyed a 2-0 win over Fortuna Düsseldorf. Former leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach and Wolfsburg were both to play on Sunday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 27th, 2019

Rampant Belgium becomes 1st team to qualify for Euro 2020

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press Six first-half goals set Belgium on its way to a record-tying victory and a place in next year's European Championship. Three late goals revived the Netherlands' chances of being at the continent-wide tournament, too. Belgium — the world's top-ranked soccer nation — became the first team to qualify for Euro 2020 by crushing San Marino 9-0 on Thursday, matching the biggest margin of victory in its history. It was 6-0 by halftime in Brussels, with striker Romelu Lukaku scoring two of the goals to pass 50 in internationals. The Belgians consolidated their place at the summit of Group I and guaranteed a top-two finish with three qualifiers to spare. Their neighbors didn't have it so easy, with the Netherlands' scoring three goals from the 80th minute to come from behind and beat Northern Ireland 3-1 in the Dutch stronghold of Rotterdam. Memphis Depay scored two of those late goals. It left the two teams in a three-way tie on 12 points with Germany in Group C. The Northern Irish have played one game more, though, and their remaining two qualifiers are against the Dutch and the Germans. Croatia and Poland both won 3-0, against Hungary and Latvia respectively, to stay in control of their groups. RAMPANT BELGIUM Belgium has now won an international game by a nine-goal margin on four occasions, with San Marino on the receiving end of two of those thrashings. In 2001, it lost 10-1 in this fixture. Double figures looked well within reach of the Belgians after they scored six goals in the final 17 minutes of the first half, with Nacer Chadli, Toby Alderweireld and Youri Tielemans joining Lukaku in finding the back of the net. There was also an own-goal from Cristian Brolli. The other three goals came from the 79th minute, through Christian Benteke, Yari Verschaeren and Timothy Castagne. "Nine-nil is a good result," said Lukaku, who now has a record-extending 51 goals for Belgium, "but we would have loved to have scored one more and broken that all-time record." Russia looks almost certain to join Belgium in advancing from the group after beating Scotland 4-0 at home to stay eight points clear of Cyprus in second place. Russia is away to Cyprus on Sunday, and needs only a point to qualify. LEAVING IT LATE With the Dutch trailing 1-0 heading into the final 10 minutes, it looked as though they might need a back-door route to Euro 2020 via the playoffs. A defeat would have left them six points adrift of Northern Ireland but Ronald Koeman's team finally converted one of their chances when Depay scored in the 80th to cancel out Josh Magennis' opener five minutes earlier. Luuk de Jong and Depay — following a surging run by Frenkie de Jong — added goals in injury time to seal victory for the Netherlands, who have now won 17 matches in a row at Feyenoord's De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam since drawing 0-0 with Romania in March 2007. "We are devastated with the nature of the defeat," said Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, whose team went from being favorites to automatically qualify to the outsiders in the space of about 10 minutes. Belarus drew 0-0 with Estonia in the group's other game. Both teams are out of contention. LEWANDOWSKI HAT TRICK Robert Lewandowsi moved onto 60 international goals by scoring his sixth hat trick for Poland in its 3-0 win in Latvia. The Bayern Munich striker netted twice in the opening 13 minutes before adding a third in the 76th. Austria stayed three points behind Poland in Group G by coming from behind to beat Israel 3-1. North Macedonia beat Slovenia 2-1 and is a further two points in third place. CROATIA IN COMMAND Croatia, the World Cup semifinalist last year, opened up a three-point lead in Group E by beating Hungary 3-0 thanks to a fifth-minute opener by Luka Modric and two goals by Bruno Petkovic. Second-place Slovakia was held to a 1-1 draw at home to Wales, which is fourth — three points behind its opponent — but has a game in hand over all the teams above them. The top two in each of the 10 groups qualify for the 24-team Euro 2020, which is being played in 12 countries with no automatic places for hosts. The other four qualifiers will come through four tiers of playoffs in March......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 11th, 2019

