Hansi Flick recognised Bayern Munich's victory at Borussia Dortmund was a "big step" towards winning the Bundesliga title.

Joshua Kimmich's sublime first-half chip secured a 1-0 victory for the champions in the behind-closed-doors Klassiker at Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday.

The Bavarian giants are now seven points clear of second-placed Dortmund with six games to play and look destined for an eighth successive Bundesliga title.

Flick did not play down the importance of three precious points, but the Bayern head coach will not be celebrating just yet.

He said: "It was an important win, we took a big step forward.

"Will I win my first coaching title? I'm not a coach who reads too much into the future.

"It just feels good to be seven points ahead now. Before the winter break we were four points behind and we managed to play successful football this year as well as beautiful football.

"We all know that the basic requirement for success is that we approach every game the same way we approached the first three after the restart [following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic].

"If it's safe, then we can talk about the championship, but I'm not doing that yet."

Flick has won 15 of his 18 matches since taking charge of Bayern, a record only Pep Guardiola has previously achieved in the club's history.

Borussia Dortmund are hoping for positive news after Erling Haaland was forced off injured in the Klassiker defeat to Bayern Munich.

The prolific teenage striker has made a spectacular splash in the Bundesliga since joining Dortmund from Salzburg in January.

He could not force a breakthrough in the top-of-the-table clash with Bayern, however.

And compounding the misery of Dortmund's 1-0 home defeat, which looks to have realistically ended their title hopes, was a worry over Haaland's right knee.

He had to be substituted after 72 minutes, moving awkwardly after stretching to meet a cross from Jadon Sancho.

Head coach Lucien Favre told a post-match news conference: "I don't think he'll be out for long. He's got a knee injury. We don't know at the moment exactly what it is."

In eight starts and three substitute appearances, Haaland has scored 10 Bundesliga goals for Dortmund.

It was a frustrating evening all round for a Dortmund team who came into the match on a six-game winning run in the German top flight.

Had their passionate supporters been able to pack out Signal Iduna Park, it might have been a different story.

Favre admitted they were missed, with the coronavirus pandemic meaning all matches in Germany are being played behind closed doors.

"Of course everyone knows that we miss our fans at the games," said Favre.

"In the second half, for example, we would have played in front of the Yellow Wall. And of course we miss that."

He refused to blame his team's 1-0 loss on the absence of fans, however, stressing his team lacked their usual clinical edge.

"We missed the penultimate and the final pass and a little bit of precision," Favre said. "And a little more movement we would have needed. The right movements."

Borussia Dortmund will find it "brutally difficult" to prevent Bayern Munich winning an eighth straight Bundesliga title after defeat in the Klassiker, according to Lucien Favre.

Dortmund came into Tuesday's home showdown against the leaders just four points behind Bayern and having won their previous six Bundesliga matches.

However, they were undone by Joshua Kimmich's brilliant chipped goal from the edge of the penalty area shortly before half-time and Bayern held on to move seven points clear with six matches to play.

Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said before the game that the hosts needed to win if they were to have any chance of overhauling Bayern, and head coach Favre was deflated after the loss, despite taking some pride in his team's display.

"We made a very good start in the opening 30 minutes but we sat too deep after that," Favre explained at his press conference.

"The second half was good too. We had opportunities, but the penultimate or final ball was missing. We at least deserved to draw.

"We played better than we did against Wolfsburg and Schalke.

"It will be very difficult in the title race. Seven points behind with six games [left], that will be brutally difficult."

Joshua Kimmich described his winning goal against Borussia Dortmund as the best of his career and says he was told before the match how Roman Burki often stands off his line.

The Bayern Munich midfielder beat Dortmund keeper Burki with a delightful 20-yard chip to earn a 1-0 win in Tuesday's Klassiker clash at Signal Iduna Park.

With two minutes of a tight first half remaining, Kimmich took a few strides and floated a shot into the top left-corner, with Burki unable to keep it out despite getting fingertips to the ball.

Kimmich has now scored 27 career goals for club and country, the latest of which he rates higher than all the rest given its quality and the magnitude of the game.

"That was the best goal of my career - it was so important," he said, quoted on Bayern's official website. "We were told before the game that Burki often stands off his line."

Dortmund were unable to respond to Kimmich's goal and now have a seven-point deficit to make up on leaders Bayern with only six games to play.

