Bayern Munich missed the chance to open an 11-point gap at the Bundesliga summit as they were held to a thrilling 1-1 draw by Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.

Julian Nagelsmann's side were 5-0 up after 37 minutes in the reverse meeting last October, and needed just 18 minutes at the Allianz Arena to take the lead through Niklas Sule.

Thomas Muller's own goal levelled things up in the first half, but neither team could find a winner after the interval despite an end-to-end affair that produced a host of opportunities.

The result leaves Bayern nine points clear of second-placed Dortmund, who have a game in hand and are not in action until March 13, while Gerardo Seoane's Leverkusen sit 14 adrift of the leaders in third.

 

Amine Adli drilled the first chance of the contest narrowly wide for Leverkusen, and it was Bayern who opened the scoring shortly after.

Sule slammed past Lukas Hradecky following Charles Aranguiz's goal-line clearance from a deflected Joshua Kimmich corner, before Serge Gnabry flashed just wide.

Parity was soon restored when Muller poked Kerem Demirbay's free-kick into his own net, and Leverkusen should have headed into half-time ahead.

Adli rounded Sven Ulreich following Dayot Upamecano's wayward pass but could only strike the post, before the same visiting player shot wide when clean through, and then the Bayern goalkeeper thwarted Aranguiz minutes later.

Jamal Musiala forced a smart Hradecky stop after the break, while Florian Wirtz's deft touch squirmed just off target with Ulreich seemingly beaten at the other end.

Hradecky denied substitute Marcel Sabitzer when one-on-one immediately after his introduction as Bayern's push for a winning goal came to no avail.

Julian Nagelsmann confirmed that Manuel Neuer returned to full training on Friday, but a home clash with Bayer Leverkusen will come too soon for Bayern Munich's goalkeeper.

Neuer required knee surgery in February and has not featured since a 3-2 win over RB Leipzig, in which he matched Oliver Kahn's all-time record of 310 Bundesliga victories by a player. He achieved the first 77 triumphs with former club Schalke.

The Germany international – who holds the record for the most clean sheets in the Bundesliga (209), having surpassed Kahn (196) in 2021 – returned to light training late last month, but Nagelsmann confirmed the 35-year-old is now back into full team sessions.

While Neuer will be unavailable for the meeting with Leverkusen at Allianz Arena, the Bayern head coach suggested a return for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Salzburg on Tuesday could be a possibility.

"Manu did a little more today for the first time, also in team training," Nagelsmann told reporters at a pre-match news conference.

"Things are looking good. He still feels a little twinge when he has to stand up from a deep knee bend. He won't be an option for the squad tomorrow, that would be naive. 

"We'll have to see how sensible that is for Salzburg. We'll have to wait and see how he reacts. He hasn't lost any of his quality."

 

Bayern sit eight points clear at the summit of the German top flight ahead of their clash with third-placed Leverkusen, who are 14 adrift of the leaders.

Nagelsmann's team won the reverse fixture 5-1 and were 5-0 up after just 37 minutes – only in a 7-1 win at home against Hoffenheim in 2012 have they lead by five goals at an earlier point in a league match (after 35 minutes).

However, Leverkusen have taken 44 points from their 24 games in this campaign – the last time they had more at this stage was in 2012-13 (45) – and Nageslmann is expecting a stern challenge.

Indeed, both Bayern, who have managed 75 goals, a Bundesliga record for any team, and Leverkusen (63) have never before found the net as many times after 24 Bundesliga matches as they have done this season.

"A goal spectacle would be good for the spectators, but only to a limited extent for the coaches," Nagelsmann added. "Game control and the defence will be particularly important. 

"[Florian] Wirtz has the ability to move between the lines. [Jeremie] Frimpong initiates a lot, they have a very high pace and a lot of quality. We have to be prepared for that. 

"The first game [against Leverkusen] was very impressive, but we could have conceded a goal or two more.

"I don't expect them to be as offensive as they were in the first meeting and I expect them to keep pushing up but a little bit lower than they have been in recent years."

Niklas Sule, who has agreed to join Borussia Dortmund when his contract expires at the end of the season, also comes back into contention, and Nagelsmann believes the centre-back will continue giving his all for the club until he departs.

"I have a clear opinion," Nagelsmann said. "There is a certain contractual situation, the contract is limited and expires. 

"A player ideally extends, is sold or a contract expires. If the player continues who has the desire and does everything to be successful, I would always let the player play. 

