Robert Lewandowski was brought off in the second half of Bayern Munich's edgy 1-0 victory against Augsburg as a precaution, head coach Hansi Flick confirmed.

Lewandowski scored the 13th-minute penalty that ultimately secured the three points for Bundesliga champions Bayern at the Augsburg Arena on Wednesday.

However, superstar striker Lewandowski was substituted after 67 minutes and Bayern were left grateful for a spot-kick miss from Alfred Finnbogason midweek.

Flick explained the surprising decision was because Lewandowski has been managing an issue with his thigh.

"[It was] to be on the safe side because Robert is very important to us. We didn't want to take any risks," Flick said in quotes reported by SID.

"He already said this morning that he could feel something in the thigh muscles on the back, but [he felt] that he could control it quite well."

Bayern were brilliant in the opening period but struggled in the second half in a theme of only playing well in patches that has become rather familiar in recent weeks.

Back-to-back wins and a first clean sheet since October followed a loss to Borussia Monchengladbach and a shock DFB-Pokal exit to second-tier Holsten Kiel, with Bayern's performances well below their best.

Flick, though, said even a team like Bayern – who won a superb treble in 2019-20 – can hit a "limit" in what has been a testing period.

"The team played an outstanding year, at some point they too are at their limit," he added to Sky Germany, with Bayern four points clear atop the table. 

"It was a bit of luck against Freiburg in the end, but very important. We [wanted] to add more today and take three points with us to Munich."

Bayern Munich's luck was in as a story of two penalties was the main tale in their 1-0 win over Augsburg in Tuesday's Bundesliga contest.

Robert Lewandowski calmly slotted home from the spot after 13 minutes at Augsburg Arena and missed a glut of chances in a first half dominated by the champions.

It was a completely different outlook for Bayern after the break, though, and Hansi Flick's side were left breathing a sigh of relief when Alfred Finnbogason struck the post with a penalty of his own 15 minutes from time.

The end result means Bayern remain four points clear at the top but Flick will want to see fewer of the Jekyll-and-Hyde performances that have been on display in recent weeks from his side.

Rani Khedira's clumsy kick on Lucas Hernandez allowed Lewandowski to find the bottom-right corner with a cool 13th-minute penalty that looked like setting the tone for a dominant win.

Serge Gnabry was denied by the busy Rafal Gikiewicz and Thomas Muller put the rebound narrowly wide as Bayern peppered the hosts' goal.

Gnabry was kept out again by Gikiewicz before teeing up Lewandowski, who was guilty of wastefulness a couple of times, with the Pole only hitting the outside of the post with the goal gaping.

A second half completely at odds with the first saw Bayern struggle to create openings and Daniel Caligiuri's long-range effort would have briefly had away hearts in mouths before rising comfortably over.

There was an even greater left-off shortly after when substitute Finnbogason fluffed his lines from the spot after Benjamin Pavard had been pinged for handball from Iago's flick in the area.

Muller had the ball in the net but Jamal Musiala clearly ran the ball out in the act of setting him up, before Florian Niederlechner skewed wide and Felix Uduokhai headed over in further late scares that a lacklustre Bayern ultimately survived.

Could Harry Kane land in Paris?

With Kylian Mbappe tipped to join Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly eyeing replacements.

Mauricio Pochettino has a familiar face in mind…

 

TOP STORY – POCH WANTS KANE IF MBAPPE LEAVES

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino wants to sign Tottenham striker Harry Kane, according to El Chiringuito de Jugones.

That is if PSG star Kylian Mbappe leaves the Ligue 1 champions for LaLiga holders Real Madrid.

Pochettino coached Kane for five years at Tottenham before he was sacked by Spurs in November 2019.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sky Sport Germany claims Bayern Munich star David Alaba will not decide on his future until he has spoken to Barcelona. Marca reported that Madrid had struck a deal to sign Alaba on a free transfer at the end of the season. However, Alaba is reportedly holding out for Barca as the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and PSG try to lure the Austria international.

Martin Odegaard has asked to leave Madrid on loan due to his lack of game time, reports Marca and Diario AS.