And BVB defender Mats Hummels, who switched between the two clubs last year, admits the title race is as good as over for his side and the rest of the chasing pack.

"Sometimes games are decided by moments of genius. That was the case today," Hummels told Sky Sport Germany.

"I think that all other teams are out of the title race. Now, it's all in the hands of Bayern.

"We just have to hope that they will drop points three times in six games. If there's any chance, we want to be there to take it."

Emre Can, a half-time substitute against Bayern, echoed the thoughts of team-mate Hummels following Dortmund's first home league loss in more than a year.

"We have to be realistic. Bayern are now seven points clear of us," Can said.

"We need to look at ourselves and win the remaining games. If nothing happens, Bayern will win the title."

In the eerie quiet of Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday, the joyous yells of Bayern Munich players will have been more noticeable than ever.

With no crowd noise to drown them out, Bayern players screamed in celebration as they beat Borussia Dortmund for a second time in 2019-20, the shouts echoing around BVB's iconic home as Die Roten effectively sealed an eight successive title.

The build-up to Der Klassiker was dominated by talk of what the contest meant for the Bundesliga crown, and the consensus was failure to win would doom Dortmund's hopes.

Even sporting director Michael Zorc acknowledged this in the pre-match news conference on Monday: "If we want to keep competing for the title, we have to win the match. It's as simple as that."

Dortmund's start suggested that was the exact line Lucien Favre put across to his players before the match – they began with real verve and purpose, Erling Haaland having an effort cleared off the line by Jerome Boateng inside the first 40 seconds.

A continuously notable element of a gripping first period was the quality of the hosts' build-up play, with Julian Brandt, Mahmoud Dahoud and Thorgan Hazard playing some fine football between them.

But the final pass was too often found wanting, with Hazard and Brandt culpable on two particular occasions when the right ball would have surely left Haaland with a simple finish.

Bayern's cautious set-up in the first half probably contributed to Dortmund being in the ascendancy, but Hansi Flick's starting XI contained the right balance to allow them to be both solid at the back and still a threat in attack.

Joshua Kimmich and Alphonso Davies encapsulated that perfectly, with the latter in particular producing yet another gutsy display.

The story of the Canada international's season is well-documented – he's gone from being a back-up winger, to left-back cover to arguably the most exciting attacking full-back in the world.

All of his immense qualities were on display again on Tuesday.

Given his lack of experience in the position, there have still been those questioning his defensive capabilities, but it's difficult to see how any such subjects will be discussed with any real vigour after this.

Up against Davies, Achraf Hakimi struggled to have the sort of influence he has become accustomed to in the right wing-back role for Dortmund, failing to create a single chance, while Hazard simply wasn't good enough to exploit any occasions it looked like he might get the better of the 19-year-old.

Even Erling Haaland got to experience the full ferocity of Davies' pace and power, as the former Vancouver Whitecaps talent darted back with remarkable speed in the first half to deny the Norwegian a certain goal.

But then he also showcased his ability going forward, one mazy run seeing him somehow slalom through a crowd of four players, before eventually running into the Yellow Wall that was Mats Hummels, who didn't deserve to be on the losing side.

But he was, once again, against his former team, the effortlessly classy Kimmich proving decisive.

In a moment of real frenzy, with the ball pinging off Bayern players just outside the box late in the first period, the German produced an incredibly composed finish that seemed to stop time – his intricate chip looping over Roman Burki and finding the net with a little help from the goalkeeper's hand.

At the base of Bayern's midfield he was typically influential, his 104 touches of the ball more than any other Bayern player.

Kimmich also attempted more passes (81) than the rest of his team-mates, completing 89 per cent of them, while defensively he was astute, making three clearances, two interceptions and eight ball recoveries.

On top of all that, he ran 13.75km during the match, the most by any Bayern player in a Bundesliga match since Opta began recording such data in 2013-14.

Dortmund threw bodies forward towards the end, but there was a hopeless, aimless nature to their attacks once Haaland – their focal point – had been forced off with an apparent injury.

BVB had been urged to cut loose before the match, embrace the occasion and take the game to Bayern. While one can argue they did, Flick wisely recognised his side had more to lose and his team's mentality reflected that.

The more things change, the more they stay the same, and Bayern once again got the better of Dortmund, a fact that will now surely be reflected in the final standings as Flick's men went seven points clear.

From an optimist's perspective, Dortmund's squad is young and, should they manage to keep it mostly intact, trophies will surely come their way – potentially even Bundesliga titles.