"In many cases, things turn out well for the club. Sometimes things turn out differently, like with [David] Alaba [who joined Real Madrid at the end of his contract] or Sule. 

"That's part of it. You try to get the player on your side for a long time so that he gives everything for the club."

Victor Osimhen has netted 11 goals in all competitions, prompting admiration from some top clubs.

The Napoli striker is valued at around €80million by the Serie A leaders.

Manchester United are understood to be interested in Osimhen.

TOP STORY – REAL TO RIVAL MAN UTD FOR OSIMHEN

The race for Napoli forward Osimhen is heating up with Real Madrid joining United in pursuit of his signature, according to Calciomercato.

Osimhen's Napoli contract does not expire until 2025 but both clubs are ready to flex their muscles and move for him in the off-season transfer window.

The 23-year-old forward's stock has risen dramatically since Napoli signed him for €70m from Lille in 2020.

ROUND-UP

- Inter are lining up a move for Borussia Monchengladbach's Marcus Thuram as they prepare for Lautaro Martinez to be prized away amid interest from Manchester City, claims The Sun.

- Nicolo Schira claims that Milan have agreed personal terms with Lille defender and Newcastle United target Sven Botman, who has been lured by a five-year deal.

- Barcelona are set to join the race for Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves, who has interest from Arsenal and Manchester United, reports the Mail.

- The Express claims that Aston Villa are interested in manager Steven Gerrard's ex-Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez along with Milan's Franck Kessie .

- Teenage England international Jude Bellingham has opted to remain with Borussia Dortmund for one more season, claims Bild.

- Kicker claims that Roma have joined the pursuit for Stuttgart's Sasa Kalajdzic along with Tottenham, West Ham, Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig .

- West Ham are interested in Bristol City striker Antoine Semenyo, according to The Mirror, while Celtic are also tracking him.

Paul Pogba's future at Manchester United has been the subject of widespread speculation.

The 28-year-old midfielder will be out of contract at the end of this season.

Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are among the sides linked with the World Cup winner.

TOP STORY – JUVE TO PRIORITISE POGBA DEAL

Juventus have made signing Manchester United midfielder Pogba their top priority, reports Calciomercato.

Pogba has regularly been linked with a move away from Old Trafford as he stalls on a new deal with the Red Devils.

The Frenchman spent four years with the Bianconeri from 2012 to 2016 and they are dreaming of his return.

 

ROUND-UP

- Mundo Deportivo reports that Roma are leading the way to sign Mexico international Hector Herrera, who is expected to leave Atletico Madrid at the end of this season.

- Milan have swooped in on Newcastle United target Sven Botman and are set to beat them to the Lille defender's signature, claims Calciomercato.

- Milan midfielder Franck Kessie's next destination is becoming more likely, with Barcelona moving closer to sealing a deal for the Ivorian on a free transfer, reports SPORT.

- Fichajes reports that Crystal Palace have enquired with Real Madrid about their asking price for midfielder Dani Ceballos .

- Robert Lewandowski is out of contract in 2023 and wants a new deal with Bayern Munich but no talks have yet taken place, claims Fabrizio Romano.

Robert Lewandowski hinted at friction with Bayern Munich over his future after the Bundesliga leaders beat Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

Leroy Sane struck in the second half to seal a 1-0 victory at the Waldstadion and move the champions nine points clear of Borussia Dortmund, who play Augsburg on Sunday.

It was only the second time in his past nine league appearances that Lewandowski failed to get on the scoresheet, with goalkeeper Kevin Trapp making three saves to deny the striker.

Lewandowski's form in 2021-22 has nonetheless been exceptional, the Poland star having scored 28 times in just 24 league games along with nine in seven in the Champions League.

There is uncertainty around the 33-year-old's future, though, with his contract expiring at the end of 2022-23 and no clarity on whether he will extend that deal.

It was put to sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic that Bayern could be tempted to sell Lewandowski should an offer in the region of €50million be made in the next transfer window, but he told Sky: "No, Lewa is of course a very, very important part of our team.

"He is on his way to firing us to titles again, so that's out of the question."

He added Bayern would "of course do everything possible" to extend Lewandowski's contract, but the player himself was left puzzled by the comments.

"I'm hearing that for the first time," he said, as quoted by Spox.

"I'm calm. I know that, with my experience and at my age, I have to stay calm. It's important for me to focus on my game.

"I know what football looks like and how everything works. What's important to me is what happens in the game next week."

Bayern Munich put pressure back on Borussia Dortmund as they battled to a 1-0 victory at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

The leaders were kept at bay by Oliver Glasner's side until Leroy Sane struck with 19 minutes of normal time remaining.