Spurs in Champions League capitulation as Bayern wins 7-2

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press A Champions League finalist for the first time just four months ago, Tottenham is making history again in Europe's top club competition this season. The wrong kind of history. Tottenham was picked off repeatedly by Bayern Munich in a humiliating 7-2 loss on Tuesday, the first time the English team has conceded seven goals in a home match in any competition in its 137-year history. Another team in trouble is Real Madrid, which has failed to win at least one of its first two games in the group stage for the first time in Champions League history. To avoid defeat against Club Brugge on Tuesday, the 13-time European champions had to fight back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2. Tottenham slumped to the biggest margin of defeat by a team from England playing at home in any European competition. Adding insult for Tottenham was the sight of Serge Gnabry, a former player at fierce rival Arsenal, scoring four of the goals for Bayern with clinical finishing. All of them came in a wild second half in the Group B game featuring six goals in total. "Every single touch went in," Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said. While it was a statement win for Bayern, which hasn't been widely regarded as one of the Champions League favorites amid something of a transitional season for the German club, the manner of the defeat exacerbates the concerns surrounding Tottenham and Pochettino. Tottenham has been far from its best in the Premier League, squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Olympiakos in its opening Champions League game, and was eliminated from the English League Cup by fourth-tier Colchester last week. Pochettino is in his sixth year as manager, leading to fears that Tottenham has gone as far as it can under the Argentine, who has spoken publicly about tensions in the squad since the loss to Liverpool in last season's Champions League final. "We are very disappointed and very upset," Pochettino said, "but we have to stay together." MADRID COMEBACK Barely 40 minutes had elapsed, Real Madrid was losing 2-0 at home to one of the Champions League's supposedly weaker teams, and Club Brugge scorer Emmanuel Bonaventure was taunting fans inside the Santiago Bernabeu by imitating the famous "Si!" goal celebration of Cristiano Ronaldo. Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane would soon be substituting his goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, at halftime. Success in European soccer's biggest club competition has come so easy for Zidane as Madrid coach — he won the Champions League an unprecedented three straight seasons in his first spell at the Spanish club — but he's not finding it so easy early in his second stint in charge. Madrid's players roused themselves and recovered to draw 2-2 against their visitors from Belgium, thanks to headers by Sergio Ramos and Casemiro. But qualification for the last 16 is far from the certainty it seemed when the group-stage draw was made. Having opened the group by being outplayed in a 3-0 loss at Paris Saint-Germain, Madrid — like Tottenham — is in last place on one point. The Spanish team hasn't failed to advance past the group stage since the 1989-90 season, which was so long ago the competition was called the European Cup. A loss away to Galatasaray in the third round of games would make things extremely tough for the record 13-time European champions. PSG didn't find its trip to Turkey straightforward on Tuesday, only winning 1-0 win thanks to Mauro Icardi's first goal for the French club. RONALDO SCORES AGAIN It's now a record-extending 127 goals for Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League. The Portugal forward scored the third goal in Juventus' 3-0 win at home to Bayer Leverkusen, adding to strikes by Gonzalo Higuain and Federico Bernardeschi. Juventus opened Group D with a 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid, which also responded with a win — 2-0 at Lokomotiv Moscow through goals by João Félix and Thomas Partey. STERLING SPARKS CITY A lively substitute's appearance by Raheem Sterling sparked Manchester City to a 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb and a second straight win to open Group C. City's finishing had been wasteful at Etihad Stadium before Sterling came on as a 56th-minute sub and met a cross from Riyad Mahrez with a side-footed finish from close range 10 minutes later. Phil Foden, also on as a substitute but only in the 90th minute, made the points safe by running onto Sterling's pass on a counterattack and shooting low into the corner with virtually the last touch of the game. The English champions are well on their way to qualification, having started with a 3-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk two weeks ago. In its second match, Shakhtar scored with practically the last kick before the final whistle to beat Atalanta 2-1 as the Italian side's first home game in the Champions League ended in disappointment. Manor Solomon scored sin the fifth minute of stoppage time after Junior Moraes canceled out Duvan Zapata's opener for Atalanta in the first half......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 2nd, 2019