But Kimmich and Davies could be dominating Der Klassiker for the next 10 years, and given their level at this point, that is a frightening thought.

At least there will likely be some crowd noise to drown out their celebrations next time.

Hansi Flick has tasted victory in 15 of his opening 18 Bundesliga matches in charge of Bayern Munich - a feat only Pep Guardiola has previously managed in the club's history.

Bayern beat second-placed Borussia Dortmund 1-0 in the behind-closed-doors Klassiker at Signal Iduna Park through Joshua Kimmich's outrageous first-half strike to move seven points clear at the top.

In doing so, the reigning champions made it seven Bundesliga wins in a row and 13 victories in their last 14 since losing 2-1 to Borussia Monchengladbach towards the end of last year.

That is one of only two losses for Bayern under Flick, who initially replaced Niko Kovac on a caretaker basis in November before taking over permanently last month.

Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig are the only other teams to have taken points off the league leaders during that period, winning 2-1 and drawing 0-0 respectively.

Guardiola, whose team won 16 of their opening 18 games in 2013-14 - drawing the other two, went on to enjoy three trophy-laden seasons at the Allianz Arena that saw Bayern win seven major honours.

Bayern Munich moved seven points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga thanks to a magical Joshua Kimmich strike in Tuesday's 1-0 Klassiker victory. 

Both teams had previously won six league games in a row in a tightly contested title race, but it was Bayern who prevailed in the behind-closed-doors clash at Signal Iduna Park.

Kimmich scored what proved to be the only goal just before half-time with an audacious chip from 20 yards, which Roman Burki was unable to keep out despite getting a hand to it.

Dortmund, who lost striker Erling Haaland to injury in the second half, had a penalty shout rejected and saw Mahmoud Dahoud come close late on but ultimately could not find a way through.

The hosts came into the game boasting the best home record in the division this term and would have been ahead inside 29 seconds if not for Jerome Boateng, who bailed out Manuel Neuer - making his 400th Bundesliga appearance - by blocking Haaland's shot on the line.

Serge Gnabry was given the nod over Ivan Perisic in Bayern's attack and he was next to come close, the winger firing a shot past Burki but not covering defender Lukasz Piszczek.

But the visitors found the breakthrough two minutes before the interval thanks to Kimmich's moment of magic, the versatile German midfielder spotting Burki off his line and chipping the ball over the Dortmund keeper from just outside the box.

Dortmund sent on Jadon Sancho for the second half and felt they should have had a penalty when Haaland's shot caught Boateng on the arm, but the decision was not reviewed by VAR.

Dahoud was then denied by Neuer in the best of the home side's second-half chances, with Bayern coming closest to adding a second when Robert Lewandowski - who also had a penalty appeal of his own rejected - sent a curled shot against the post.

 

What does it mean? Title race all but over

A victory for Dortmund today would have heaped the pressure on Bayern, but the league leaders now have a seven-point lead at the top with just six games to play.

Hansi Flick's side still have to face Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach, but an eighth Bundesliga title in a row now seems a formality.

Kimmich lights up Der Klassiker

Dortmund had conceded just one goal in their past six league matches ahead of this contest, so it was always going to take something special for Bayern to find a way through.

Step forward Kimmich, who spotted Burki off his line and produced a quite sublime chip to win the match - his third Bundesliga goal this season, all from outside the box.

Haaland hobbles off

If the defeat itself was not bad enough for Dortmund, they lost influential striker Haaland to injury 18 minutes from time.

He may have gone back-to-back games without scoring, following a previous run of 10 in nine league matches, but his loss will be felt if the injury is serious.

What's next?

Bayern host strugglers Fortuna Dusseldorf on their return to action on Saturday, while Dortmund travel to bottom side Paderborn the following day.

Jadon Sancho was named among the substitutes for Borussia Dortmund versus Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

The England winger has been struggling for full fitness and has only appeared as a substitute in Dortmund's two matches since the Bundesliga resumed this month.

Head coach Lucien Favre again kept him out of the starting line-up for the Klassiker at Signal Iduna Park, with Thorgan Hazard and Julian Brandt supporting Erling Haaland in attack.

Mats Hummels was fit to start after being taken off at half-time of the 2-0 win over Wolfsburg, in which Sancho came off the bench to set up Achraf Hakimi for Dortmund's second goal.