The victory, a first against Glasner for Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann in his Bundesliga coaching career at the sixth attempt, moved the champions nine points clear of Dortmund at the top of the table ahead of their clash with Augsburg on Sunday.

Frankfurt largely contained Bayern in a cagey first half, although Kevin Trapp had to make a strong double save to keep out Joshua Kimmich's volley and Kingsley Coman's follow-up.

Robert Lewandowski was denied following a good throughball from Serge Gnabry and Trapp sprung to keep out another effort from the striker two minutes later.

Just at it looked like Bayern were running out of ideas, Kimmich slid the ball through to Sane in the box, and the winger kept his composure to slot past Trapp.

Frankfurt mounted some late pressure, leading to a few scrambles in the Bayern box, but Sven Ulreich was mostly untroubled in goal.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting ignored a free Sane, shooting straight at Trapp when a cross seemed the better option, but Frankfurt could not punish the error.

Bayern Munich have announced that Thomas Muller has tested positive for COVID-19.

The veteran forward contracted the virus for the first time in February 2021 following the Club World Cup in Doha.

Muller has now returned a positive coronavirus test for a second occasion, with the reigning Bundesliga champions confirming he will serve another period of self-isolation.

That likely rules him out of the clash with Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday as Julian Nagelsmann's side look to extend their six-point advantage at the summit of the German top flight.

Muller may target a return for the meeting with Bayer Leverkusen on March 5, dependent on when he returns a negative test and comes back into training.

The Germany international's absence will serve as a blow for the Bavarian team, given he leads the assist charts this season across all competitions at Bayern (19).

Muller has 10 goals to his name - only Robert Lewandowski (39), Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry (both 12) have managed more - and has created a team-leading 89 chances, 20 more than any team-mate.

The 32-year-old has played the most games for his side this term as well (33), and his absence will frustrate Nagelsmann, who is still without Manuel Neuer after he required knee surgery.

The goalkeeper did, however, return to light training on Monday so could provide a boost for Bayern in the near future, with Alexander Nubel currently deputising in goal.

Manuel Neuer's eventual exit from Bayern Munich will be a "bigger problem" than Robert Lewandowski departing, according to former boss Felix Magath.

Neuer joined the Bavarian side from Schalke in 2011 and holds the record for the most clean sheets in the Bundesliga (209), having surpassed Oliver Kahn (196) in 2021.

The Germany international's contract is due to expire at the end of the next season, when he will be 37, leading to speculation over his future at Julian Nagelsmann's team.

The goalkeeper has been absent in recent weeks after undergoing knee surgery, coinciding with a downturn in Bayern form.

Nagelsmann's side were downed 4-2 by Bochum in their first game without their captain and were then held by Salzburg before ending a poor run of form with a 4-1 win over Greuther Furth last time out.

Neuer returned to light training on Monday and Magath, who completed consecutive doubles in charge of Bayern between in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons, believes the 35-year-old is more important to the reigning Bundesliga champions than talisman Lewandowski.

"Bayern and the national team live strongly from Manuel Neuer," Magath said to German outlet Kicker, adding: "Marc-Andre ter Stegen can be very good, but he doesn't have Neuer's charisma. Manuel is a stroke of luck for German football."

When pushed for a comparison between Neuer and Lewandowski, Magath responded: "It will be a bigger problem for Bayern when Neuer is gone."

 

Neuer helped Bayern earn a 3-2 home win over RB Leipzig in his last outing, as he matched Oliver Kahn's all-time record of 310 Bundesliga wins by a player. He achieved the first 77 wins with Schalke.

Meanwhile, Lewandowski has again been in scintillating form this campaign, scoring 39 times across all competitions – 14 more than any other player across Europe's top-five leagues.

The Poland forward currently finds the net once every 71.2 minutes on average, with only Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland managing goals at a faster rate among those to have scored 15 or more in the same group.

While Neuer's return date remains unconfirmed, Lewandowski will hope to continue his prolific term as Bayern look to extend their six-point advantage at the Bundesliga summit when they face Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

Corentin Tolisso suffered a muscle strain in Bayern Munich's 4-1 win over Greuther Furth.

Bayern came from behind to see off the Bundesliga's bottom side with four second-half goals, including two from Robert Lewandowski.

Tolisso was withdrawn from the action in the 25th minute, having gone down in pain grabbing his left thigh after a challenge from Paul Seguin.

