Edouard Mendy, Ruben Dias, N'Golo Kante and Erling Haaland won the positional awards for the 2020-21 Champions League.

Chelsea goalkeeper Mendy kept nine clean sheets in last season's competition as the Blues won the trophy for the second time, beating Manchester City 1-0 in the final.

City defender Dias was named the best defender, while Chelsea's Kante – UEFA's man of the match in each leg of the semi-final and the final – won the prize for midfielders.

Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland was chosen as the best forward in 2020-21.

The players were chosen from a shortlist of 12, who had each received the most points in each positional category following a jury vote. The jury comprised coaches from the 32 clubs that entered into the group stage last season, as well as 55 journalists representing UEFA's 55 member associations. Coaches could not vote for players from their own teams.

Five of the 12 nominees were from Chelsea: Mendy, Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, Kante and Jorginho.

City had three representatives – Ederson, Dias and Kevin De Bruyne – while beaten semi-finalists Real Madrid and PSG provided one each: Thibaut Courtois, and Kylian Mbappe.

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Haaland, who finished as top scorer last season with 10, were the other nominees.

Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi will go up against each other in the Champions League after Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain were drawn into the same group.

Messi and Guardiola enjoyed a close relationship during their time together at Barcelona, but for the first time they will meet with neither of them representing the Catalans.

Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi left Barca at the end of June when his contract expired, and while he was expected to sign on with them again, the Blaugrana's hands were tied due to financial restrictions.

As such, Messi was swiftly snapped up by PSG despite previous links with City and a potential Guardiola reunion.

Another narrative could yet enter the conversation with respect to City versus PSG, as Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo – Messi's long-time rival – has been strongly with a move to the Etihad Stadium.

If Ronaldo does not leave Juve, he will go up against the holders Chelsea – who beat City in last season's final – in Group H.

There will be a repeat of the 2020-21 Europa League final in Group F as Manchester United have been offered the opportunity for revenge against Villarreal, who defeated Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men in a remarkable penalty shoot-out in Belfast at the end of May.

Three of Spain's other representatives have tough groups to contend with: Barcelona were drawn with Bayern Munich, Benfica and Dynamo Kiev; Real Madrid will again face Inter and Shakhtar Donetsk as they did in 2020-21; and Atletico Madrid must go up against Liverpool, Porto and Milan.

Sevilla, on the other hand, are in the seemingly even Group G with Ligue 1 winners Lille, Salzburg and Wolfsburg, the latter of whom are back in the competition for only the third time.

First-time qualifiers Sheriff of Moldova joined Madrid, Inter and Shakhtar in Group D.

 

Group A: Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig, Club Brugge

Group B: Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, Porto, Milan

Group C: Sporting CP, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax, Besiktas

Group D: Inter, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sheriff

Group E: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Benfica, Dynamo Kiev

Group F: Villarreal, Manchester United, Atalanta, Young Boys

Group G: Lille, Sevilla, Salzburg, Wolfsburg

Group H: Chelsea, Juventus, Zenit, Malmo

Will Kylian Mbappe join Real Madrid before the transfer window shuts?

It has been confirmed that Mbappe wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain, despite Lionel Messi's arrival.

Madrid must now strike an agreement with PSG or wait to sign the France international on a free transfer.

 

TOP STORY – PSG NAME MBAPPE PRICE

Paris Saint-Germain want €220million for wantaway Real Madrid target Kylian Mbappe, according to the front page of Thursday's Diario AS.

Madrid reportedly offered €160m for Mbappe, who is out of contract at the end of 2021-22, as PSG sporting director Leonardo confirmed the Frenchman's desire to leave Paris on Wednesday.

PSG are said to named their price, with RMC claiming Madrid will make an improved offer for Mbappe.

Premier League giants Liverpool and Manchester United have also been linked.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sky Italia's Gianluca Di Marzio says Manchester City are offering Cristiano Ronaldo a two-year deal, though the Premier League holders are unwilling to pay Juventus a transfer fee. There has been talk of Gabriel Jesus or Bernardo Silva being included in a possible deal to sign Ronaldo. It comes after City failed to prise Harry Kane from Tottenham, while Ronaldo has been linked with former club United as well as PSG and Madrid.

