Barcelona are in disarray – out of Champions League and out of money.

Funds are limited at Camp Nou and it is forcing the embattled LaLiga giants to make some tough decisions.

Frenkie de Jong and Marc-Andre ter Stegen could be sold.

 

TOP STORY – DE JONG AND TER STEGEN TO LEAVE CAMP NOU?

Barcelona are willing to sell Frenkie de Jong and Marc-Andre ter Stegen due to the club's finances, according to Diario AS.

Eliminated from the Champions League at the group stage, Barca are in the midst of a financial crisis, having been forced to part with superstar captain Lionel Messi at the start of the season.

Barca head coach Xavi faces a rebuilding job but needs to raise funds, and star midfielder De Jong and goalkeeper Ter Stegen could be sacrificed.

De Jong has been linked with Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Bayern Munich, who have also eyed Ter Stegen.

 

ROUND-UP

- Football Insider says Real Madrid are weighing up a move for former superstar Cristiano Ronaldo if he does not fit into the system of United interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

- ESPN claims Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham, RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara and Kalvin Phillips of Leeds United are key targets for Manchester United. Erling Haaland is also a long-term target of United.

Chelsea are eyeing Leicester City's Wesley Fofana as a replacement for soon-to-be free agent Antonio Rudiger, per Goal. Rudiger has been linked with Real Madrid and Bayern on a free transfer. Preparing for life after Rudiger, Chelsea have also been linked to Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde.

Paris Saint-Germain are looking to move on Mauro Icardi, Rafinha and Abdou Diallo, says L'Equipe. Icardi has been linked with Juventus, Milan, Newcastle United and Tottenham.

Erling Haaland and Mino Raiola have been thinking about the striker's future for two years and have a clear idea of his next move, the agent says.

Haaland joined Borussia Dortmund from Salzburg after the Bundesliga side met his €20million release clause in December 2019.

He has since raced to 51 goals in as many German top-flight appearances, averaging a goal a game to reach his half-century – Haaland the quickest to the milestone in Bundesliga history and the youngest to do so at just 21.

Indeed, among players in Europe's top five leagues, only Robert Lewandowski (100) has scored more goals than Haaland (74) across all competitions since his Dortmund debut on January 18, 2020.

Speculation around a move away from BVB persists, with Haaland's contract reportedly containing a €75m release clause, although club chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has described those claims as "rumour" and would not confirm the clause.

With a host of Europe's biggest clubs rumoured to be interested, Raiola – who represents the 21-year-old – believes he and Haaland hold all the keys in the upcoming transfer windows.

"We have been thinking about his future for two years," Raiola told SPORT1. "We have clear ideas about where he should go and, of course, we look at what the market will offer. 

"With a player like him, we can influence the market, we will not be influenced.

"I changed the transfer market and today we agents have created a new game alongside football: the transfer market. Today two days a week we talk about football, in the other five about the transfer market."

Dortmund, who next travel to Bochum on Saturday, sit four points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich after Julian Nagelsmann's side secured a 3-2 victory in last weekend's Klassiker.

Haaland scored in that game and has four goals in three appearances since returning from a hip injury.

Is a Leeds United midfielder ready to reject a switch to Old Trafford?

Typically, Manchester United are too big to turn down but Kalvin Phillips is believed to be willing to withstand their interest due to the rivalry between the two clubs.

The beneficiaries of such a decision? Liverpool apparently.

 

TOP STORY – PHILLIPS TO TURN DOWN MAN UTD

Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips will snub a move to Manchester United in favour of Premier League rivals Liverpool, according to The Sun.

Phillips has emerged as a target for Leeds' bitter rivals United, while Liverpool are also admirers of the England international.

Wary of the backlash a move to Old Trafford would cause among Leeds fans, Phillips is ready to reject United and join Liverpool.

 

ROUND-UP

Arsenal are plotting a move for Everton star Richarlison, claims Fichajes. The Brazil international scored against Arsenal on Monday, while he has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain.

- Fabrizio Romano reports Borussia Dortmund have made direct contact with Salzburg star Karim Adeyemi. The Germany international is Dortmund's main target as clubs queue up to sign Erling Haaland, who is wanted by Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Chelsea, PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

- Tuttomercato says Franck Kessie could leave Milan on a free transfer. The soon-to-be free agent has been linked with Tottenham, Inter, PSG and United.

Fiorentina are poised to sign Lille star Jonathan Ikone, per Gianluca Di Marzio. The deal is reportedly not related to the future of wantaway forward Dusan Vlahovic – the Serbia international has been linked with City, United, Bayern, Inter, Juve, Tottenham and Arsenal.

Erling Haaland is the name on everyone's lips.

His exploits for Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund have sparked a frenzy among Europe's elite.

With Haaland attracting interest, Dortmund are making moves to replace the Norway international.

 

TOP STORY – ADEYEMI TO SUCCEED HAALAND?

Borussia Dortmund are working on a deal to sign Salzburg's Karim Adeyemi as a replacement for in-demand star Erling Haaland, according to Fabrizio Romano's Here We Go podcast.

Haaland is wanted all over Europe amid links with Manchester United, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool and Juventus.

As speculation mounts over Haaland, Dortmund are reportedly preparing for his departure with a move for Salzburg sensation and Germany international Adeyemi.

Barca, Bayern and Liverpool are reportedly interested in Adeyemi.

 

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool lead the chase to sign Dortmund star Jude Bellingham, says The Mirror. As Europe's elite eye Haaland, Liverpool are looking to pounce on Bellingham who has been linked with Chelsea and United.

- Todofichajes reports head coach Mauricio Pochettino has lost the faith of the Paris Saint-Germain dressing room. Pochettino has emerged as United's rumoured top target to lead the Red Devils long term, with Zinedine Zidane tipped to replace him in Paris.