"Coco has strained a muscle. We were initially worried that it was something more, but luckily it's 'just' a muscle strain," Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann said afterwards.

Nagelsmann said to DAZN: "How can we replace Coco? With Marcel Sabitzer, with Marc Roca, with Jamal Musiala and hopefully soon with Leon Goretzka again."

Centre-back Lucas Hernandez lasted just 53 minutes of Sunday's game at the Allianz Arena.

However, his issue was not as serious, with Naglesmann adding: "It's not bad with Luci, he has cramp."

Injuries have limited Tolisso to just 12 Bundesliga games this season, scoring two goals.

When the midfielder has played, he has done an excellent job of getting Bayern into attacking positions.

Indeed, only Mainz's Kevin Stoger (26.02) and Bayern team-mate Joshua Kimmich (20.42) have played more successful passes ending in the final third per 90 minutes than Tolisso (18.33) among players to have featured in at least 10 games.

 

Sabitzer (16.43) is fifth on that list while Musiala (15.99) is seventh, making them both excellent candidates to replicate the impact of Tolisso in that regard.

Tolisso's season-high for successful passes into the final third came when he played 32 against Arminia Bielefeld in November. He played 21 and scored the opening goal in last month's 4-1 win at Hertha Berlin and registered 13 in this month's 3-2 win over RB Leipzig, suggesting he was hitting his stride.

Bayern visit Eintracht Frankfurt in their next Bundesliga match on Saturday.

Bayern Munich avoided another slip-up in their pursuit of the Bundesliga title, coming from behind to beat the league's bottom side Greuther Furth 4-1 thanks to a Robert Lewandowski brace.

Julian Nagelsmann's men went into what most expected to be a routine game enduring a blip in form, having lost their last league fixture at Bochum and been held to a 1-1 draw by Salzburg in the Champions League.

It appeared as if their poor run might be extended when Branimir Hrgota gave Greuther a surprise first-half lead.

However, Lewandowski quickly repaired the damage after the interval and an own goal from Sebastian Griesbeck followed by a late header from the Poland striker and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's injury-time effort gave Bayern an ultimately emphatic win.

Greuther were the more threatening side in the first half and got their reward when captain Hrgota's free-kick took a significant deflection and found the top-left corner.

But Bayern needed just 30 seconds of the second half to level matters, Lewandowski turning in from Serge Gnabry's pull back from the right byline was flicked into his path by Choupo-Moting.

The visitors looked increasingly fragile at the back and the turnaround was completed as Thomas Muller's excellent right-wing cross was deflected onto the unfortunate Griesbeck, who could not avoid turning into his own net.

Bayern were not without their own problems at the back, though, Max Christiansen and Marco Meyerhofer each hitting the post for Greuther, but the points were secured when Lewandowski converted from Niklas Sule's header back across goal and Choupo-Moting had the final say after being teed up by Gnabry.

Julian Nagelsmann called for improvements from Bayern Munich and insisted his side must not become disenchanted after two disappointing performances.

The reigning Bundesliga champions are six points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund at the summit, despite falling to a 4-2 loss at Bochum last Saturday.

Nagelsmann's side followed up that disappointing defeat with another unspectacular performance in Salzburg on Wednesday, where they required a late Kingsley Coman strike to secure a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash.

The former RB Leipzig head coach expressed his frustrations with the recent outings but expects his team to bounce back when they travel to Furth on Sunday.

"We want to remain critical and have a certain claim in terms of success," Nagelsmann told reporters at Friday's pre-match news conference.

"We have to back that up, but we mustn't tear ourselves apart either. The tide can turn quickly, there is a lot of evaluation.

"The mood is appropriate for the fact that we have not won twice. Tomorrow's winner learns from today's defeat.

"We had detailed discussions after the game against Bochum. We didn't score an early goal in the second half, it was similar in Salzburg. But the will was obvious there. I was totally satisfied, I'm convinced that as a Bayern player you have the right to be successful.

"And that should also arouse greed. We saw that we lost clearly against a team that isn't aspiring to the Champions League. That should be warning enough. No one walks around with the handbrake on purpose."

 

The Bochum loss was Bayern's first to a newly promoted side in 16 games, but the Bavarians may take confidence from the fact they have not lost two consecutive Bundesliga games against promoted teams since 1997. Furth joined Bochum in climbing out of the second tier last season.

However, Bayern have experienced their worst start to the second half of a top-flight season in 10 years, with only nine points accrued from their first five games of 2022, winning three games and losing twice.