Chelsea have readied their final bid for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, per Fabrizio Romano. The Champions League holders are also trying to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez – a target for rivals United.

Antonio Conte is one of the top choices to replace Mikel Arteta if Arsenal sack their manager, according to the Independent. Conte is without a club after guiding Inter to the Scudetto in 2020-21.

- Di Marzio claims Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are interested in Brest midfielder Romain Faivre, who is in talks with Milan.

Lazio are pushing to sign Eintracht Frankfurt star Filip Kostic as Joaquin Correa nears a switch to Inter, reports Calciomercato.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored four times as Bayern Munich launched their DFB-Pokal campaign with an emphatic 12-0 rout of Bremer.

Jamal Musiala grabbed a brace while Malik Tillman, Leroy Sane, Michael Cuisance, Bouna Sarr and Corentin Tolisso were also on target as Julian Nagelsmann’s side eased through to the second round of the competition.

On top of his four goals, Choupo-Moting also provided assists for Musiala and Sarr on a miserable day for fifth-tier Bremer, who had Ugo Nobile sent off later on.

For Bayern, it was the second-highest margin of victory in their history after a 16-1 thrashing of Waldberg in 1997.

Though much-changed by Nagelsmann, Bayern never looked in danger of suffering only a second defeat in 24 competitive matches against sides below Germany's top three divisions.

Just eight minutes had passed when Sane's cutback was fired in off the underside of the crossbar by Choupo-Moting, who turned provider in the 16th minute with a neat lay-off for Musiala to slot home.

That same combination unlocked Bremer once more 11 minutes later, with Jan-Luca Warm turning Musiala's shot over his own goal line.

Choupo-Moting tapped in his second as the hosts were caught out from the subsequent kick-off, before completing his hat-trick with a 35th-minute header from close range.

Bayern picked up from where they left off with two goals within three minutes of the restart. Substitute Tillman pounced on poor play before slotting home, while Musiala rifled in his second less than 60 seconds later.

Sane got in on the act in the 65th minute, before Nobile was sent off for dragging back Tillman as he raced into the box.

Four goals followed in the final 10 minutes. Cuisance and Choupo-Moting took the visitors' tally into double figures, while further strikes from Sarr and Tolisso completed the rout.

What does it mean? Bayern breeze through

On the front foot from the very start, Bayern endured little difficulty as they progressed to the second round of the competition for the 27th consecutive season.

You must go back to August 1994 for the last time they fell at the first hurdle, going down 1-0 against third-tier Vestenbergsgreuth.

Choupo-Moting proves his worth

With Robert Lewandowski rested, Choupo-Moting was handed a rare opportunity to lead the line and build some momentum.

The Cameroon international did not let Nagelsmann down with four goals, while providing five key passes including three assists.

Muller struggles to make an impact

One of four surviving players from Sunday's win over Cologne, Muller was handed the captain's armband by Nagelsmann.

However, the Germany international only managed 25 touches and completed 12 passes before he was substituted at half-time.

What's next?

Bayern return to Bundesliga action on Saturday as they welcome Hertha Berlin to the Allianz Arena, while Bremer travel to Leher in the Bremen-Liga next Thursday.

Julian Nagelsmann confirmed Bayern Munich will be without Robert Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer for their DFB-Pokal clash with Bremer on Wednesday.

The head coach is set to rotate as Bayern launch their campaign against the fifth-tier side at Werder Bremen's Weserstadion.

Bayern are aiming to reclaim the trophy after suffering a surprise defeat against Holstein Kiel in the second round of last season's competition.

Nagelsmann has overseen an unbeaten start to the new season; Bayern taking four points from their opening two games while also retaining the Supercup after a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund.

And the head coach revealed he will rest some of his senior players ahead of their trip to Bremen.

"Manuel [Neuer] will be rested, as his foot has flared up again, as we expected," he said. "He won't travel to the game. 

"Neither will Robert [Lewandowski], he will stay behind and do some intensive training here. The same goes for Leon [Goretzka].

"For them [Bremer], this is a once-in-a-lifetime game. In the end, the fact is that we need to and want to win, which means that we need to remain focused on the task at hand." 

Nagelsmann will soon be able to call upon the services of Lucas Hernandez, who returned to team training on Tuesday.