Romelu Lukaku has no intention of leaving Inter for City, says Express Sport. Lukaku spent two years at United before moving to Italy in 2019. Pep Guardiola's City have also been linked with Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland amid doubts over Sergio Aguero's future.

- Mundo Deportivo claims Manchester City defender Eric Garcia could join Barca this month or at the end of the season.

Milan are eyeing Barca's Junior Firpo on loan, while Serie A rivals Napoli are also interested, according to Calciomercato.

- Eurosport reports Tottenham are looking to prise Danny Ings away from Southampton. Ings is reportedly stalling on a new contract as he eyes a Champions League club.

RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann said football and the NFL can learn from each other as he revealed his admiration for the Green Bay Packers.

Nagelsmann – one of Europe's finest tacticians – said he is a fan of American football after hailing the "extraordinary" discipline of the league's players.

As Aaron Rodgers and the Packers prepare to face Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, Leipzig boss Nagelsmann insisted the two sports can learn from each other.

"Our general manager Timmo Hardung is a huge Green Bay Packers fan, so that's rubbed off on me a bit," Nagelsmann told reporters ahead of Leipzig's match against Union Berlin on Wednesday.

"My heart beats for them a bit, their history is very interesting and different to most of the other clubs in the NFL."

Nagelsmann added: "It's a very interesting sport. And I think we can learn a lot from American football in soccer, and our players can learn a lot from it as well. Especially in terms of their discipline in studying and executing the team's playbook. I definitely think that's an area that soccer can improve on.

"The game is based on an unbelievable number of plays, and the players have to understand a lot of specific terms and then act accordingly out on the field. They have to do all that extremely quickly, which is extraordinary."

"You could see in the games that there were one or two tricks – I'd like to see a bit more of that. 'Hitch and Pitch' I think it's called. That worked quite well in the play-offs a couple of times," he continued.

"So American Football can learn from football, but definitely vice versa too. And if any NFL coaches would like to have a chat about it all, feel free to get in touch!"

Leipzig – Champions League semi-finalists last season – are third and four points adrift of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich after 16 matches in 2020-21.

Eintracht Frankfurt head coach Adi Hutter hailed the "greatness" of Luka Jovic following his stunning start to life back in the Bundesliga.

Jovic scored two goals in his return for Eintracht last week after re-joining the German club on loan until the end of the season, having endured a difficult period at LaLiga champions Real Madrid.

The Serbia international only scored twice in 32 appearances under Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane in the Spanish capital, where he arrived for €60million in 2019.

But Jovic came off the bench and scored twice in 28 minutes as Eintracht defeated Schalke 3-1 in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

Jovic matched his Madrid tally in the stunning cameo for Eintracht, where the 23-year-old netted 27 goals in 2018-19 before making the move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Previewing Wednesday's showdown with Freiburg, Hutter discussed Jovic and his partnership with Eintracht star Andre Silva.

"Strikers are always a bit egotistical, but when it is about the team or Eintracht Frankfurt, everyone puts their ego aside," Hutter told reporters.

"Luka [Jovic] does that sovereignly. When you bring back someone who had his best time here and scored 27 goals in a year, then gets loaned out and scores two goals in 32 games, and then comes back and scores two goals in about 25 minutes, it's logical that the attention is more on that than on Andre Silva's 12th goal of the season.

"But when you hear Luka's statements that it is an honour for him to play in a team with Andre, it shows the greatness and character of Luka and it shows the respect he has for Andre Silva. I have spoken to Andre before and he said that competition is very important for him and that quality in the team is important. That doesn't bother him at all.

"I also can't imagine that Andre Silva, who has previously played for Milan and Sevilla, can't handle competition. I think he has also seen that Luka is another striker with whom he can harmonise.

"As always, I'm keeping a low profile. He [Luka Jovic] has shown in this short season that he is an absolute world-class striker with a high calibre. We'll leave it open as to whether he'll play from the start [against Freiburg]."

Silva's goal to open the scoring against Schalke was his 12th of the season, taking him level with Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland – only Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski (21) has more in 2020-21.

Eintracht – eighth in the standings – are the only team to win all three of their Bundesliga games in 2021 and have now won four on the bounce in the league for the first time since early 2019.