Bayern, who are without the injured Thiago, named Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka at the heart of midfield, with Kingsley Coman, Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry behind striker Robert Lewandowski.

Jerome Boateng, another fitness doubt, was cleared to start at the heart of defence alongside David Alaba.

Alex Ferguson was joined by coaching staff at Manchester United's training base, The Cliff, as normal at 9am on Friday May 28, 1999.

It was like any other pre-season planning meeting, as the men looked ahead to the 1999-2000 campaign over bacon sandwiches and cups of tea.

But, really, it wasn't like any of the planning sessions to have come before for Ferguson and his staff.

Less than 24 hours earlier they had all been on an open-top bus parade around Manchester, showing off an unprecedented treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League to an estimated 700,000 supporters.

The crowning achievement of that treble came the night before the parade, on May 26, 1999 in Barcelona – it was Ferguson's masterpiece, the iconic victory of his association with United.

The Road to Barcelona

United's route to the 1999 Champions League final was by no means straightforward – they were grouped with eventual runners-up Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Brondby, with the Catalans ultimately the one of the three giants to fall before the knockout phase.

A 3-1 aggregate win over Inter followed in the quarter-finals, helped massively by Dwight Yorke's brace in the 2-0 home-leg triumph, before a chaotic showdown with Juventus in the semis.

Ryan Giggs salvaged United a 1-1 draw with an emphatic late strike at Old Trafford in their first meeting, but United appeared to be crashing out in comprehensive fashion when Filippo Inzaghi netted a brace inside the first 11 minutes in Turin – his second taking a wicked deflection off Jaap Stam and looping over Peter Schmeichel.

But a satisfying glancing header from Roy Keane put United back in it, before Yorke's diving header levelled it on the night and gave them the away-goals advantage.

Andy Cole rounded things off late on, tucking in from an acute angle after Yorke had been felled by Angelo Peruzzi. United were in the final for the first time in 31 years.

'That night in Barcelona'

Ferguson stood on the Camp Nou touchline in the build-up to kick-off. He turned back towards the crowd and just stared as a mass of photographers swarmed in front of him.

He was a picture of calm, pure zen, as he gazed into the seemingly endless maw of seats in Barcelona's gigantic stadium. What was going through his mind? Who knows, but the idea of what would unravel before his eyes was surely not in his wildest dreams.

"My lack of vanity precludes me from being gutted about it," Ferguson had said in his pre-match news conference, as he was reminded of the fact rivals and detractors used his previous lack of Champions League success as a stick to beat him with. "I think what I've achieved stands for itself, and I'm lucky to be able to do that. What I've won as a manager – I'm blessed, so why should I look upon failure to win a European Cup as a tragedy for me?"

Anyone suggesting United were already at a disadvantage at kick-off might've had a point, as they were without the suspended Keane and Paul Scholes, and within six minutes Mario Basler's free-kick found its way into the bottom-right corner.

The many chances continued to come and go for a dominant Bayern, who had Samuel Kuffour marshalling Cole expertly. United were fortunate to be only 1-0 down at the break.

"[Ferguson] then said to us, 'This is the European Cup final - some of you may never get here again - make sure when you come in at full-time knowing that you have given your all and left nothing on the pitch'," Cole recalled of his manager's half-time team talk years later.

The Bayern onslaught continued. Mehmet Scholl's delicate chip hit the post and fell into Schmeichel's arms, before a Carsten Jancker overhead kick came back off the crossbar.

"When the chip hit the post, I didn't turn around at first because I knew that was 2-0 – when I saw it hit the post and come straight back to me, I knew we'd win," Schmeichel told UEFA in 2018.

And United duly rallied.

'Football. Bloody hell.'

Teddy Sheringham had been introduced from the bench for Jesper Blomqvist, leaving United with a single central midfielder – Nicky Butt – as David Beckham moved back towards the right and Giggs to the left.

Lothar Matthaus' withdrawal 10 minutes from time, he felt, emboldened United. Soon after, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Cole, leaving Ferguson's men with three up top – they were not about to give up without a final push.

"On the bench, we all thought we'd won. There was nothing to suggest United would score. What followed was unbelievable – it was like watching a horror film," Matthaus reflected.

As United enjoyed a late flurry, a Denis Irwin cross in the 90th minute was deflected behind. The corner could only be cleared as far as Giggs on the edge of the box, and his scuffed shot was turned in by Sheringham in similarly scruffy fashion, sparking scenes of disbelief on both benches – Oliver Kahn's half-hearted offside appeal falling on deaf ears.