The France international underwent surgery on a meniscus injury at the beginning of July and missed Bayern’s first three games of the season.

Julian Nagelsmann insists Bayern Munich have a lot of room for improvement after narrowly defeating Cologne 3-2 on Sunday.

Serge Gnabry's brace, coupled with Robert Lewandowski's opener, ensured Bayern's new head coach his first Bundesliga win at the second time of asking.

The reigning German champions failed to win in their opener for the first time in 10 years, having drawn 1-1 with Borussia Monchengladbach, and Nagelsmann compared the two opening fixtures.

"The result is good," the 34-year-old told reporters. "It was a wild game that had parallels to the game against Gladbach.

"We still have a lot to do and improve. We lost the ball too often and we could have done better.

"Football is a sport of results, and in the end the result was good from our point of view today."

Gnabry's double was his fourth multiple-goal return against Cologne, while Lewandowski equalled his own record 12-game Bundesliga scoring run with a close-range finish.

However, Leroy Sane was hauled off at half-time amid first-half jeers from the crowd.

"We didn't play a good game in the first half as a whole team," Nagelsmann continued.

"I heard the whistles [from the crowd towards Sane]. The fans should support their own players – anything else does not help."

Sane's half-time replacement, Jamal Musiala impressed to create Lewandowski's tap-in and Nagelsmann hailed the Germany international's "outstanding game offensively" and lauded his one-on-one abilities to attack.

Asked whether Bayern would be active in the transfer window, having only spent money on Dayot Upamecano, Nagelsmann responded: "Transfers? We'll see what's possible. If there's something, then we will announce it. If not, then we will work with what we have."

Julian Nagelsmann picked up his first Bundesliga win with Bayern Munich on Sunday as they edged past Cologne 3-2 courtesy of a Serge Gnabry brace.

Robert Lewandowski broke the deadlock in the 50th minute, scoring in his 12th consecutive Bundesliga appearance, and Gnabry inflicted further damage eight minutes later.

Cologne refused to surrender, though, Anthony Modeste heading home before Mark Uth equalised to cap off three goals in four chaotic second-half minutes.

Gnabry, however, netted his second to restore Bayern's advantage, arrowing into the roof of the net and sealing three points for the hosts.

Thomas Muller spurned the first chance of the game, poking a sliding finish wide after a driving run by Lewandowski down the right.

Niklas Sule then enjoyed a rare foray forward, twisting and turning inwards before firing towards goal, where Timo Horn reacted acrobatically to tip over.

The hosts failed to make their 62 per cent of first-half possession pay but a double half-time change proved vital, Jamal Musiala – introduced for Leroy Sane – creating the opener.

The substitute roamed forwards before pulling back for Lewandowski to tap-in, the finish equalling his personal record of 12 consecutive Bundesliga appearances with a goal, previously achieved with Borussia Dortmund in 2012-13.

Gnabry made matters worse for the visitors, collecting his 10th goal in eight appearances against Sunday's opponents by arriving at the back post to convert Josip Stanisic's low cross.

However, Cologne pulled a goal back with their first shot on target, Modeste redirecting a header past Manuel Neuer from Jonas Hector's delivery.

Uth shocked the home crowd with his 62nd-minute equaliser, diving to prod low past Neuer after Kingsley Ehizibue's curler from the right.

The visitors remained level for only eight minutes, though, Gnabry firing powerfully past Horn before Lewandowski almost added a fourth, only to be denied by the crossbar.

What does it mean? Nagelsmann on the board as control over Cologne continues

Nagelsmann became the first Bayern boss in 10 years not to win on the opening day of a new Bundesliga season with a 1-1 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach.

However, the former RB Leipzig coach picked up the DFL-Supercup with a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in midweek and now has his first Bundesliga win with his new side.

The hosts have now won each of their past eight games against Cologne and are undefeated in 15 such Bundesliga fixtures, too – their longest winning streak and the longest unbeaten run against any current team in the top flight.

Lewandowski marches on

Lewandowski's opener means he has now scored a goal in every one of his past 12 Bundesliga games.

However, the Poland forward's link-up play was also excellent – making a game-high two key passes and competing for the joint-most duels (17) as he embroiled himself in a battle with Jorge Mere and Rafael Czichos.