Order restored: US beats Canada in pre-World Cup basketball

SYDNEY (AP) — Order restored. After losing for the first time in nearly 13 years two days earlier, the United States rebounded to outclass Canada 84-68 in a pre-World Cup exhibition basketball game Monday. At the same arena where the Americans won Olympic gold at the Sydney 2000 Games, the U.S. never trailed, leading 20-9 after the first quarter and 46-31 at halftime. On Saturday, Australia stunned the U.S. 98-94 before a crowd of more than 52,000 in Melbourne, a result that ended the Americans' 78-game winning streak. The U.S. is missing top NBA players such as LeBron James, James Harden, Paul George and Stephen Curry. It was a dour scoring game after the exciting Saturday result in Melbourne, with both teams committing numerous turnovers Monday. Jaylen Brown had 19 points to lead the Americans, who out-rebounded Canada 55-37. Donovan Mitchell added 12 points and four assists; Kemba Walker scored 12 points and Myles Turner finished with 10 points and 15 rebounds. "We have to speed up that learning curve," Brown said of the Americans with less than a week to go before the World Cup starts. "We have a lot of room for growth. It's going to be good when it comes together, the sky is the limit for this group." Kyle Wiltjer had 21 points for Canada, while Orlando Magic forward Khem Birch — Canada's lone NBA player in the game — had 13 points and six rebounds. "We've got a lot of work to do, but we've enjoyed our time here," Wiltjer said. "Let's not forget these are practice games." Overall, the Canadians shot just 35% from the field and 6-for-23 (26%) from three-point range. Andrew Nembhard, who injured his knee last week, and Kaza Kajami-Keane (ankle) both returned for Canada, while Brady Heslip, a late arrival for the Canadians, played his first game in Australia. The last time the Americans — counting major international tournaments and exhibitions with NBA players on the floor — lost a game was the semifinals of the 2006 world championships. The American program has won gold in every competition since, including three straight in the Olympics and two consecutive World Cup titles. Canada has also been hit hard by missing NBA players, with Miami Heat's Kelly Olynyk the latest big-name player to pull out after sustaining a knee injury. ___ TIP-INS Canada: It was the third head-to-head meeting between Canada coach Nick Nurse and U.S. coach Gregg Popovich. They went 1-1 against each other in NBA play last season, Nurse's Toronto Raptors losing in San Antonio on Jan. 3 but beating Popovich's Spurs in Canada on Feb. 22. Canada finished 4-3 in its pre-World Cup exhibitions, starting with a split of a two-game series with Nigeria before five games in Australia. USA: The Americans finished their four-game World Cup warm-up tour 3-1 after beating Spain and splitting two games with Australia. The U.S. is planning to stay in Sydney until mid-week, then arrive in Shanghai early Thursday. NURSE TOUR Nurse is getting the full tour of the other side of the world this year. The Canadians have been in Australia for a week or so, and now head to China for the World Cup. Then, Nurse will be in Japan when the world champion Raptors (albeit now without NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard) play preseason games against Houston on Oct. 8 and Oct. 10. KUZMA DEPARTURE Popovich was disappointed that Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma's left ankle injury meant he wouldn't be able to compete in the World Cup. The Americans sent Kuzma home Saturday with the injury, a move that finalized the 12-man U.S. roster. They were in Australia with 13 finalists for 12 World Cup spots. "It's a huge disappointment, because he was a young, energetic guy who was really learning and could play a lot of positions for us," Popovich said. "Hopefully he'll heal quickly." UP NEXT Canada: Opens World Cup play Sept. 1 vs. Australia in Dongguan, China. USA: Opens World Cup play Sept. 1 vs. Czech Republic in Shanghai......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 26th, 2019