Another attack up the left, this time led by Solskjaer, brought a second corner in the third minute of stoppage time.

Another tantalising Beckham delivery was this time met cleanly by a United head, Sheringham glancing it on, and before anyone could work out whether it was heading wide or not, the now iconic sentence was uttered on British commentary: "And Solskjaer has won it!"

With Kuffour getting drawn towards the centre of the box, Solskjaer was left in space and he stuck out his right foot to divert Sheringham's flick-on into the roof of the net.

Even in a match as unpredictable as this, United knew there was no way back for the German champions after two goals in 103 seconds. "All the Bayern players were on the floor - they didn't even want to kick off again. We knew we'd won it," Ferguson's assistant at the time, Steve McLaren, once said to the Daily Mail.

Bayern players, officials and sympathisers weren't shy in their lambasting of United and their luck afterwards – though Ferguson's succinct appraisal of the situation summed it up a little better in a post-match interview with ITV: "Football, bloody hell."

Ferguson's career with United was a truly remarkable success – the longevity, the trophies, the 'Fergie time'.

They all sum up this incredible era for United, and that night in Barcelona will be remembered as Ferguson's magnum opus.

But the defining moment? That came 36 hours later, as Ferguson's unrivalled work ethic had him already planning his next successes when anyone else would have surely been nursing the mother of all hangovers.

Arjen Robben has described former Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola as the "master of offensive football" and says the Catalan is the best coach in the world.

Former Netherlands international Robben, who announced his retirement from football last July, spent three seasons playing under Guardiola during his decade with Bayern.

The 36-year-old was brought to Bavaria by Louis van Gaal and also worked with Carlo Ancelotti, Jupp Heynckes and Niko Kovac at the Allianz Arena, as well as Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.

But Robben feels that Guardiola is the coach who helped him to improve the most, with the pair sharing the same ideology of how the game should be played.

"I love football and, above all, the offensive football – and Pep is a master at it," he told Socrates magazine.

"He focused on attack and total ball control. Of course, I particularly liked that. We were on the same wavelength.

"He made sure that I became more complete. For me, Pep is the best coach in the world. The three years with him in Munich were extremely instructive."

Robben joined Bayern from Real Madrid in 2009 and won 20 major honours, including a memorable Champions League triumph in 2013 when scoring a late winner against Borussia Dortmund in the final to secure the treble.

However, he was not sure at the time whether swapping Madrid for Bayern would be a good choice for him.

"Back then, my only wish was to win the Champions League and Bayern was not one of the top clubs in Europe," he said. "But I took the risk and it was worth it.

"It was really not an easy decision for me at the time. But going to Bayern was the best of my career in retrospect."

Bayern Munich can take a significant step towards another Bundesliga title if they can inflict more Klassiker misery on Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

That said, Lucien Favre's side have won the past two meetings at Signal Iduna Park and will feel confident of pulling off a victory that would mark a best run at home against the champions for more than 50 years.

Robert Lewandowski is in ruthless form, but Freiburg's Nils Petersen has endured a miserable recent run and will hope to get back among the goals against Eintracht Frankfurt, his favourite opponents.

Borussia Monchengladbach will be eager to improve their defensive record at Werder Bremen, while Bayer Leverkusen and red-hot Kai Havertz are good value to find the net against Wolfsburg.

BORUSSIA DORTMUND V BAYERN MUNICH

- Dortmund have lost five of their previous six Bundesliga matches against Bayern (W1), conceding 24 goals in those games.

- BVB have won each of their past two competitive home matches at home to Bayern – they have only ever won three in a row against them between 1966 and 1967 (their first three meetings in Dortmund).

- Lewandowski has scored 12 goals in his previous six Bundesliga matches against Dortmund. The Poland star has netted 16 Bundesliga goals overall against his former side – only Klaus Allofs has more (18).

 

WERDER BREMEN V BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH

- Bremen are without a win in their past eight Bundesliga matches against Gladbach (D2 L6). Amongst current top-flight sides, Werder are only on a longer wait for three points against Bayern (22 matches).

- Taking 21 points from 26 games represents Bremen's worst Bundesliga season. The last team to survive with 21 points or fewer at this stage were Hoffenheim in 2012-13 (20 points).