Nagelsmann's star attacker now has four goals across all competitions for the season and he will be hoping he can fire his team to their 10th straight Bundesliga title.

Lost Ljubicic

Dejan Ljubicic set the tone for a poor performance with a needless booking in the first half for not retreating to block Bayern's quick free-kick.

The midfielder completed just 61.5 per cent of his 26 attempted passes, while also touching the ball just 37 times as he struggled against Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka in the middle of the park.

What's next?

Bayern travel to Bremer on Wednesday in the DFB-Pokal before hosting Hertha Berlin on Saturday. Meanwhile, Cologne return to RheinEnergieSTADION to face Bochum on the same day.

Julian Nagelsmann is not at all concerned about transfer speculation surrounding Robert Lewandowski, believing it is "completely normal" that other clubs would be interested in the Bayern Munich superstar.

Reports emerged this week of Lewandowski wanting to leave Bayern, where he has been the main man since signing from Borussia Dortmund in 2014.

But a big fee is said to deter potential suitors, while Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola – Lewandowski's former Bayern coach – completely dismissed the idea of signing the forward on Friday.

In the meantime, Lewandowski continues to perform for the Bundesliga champions.

Having last term scored 41 times in the league – breaking Gerd Muller's single-season record – the 32-year-old, who turns 33 on Saturday, has maintained his lofty standards in the opening weeks of the new campaign.

With a brace against Dortmund in the DFL-Supercup in midweek, Lewandowski now has a record seven goals in that match and has netted in 14 successive games in all competitions – two shy of another Muller record.

Nagelsmann took that display as evidence of Lewandowski's continued happiness in Bavaria.

Asked about the rumours ahead of Bayern's game against Cologne, the coach said: "That doesn't bother me at all, if I'm being honest. That is part of the business.

 

"If I were not coach at Bayern but at another big club, I would always ask about that name and hope that something would work. It's because he scores a lot and is the most dangerous striker out there. This is completely normal. 

"The only thing that matters to me is how the player reacts – and Lewy is in top shape. He talks a lot to me and the players in training. He is not a satellite that isolates himself and hopes that he will go away. 

"He feels good, which was also shown by his performance against Dortmund, even in training. A player who wants to leave would not do that. 

"It is part of life that there are rumours. Live and let live – both journalists and players. When the player is in a good mood, and that's the case, we're all happy."

Before equalling Muller's streak, Lewandowski can first match his own best stretch. With a goal against Cologne, he would net in 12 league games in a row – only previously doing so for Dortmund in 2012-13.

Pep Guardiola had no interest in discussing a potential move for Robert Lewandowski as Manchester City still wait to make a striker signing.

Guardiola was speaking at City's news conference ahead of Saturday's game against Norwich City, where he revealed Kevin De Bruyne is a doubt with an ankle issue.

Even without De Bruyne, City should have enough in creative areas against Norwich, having signed Jack Grealish for a British record £100million fee.

But Guardiola's men remain light up front, with Sergio Aguero departing for Barcelona and a move for Harry Kane so far failing to come to fruition.

Reports this week of Lewandowski's unhappiness at Bayern Munich, Guardiola's former club, prompted questions about possible interest.

Lewandowski was at Bayern for just two of Guardiola's three seasons but still trailed only Thomas Muller (79 and 115) for goals (67) and goal involvements (79) during the Catalan coach's tenure.

It might be an effective link-up, but Guardiola does not anticipate Lewandowski heading to the Premier League any time soon.

"Next question," he replied, as the news conference opened on Lewandowski. "Listen, Lewy is a so important player for Bayern Munich. He will stay in Bayern Munich.

"I'm not going to talk to you and your colleagues today, with 11 days left, about the transfer market. I don't know what's going to happen, nobody knows.

"Tomorrow we have a game, prepare the Arsenal game when we finish. When we come back after the international break, we'll have all the squad to fight for every game in the season."

Even if neither Kane nor an alternative like Lewandowski were signed, Guardiola would be "more than happy" with his City squad.

"It's the same team, except Sergio for Jack Grealish, that we had last season," he explained.

Asked about team news for the Norwich game, Guardiola initially said there was "no news, good news" before a specific query about De Bruyne.

"Kevin couldn't train today, so there is news," he said. "He couldn't train today, a little disturbance, so we will see tomorrow if he can play or not."