Klaas Jan Huntelaar is heading back to Schalke for one last mission in his career after leaving Ajax to join a battle to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga.

The 37-year-old former Milan and Real Madrid striker recently announced he would retire at the end of this season, and Huntelaar now says he wants to "play my part" in saving lowly Schalke.

He previously played for Schalke from 2010 until 2017, scoring 126 goals for the Royal Blues before heading to Ajax, and he departs the Dutch giants to join a team now coached by Christian Gross.

Schalke sit bottom of the Bundesliga with seven points from 16 games, having won only once in the league this season.

Huntelaar told Schalke's website: "We need to win games and score goals to climb up the table. I want to play my part in the club staying up. Schalke belongs in the Bundesliga and it's our responsibility to make sure that we stay here."

The moves means Huntelaar's Ajax playing career is over after a second spell in Amsterdam, having first caught the eye there from 2006-08, opening the door to his San Siro and Santiago Bernabeu stints and a career in the Netherlands national team.

In all, Huntelaar scored 158 goals in 257 official games for Ajax. He won an Eredivisie title in the 2018-19 season.

Marc Overmars, director of football at Ajax, said it was the honourable thing to do to let Huntelaar ride to the rescue of his old team.

"It was Klaas Jan's wish to help Schalke avoid relegation in the last four months of his career," Overmars told Ajax's website.

"We thought it was important for him to let this move go through and fill his shoes internally with Lassina Traore and Brian Brobbey. We wish the best for Klaas Jan with this transfer and thank him very much for everything he has done for Ajax."

Hansi Flick insists he has heard nothing from David Alaba about a transfer to Real Madrid amid reports the defender has agreed to join the LaLiga champions.

Alaba will be out of contract at Bayern at the end of the season and Spanish sports newspaper Marca claimed on Monday that agreement on a four-year deal at the Santiago Bernabeu had been reached.

However, Alaba's father and advisor denied that is the case while Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane refused to discuss the issue in his media conference on Tuesday.

Despite the reports, Flick appears to still be hopeful Alaba could remain with Bayern, though he accepts matters appear to be trending in a different direction.

Bayern head coach Flick told a news conference ahead of Wednesday's clash with Augsburg: "Those are things that are always possible when there is a transfer window and contracts are expiring.

"At the moment I have to admit that I have not heard anything from him regarding this topic. Hope dies last.

"However, I know that things are moving towards a direction which means change for the team.

"David Alaba showed a good performance against Freiburg and it is important for him to stay focused. That is how I experience him, as does the whole team.

"We have to continue. We know things like this are possible in football and that there are always changes at the end of a season.

"Change also has the potential to develop the team. We'll have to wait and see what happens. There's nothing more we can do at the moment."

Flick indicated that if Alaba does depart at the end of the season, Bayern will move quickly to find a replacement for the Austria international.

"Obviously, David Alaba is a player who is not only valuable for the team on the pitch, but also in the locker room and elsewhere," Flick added.

"But these kind of things [transfers] happen. Where the road takes him, we don't know. We have to wait and see what happens. I'm not having any thoughts around that at the moment.

"It is clear though that if a player of his calibre leaves the club, the club has to react and get another player. The future will tell what happens.

"Currently, this is not a topic for me because we will have this squad until the end of the season, so the focus is on this team and all the players we have available.

"What happens after that is a new chapter for the club and the team, and one has to make the best of it then."

Zinedine Zidane has responded to reports linking Real Madrid with moves for Bayern Munich's David Alaba and Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain.

Alaba will be out of contract at Bayern at the end of the season and on Monday Spanish sports newspaper Marca claimed an agreement on a four-year deal at the Santiago Bernabeu had been reached.

The versatile defender's father, who also acts as an advisor, has since denied anything has been signed with LaLiga champions Madrid.

Asked about the rumours on Tuesday during a news conference to preview a Copa del Rey clash with Alcoyano, Zidane was unwilling to get into specifics.

"I understand you want to ask this question on a player that isn't part of our club, but I'm here to focus on Wednesday's game," he said.

"I understand there are topics worth discussing but I'm not going to comment now on outside events. My staff and I are focusing on the game."