- Gladbach have conceded in each of their previous eight Bundesliga matches – they last endured a longer run of this kind during a single season under Michael Frontzeck in 2010-11 (11 games).

 

BAYER LEVERKUSEN V WOLFSBURG

- Leverkusen have scored in each of their past 34 Bundesliga matches against Wolfsburg – no other side has managed a longer scoring run against one particular side in Bundesliga history.

- Leverkusen's 29 goals across the first 10 Ruckrunde matches are a new club record at this stage of a season.

- Havertz has had a hand in a goal in each of his previous six Bundesliga games for Leverkusen. Seven consecutive Bundesliga games with a goal involvement would see him equal a club record since detailed data collection began in 2004-05.

 

EINTRACHT FRANKFURT V FREIBURG

- Freiburg have won 13 Bundesliga games against Frankfurt; they have only enjoyed more victories against Schalke in the division (14).

- Frankfurt have just 28 points to their name after 26 games, marking their worst Bundesliga points tally at this stage since 2015-16 (24). They have suffered 14 defeats, which equals that particular record at this stage of a Bundesliga campaign.

- Petersen has not scored in his past nine Bundesliga games – his longest goal drought in a Freiburg shirt. He did, however, score in both games against Frankfurt in 2019, and has six Bundesliga goals against them – more than against any other side.

Tuesday's Der Klassiker between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich looks set to play a decisive role in where the Bundesliga title ends up, and the game itself could conceivably be decided by the two teams' options on the flanks.

There is something deeply satisfying and exhilarating about an effective, attack-minded wing partnership, and there have been many such combinations down the years that fit the bill.

Lionel Messi and Dani Alves, Luis Figo and Roberto Carlos, Philipp Lahm and Arjen Robben, Djalma Santos and Garrincha – the list goes on.

While there are also many effective flank pairings in modern football, when considering which are the most effective from an attacking sense, it is difficult to look past those served up by Germany's big two.

Although Jadon Sancho has only been fit enough to make a couple of substitute appearances since the Bundesliga resumed, there is every chance he will be back in the starting XI on Tuesday, with Achraf Hakimi, Alphonso Davies and Serge Gnabry all likely to feature as well.

All four are enjoying fine seasons – below, we examine just how effective the quartet have been.

Hakimi v Davies

Given they'll both be operating on the same side of the pitch, Hakimi and Davies will likely spend a significant amount of time in close proximity or running at the other, hoping to punish any defensive lapses. Even watching it could be exhausting, given how quick they are.

Both are more renowned for their attacking tendencies than defensive nous, which is certainly understandable with respect to Davies, who is effectively in his first season as a full-back. A straight comparison highlights plenty of common strengths when they are unshackled.

Davies' remarkable pace has attracted attention at times this term, and with good reason – his top speed of 35.3km/h is second only to Kingsley Coman (35.7km/h) in the Bayern side, though Hakimi clocks in as the quickest player since these records began in the Bundesliga, having got up to 36.5km/h.

Bayern youngster Davies shades it in terms of ball carries (running with possession for at least five metres), however. He embarks on 19.9 per game, 0.4 more than Hakimi, while Davies holds on to the ball for 12.4m on average – the Dortmund right-back keeps it for 11.5m.

Davies has also attempted more take-ons (118 to 113), has a better dribble success rate (58 per cent to 56 per cent) and runs an average of 11.2km per 90 minutes, 600m more than Hakimi.

Nevertheless, Hakimi's 146 carries for more than 10m is a Bundesliga-high, and while Davies negligibly edges him out in many of the aforementioned metrics, the Moroccan's 14 Bundesliga goal involvements is more than double that of the young Canadian.

Either way, it is clear to see both full-backs play a significant role in driving their respective teams up the pitch - Davies might be in for a more robust test of his defensive capabilities in this contest, however.

Sancho v Gnabry

It's worth pointing out neither player is exactly guaranteed to start – fitness issues have meant Sancho only made substitute appearances in Dortmund's past two matches, while Gnabry was on the bench at the weekend.

However, given their respective records this term, if they are in top condition, there is little doubt both will start. It is the biggest match of the season, after all.

Sancho and Gnabry have enjoyed immensely productive campaigns. The Bayern winger has had a hand in 20 Bundesliga goals, while the England international hit 30 with his 16th assist of the season at the weekend when setting up Hakimi.

Sancho is way out in front in terms of take-ons, having attempted a league-high of 131 this term, completing 47 per cent. Gnabry has looked to beat his man 92 times, succeeding 48 per cent of the time.