City lost their season opener 1-0 at Tottenham and only rivals Manchester United (in 1992-93, 1995-96 and 2012-13) have previously won the Premier League title after being beaten in their first match.

The reigning champions have lost their past three games in all competitions 1-0, part of a run of five defeats in seven, as many as in their previous 56 matches.

Were that miserable run to continue against Norwich, though, it would be unprecedented for a Guardiola side, as he has never seen a team lose four in a row or go four without scoring.

City last lost four straight in August 2006 and have not lost four without reply since March 1986.

Guardiola certainly is not worrying yet, adding: "We have 111 points to play, 37 games.

"I cannot deny I would have preferred to have three points, but tomorrow we have the challenge to win the first three.

"We have to win games, of course, if we want to be there close to the top of the league, but it's the second fixture.

"Many games and many things are going to happen this season. What I would like to see is the team getting better."

Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann has credited his predecessor Hansi Flick with the team's success in the DFL-Supercup.

Bayern beat Klassiker rivals Borussia Dortmund 3-1 at Signal Iduna Park, Robert Lewandowski scoring twice against his old club either side of Thomas Muller's simple finish and a sensational strike from Marco Reus.

It sealed Bayern's ninth Supercup win in total, and their second in a row after they beat the same opponents in 2020, under then-coach Flick, who left the club at the end of last season.

Flick, now the Germany coach, led Bayern to two Bundesliga titles, the Champions League, a DFB-Pokal, FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup – as well as the Supercup – during his 18-month spell, and was watching on from the stands as part of a limited-capacity but vociferous crowd on Tuesday.

For Nageslmann, the victory represents his first trophy as a coach. Indeed, the 34-year-old had only overseen one appearance in a final – RB Leipzig's 4-1 defeat to Dortmund in May.

Despite finally claiming silverware to get his Bayern tenure off to a strong start, Nagelsmann insisted the credit had to go to Flick and the players who claimed a ninth successive Bundesliga title in 2020-21.

"We thoroughly deserved to win. It's not easy against Dortmund with the attacking power that they have," Nagelsmann told Sat.1.

"The title is the reward for last season because we won the title. Not me, but Hansi Flick. The title belongs more to others than it does to me.

"I was forced by the boys to pick up the trophy, they picked me up a little – 'now you finally have a title too'."

Describing winning his first trophy and an eagerness for more, Nagelsmann stated he has "small hamster teeth", adding: "Everyone knows that this has a meaning, also for me. But also, for the dressing room.

"At Bayern there is pressure, you have to win games and win titles, so it was important."

 

Lewandowski was in imperious form on his old stomping ground, converting the two big chances that came his way in clinical fashion – his first goal a fantastic header, his second a cool finish following Manuel Akanji's mistake – as the Bayern star paid homage to one of German football's greats, Gerd Muller, who passed away over the weekend.

"It means a lot to me. It's the next title win for us," said Lewandowski, who broke Muller's record of 40 goals in a single Bundesliga season last term.

"It's great for the fans to watch the game live. It's great for the team. We can enjoy it."

While Lewandowski starred at one end, Erling Haaland toiled to no avail at the other, though Dortmund's free-scoring forward was unfortunate to have a goal ruled out for offside.

Reus was the main threat for Marco Rose's team, with his three attempts and two key passes leading the way.

"It was an unnecessary defeat. Bayern had their chances, we knew they would," said Dortmund's captain.

"There was no faulting our energy levels and passion, but titles have a habit of ending up at Bayern."

Bayern Munich were not the biggest club in their own city, let alone the country, when Gerd Muller signed in 1964.

The Bavarians' major trophy haul at that time consisted of a single league championship in 1932 and a maiden DFB-Pokal success 25 years later. Muller joined a second-tier side.

On Tuesday, two days after the club great's passing, Bayern celebrated his life in fitting fashion with a record-extending ninth DFL-Supercup triumph – a competition they have to win silverware simply to enter.

The Bundesliga dominance, cup after cup and six European crowns... all that history can be traced back to Muller's decision to head for Bayern rather than rivals 1860 Munich.

He was there for the first four Bundesliga titles – the top scorer on each occasion – and for three European Cups in three years, Muller's standards slipping as Jupp Heynckes was the leading marksman in the third season.