Lewandowski stars in Coutinho s Bundesliga debut for Bayern

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press BERLIN (AP) — Robert Lewandowski scored a hat trick and Philippe Coutinho made his Bundesliga debut as Bayern Munich eased to a 3-0 win at Schalke on Saturday. Coutinho, who completed his loan move from Barcelona on Monday, came on for an unhappy looking Thomas Müller with more than half an hour remaining, but had to be content with a co-starring role as Lewandowski stole the limelight. "I've only been here for three or four days. The game here is very intense," Coutinho said. "For sure I need to work hard, and I will do." Lewandowski opened the scoring with a penalty in the 20th minute, doubled Bayern's lead with a brilliant free kick in the 50th, and claimed his fifth league goal in two games with a fine turn and finish in the 75th. The Polish striker, who has now scored all of Bayern's league goals, also started the season with a goal in the 3-1 win over Energie Cottbus in the German Cup. Schalke, playing its first Bundesliga game at home under new coach David Wagner, was left to rue two handball penalty decisions that seemed to go Bayern's way with minimal intervention from the VAR. Lewandowski fired the first warning shot early on, dealt with easily by Alexander Nübel, who has been touted as a possible successor to Bayern counterpart Manuel Neuer. The 22-year-old Nübel has a year remaining on his Schalke contract and has shown little intention of extending it. The Schalke keeper reacted smartly to save Lewandowski's next effort from close range in the 17th. The breakthrough then came when Jonjoe Kenny brought down Kingsley Coman in the area and Lewandowski scored from the spot. Schalke fans were incensed not to be awarded penalties in the second half when Weston McKennie was brought down, and when the ball struck Benjamin Pavard's arm. Bayern coach Niko Kovac responded by bringing on Coutinho and Ivan Perisic for their debuts. Perisic was the next player to deflect the ball out with his arm. Again there was no intervention from the VAR. Lewandowski then killed off the home side's hopes with his third goal. UNION'S FIRST POINT Promoted Union Berlin claimed its first point with a 1-1 draw at Augsburg despite having Keven Schlotterbeck sent off late. Sebastian Andersson had just scored the club's first goal in the league in the 80th. Schlotterbeck earned a straight red card for a bad challenge on Florian Niederlechner, and ripped his jersey in frustration after becoming Union's first player to be sent off in the top flight. LEVERKUSEN FLYING Bayer Leverkusen's fine start to the season continued with a 3-1 Rhine derby win at Fortuna Düsseldorf. Leverkusen, which opened its league campaign with a 3-2 victory over Paderborn last weekend, produced a spectacle of attacking football with three goals in the first half. Alfredo Morales' strike was too late for the home side. Hoffenheim defeated 10-man Werder Bremen 3-2 to give new coach Alfred Schreuder his first Bundesliga win, and Borussia Mönchengladbach coach Marco Rose enjoyed his first league victory thanks to quick-fire late goals from Breel Embolo and Alassane Plea in a 3-1 win at Mainz. Freiburg won 3-1 at promoted Paderborn......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 25th, 2019

Sancho helps Dortmund come from behind to beat Cologne 3-1

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press BERLIN (AP) — Jadon Sancho scored one and set up another for Borussia Dortmund to again come from behind and maintain its winning start to the Bundesliga in a 3-1 win at Cologne on Friday. Dortmund also had to come from a goal down to beat Augsburg 5-1 in its opening game last weekend. The 19-year-old Sancho became the youngest to ever clock 15 goals in the league when he cancelled out Dominick Drexler's 29th-minute opener for Cologne in the 70th, then set up Paco Alcacer to seal the win in injury time after Achraf Hakimi gave Dortmund the lead in the 88th. "The key was that we stayed calm," Dortmund captain Marco Reus said. "The game also showed that we're a long way off our potential." The visitors struggled until Lucien Favre introduced Hakimi and midfielder Julian Brandt in a double substitution in the 62nd. The latter was involved straight away and was decisive for the third goal with a brilliant ball forward for Sancho on a break. Cologne was celebrating its first home game back in the Bundesliga following its promotion as second-division champion, but, despite a plucky performance, slumped to two defeats from two games following its 2-1 loss at Wolfsburg last weekend. The team was still applauded and cheered by fans long after the final whistle. The fans also feted a new mascot, a goat named Hennes IX, who was attending his first game following the retirement of his predecessor Hennes VIII. The new Hennes, of a traditional but endangered domestic animal breed, took over this month as the older goat was forced to abdicate due to health reasons. Hennes VIII, the club's mascot for 11 years, was to remain available for visits at the local zoo. Defending champion Bayern Munich, held by Hertha Berlin in the opening game, was to play at Schalke on Saturday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 24th, 2019

