Kalif Du Berlais maintained his unbeaten record but he was made to pull out all the stops by Givemefive in the Coral Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton.

Trained by Paul Nicholls and part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, Kalif Du Berlais created a huge impression on his UK debut over the same course and distance and he was sent off the 10-11 favourite to follow up.

The Harry Derham-trained Givemefive had won each of his two starts though, and with Irish Derby fourth Peking Opera and the well-backed Captain Marvellous also running, it looked a deep race.

The two who fought it out pulled a long way clear, however, and it was the superior stamina of Kalif Du Berlais which saw him prevail by three-quarters of a length under Harry Cobden and meant the major golf champion, Graeme McDowell, had to settle for second with his horse.

“He took a bit of time to get going. We went an even gallop, I didn’t feel like we were going mad but I didn’t feel like he was going that easy jumping the last down the back and took a little bit of cajoling,” Cobden told ITV Racing.

“He jumped the second last well and winged the last. He’s still a big baby and was hanging up the run in, so there’s lots of improvement to come.

“He’s massive – he’s a big chasing type. I’d probably favour Aintree if it was left up to me but Paul knows what he’s doing.”

Nicholls said: “He’s shown he can tough it out, he’s given them all weight but whether we rode him right, I don’t know – I’ll see what Harry says.

“He’s very much a horse for the future and we’ll look after him at the minute, I’m thrilled with that.

“He’s had a hard race today, so I’d say he won’t run in the Triumph. Aintree is a possibility I suppose, if we’re happy, but if he didn’t run again (this season) it wouldn’t matter.

“As a chaser he’d be one of the most exciting prospects I’ve had for a long time, he’s got size and scope. To win three as a juvenile at his size is impressive.

“Harry is riding at the top of his game and let’s hope he can keep going until the end of the season like that.”

Derham may also look away from Cheltenham with Givemefive, who McDowell owns in partnership with multiple major winner Brooks Koepka.

“He’s run a brilliant race,” said Derham.

“Paul (O’Brien, jockey) and I spoke about it last night and the plan went perfectly and we just said if Cobden gets by us after the last, then so be it.

“I’m extremely proud of my horse’s run and he did everything right but just came second.

“Maybe (we’ll go to Cheltenham) but there’s a Grade Two at Fairyhouse two weeks later that makes appeal to me. There’s loads of options for him.

“I know that horse and he’s very genuine. I imagine he’ll be very tired and the lads can’t go to Cheltenham. There will be loads of very fresh and well-handicapped horses in the Fred Winter and he won’t be fresh and he won’t be well handicapped, so we might swerve that and go elsewhere.

“He’s a horse with a bright future and we’re looking forward to what’s to come.”

Fans celebrated 100 days to go to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup with tickets going on general sale as the was launched with larger-than-life cricket balls landing in the nine host locations including in Times Square in New York City and Bridgetown in Barbados.

Cricket stars Dwayne Bravo and Liam Plunkett took center stage hitting sixes in New York’s Times Square with local fans and players ahead of the biggest cricket carnival ever. Chris Gayle was in attendance in Freedom Park in Barbados with a spectacle of colour and music, as a street parade in Bridgetown celebrated the biggest T20 World Cup ever.

A number of other spectacular events took place in Dallas, Miami, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Vincent & The Grenadines with sporting talent present and fans enjoying cricketing activities. The launch also signified the start of general ticket sales for the event which begins on 1 June where hosts USA face Canada in Dallas in a repeat of the first-ever international cricket match in 1844.

Tickets are available at tickets.t20worldcup.com

Dwayne Bravo expressed excitement about the build up to the tournament.

“I think the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is going to be an incredible event and here in New York for the first time you are going to have the greatest players competing against each other. It's going to create history. It's about time that cricket made its mark here in the USA and people here now can look forward to seeing their favourite players and can experience it first-hand," he said.

“The fact that it's co-hosted between the US and the West Indies is good for cricket. It's fantastic for our region in the Caribbean to be able to show the world that we are able to host events as big as the World Cup. We are also happy that we are able to contribute to the growth of the development of cricket in the USA," Bravo added.

For Chris Gayle the expectation is also high, especially given the talent that will be on show in the tournament.

“We have some fantastic entertainers within the sport and you're going to see them live in the West Indies and USA this year at the T20 World Cup. You're going to see the likes of Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, youngster Yashavsi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shaheen Afridi – the list goes on! It's going to be a cracking, entertaining event," Gayle said.