In 15 years, the remarkable forward tallied 566 Bayern goals, a benchmark that stands to this day. Muller's Bundesliga total of 365 is also unsurpassed.

As those numbers show, breaking a Muller record is no simple task, but Robert Lewandowski finally did so last season when scoring 41 goals in a single Bundesliga campaign, edging beyond the legend's 40 in 1971-72.

"I achieved a goal that once seemed impossible to imagine," Lewandowski wrote on his Twitter page in May. "I'm so unbelievably proud to make history for Bayern, and to play a part in creating the stories that fans will tell their children – following in the footsteps of legends like Gerd Muller."

 

It made sense then for Lewandowski to be front and centre again at Signal Iduna Park as Muller was remembered.

He clutched a number nine shirt ahead of kick-off as a moment's silence broke into applause, the Borussia Dortmund fans recognising a legacy that goes beyond club lines.

It was a lovely tribute, but Muller would have been more familiar with Lewandowski's subsequent nods to his greatest predecessor.

Muller was the ultimate 18-yard box centre-forward, a mantle Lewandowski has taken on and exhibited expertly against his former side.

Manuel Neuer, another of the Bayern players carrying a Muller shirt, kept Dortmund at bay at one end – finishing with four saves – before his club's latest outstanding number nine showed Erling Haaland and BVB's team of young pretenders how it is done at the other.

"Lewandowski has proven over several years now that he is a world-class striker," coach Julian Nagelsmann said before the game. "Erling hasn't been in the league that long, although his scoring rate is great."

That proven Lewandowski class brought a brutal, brilliant opener, his header from Serge Gnabry's left-wing cross thumped into the bottom-left corner. The outcome of a chance that was worth a moderate 0.29 expected goals (xG) was never in doubt.

And Lewandowski was involved again, in the box again, when Bayern appeared to put the game beyond doubt four minutes after half-time, waving a leg towards Alphonso Davies' low cross in an attempt at a flick that ran instead for Thomas Muller's tap-in, the late Bayern superstar's namesake having been the third visiting player to hold up a red shirt in a pre-match show of respect.

Perhaps the linesman was a Gerd Muller fan, too, twice ruling in Bayern's favour when Youssoufa Moukoko and Haaland each ran away to score – the second call considerably closer than the first.

There was no ruling out a blistering Marco Reus strike, which briefly threatened Bayern's control, but Manuel Akanji's dallying let Lewandowski in again and the Dortmund fans know exactly how that tends to go. This time with an xG of 0.25 – merely the fifth-best chance of the match – the 32-year-old made it look routine.

A seventh Supercup strike, Lewandowski extended another record that is all his own – albeit in a competition Muller never graced.

The Poland international is Muller's nearest challenger in Bundesliga terms, with 278 goals, and deserves to be counted in such company, even if he has just added to Bayern's reputation rather than transformed it. Lewandowski has also now scored in 14 successive matches for Bayern, which means he needs to score in just two more consecutive games to match another of Muller's all-time records (16, in 1969-70).

Meanwhile, this was not Haaland's night, but he too could have one eye on the sort of standards Muller set. Still just 21, Haaland has 42 goals in 44 Bundesliga games – or one every 84.8 minutes – and Hasan Salihamidzic has acknowledged Bayern would be "amateurs" not to consider signing the striker.

Given the apparent inevitability of a transfer at the end of this campaign, the BVB sensation would seemingly have to join Germany's powerhouse to stay in the Bundesliga and close on Muller or Lewandowski.

Bayern do not need a replacement up front just yet, though, after their latest legend ensured 2021-22 would continue an almost constant theme since Muller broke all barriers, with silverware heading back to Bavaria.

Julian Nagelsmann claimed his first piece of silverware at Bayern Munich as Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller secured a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in the DFL-Supercup.

In a frantic encounter between the Bundesliga champions and DFB-Pokal winners at Signal Iduna Park, it was Bayern who defended their crown in the third straight Supercup meeting between the Klassiker rivals.

Lewandowski broke Gerd Muller's long-standing Bundesliga record of 40 goals in a single season with the final kick of 2020-21, and he fittingly opened the scoring two days after the Bayern great's passing.