The Madrid boss offered a similar response when asked if he would like to have Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe at the club.

He said: "I'm sorry, I already said the same with Alaba. I'm sorry. We're focused on tomorrow's game."

France international Mbappe will be out of contract at PSG at the end of next season and has never hidden his admiration of his fellow World Cup winner and compatriot Zidane.

Asked if the best players in the world ultimate choose where they want to play, Zidane responded: "In the end, yes. But everyone has a contract and it's not good to get involved in the things of players who are not yours."

Since his debut for PSG on August 4, 2017, Mbappe has had a hand in 101 goals in Ligue 1 (76 scored and 25 assisted).

Across the top five European Leagues, only Mohamed Salah (117 – 86 and 31), Ciro Immobile (118 – 92 and 26), Robert Lewandowski (124 – 106 and 18) and Lionel Messi (154 – 106 and 48) have had a hand in more during the same time frame.

He has averaged two key passes per 90 minutes, fewer only than Messi (2.7) and Neymar (3.0) among players to have scored at least 50 goals.

Bayern Munich defender David Alaba has not signed any agreement with Real Madrid, according to his father and advisor.

Spanish publication Marca, which is known for its links to Madrid, claimed on Monday that a deal had been agreed between the club and player for a move at the end of the season.

Alaba's contract expires in June and is therefore free to discuss terms with other clubs, Bayern having seemingly exhausted all chances of a renewal.

The Austria international's future has been a source of speculation for much of the last year, but Bayern insisted throughout that they would not be held to ransom and a departure now looks the likeliest option.

But Alaba's father, who also acts as an advisor, has given hope to other interested parties, adamant nothing has been signed with the defending Spanish champions.

"A decision has not yet been made, and David has not yet signed with Madrid," George Alaba told Sport1.

"Besides Madrid, there are other clubs that are interested in him. What matters for him is still that he wants to concentrate fully on Bayern and his achievements."

Alaba has been at Bayern since joining from Austria Vienna in 2008 and gone on to establish himself as a club great in the modern era.

His 264 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern see him rank 18th in the club's all-time list, though he would expect to climb past a few more by the end of the season.

Remarkably, 200 of those 264 games have been victories, which is the 12th highest of all players to have represented Bayern in the Bundesliga.

Alaba has won every trophy possible during his time at Bayern, including nine Bundesliga titles and two Champions League crowns, the latest of which was claimed last year.

In the past couple of years he has been successfully remoulded as a centre-back and looks set to be a shrewd free signing for whichever club manages to prise him away from Bayern. 

While Madrid appear well-positioned, Barcelona, Liverpool and Manchester United have also been linked as suitors.

Real Madrid have reportedly agreed a deal with Bayern Munich defender David Alaba.

With his contract expiring at the end of the season, Alaba, 28, has been linked with Europe's biggest clubs.

And the Austria international looks set for the Santiago Bernabeu.

 

TOP STORY – ALABA AGREES FOUR-YEAR DEAL WITH MADRID

Alaba has agreed a four-year deal with Real Madrid, according to Marca.

The Bayern defender will make the move to the LaLiga giants ahead of 2021-22, the report says.

Alaba was also linked to the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Real Madrid and the news is not so good when it comes to Lucas Vazquez. AS reports the midfielder has rejected the club's first contract offer, with his current deal expiring at the end of the season.

- Dele Alli is wanted by Paris Saint-Germain. The Sun reports the Tottenham midfielder is confident of getting a loan move to the Ligue 1 giants in January.

- Jesse Lingard's future at Manchester United is uncertain. ESPN reports the midfielder wants regular game time but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is eager to keep him at the Premier League club. Lingard has made just three appearances in all competitions this season.

- After leaving the club in 2017, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar looks set to return to Schalke. SPORT1 reports the Ajax striker has undergone a medical ahead of a return to Schalke, who are bidding to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga.

Much has changed in the past 12 months but one thing that has stayed the same is the mind-boggling brilliance of Erling Haaland.

It has been exactly 12 months since the Norway striker made his debut for Borussia Dortmund following a big-money move from Salzburg.

