BREAKING NEWS: Flick appointed as Germany head coach on three-year deal

By Sports Desk May 25, 2021

Hansi Flick has been confirmed as Germany’s new head coach on a three-year deal.

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  • Nagelsmann relishing Dortmund clash as Bayern warm up for Klassiker Nagelsmann relishing Dortmund clash as Bayern warm up for Klassiker

    Julian Nagelsmann believes Bayern Munich are ready for Der Klassiker after digging deep for a 1-0 home win over Arminia Bielefeld.

    Bayern's clash with Bundesliga title rivals Borussia Dortmund is coming up next Saturday, with the great rivals sitting first and second in the German top flight.

    Dortmund briefly occupied top spot on Saturday after a 3-1 win over Wolfsburg, in which Erling Haaland returned from injury with a goal.

    But they were nudged off the summit later in the day when Leroy Sane's 71st-minute strike earned a depleted Bayern three valuable points. Eight days previously, Bayern were beaten by Augsburg, so a league win of any sort this time was to be welcomed.

    Nagelsmann's squad has been hit hard by COVID-19 cases, but the head coach saw enough from the team he fielded against Arminia to be optimistic about the tussle with Dortmund.

    The Bayern boss said: "I am very satisfied. It was a step forward after the Augsburg game.

    "We had enough chances to win the game. We gave away a few chances in the second half. Dortmund won, so we were under a bit of pressure. It's a deserved victory. We don't always have to score three, four or five goals. One is enough.

    "Overall, we defended well. Such games are important. If you lose those games, then it's not enough to just win games like next week.

    "We are now heading to Dortmund as championship leaders and full of anticipation."

    Sane's goal was Bayern's 102nd in the league this calendar year – a Bundesliga record, beating Cologne's mark from 1977.

    Thomas Muller made his 396th Bundesliga appearance for Bayern, matching the great Franz Beckenbauer's total and going sixth on the club's all-time list, led by Sepp Maier (473).

    Asked how many more games he could play, midfielder Muller told Sky Deutschland: "We'll see. If I stay fresh and fit, and well enough, then something is still possible. That is just a nice statistic, it simply shows the path I have already taken.

    "But I am looking forward more to the road still ahead of me, which is certainly a bit shorter in comparison."

  • Bayern Munich 1-0 Arminia Bielefeld: Sane strike sends record-breaking hosts back to summit Bayern Munich 1-0 Arminia Bielefeld: Sane strike sends record-breaking hosts back to summit

    Leroy Sane broke Arminia Bielefeld's resolve as Bayern Munich battled to a 1-0 win at Allianz Arena to reclaim top spot from Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.

    Dortmund's earlier 3-1 win at Wolfsburg saw them climb to the summit, but Bayern responded in Saturday's late kick-off to move a point clear ahead of next week's Klassiker. 

    After failing to forge a breakthrough in the first half of a league game for just the second time this term, Sane finally found the net for Bayern with 71 minutes played.

    That was Bayern's 102nd league goal this calendar year – a Bundesliga record – and proved enough to help the hosts bounce back from last week's 2-1 loss at Augsburg.

    Reigning champions Bayern had 11 attempts in the first half, six of those on target, without finding a way past inspired Arminia goalkeeper Stefan Ortega.

    The visiting keeper did well to keep out a couple of Alphonso Davies efforts and a volley from Thomas Muller, who earlier had a header cleared off the line by Andres Andrade.

    Sane continued Bayern's wastefulness by missing two big chances early in the second half, but the Germany international eventually provided the opener.

    Collecting a pass from Muller outside the box, Sane whipped a shot past Ortega to give Bayern the goal they craved.

    Arminia held Bayern 3-3 in their previous meeting in February, but the strugglers could not find a response this time and were fortunate not to concede a second when Serge Gnabry's shot came back out off the crossbar late on.

  • Juventus 0-1 Atalanta: Zapata inflicts more woe on struggling Bianconeri Juventus 0-1 Atalanta: Zapata inflicts more woe on struggling Bianconeri

    Juventus fell further off the pace in Serie A as they slipped to a 1-0 home defeat against Atalanta.

    Massimiliano Allegri's side were thumped 4-0 by Chelsea in the Champions League on Tuesday and were unable to respond with a victory at Allianz Stadium.

    Duvan Zapata netted the decisive goal midway through the first half, taking advantage of sloppy Juve defending to hammer in his ninth league goal of the season.

    Paulo Dybala was inches away from rescuing a point in stoppage time with a wicked free-kick that hit the crossbar, but Juve ultimately suffered a fifth league defeat of the 2021-22 campaign.

    Earlier, Dybala's 10th-minute effort straight at Juan Musso punctuated an aggressive start from Atalanta, who twice went close in the opening stages, and it was the visitors who struck in the 28th minute.

    Berat Djimsiti's pass caught Juve's defence napping and, having been played onside by Matthijs de Ligt, Zapata lashed a thumping effort in off the bar.

    Dybala spurned a swift chance to respond, though Juve could easily have been two behind by the break had Matteo Pessina capitalised on Wojciech Szczesny's dreadful clearance.

    Juve were dealt a further blow by an injury to Federico Chiesa, who did not return for the second half, and it was not until Leonardo Bonucci played in Weston McKennie before the hour that they crafted an opening.

    Djimsiti was on hand to block the midfielder's path to goal, with McKennie suffering a knock in the process, ending his involvement.

    Musso did brilliantly to steer Adrien Rabiot's effort beyond the post soon after, while Bonucci headed well wide from a corner.

    Atalanta wanted a penalty for Juan Cuadrado's clumsy block on Mario Pasalic, and Juve had a late chance to make their fortune count when Zapata fouled Federico Bernardeschi. Dybala's free-kick had Musso beaten, but the woodwork ensured Atalanta claimed a first league win at Juve since 1989.

     


    What does it mean? Juve a shadow of their former selves

    The gulf in quality between Chelsea and Juventus in midweek will have been a chastening experience for Allegri, but if the Bianconeri are not careful, they might well be hard pushed to qualify for the Champions League next season, barring of course a remarkable run to glory in Europe this term – that seems unlikely, however.

    They sit eighth in Italy, 11 points adrift of league leaders Napoli and second-placed Milan, who both play on Sunday. Atalanta, with this triumph – their first Serie A away win at Juve in 25 attempts – are seven points above Allegri's men, in fourth.

    Zapata back to haunt Juve once more

    Since the start of 2017, Zapata has scored eight goals in 11 appearances against Juve across all competitions, more than any other player in the same timeframe.

    Anywhere but home for Juve

    Juve have now lost three of their first seven home games in Serie A this season. It equals their worst such total so early in a top-flight campaign, matching poor runs from 1956-57 and 1948-49.

    What's next?

    Juve have an ideal chance to recover when they travel to lowly Salernitana on Tuesday, while Atalanta host Venezia on the same evening.

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