 

Draymond Green welcomed the news that Steve Kerr has agreed a contract extension with the Golden State Warriors, calling the development "incredible".

Golden State defeated the Charlotte Hornets 97-84 at home on Friday after reports had emerged that Kerr has agreed to a two-year, $35 million contract extension that will make him the highest-paid coach in NBA history.

The new deal, which is not yet formally signed, will reportedly pay Kerr, who has guided the Warriors to four NBA championships, $17.5 million a year.

His current deal was set to expire at the end of this season but Warriors forward Green was not worried about the prospect of Kerr leaving, as he was always confident an agreement would be struck.

"No [I was not worried], because I know [owner] Joe [Lacob] is going to do the right thing," Green said, per ESPN.

"He has done nothing but build that trust with us that he is going to do the right thing and take care of those who take care of this organization."

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is reported to make more annually than Kerr, but he also serves as the team’s president.

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra signed an eight-year extension that pays him approximately $15m a season.

Kerr, 58, is in his 10th season as coach of the Warriors and holds a career regular season record of 501-264 and is 99-41 in the playoffs. 

He won his 500th game last week to become the fifth-fastest coach to do so in history.

"I think it's incredible," added Green. "I wouldn't want to finish my time here with any other coach. 

"What he has meant to this franchise and the winning ways that he brought here – you can't replace that. He got what he deserved."

Kerr will also coach Team USA in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. He said he felt "really good" about the team's future but could not comment on the deal until it was officially signed and announced.

The victory means Golden State (29-26) has now won 10 of its last 12 games in the NBA, while Charlotte (14-42) had a four-game winning streak snapped.

Stephen Curry had 15 points and five assists in a game that saw him take on his younger brother Seth, with their father Dell on commentary to make it a special night for the family.

The Warriors' Curry (23,160 points) moved past Elgin Baylor (23,149) into 33rd place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. 

Hornets forward Miles Bridges had 19 points and 11 rebounds but was involved in a scuffle that saw Lester Quinones and Grant Williams ejected in garbage time. 

An argument had ensued after Quinones drove to the basket and attempted a layup with 10.9 seconds remaining, with Bridges called for goaltending.

"I don’t really understand why people get so mad at somebody scoring at the end of the game," added Green.

"It’s like this dumb, unofficial, unwritten rule. If you all were winning by 13 points would you get mad if he laid a ball up? I doubt it. So it's kind of like a sore loser type thing."

The Warriors will next host the Denver Nuggets in a big Sunday game.

Victor Wembanyama wants victories, not individual feats, after he joined Michael Jordan in the NBA record books.

Wembanyama became just the second NBA rookie, after Jamaal Tinsley in 2001, to post at least five points, five rebounds, five assists, five steals and five blocks in a single game. He is just the second player to have five blocks and as many steals in successive games, after the great Jordan.

However, his efforts proved fruitless for the San Antonio Spurs, who lost 113-108 to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.

Wembanyama finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, five steals and five blocks. He is just the 15th player in the NBA to record a 5x5.

But for the overall number one draft pick, wins are the priority.

"To me, it's secondary," Wembanyama said. "Hopefully in the future, and think this is a good performance, but as of today, I can't be satisfied with a loss."

LeBron James returned from injury to score 30 points for the Lakers, while Anthony Davis had 28 points and 13 rebounds.

"Of course it was challenging [going against] one of the best duos in the league," Wembanyama said of facing two of the NBA's star players.

"But still, I think it's a lot of teams we beat if we play this way.

"But I think it came down to maturity at the end because each and every one of us was making a mistake each of the times.

"Little mistakes, missing a layup, turning the ball over. We went down, we went back to down four, down seven multiple times and that's when we did mistakes. So yeah, it's maturity."

Even though the Spurs have lost 10 of their last 11 games, James believes the sky truly is the limit for Wembanyama.

"He doesn't have a ceiling," James said.

"He can do whatever he wants to do with his career. It seems like he enjoys the game. It seems like he puts in the work. Just from the outside looking in, I'm not with him on a day-to-day basis, but I said a long time ago how special he was, and it's literally that simple.

"There are guys in our league that you have to account for any time you get around the rim or around the perimeter in our league history, and he sits right at the top of it, [if not] around the top, with all the greats.

"He's one of them to have like a stellar rookie season. Guys that have come in and [dominated]. But, it's, can you sustain it? We've had guys that have come in and [have] just been really damn [good]."