The last time they lost two or more matches in the first five matchdays of the second half of the season was in 2008-09 under Jurgen Klinsmann (three), and Nagelsmann's task could be made more difficult as he revealed doubts over the fitness of Coman and Serge Gnabry.

Nevertheless, Nagelsmann remained balanced in his views as he prepares Bayern for just their sixth meeting in professional football with Furth.

"Football is a head game," he added. "We didn't intentionally play a bad first half in Bochum. You can't shake off the cup game that easily either.

"There's often a black-and-white mindset. We have three points more than last year. We need a little more self-image and sovereignty. The head is an important part of the body.

"It's often the case that you have more to do psychologically than in terms of football. I train a world-class team here.

"You have to recognise the moment when a structure doesn't fit perfectly. In the last three games we haven't been completely in the flow. In the end it's about delivering and not about taking long-term steps."

Manchester United face the prospect of losing key midfielder Paul Pogba on a free transfer at the end of the campaign.

The France international is into the final four months of his existing deal and there are few indications that he is prepared to extend his terms at Old Trafford.

And in a further blow for United, they could see Pogba head to one of their domestic top-flight rivals.


TOP STORY – POGBA OPEN TO PREMIER LEAGUE STAY

The Telegraph reports that Pogba, who rejoined United from Juventus in a big-money deal in 2016, is prepared to wait until the end of the season before deciding on his future.

Signing a new deal with United is said to remain an option, but Pogba will not be short of options should he become available to sign on a free – albeit with big wages to factor in.

The report indicates that the 28-year-old will weigh up any interest from fellow Premier League clubs, with Chelsea and Manchester City having previously been linked.


ROUND-UP

- It is shaping up to be a busy transfer window for United as a number of other players are also out of contract. According to Ekrem Konur, Edinson Cavani and Juan Mata are attracting strong interest from clubs in the Middle East.

- Jesse Lingard is another who could be on his way out of Old Trafford, though The Express claims that the England international is not considering a free transfer to Tottenham. Lingard would reportedly prefer to move abroad ahead of next season.

- Arsenal have joined Everton and Wolves in the race to sign Rafael Leao from Milan, according to La Repubblica. The 22-year-old is enjoying his best campaign to date at San Siro, having registered double figures for goals.

- Italian outlet Tuttosport suggests that Juventus are pushing ahead with plans to sign Nicolo Zaniolo from Serie A rivals Roma, who are supposedly prepared to accept an offer in the region of €40million for a player with two years to run on his deal.

- Leeds United's in-demand winger Raphinha is holding off talks over a new contract at Elland Road, suggests GOAL. The Brazil international has previously been touted as a target for Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.

Julian Nagelsmann acknowledged Bayern Munich made too many mistakes in the first half of their Champions League last-16 first leg against Salzburg but believed they deserved their last-gasp equaliser.

Bayern looked set for another shock result following the weekend defeat to Bochum when Salzburg's Junior Adamu scored in the 21st minute.

That was the first time Bayern had trailed in the Champions League this season, making them the final team in the competition to have done so.

They salvaged a draw in the 90th minute, though, when Kingsley Coman popped up at the back post to put Bayern in control ahead of the return leg in Munich next month.  

The France international's goal saw Bayern extend the longest unbeaten streak away from home by a team in Champions League history to 22 games (W17 D5).

While Nagelsmann was unimpressed with his side's first-half display, he said their performance after the interval warranted at least a draw. 

"We did better in the second half, just like in Bochum," he told DAZN. "In the first half we were too prone to making mistakes in the opposing half. We lost too many balls. 

"The rest of our defence wasn't good, as was the goal we conceded, which is actually relatively easy to defend. A very avoidable goal. We weren't aggressive enough when pushing. It's a balancing act. 

"The equaliser was deserved, we defended with more risk. I saw a lot of cramps in the Salzburg side. That's probably also an indication that we didn't do so badly in the second half."

The average age of Salzburg's starting XI was 23 years and 242 days – the youngest in the knockout stages of the Champions League for any team in almost 19 years, since Ajax in April 2003 against Milan (22 years and 205 days).

Bayern forward Thomas Muller was full of praise for Salzburg's young guns, but he believed the German giants deserved to leave Austria with a draw.

"It's mixed feelings," he said. "Salzburg are a good team and the atmosphere was great. Compliments to the crowd, that's how you imagine football. 

"The general conditions were great, which is why it was fun even though we suffered a lot. In the second half we not only showed a reaction, but were also overwhelmingly superior. 