Muller put Bayern in complete control and, though Marco Reus' stunner gave Dortmund hope, Lewandowski capitalised on Manuel Akanji's error to seal victory.

Dortmund were their own worst enemy from the off, with Serge Gnabry, Muller and Kingsley Coman all squandering gilt-edged chances after sloppy play from Marco Rose's team.

Yet it was Neuer who made the first save of the match. Hailed as "the best goalkeeper in the world" by Nagelsmann, the Bayern stalwart stuck out a leg to spectacularly deny Reus.

Dortmund were caught cold from a free-kick as the intensity continued, Lewandowski's effort blocked on the line by Axel Witsel.

Youssoufa Moukoko, the youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history, thought he had nosed Dortmund ahead in the 36th minute only for the offside flag to halt his celebrations, before Neuer kept out Erling Haaland.

Bayern made their fortune count, Lewandowksi floating into the area to direct a thumping header beyond Gregor Kobel.

Lewandowski was involved again as, four minutes after the break, Bayern doubled their lead, the striker doing enough to prevent Kobel from collecting Alphonso Davies' cross, with Muller turning home.

Dortmund seemed to have an immediate lifeline when Haaland raced through and slotted home, but the offside flag again came to Bayern's rescue.

Bayern's lead was cut in sensational style after the hour, Reus curling a sumptuous first-time strike into the top-right corner.

Despite the backing of much of the limited-capacity crowd, Dortmund's comeback hopes fell flat 16 minutes from time as Corentin Tolisso pressured Akanji and Lewandowski picked up the scraps to round matters off.

Bayern Munich president Herbert Hainer has explained that the club cannot afford to keep Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich "at any cost".

Goretzka has just 11 months left on his contract with the Bundesliga champions, while Kimmich has two years left on his deal at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern are intent on renewing the duo's contracts with long-term offers, but Hainer was adamant his club will not succumb to excessive wage demands as they attempt to maintain financial stability post-COVID-19 pandemic.

"They will certainly not be kept at any cost," Hainer told Kicker. "The players know what they have at Bayern, they are paid very well here too, everyone gets their salary.

"And they can win titles with us now, and also in the future."

Kimmich joined Bayern in 2015 and has won 16 trophies with the Bavarian giants – 10 of those with midfield partner Goretzka.

Since Kimmich's arrival, only David Alaba (176), Thomas Muller (187) and Robert Lewandowski (189) have played more Bundesliga games than the midfielder (174).

The 26-year-old's 10,620 successful passes are more than any team-mate at the club in the same time period, while he also ranks first for recoveries, having completed 961.

Goretzka, who signed three years after Kimmich, netted five times and provided the same number of Bundesliga assists last term, leading to speculation of a move to Manchester United.

 

Hainer's concerns stretch further than new deals for the midfield pairing.

He rubbished UEFA's reported plans to get rid of Financial Fair Play and introduce a "luxury tax", punishing clubs that exceed an agreed wage cap in Europe's major leagues.

"I'm not at all convinced by this luxury tax," Hainer added. "In the event of violations, a club pays 100 million euros in luxury tax, which is shared among the other clubs.

"This money does not help them decisively and does not really hurt the financial giants. We need valid regulations with clear consequences for fair competition.

"Strong attempts at sanctions have too often been revised or toned down in the past. It doesn't work that way."

Despite trying to balance financial constraints and securing new contracts for key first-team stars, Hainer hinted Bayern could still be active in the transfer window – having only spent money on Dayot Upamecano so far.

"We are monitoring the transfer market, which is open until the end of August, to see whether there are still one or two possibilities," Bayern's president continued.

"But we almost exclusively have national team players of the highest quality, so there is no urgent need to sign someone quickly."

Erling Haaland has been backed to get even better ahead of Borussia Dortmund's DFL-Supercup showdown with Bayern Munich.

Haaland is Dortmund's outstanding star, having scored 62 goals in 61 games in all competitions since his debut for the club in January 2020.

Of players in Europe's top five leagues, only Bayern's Robert Lewandowski (74 in 63) has scored more in that time, while Haaland's shot conversion rate of 33.3 per cent is the best among those with 20 goals or more.