But there are fundamental differences between their respective styles of play when in possession.

Gnabry is more likely than his counterpart to end a carry with a shot, doing so 29 times in 2019-20, behind only Timo Werner (36). Similarly, 22 of his successful dribbles have come inside the penalty area – a joint-high for the division with Robert Lewandowski and Marcus Thuram.

By comparison, Sancho has only completed eight dribbles in the box and just 14 of his carries ended with a shot. However, eight of them have led to an assist, which is a Bundesliga record in 2019-20 and seven more than Gnabry.

This suggests, to a certain degree, that Gnabry lacks some of the awareness of Sancho, or at the very least possesses more of a single-minded approach.

The data also highlights Sancho's slightly deeper role, which is backed up by the fact he tends to run further (11.2km per match to 10.7km), sprint more (35.5 per match to 34.1) and has reached a higher top speed (34km/h, to 33.2km/h) than Gnabry.

While Sancho arguably comes out on top generally, there's no doubting both are exceptional talents and if they get anywhere close to their best on Tuesday, either he or Gnabry could light up the Klassiker by themselves.

Manchester United completed an unprecedented treble in Barcelona and NBA legend Vince Carter was also celebrating on this day 21 years ago.

Bayern Munich were on the brink of winning the Champions League at Camp Nou, but late goals from Teddy Sheringham and current United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer secured a dramatic 2-1 victory for Alex Ferguson's men.

May 26, 1999 is also a date for Carter to reflect on with great memories, as he was named NBA Rookie of the Year, while history was made by India batsmen Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly on the same day.

A decade earlier Arsenal snatched the First Division title from Liverpool at Anfield with a last-gasp strike from Michael Thomas.

 

1989 - Thomas fires Gunners to title

It came down to the final match of the season to decide who would be crowned champions of England 31 years ago.

Liverpool had overtaken the wobbling Gunners to take a three-point lead, but a victory by a margin of two goals or more would be enough for George Graham's side to take the title.

Alan Smith put the London club in front seven minutes into the second half to get the nerves jangling even more on such a tense evening on Merseyside.

Arsenal looked to have fallen just short of winning the First Division for the first time in 18 years, but Thomas surged through from midfield to win it right at the end and Arsenal took the title on goals scored with a stunning 2-0 victory.

 

1999 - Solskjaer leaves Bayern crestfallen in Barcelona

Bayern appeared to have dashed United's hopes of becoming the first team to win the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup in the same season.

Mario Basler's early strike put the Bavarian giants in front and that looked to be enough for Ottmar Hitzfeld's well-drilled side to lift the trophy at Camp Nou.

United had almost run out of ideas but with three minutes of added time shown on the fourth official's board, goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel came up for a corner that eventually resulted in Sheringham sweeping home following a scuffed shot from Ryan Giggs.

There was one final twist as Bayern were hit with the sucker punch, Sheringham nodding on another corner and Solskjaer prodding in from close range to spark wild celebrations.

 

1999 - Carter 'not surprised' by Rookie MVP gong

Carter was a revelation in his debut NBA season for the Toronto Raptors.

He averaged 18.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists a game, subsequently securing 113 of the 118 first-placed votes to be named the best rookie in the league.

Carter said after learning he had landed the award: "I can't say I'm surprised. But I'm overjoyed."

The Raptors missed out on the playoffs, but Carter gave them plenty of grounds for optimism and he has gone on to become an eight-time NBA All-Star.

 

1999 - Ganguly and Dravid slay Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka bowlers who faced India in a Cricket World Cup contest in Taunton must have had nightmares over this day in Taunton 21 years ago.

It was Dravid and Ganguly who might have given them sleepless nights as they piled on 318 for the second wicket - an ODI record at the time.

The magnificent partnership, now the third-highest for the second wicket in the 50-over format at international level, enabled India to post 373-6 and go on to win by 157 runs.

Ganguly made a sublime 183 off 158 balls and the classy Dravid 145 from 129 deliveries on a painful May day for Sri Lanka.

A key contest in the Bundesliga title race takes place later on Tuesday when Borussia Dortmund host champions and leaders Bayern Munich.

Bayern are four points clear at the top of the table with seven matches left to play, making this a must-win encounter for Dortmund.

BVB have seen their fortunes boosted since the January arrival of in-demand striker Erling Haaland from Salzburg.