Haaland came off the bench against Augsburg on that occasion after 56 minutes and scored a hat-trick in a 5-3 win, offering a taste of things to come.

Here, we have crunched the Opta numbers to highlight just how brilliant Haaland has been.

Haaland competing with the best

If you're a football fan, the only way you could have not spotted Haaland's meteoric rise over the last year is if you live under the proverbial rock.

Indeed, using data across all competitions for the top-five European leagues since his Dortmund debut, only two players can better his tally of 35 goals. 

Prepare to be shocked here (Narrator: there is zero shock value involved), those players were Robert Lewandowski (49) and Cristiano Ronaldo (40).

Ciro Immobile, Romelu Lukaku (each 33) and Lionel Messi (29) all trail Haaland, and when we view the numbers through a different lens his past 12 months become even more impressive.

Both Lewandowski (42) and Ronaldo (40) started more games than Haaland's 29. When looking at goals scored per 90 minutes, the Dortmund's star has 1.18 compared to 1.15 for Lewandowski, and 0.99 for Ronaldo. Surprisingly, Luis Muriel 1.57 heads the way here.

What is even more startling is the fact Haaland had 102 shots (including blocks) during this period, way down on Messi (253), Ronaldo (235) and Lewandowski (180).

Indeed, his goals have come from only 58 shots on target. Messi (115), Lewandowski (90) and Ronaldo (85) again head these metrics.

When looking at shots on target per 90, Haaland (1.96) ranks below Muriel (3.14), Messi (2.53), Kylian Mbappe (2.15), Lewandowski and Ronaldo (each 2.11).

No one can better Haaland's shot-conversion rate of 34.31 (Lewandowski for comparison is fifth on 27.22), and while Lewandowski (40) and Ronaldo (29) beat the 28 'big chances' he has scored, both have a lower 'big-chance' conversion rate (55.56 and 52.73 to Haaland's 60.87).

And when it comes to goals/minutes ratio, Haaland's 76.26 is beaten only by Muriel's 55.33. Lewandowski (78.37) and Ronaldo (90.68) are next on the list.

Bundesliga defences taken to Haal-and back

May we all take a brief moment to show our thoughts for Bundesliga defences, who have been given a torrid time by Lewandowski over the past year.

Okay, that's long enough…

If we crunch similar numbers for goals across all competitions for just Bundesliga strikers, it's not exactly hard to see why Haaland has been such a big star in Germany's top flight.

While Lewandowski's 49 goals remain a high, Haaland's 35 is still comfortably better than Andre Silva (26) and Wout Weghorst (24).

The 1.18 goals per 90 minutes is a best among strikers playing in Germany. Lewandowski is of course close behind, but the next best are Lucas Alario (0.86), Andrej Kramaric (0.8) and Silva (0.76).

Lewandowski (180), Serge Gnabry (112) and Silva (110) have all taken more shots but only Lewandowski's 90 on target beats Haaland's 58. Weghorst (53), Gnabry (52) and Silva (51) are not too far behind.

Silva (22) and Weghorst (21) have each scored fewer of their 'big chances', while only three players have a higher 'big-chance' conversion among Bundesliga players.

In terms of goals/minute ratio – Haaland and Lewandowski are the only players below 100. Alario (105.22), Kramaric (112.25) and Silva (117.88) are way off the pace of the superstar duo.

The main takeaway from all of this is Haaland has been sensational over the past 12 months.

Real Madrid star Sergio Ramos' future appears no closer to being sorted.

Ramos, 34, is out of contract at the end of the season and reportedly turned down a one-year deal from Madrid.

And the Spain international's future remains uncertain.

 

TOP STORY – RAMOS, REAL MADRID NEGOTIATIONS AT A STANDSTILL

Negotiations between Real Madrid and Sergio Ramos are at a standstill, according to Le 10 Sport.

Amid the uncertainty over his future, Ramos has been linked with numerous European giants.

But Telefoot reported there had been no contact between Ramos and Paris Saint-Germain.

 

ROUND-UP

- Starting to find form again for Borussia Dortmund, Jadon Sancho is set to be the subject of transfer speculation ahead of 2021-22. But Sky Sports reports talks about a move for the reported Manchester United target are unlikely in January, with an off-season switch possible.