"It was a good move how we came back. However, it was certainly not our desired result. Sometimes we still lack the courage to position ourselves. In attack, we have to blame ourselves for not making good use of the spaces that were there. 

"We made wrong decisions there. Hats off that we still managed to draw 1-1. I think, to be honest, that was okay."

Kingsley Coman scored a 90th-minute equaliser at Salzburg to salvage a 1-1 draw for a below-par Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Julian Nagelsmann's side received a wave of criticism after a sensational 4-2 Bundesliga defeat to Bochum at the weekend, and they were almost on the wrong end of another upset in Austria on Wednesday.

Junior Adamu looked to have scored the decisive goal after 21 minutes in what was the hosts' first ever game in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Salzburg were denied a famous win late on, though, as Coman stole in at the back post to put Bayern in control ahead of the return leg next month.

 

Four more teams begin their Champions League knockout-stage campaigns on Wednesday when Inter host Liverpool and Bayern Munich travel to Salzburg for the first leg of their last-16 ties.

The clash between European heavyweights Inter and Liverpool at San Siro could potentially be a landmark one for Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, who is one short of becoming the eighth coach – and the first German – to reach 50 wins in the competition.

Salzburg's meeting with Bayern will be a special occasion regardless as the Austrian Bundesliga champions are competing at this stage of the competition for the first time ever.

Bayern are unbeaten in their last 21 away games in the Champions League since September 2017 – the longest-such run in European Cup history – and they beat Salzburg by a combined 9-3 scoreline in last term's group-stage meetings.

With the help of Opta, Stats Perform picks out some of the best of the numbers ahead of Wednesday's pair of last-16 ties.

Inter v Liverpool

Each of the four previous encounters between Inter and Liverpool have come in the knockout rounds of the European Cup and Champions League. Inter advanced over two legs in the 1964-65 semi-finals en route to being crowned the kings of Europe, while Liverpool emerged victorious at this very stage in 2007-08.

Liverpool have won their last two away games against Italian opposition in European competition – just one win fewer than they managed in their previous 14 such encounters – after beating Atalanta in 2020-21 and Milan earlier this season 

Inter have been eliminated from two of their three two-legged knockout ties against English opponents since the Champions League changed format in 2003-04, losing to Liverpool in 2007-08 and Manchester United in 2008-09, before eliminating Chelsea in 2009-10.

The Nerazzurri have won their last two Champions League home matches, which is one more than they managed in their previous nine between November 2018 and September 2021. However, not since between December 2009 and November 2010 – a run of seven victories – have they won three in a row in San Siro in the competition.

Mohamed Salah is in line to make his 50th Champions League appearance for Liverpool. The Egypt international has scored 32 goals in 49 games to date – only Cristiano Ronaldo (51 for Real Madrid) and Robert Lewandowski (36 for Bayern Munich) have ever netted more as of their 50th game for a single club.

Inter will hope Edin Dzeko can continue his good record against Liverpool, having netted in each of his past three meetings with them, scoring once for Manchester City in 2015 and twice for Roma in the semi-finals of this competition in 2017-18. 

Salzburg v Bayern Munich

Bayern are facing Austrian opposition in the knockout stages of a European competition for the fourth time. The German giants have advanced on each of the previous three occasions – against Rapid Vienna in the 1966-67 Cup Winners' Cup and Austria Vienna in successive European Cup campaigns in 1985-86 and 1986-87.

That does not bode well for Salzburg, who have won only one of their last six games against German teams in European competition, conceding 18 goals at an average of three per match. However, that solitary win did come in their most-recent home match – a 3-1 win over Wolfsburg in the group stage.

Julian Nagelsmann's side are one of only three teams with a 100 per cent record in the Champions League this term, along with Liverpool and Ajax. Only three sides prior to this campaign have ever won their first seven games of a Champions League campaign, with Bayern the most recent to do so three seasons ago.

Salzburg will be hoping to follow Atalanta, RB Leipzig (both in 2019-20) and Wolfsburg (2015-16) as only the fourth team to win their first game in the knockout stage of the Champions League.

Robert Lewandowski is set to make his 50th away appearance in UEFA's showpiece competition. The Bayern striker has scored 37 goals to date in those games, which is already the most of any player to have reached that landmark, three more than next-best Lionel Messi.

Lewandowski's 11 direct goal involvements in the group stage were the second-most of any player, behind Ajax's Sebastien Haller (12). Next on the list is team-mate Leroy Sane, who scored five and assisted four more in six appearances.

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