The Lakers returned to winning ways following their loss to the Golden State Warriors, but coach Darvin Ham was not entirely satisfied with the performance.

"You want your team to constantly look within and try to make plays and force the other team to put you in uncomfortable positions," Ham said.

"Not you put yourself in those uncomfortable positions, whether it's not sprinting back in transition or allowing teams to get two or three offensive rebounds. Or, you know, fouling because we're not in position because we're not doing our work early. And then going down the other end and not trusting the execution.

"We've got a bunch of weapons, but they're useless if we don't do the little things, sprinting hard when we get the ball in transition, not turning it over, maintaining spacing, making sure we get hits on screens to create an advantage and making the simple, easy play."

Shoaib Bashir claimed three top-order wickets but England were again met with resistance from in-form India opener Yashasvi Jaiswal in Ranchi.

Joe Root (122 not out) and Ollie Robinson (58) helped England add 51 to an overnight 302 for seven but they lost their last three wickets for six runs in 17 balls on the second morning of the fourth Test.

James Anderson snared Rohit Sharma to move to within three of 700 Test wickets before the recalled Bashir trapped Shubman Gill and Rajat Patidar lbw and had Ravindra Jadeja caught bat-pad as India went to tea on 131 for four.

Jaiswal (54 not out) was immovable on a pitch which, despite the odd delivery keeping low, was devoid of the gremlins that had given England’s top-order major problems 24 hours earlier.

Robinson, in his first competitive appearance since July, twice drew the edge of Jaiswal but the ball bounced short of Zak Crawley then Ben Stokes, the latter much to England’s obvious chagrin.

Anderson made the breakthrough in his second over, getting one to hold its line and kiss Rohit’s outside edge on the way through to Ben Foakes, but while Robinson did likewise to Jaiswal, the ball dropped in front of a diving Crawley at second slip before scurrying away for the opener’s first four.

Robinson was memorably chided during the Ashes for bowling “124kph (77mph) nude nuts” by former Australia opener Matthew Hayden and the seamer did not do much to shed the tag as he operated in the mid-70mph range.

But he engaged in a fascinating tussle with Jaiswal, who pushed at a wider delivery after lunch and Foakes dived forward to take the edge, only for third umpire Joel Wilson to rule the ball had bounced.

England celebrated before the ‘not out’ verdict was returned on the two big screens and England were momentarily stunned, with captain Ben Stokes cupping his hands to his mouth in shock.

At the other end, Bashir was probing away and while he was dumped back over his head for six by Jaiswal, the off-spinner, in just his second Test, extracted some turn to beat both Gill (38) and Patidar (12) on the inside edge and gain leg-before verdicts.

Tom Hartley was not introduced until the 32nd over and was thumped for back-to-back sixes by Ravindra Jadeja, who was the undone by extra bounce from Bashir and popped a catch to Ollie Pope at short leg.

Earlier, India took the new ball after two deliveries but the hosts could not capitalise as Robinson collected three fours in an eventful over off Akash Deep, who beat the lower-order batter’s outside edge twice.

Robinson brought up a first Test half-century by slog-sweeping Jadeja for a ninth four, to go with one six, and stretched his stand with Root into three figures – England’s first century stand for the eighth wicket since August 2017.

But an attempted reverse sweep off Jadeja brushed Robinson’s glove on the way through to Dhruv Jurel and England’s innings unravelled quickly.

Shoaib Bashir clothed a skier to backward point while Jadeja had his and India’s third wicket of the morning when Anderson made a hash of a sweep and was lbw. Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers with four for 67.

Mauricio Pochettino has urged the match officials not to be swayed by the focus on Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool farewell in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.

Klopp will leave Anfield in the summer after almost nine years in charge and Sunday marks this season’s first chance to add to his seven trophies with the club.

Pochettino insisted his side “want to win because of Chelsea,” rather than being motivated by a desire to spoil Klopp’s farewell.

But he admitted he was unhappy with refereeing decisions in the recent league meeting between the teams, feeling his side should have had penalties for Virgil van Dijk’s challenges on Conor Gallagher in the first half and Christopher Nkunku in the second.

In quotes reported by several national newspapers regarding pressure on the outgoing Reds boss, the Argentinian added: “It is not pressure for him. Maybe it is for the people who want to celebrate with Liverpool.