- PSG seem keen to land Dele Alli in January. Fabrizio Romano claims the midfielder is pushing to join the Ligue 1 giants on loan and Mauricio Pochettino's PSG will not give up on a deal.

- Milan appear set to add depth to their squad. The Serie A leaders have agreed a deal with former Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic, according to CalcioMercato.

- Staying at Milan and they are also reportedly set to land Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea. Romano says Tomori is set to join on loan with an option to buy for €30million (£26.7m).

Pep Guardiola is 50 and who would begrudge Manchester City's remarkable manager a quiet celebration?

The likelihood is that Guardiola will instead be picking the pieces out of Sunday's clash with Crystal Palace and planning for Wednesday's game against Aston Villa.

Guardiola the player was a diligent servant as a defensive midfielder for Barcelona and Spain, albeit rarely the player who would light up a match.

Yet as a coach his teams have had maverick tendencies, as well as being clinical and merciless at times, as his medal collection shows.

To mark Guardiola's 'big 5-0', now is a timely moment to revisit some of the finest 5-0 wins from his coaching career.

Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid (November 29, 2010)

Barca's 8-0 win at Almeria nine days earlier had contained a Lionel Messi hat-trick, but the Argentinian could not find the target when Jose Mourinho brought Madrid to Camp Nou.

Not to worry, for he was outstanding in a mesmerising Barcelona display, an iconic moment of the Guardiola era.

Messi ran Madrid ragged but left the scoring to others, setting up David Villa for the third and fourth goals, with Xavi, Pedro and the little-remembered Jeffren condemning Mourinho, Cristiano Ronaldo and co to a ruthless assailing in Catalonia.

"We are proud," said Guardiola, on the way to a LaLiga and Champions League double, "because the world has seen us play the way we like to play."

Barcelona 5-0 Atletico Madrid (September 24, 2011)

Guardiola's last season with Barca ultimately ended without LaLiga glory but it was a campaign that produced a statement victory over an Atletico Madrid team containing Thibaut Courtois, Diego Godin and Radamel Falcao.

Barca were rampant at Camp Nou, with a David Villa strike and Miranda's own goal putting them two up inside 15 minutes before Messi scored a quite magnificent hat-trick, all three goals containing fine dribbles and sublime link-up play.

Perhaps most significantly for the Spanish football landscape, the result hurried along the sacking of Atletico boss Gregorio Manzano, who, under three months later, would be replaced by a certain Diego Simeone.

Bayern 5-0 Eintracht Frankfurt (February 2, 2014)

Bayern Munich stormed to the Bundesliga title in Guardiola's first season, losing just twice and seeing off nearest challengers Borussia Dortmund by an astonishing 19 points.

They romped to four separate 5-0 wins over the course of that season, including a magnificent success against Eintracht Frankfurt in February, by which point the title was all but won.

Mario Gotze swept in with a wonderful strike after 12 minutes to set the tone, with further goals coming from Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Dante and Mario Mandzukic.

They thrashed Hamburg 5-0 just 10 days later en route to the second of eight consecutive league titles, a run which remains active.

Steaua Bucharest 0-5 Manchester City (August 16, 2016)

The Guardiola era had begun sketchily with a 2-1 home win over Sunderland three days earlier, City needing a late Paddy McNair own goal to snatch the Premier League points.

But by goodness, this was more like the fare that was expected under the new boss, City rampant in a Champions League play-off in Romania as Sergio Aguero scored his eighth hat-trick for the club, as well as missing two penalties, with David Silva and Nolito also on target.

They had 24 shots and 70.5 per cent of possession in a frightening tease of what was to come.

Manchester City 5-0 Liverpool (September 9, 2017)

Guardiola had finished his first season at City empty-handed, but this devastating performance signalled it would be a different story in 2017-18.

New recruits Ederson, Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy all started, and City emphatically showed they were better set up for a title push than the Liverpool team Jurgen Klopp was steadily shaping into something special.

Liverpool's Sadio Mane was sent off before half-time for a high challenge that injured goalkeeper Ederson, with City already ahead by that stage thanks to Aguero.