Dortmund starts Bundesliga campaign with 5-1 win v Augsburg

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press BERLIN (AP) — Borussia Dortmund began its bid to wrench the Bundesliga title from Bayern Munich with a 5-1 rout of Augsburg on Saturday. Encouraged by Bayern's 2-2 draw with Hertha Berlin in the league opener on Friday, Dortmund was keen to deliver a statement to the seven-time defending champion. But Dortmund was still settling into the game with Mats Hummels back in defense when Florian Niederlechner scored in the first minute for the visitors. Hummels, back after a successful three years in Munich, was among those badly positioned to deal with Nils Pedersen's cross for Niederlechner. Paco Alcacer was in the right place to reply two minutes later, prodding the ball home after Augsburg goalkeeper Tomas Koubek's foot deflected Marco Reus' cross into his path. Reus drew a good save from Koubek as Dortmund pushed for more, but the hosts had to wait till the 51st for Jadon Sancho to break the deadlock. Sancho shot beyond the flailing Koubek after Augsburg's defense failed to deal with Axel Witsel on the left. Alcacer set up Reus for 3-1, two minutes before the Spain striker fired inside the right corner for his second. Witsel crossed for substitute Julian Brandt to complete the scoring in the 82nd and mark his Dortmund debut with a goal. "We were surprised early on, but we stayed calm," Dortmund coach Lucien Favre said. "We were better after that with 78% ball possession. We increased the tempo even more in the second half." LEVERKUSEN DRAMA Bayer Leverkusen defeated promoted Paderborn 3-2 but the home side was fortunate not to have Wendell sent off in the first half when he used his hands to save Sven Michel's goal-bound strike before the line. Play continued and Streli Mamba converted the rebound to level for 2-2 in the 25th. Wendell was then shown a yellow card when a red card and penalty would have been more beneficial to Paderborn with 65 minutes of the game remaining. Kevin Volland claimed Leverkusen's winner in the 69th. Cologne also lost on its return in a 2-1 defeat at Wolfsburg. BREMEN PARTY SPOILED Werder Bremen overtook Hamburger SV with the most appearances in the Bundesliga as it played its 1,867th game in Germany's top flight. But Fortuna Düsseldorf was in no mood to join in the home side's celebrations and took advantage of defensive mistakes to win 3-1. It was Düsseldorf's first win in Bremen since 1977. Freiburg scored three late goals in a 3-0 win over Mainz. NEW FACES Borussia Mönchengladbach coach Marco Rose and Schalke counterpart David Wagner each had to be content with a point from their Bundesliga coaching debuts in an error-strewn 0-0 draw in the late game. Altogether, eight coaches were to take or had taken charge of their first Bundesliga games over the weekend. Union Berlin coach Urs Fischer - like the club - was to make his league debut against Leipzig on Sunday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 18th, 2019