“We need to be sure we are going to compete and be fair in every decision. At Anfield, I think too many decisions… not one key decision was for us.

“Two penalties were not given. Duels, 50-50s, always for another colour. Always red. I want to be treated in a fair way.

“The first decision after five minutes was a clear penalty. In the second half it was a penalty. The pressure is about not delivering the job for Klopp, the pressure is not to be part of the (hype).

“Of course, we are going to celebrate (Klopp’s reign). I am the first who is going to say that Liverpool is amazing and Klopp is one of the best coaches in the world.

“But I think after my last experience, what I want in Wembley is to not feel the pressure. It is to play a game at the same level and the best team will win. But not to feel the pressure of people around.”

James Anderson snared India captain Rohit Sharma after Joe Root was left stranded on 122 not out as England were all out for 353 on the second morning of the fourth Test.

Anderson kissed the outside edge of Rohit’s bat as India went to lunch on 34 for one in Ranchi after Ollie Robinson registered his maiden Test fifty in a 102-run stand with Root, who added 16 runs to his overnight score.

Robinson’s dismissal for 58 was the start of England losing their final three wickets for six runs in 17 balls, with Jadeja taking three dismissals to finish with figures of four for 67, as Root ran out of partners.

Robinson, who got away with an lbw decision off Jadeja on Friday evening because India had used all their reviews, took the attack to India’s bowlers on a pitch with very few of the demons seen on the first morning, although the odd delivery still kept low.

India took the new ball after two deliveries as England resumed on 302 for seven, but the hosts could not capitalise as Robinson took three fours in an eventful over off Akash Deep, who beat the lower-order batter’s outside edge twice.

Robinson brought up a first Test half-century by slog sweeping Jadeja for a ninth four, to go with one six, and stretched his stand with Root into three figures – England’s first century stand for the eighth wicket since August 2017.

But an attempted reverse sweep off Jadeja brushed Robinson’s glove on the way through to Dhruv Jurel and England’s innings unravelled quickly.

Shoaib Bashir clothed a skier to backward point while Jadeja had his and India’s third wicket of the morning when Anderson made a hash of a sweep and was lbw.

Ben Stokes warmed up alongside the bowlers before India had to negotiate a 45-minute period before lunch but it was Anderson and Robinson, making his first competitive appearance since last July, entrusted with the new ball.

Anderson made the breakthrough in his second over, getting one to hold its line and kiss Rohit’s outside edge.

Robinson, whose bowling was famously described as “124kph (77mph) nude nuts” in the Ashes by former Australia opener Matthew Hayden, did not touch 80mph but drew the edge of Yashasvi Jaiswal only for the ball to bounce short of Zak Crawley and disappear for four.

Robinson beat the outside edge on a couple of occasions but was then driven by Jaiswal, who has made double hundreds in his last two Tests, for his fifth four in the over before lunch.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks held off the West-leading Minnesota Timberwolves 112-107 on Friday in a matchup of NBA heavyweights.

Damian Lillard had 21 points, 10 assists and a season-high nine rebounds and Malik Beasley scored all 14 of his points in the third quarter as the Bucks improved to 4-10 under new coach Doc Rivers.

Anthony Edwards scored 28 points and hit three 3-pointers in the final two minutes to draw the Wolves within 110-107 with 31 seconds left, but Lillard’s long jumper 22 seconds later sealed the win.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 22 points with 14 rebounds and Rudy Gobert added 12 points and 19 boards for Minnesota, which had a four-game winning streak snapped.

Butler among 4 ejected in Heat’s win

Jimmy Butler was one of four players ejected after a fourth-quarter scuffle and the Miami Heat held off the New Orleans Pelicans, 106-95.

Butler had 23 points and nine rebounds and Bam Adebayo added 24 points for Miami, which snapped New Orleans’ four-game winning streak and made it seven consecutive wins over the Pelicans.

Also ejected for the melee were Heat reserve Thomas Bryant and Jose Alvarado and Naji Marshall of the Pelicans.

Herb Jones scored 19 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 12 with 10 rebounds for New Orleans, which couldn’t overcome 37.5 percent shooting, including 7 of 32 from 3-point range.

Maxey leads 76ers over Cavaliers

Tyrese Maxey scored 24 points and Cam Payne added 16 off the bench to propel the Philadelphia 76ers to a 104-97 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Maxey came alive in the fourth quarter, scoring 15 of the Sixers’ final 20 points and assisted on a 3-pointer by Buddy Hield that put Philadelphia up by eight in the final minute.