Gabriel Jesus then scored twice, as did Leroy Sane, and City put on a show early in their record-setting 100-point campaign. Liverpool would have their revenge with a 4-3 Anfield win in January, but the title was all but wrapped up by then.

Manchester City 5-0 Burnley (all the time)

Every day must feel like a birthday when Burnley come to town, given Guardiola's team have torched the Clarets 5-0 in their last four meetings at the Etihad Stadium.

Of course it was not always this way: City grafted for a 2-1 home win over Burnley when Fernandinho was sent off when the teams first met at Eastlands in Guardiola's debut season in England.

But lately it has been customary for Burnley to be rolled over, and Riyad Mahrez helped himself to a hat-trick in the most recent encounter, in November.

Guardiola said afterwards that such goal gluts are "not important; the important thing is winning games". You suspect, however, he rather enjoys such days. Burnley, rather less so.

Luka Jovic revelled in his two-goal return for Eintracht Frankfurt after struggling at LaLiga champions Real Madrid.

Jovic re-joined Eintracht on loan until the end of the season, having endured a difficult start to his Madrid career – the Serbia international only scored twice in 32 appearances under Zinedine Zidane in the Spanish capital, where he arrived for €60million in 2019.

But a return to Frankfurt appears to be the perfect tonic for Jovic, who came off the bench and scored twice in 28 minutes as Eintracht defeated Schalke 3-1 in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

Jovic matched his Madrid tally in the stunning cameo for Eintracht, where the 23-year-old netted 27 goals in 2018-19 before making the move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

"Amazing feeling! Victory, two goals. Couldn't have imagined a better comeback," Jovic wrote via Instagram post-match.

"I hope this is only the beginning and that the best is yet to come. Thank you all for your support.

"I want to dedicate my first goal to a great professional, an amazing leader, a true friend, a great man that I've been honoured to share the field with, our captain @davidabraham1986 [who retired].

"The second goal I dedicate to a great Eintracht fan that has recently passed away and left his loving wife and three kids. Rest In Peace."

Jovic played a key role in Eintracht's remarkable 2018-19 campaign as the German club reached the Europa League semi-finals, after initially being shipped to Deutsche Bank Park in 2017 on a two-year loan deal from Portuguese powerhouse Benfica.

After scoring nine goals in his first season with Eintracht as the team celebrated DFB-Pokal glory, the Bundesliga club's sporting director Fredi Bobic eventually triggered a purchase option reportedly worth €6m in 2019 to sign Jovic before making a significant profit on that investment.

Eintracht head coach Adi Hutter added: "It was incredibly important for Luka to return to where he had his best period and feels happy. You can tell that's been the case from day one.

"For him to score two such lovely goals speaks volumes about his quality. That sort of thing isn't always easy to explain."

It was as if he had never been away.

Luka Jovic has endured a dismal start to his Real Madrid career but was quickly back among the goals at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Having failed to impress in a season and a half in LaLiga following a €60million transfer from Eintracht to Madrid, Jovic headed back to Frankfurt on loan this week.

And a second debut swiftly followed, with Jovic called from the bench after 62 minutes at home to Schalke.

The game was all square at 1-1 at the time, with Andre Silva's first-half opener immediately cancelled out by Matthew Hoppe, the teenager whose hat-trick last week had secured Schalke's first win in 31 Bundesliga matches.

There was to be no second straight success for the strugglers, however, as Jovic required only 10 minutes to restore Eintracht's lead, hammering Filip Kostic's cutback into the roof of the net.

The loanee then made the points safe in stoppage time as he moved inside past Ozak Kabak to again finish right-footed and clinch a 3-1 win.

"You can tell that the air here is good for him," sporting director Fredi Bobic told Sky Sport afterwards. "The goals were top class, the whole process. That is a great art.

"I always get annoyed that I always have to sell the best players. Now he's back for a short time. That's what I'm most happy about."

With just two LaLiga goals to his name, the brace meant Jovic had netted as many times in 28 minutes back in the Bundesliga as in 32 matches for Madrid in all competitions.

The strikes came from Jovic's only two shots on Sunday, while he also completed 17 of his 18 passes in a lively display.

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