Bale and Benzema lead Madrid to opening Spanish league win

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press MADRID (AP) — Zinedine Zidane's revamped Real Madrid got the spark it needed from a couple of veterans to get off to a winning start in the Spanish league. In the absence of injured new signing Eden Hazard, it was Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale who contributed with goals and assists as Madrid comfortably won at Celta Vigo 3-1 on Saturday. Bale, who many thought would be gone from the squad by now, set up Benzema's opening goal, then Toni Kroos and Lucas Vázquez added to the lead in a match in which Madrid played most of the second half with 10 men following a red card to Luka Modric. After Madrid's attempts to transfer Bale failed, Zidane started the Wales forward at Balaídos Stadium. "He is going to stay," said Zidane, who last month was outspoken about Bale's transfer being good for everyone. "We have reason to feel positive about all the players that we have in the squad right now." It was Madrid's first away win since Zidane returned as coach late last season. The team is trying to rebound from one of its worst campaigns in decades, when it was out of title contention several weeks before the end of last season. "It was important to get off to a good start," Zidane said. "It was great to get the three points in a difficult away match like this. We leave with a good feeling." Benzema opened the scoring from close range after Bale's perfectly timed low cross in front of the goal in the 12th minute. Modric was sent off early in the second half after video review showed he fouled an opponent from behind. Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made a spectacular reflex save off a close-range header on the ensuing free kick, and moments later Kroos added to Madrid's lead with a superb long-range shot into the top corner. Substitute Vázquez sealed the victory after a pass by Benzema following a nifty spin move by the French striker outside the area. Without Hazard, who picked up a muscle injury in a training session on Friday, Zidane began the season with a 4-3-3 formation; Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane were flanked by Marcelo and Odriozola in the defense, Casemiro guarded Kroos and Modric in midfield, and Vinícius Jr. joined Benzema and Bale in the attack. Playmaker James Rodríguez, who also was expected to leave in the offseason after his loan to Bayern Munich ended, was on the bench. On Friday, two-time defending champion Barcelona lost at Athletic Bilbao 1-0 for its first opening defeat in a decade. VALENCIA'S LATE SETBACK Valencia was held by Real Sociedad to a heartbreaking 1-1 draw at home after conceding an equalizer in stoppage time shortly after missing a penalty kick that would have increased its lead. Forward Kevin Gameiro had a chance to seal the victory five minutes into injury time but sent his shot from the spot over the crossbar. Mikel Oyazarbal evened the match by converting his own shot from the spot after a player on the Valencia wall touched the ball with his hand on a free kick. OTHER RESULTS Granada rallied from two goals down in the final 20 minutes of its 4-4 draw at Villarreal, while promoted Mallorca edged Eibar 2-1. Osasuna, another team back in the top flight, won at Leganés 1-0......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 18th, 2019

Bayern held 2-2 at home by Hertha in Bundesliga opener

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press BERLIN (AP) — After agreeing to sign Brazilian winger Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona, Bayern Munich was held to 2-2 by Hertha Berlin in the opening game of the Bundesliga on Friday. Bayern's inability to break down what looked like a shaky Hertha defense aptly illustrated its need for a player like Coutinho. "We're very happy that we can bring this player to Bayern," sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic told broadcaster ZDF after the game. Robert Lewandowski scored twice for the seven-time defending champion, but Bayern failed to make the most of its chances and will rue the setback after Hertha capitalized on two mistakes to score twice in a three-minute period. "We should have scored the goals. We had good chances and 11 corners to none. We were also unlucky. Games can go like that but I'm optimistic," Salihamidzic said. Lewandowski did not have to wait long before opening his league account in the 24th minute, sliding in to convert Serge Gnabry's cross after Joshua Kimmich was given plenty of space to surge through the middle. A rout looked possible as Hertha's defense continued to look shaky, but club record signing Dodi Lukebakio struck against the run of play in the 36th for the visitors, the Belgian's shot from distance taking a big deflection off Vedad Ibisevic's back to give Manuel Neuer no chance. Lukebakio scored a hat trick against Bayern while on loan at Fortuna Düsseldorf last season. Marko Grujic stunned the home fans when he made it 2-1 three minutes later, winning a duel against Benjamin Pavard before running onto a through ball from Ibisevic and rounding Neuer to score. "A bit surprising," Germany coach Joachim Löw said of the halftime scoreline. Bayern started the second half as it had the first, before VAR intervened after Grujic dragged Lewandowski's shirt from behind and the striker fell. Lewandowski dusted himself off to equalize from the spot on the hour mark. Bayern coach Niko Kovac congratulated counterpart Ante Covic after making his league debut in charge of the visitors. "The 2-2 is OK, we're happy to take it," Covic said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 16th, 2019