Maxey was the only Sixer to make more than one basket in the fourth quarter and also added four rebounds and two assists.

Jarrett Allen had 24 points and Darius Garland added 20 and nine assists, but Cleveland had a six-game road winning streak stopped while losing for the third time in four games overall.

Sir Jason Kenny announced his retirement from a glittering racing career to move into coaching on this day in 2022.

Great Britain’s greatest Olympian with seven gold medals to his name, Kenny admitted to being “a little bit sad” as he called time on a phase of his life which had made him a household name.

The then 33-year-old, who had won a stunning keirin gold in Tokyo during the previous summer to claim a seventh Olympic title 13 years after his first in Beijing, had been planning to keep going until the Paris Games in 2024.

However, he admitted the opportunity to coach the British squad was one he could not pass up.

Kenny said: “It wasn’t an easy decision. I genuinely wanted to carry on to Paris, but I creak quite a lot these days and I always knew I wanted to go into coaching off the back of it, and this opportunity came along.

“I am a little bit sad, to be honest, because all I’ve known is riding and competing, but I’m quite excited to get stuck into the job.”

Kenny replaced Scott Pollock, who had served as sprint coach in an interim role following the dismissal of Kevin Stewart in November 2020.

He had retired once before, silently stepping away after winning team sprint, individual sprint and keirin gold at the 2016 Rio Games, without announcing his decision until he reversed it a year later.

Kenny said: “Last time, I didn’t realise it, but I was just cooked. I’d never really taken a break [in 10 years], so I just stepped away. Because I never planned on coming back, I completely switched off and got that re-fresh.

“In Rio, I was quite happy to see the back of it. But then since coming back and being refreshed, it’s a lot harder to walk away.”

Kenny was knighted in the 2022 New Year Honours List, while his wife and fellow cyclist Laura – formerly Trott – received a damehood after establishing herself as Britain’s most decorated female Olympian with five golds.

Matt Boldy scored twice and Filip Gustavsson stopped 41 shots to lead the surging Minnesota Wild to a 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

Jonas Brodin and Mats Zuccarello also scored to help the Wild improve to 6-1-1 in their last eight games.

Boldy has been a key catalyst for Minnesota with six goals and seven assists in his past seven contests.

Leon Draisaitl scored one goal and set up another and Connor McDavid had a pair of assists for the Oilers, who have lost two straight for the first time since a three-game skid from Dec. 14-19.

Edmonton is 4-4-1 since winning a franchise-record 16 straight games.

McDavid has gone eight games without a goal but has 19 assists during that span.

Connor lifts Jets over Blackhawks in OT

Kyle Connor scored 25 seconds into overtime and the Winnipeg Jets recovered after squandering a two-goal lead in a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks

Nikolaj Ehlers scored twice for his first goals in 11 games as the Jets won their fifth in six games to pull within one point of Central Division-leading Dallas.

Colin Blackwell scored in the second period and Tyler Johnson netted the equaliser with 43 seconds left in regulation, but the league-worst Blackhawks dropped to 1-9-2 in their last 12 games.

Sabres edge Blue Jackets

Connor Clifton scored his first goal in nearly a year to snap a tie and the Buffalo Sabres held on for a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Clifton’s goal at 3:05 of the third period was his first since March 2, 2023, when he played for Boston.

Zemgus Girgensons had the other goal and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 25 shots as Buffalo won its second straight and fourth in six games.

Dmitri Voronkov tallied for the last-place Blue Jackets, who failed to win consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 22 and 24.

The Golden State Warriors and coach Steve Kerr have agreed to a two-year, $35 million contract extension that will make him the highest-paid coach in NBA history, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday.

The new deal will pay Kerr, who has guided the Warriors to four NBA championships, $17.5 million a year.

His current deal was set to expire at the end of this season.

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich makes more annually, according to sources, but he also serves as the team’s president. Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra signed an eight-year extension that pays him approximately $15 million a season.

Kerr, 58, is in his 10th season as coach of the Warriors and holds a career regular season record of 501-264 and is 99-41 in the playoffs. He won his 500th game last week to become the fifth-fastest coach to do so in history.

Matt Wallace added a second round 65 to his opening 66 to take a share of the halfway lead in the Mexico Open.

The Englishman played his last nine holes in 30, including an eagle three at the sixth hole in between a pair of birdies, as he moved to 11-under-par.