After a cup hat-trick at Wehen Wiesbaden and then a league double against Eintracht Frankfurt, Haaland's 2021-22 tally of five in two games already leads the way. His 15 shots represent another high, as does their expected goals value of 4.6.

Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann praised Haaland ahead of Tuesday's game against Dortmund but said Lewandowski's class was "proven over several years".

Meanwhile, Marco Rose, Nagelsmann's opposite number in the BVB dugout, suggested Haaland could yet get much better.

"Erling wants to be a complete player – he says that himself – and he's making clear progress," Rose said.

 

"He is still young and has so much potential for development. He knows that, too.

"Just imagine he takes full advantage of that, what a footballer he will become. We're working on that together."

Haaland also provided an assist against Frankfurt, with Thorgan Hazard the beneficiary. Hazard will miss the game against Bayern, however.

It is a match Dortmund enter ahead of Bayern in the Bundesliga, with the champions having drawn at Borussia Monchengladbach, and Rose is keen to send a message.

"Every game is a measuring stick. You should definitely try to win," he said.

"It's a prestige duel against Bayern and you can win a title – that's why we should try to win that. We want to show that we are there and ready for the season."

Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann has hailed the "extraordinary" Erling Haaland, but says the Borussia Dortmund star has to maintain his form over several years to compare to Robert Lewandowski.

The two prolific goalscorers are expected to come face-to-face on Tuesday when Dortmund host Bayern at Signal Iduna Park in the 2021 DFL-Supercup, a trophy the Bundesliga champions have won in four of the last five campaigns.

Haaland enters the match on the back of a strong start to the season, having followed up a hat-trick against lower-league Wehen Wiesbaden in the DFB-Pokal with two goals and two assists in Saturday's 5-2 Bundesliga victory against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Norway international Haaland now has 62 goals in 61 appearances since making his BVB debut in January 2020, including 42 goals in 44 Bundesliga games for an average of 1.06 goals per 90 minutes in the competition.

Only ex-Dortmund man Lewandowski can better that return over the same period, scoring 57 goals from an identical number of appearances in the German top flight – an average of 1.35 per 90 minutes.

While Nagelsmann has been impressed by Haaland's incredible season-and-a-half in the Bundesliga, the recently appointed Bayern boss still thinks the 21-year-old has some way to go to match Lewandowski's consistency.

"Lewandowski has proven over several years now that he is a world-class striker," Nagelsmann said at Monday's pre-match news conference. "Erling hasn't been in the league that long, though his scoring rate is great.

"The other difference is age. Lewandowski has a lot more experience on his side than Haaland. In terms of similarities, they are both an unbelievable goal danger. But I am incredibly happy to have Lewandowski here."

 

The weekend win over Frankfurt was the first time Haaland has provided two assists in a single competitive game for Dortmund in his 19 months at the club.

Keeping Haaland off the scoresheet on Tuesday will be a huge task, but Nagelsmann is confident his players – including goalkeeper Manuel Neuer – are capable of doing so in the battle between last term's German cup and league winners.

"He is of course an excellent striker. Extraordinary. In addition to his goals, he is also robust and fast," Nagelsmann said. "We have to get close to him to prevent him from making runs in behind our defence.

"We have to be physically ready and be prepared to initiate the counter-press after we lose the ball so that quick passes up the other end of the field are prevented. We can't prevent that completely, but we still have the best goalkeeper in the world."

Nagelsmann has endured a difficult start to life as Bayern boss, not helped by a number of players returning late to training, with the reigning Bundesliga champions yet to win any of his five games in charge.

Bayern were held 1-1 by Borussia Monchengladbach in their first competitive game under Nagelsmann on Friday and the 34-year-old coach is eager to get off the mark with some silverware in midweek.

"I would like to sign for a win tomorrow and then go on and take the title," he said. "Dortmund have started the season well, whereas we're still waiting for that first win, but I wouldn't look into that too much.

"Of course this is an important match for us, but it's not necessarily important for the rest of the season. Both teams have a few injuries and the season is still young, but we are going there with the aim to win."

Nagelsmann also paid tribute to Bayern's all-time leading goalscorer Gerd Muller, who passed away at the weekend at the age of 75.

"My condolences to Gerd's family and friends," Nagelsmann said. "Yesterday was a sad day for everyone involved in the club. Gerd played a lot of great games and scored some great goals."

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