Bayern have a formidable frontman of their own, though, in the shape of former Dortmund star Robert Lewandowski.

Ahead of a huge Klassiker contest, we have used Opta data to review the numbers behind the two strikers' prolific 2019-20 campaigns so far.


GOALSCORING STATS

Lewandowski just edges Haaland when it comes to goals scored in league matches this season, with 27 to his name compared to 26 for the Dortmund star, whose figures include his time with both Salzburg and BVB.

However, the Poland international has spent 546 minutes longer on the pitch then Haaland, who has scored a goal, astonishingly, for every 64.5 minutes he has spent on the pitch.

Lewandowski's mark is 17.8 minutes longer than Haaland, but he still averages more than a goal a game with his minutes-per-goal rate also impressive at 82.3, his goals having come in just 25 appearances.

While it is worth bearing in mind Haaland was playing against weaker opposition in Austria, he has only needed 2.8 shots per goal, compared to 4.2 for Lewandowski.

The Bayern star is more of a presence in the opposition penalty area though, with 22 per cent of his touches there, compared to 18 per cent for his rival.

Both players are scoring more than their expected goals rate, with Haaland's 10 Bundesliga strikes defying an expected rate of 6.0, while Lewandowski's 27 are favourable to his expected tally of 25.1.

When it comes to creativity, it is another mixed picture, as Lewandowski has laid on 27 chances for his team-mates, compared to 21 for Haaland.

However, Haaland has 6 league assists to his name, twice as many as Lewandowski, who has 3.


KEY OPTA FACTS

Haaland

- The Dortmund striker became the youngest player to reach the milestone of scoring 15 goals in the Austrian Bundesliga. He was 19 years, three months and 20 days old at that moment.

- Haaland did not need long to get comfortable in the BVB jersey. He scored in all three competitions in his debut appearance: a hat-trick in the German Bundesliga against Augsburg, a goal in the DFB-Pokal loss to Werder Bremen, and two goals in the Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain.

Lewandowski

- The in-form Bayern star got his 27th goal of the season on the 27th matchday of the league season, which represents his personal best. The overall Bundesliga record is held by Gerd Muller, who had 34 goals by the 27th match round of the 1971-72 season.

- Lewandowski has scored 12 goals in his last six Bundesliga matches against Dortmund. He has netted a total of 16 league goals against his former side – only Klaus Allofs has more (18).

Manchester City look set to have to fill a void in their squad.

Germany international Leroy Sane is tipped to swap City for Bayern Munich.

And Leon Bailey has reportedly emerged as a target for City.

 

TOP STORY – SANE OUT, BAILEY IN AT CITY?

Manchester City are targeting Bayer Leverkusen's Leon Bailey as a replacement for Leroy Sane, according to the Daily Mail.

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are hoping to sign City star Sane in the off-season.

Should Sane complete his return to Germany, Bailey has been identified by Pep Guardiola's City.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tuttosport claims Juventus have warned Paul Pogba he will have to accept a drastic cut to his salary if the Manchester United star is to return to the Serie A champions. Pogba has been linked with former club Juve and LaLiga giants Real Madrid. The Red Devils have reportedly re-opened the door to Juve over a possible deal.

Luka Jovic wants to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu and turn things around with Madrid, reports Marca. The Serbia forward, who has struggled since arriving from Eintracht Frankfurt, has emerged as a target for Milan.

- Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik is pushing for a move to Juve, says Calciomercato. The Poland international is a free agent in 2021 and is valued at €40million by Napoli, though he is hoping to lower the club's demands.

Juve are desperately trying to convince Arthur to leave Barcelona for Turin, according to Mundo Deportivo. Juve want Arthur to replace Miralem Pjanic, who is reportedly close to swapping clubs.

- Onda Cero says Barca could recall Philippe Coutinho from his loan spell at Bayern. With Bayern opting not to exercise their option to purchase Coutinho, the Brazilian could find himself back at Camp Nou ahead of LaLiga's proposed resumption.

Inter have been in contact with Edinson Cavani's entourage over a move to San Siro, says Calciomercato. Paris Saint-Germain forward Cavani is coming out of contract and could replace Inter star Lautaro Martinez, who is wanted by Barca.

- The Daily Mail claims Barca will listen to loan offers for Ousmane Dembele. The injury-prone Frenchman has previously been linked to PSG, Juve, Arsenal, United and Liverpool.

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