He is joined by Finland’s Sami Valimaki, who shot 67, American Jake Knapp and Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz, who both carded a 64.

They are one shot ahead of the first-round leader Erik van Rooyen from South Africa, who added a 69 to his opening 63 thanks to a pair of late birdies.

There is then a two-shot gap back to American duo Andrew Novak and Mark Hubbard with defending champion Tony Finau among an 18-strong group five strokes off the pace.

Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre moved to five-under-par with a 66, one ahead of England’s Aaron Rai and Irish veteran Padraig Harrington.

Cameron Norrie sealed a semi-final spot at the Rio Open, continuing his title defence by seeing off Brazil’s Thiago Seyboth Wild in front of his own fans.

The British number one secured a 6-1 3-6 6-2 victory to head into the last four.

Norrie lost just two games in a handsome win over Tomas Barrios Vera in the previous round and picked up exactly where he left off on the clay.

He raced out of the traps, breaking Seyboth Wild’s second and third service games and holding his own to take the first set in little more than half-an-hour.

The stands filled up considerably after a quiet start and Seyboth Wild fed off the growing support as he put together a much-improved showing to level the scores.

With his opponent starting to grow in confidence and the noise levels rising, Norrie allowed errors to creep in with cracks in his first serve and a misjudged long forehand seeing him broken for the first time.

Seyboth Wild was strong enough to make that breakthrough count and set up a deciding set but found Norrie back on his game as he tore into a 5-1 lead, breaking twice more along the way.

Norrie missed his chance to finish things off at the first attempt, burning three match points as his South American opponent showed admirable resilience in a see-saw exchange of winners.

But he soon stacked up three more match points against the serve and converted the second of them as Seyboth Wild’s unforced error ended his fight after just under two hours.

“I was really proud of how hard I fought, it was so humid and tough physically,” he told Sky Sports.

“It was a tough one and the atmosphere was great. These are exactly the kind of matches you want to play.”

Thomas Tuchel insists he will give everything to Bayern Munich ahead of his departure in the summer and hopes the decision over his future allows the team to play with “freedom”.

Tuchel has been unable to arrest a downturn in form, and speculation over his position came to a head this week when the club announced he would be leaving at the end of the current campaign.

Saturday’s game against RB Leipzig will be his first in charge since the news became public, with Bayern looking to end a three-game losing streak following losses to title rivals Bayer Leverkusen, Lazio and Bochum.

And while there is a possibility Tuchel could be seen as a lame duck coach over the coming months, he thinks the removal of uncertainty over his role could spark an upturn.

“I view it professionally and unemotionally. It’s a professional sport at the highest level,” he said of his shortened reign.

“There aren’t guilty individuals. I don’t think I’m the only problem, but I have responsibility. Now we have a new situation, it’s resolved, which hopefully makes it clear and brings freedom.

“This job only works if I give 100 per cent of myself. I have a very high professional expectation of myself and that’s completely dedicated to Bayern Munich until the end of the season. We have aims: we’re going for the maximum in the league and won’t give up until it’s over. In the Champions League we still have a second leg (against Lazio), so we are playing for maximum success.”

Tuchel resisted the temptation to divert blame away from himself and on to his players, but accepted the performance levels on matchday had been falling consistently short of expectations.

“The management know my analysis, which is also very self-critical. But it’s definitely not an analysis for the public,” he said.

“I’m not personally disappointed in the players. We have high standards, that won’t change. I’ve never had the feeling that there’s a big problem but there is a glaring discrepancy between the way we’re training and the way we’re playing. We’ve trained at a good level but that’s no guarantee that we’ll produce a good performance.”

Injuries have upset Bayern’s rhythm this term and they continue to be stretched, with Dayot Upamecano suspended and an injury list that contains Kingsley Coman, Sacha Boey, Noussair Mazraoui, Bouna Sarr, Serge Gnabry and Alphonso Davies.

Leipzig have proved tricky opponents in recent times, taking two draws and two wins from their last four games against Bayern.

Dani Olmo bagged a hat-trick when his side romped to a 3-0 win in the Super Cup final last August, a memory that still burns bright with the Spaniard.

“I would say it was a perfect game from all of us and for me individually to score three goals in Munich, in the Allianz, and to be able to win a trophy,” he said.

“It was for sure one of my best performances but we have to keep going because football never stops and now we have another chance. Bayern is always the opponent that motivates us. It’s always special.”

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