Bayern have joined the race to sign Borussia Monchengladbach's Denis Zakaria, per Romano. Zakaria has been linked with Roma, Liverpool, City, Juve and Barca.

Milan and Barca are eyeing Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen, per Romano. The Denmark international has been in contract talks at Stamford Bridge.

Julian Nagelsmann claims Jude Bellingham tarnished Bayern Munich's Klassiker win over Borussia Dortmund with his costly outburst against the match referee.

Bellingham was unhappy after Dortmund were denied two spot-kicks in Saturday's action-packed Bundesliga clash prior to Mats Hummels being penalised for handball.

Robert Lewandowski converted the resulting penalty to earn Bayern a 3-2 win, leading Dortmund teenager Bellingham to question the integrity of referee Felix Zwayer in his post-game interview.

The England international appeared to allude to a six-month ban handed to Zwayer following a 2005 match-fixing scandal, which centred around fellow official Robert Hoyzer.

Hoyzer was found to have fixed 2. Bundesliga matches in 2004-05. One of those involved Zwayer operating as an assistant, with the allegation he took a €300 bribe. Zwayer strenuously denied any such wrongdoing in the course of that investigation.

Bellingham's comments are reportedly being examined by police, while the German Football Association (DFB) has fined the youngster €40,000.

As the fallout continues from Bayern's win, which moved them four points clear at the summit, Nagelsmann gave his view on the refereeing decisions and Bellingham's remarks.

"Those comments tarnished the game a bit," Bayern head coach Nagelsmann said at a news conference ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash with Barcelona.

"I can understand the discussions. But the incident involving Marco Reus couldn't have resulted in a penalty because there was an offside.

"I wouldn't have complained about the penalty for us if it hadn't been given. I can understand from Dortmund's point of view."

Bayern now switch focus to the visit of Barca to the Allianz Arena, with the game to be held behind closed doors due to rising coronavirus cases in Bavaria.

The German giants have won each of their last three meetings with Barcelona, which is the longest run of wins by a team against Barca in their European Cup and Champions League history.

 

Nagelsmann's side are already assured of top spot in Group E, while the visitors may need to win if they are to progress, depending on how Benfica get on against Dynamo Kiev.

Despite Barcelona enduring a trying time on and off the field in recent times, Nagelsmann insists it is only a matter of time before the LaLiga heavyweights turn things around.

"I think they are still an extremely attractive club for players and fans," Nagelsmann said. "The financial figures are known. If that hovers over you, you will be a little inhibited.

"In a successful era you may become lazy and need too long for decisions. Then you seldom think about what happens when things go bad.

"The spitting out of talent has been a bit lacking, but that will only come again. Obviously they are making ends meet and still have a good squad.

"For me, Frenkie de Jong is one of the best midfielders in the world. They still have world-class players. They are under pressure in the table and have to win. They will give everything to make this a good game."

Bayern have won all five of their group matches, scoring a combined 19 goals and conceding three.

At home, they have scored five goals in each of their two Champions League games so far this term and have netted at least twice in each of their last 11 home matches in the competition.

The Bavarians will remain without Leon Goretzka on Wednesday due to injury, despite the midfielder returning to training, while Serge Gnabry is out with an adductor issue.

Despite having little to play for on the face of it, Nagelsmann intends to name a strong side to face Barca.

"We'll play our best available team," he said. "Benfica don't have to worry! We are going for six wins from six and that is a worthwhile goal."

Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham has accepted a fine of €40,000 from the German Football Association (DFB) for his comments relating to the referee in Saturday's Klassiker defeat to Bayern Munich.

The 18-year-old was unhappy after the 3-2 loss at Signal Iduna Park, with referee Felix Zwayer awarding Bayern a late penalty for handball against Mats Hummels, which was scored by former Dortmund man Robert Lewandowski to seal the win for the visitors.

Zwayer had also turned down a penalty appeal from Dortmund earlier in the game after Marco Reus went down under a challenge in the box.

Interviewed after the game by Viaplay, Bellingham said: "For me, it wasn't [a penalty]. He [Hummels] is not even looking at the ball and he's fighting to get it and it hits him. You can look at a lot of the decisions in the game.

"You give a referee that has match fixed before the biggest game in Germany. What do you expect?"

The England midfielder's comments referred to Zwayer's six-month ban for his involvement in a match-fixing scandal in 2005, which centred around fellow official Robert Hoyzer.

The DFB released a statement on its website on Tuesday saying: "The Sports Court of the German Football Association (DFB) has fined Jude Bellingham in the amount of 40,000 euros in single-judge proceedings after indictment by the DFB Control Committee for unsportsmanlike conduct.

"The player of the Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund has already agreed to the verdict, the verdict is therefore legally binding."

Zwoyer has explained the two controversial decisions, telling Sky Sport: "[The Reus incident] was contact in the upper body area, which is allowed to happen even at high speed.

"The situation is not black and white. I decided against the penalty kick because of my line [of sight]. It was not necessary for me because I had a clear view.

"Again, in the situation with the handball on Hummels, I had a factual perception. In the other situation, I had a complete view. If the video assistant had a second shot – like an arm that was out – he would have given me that on the ear.

"The [Hummels] situation was a standard corner kick. I see in the running game that it's about a touch by Hummels. In the game, it was not clear whether the arm went to the ball.

"I checked it after [the VAR team], then the arm position was checked. In the end, he clearly deflected the ball with his elbow. I came to the decision in the end that it was a penalty."

Milan host Liverpool knowing they need a win to keep their Champions League hopes alive in one of the headline fixtures on Tuesday.

Real Madrid and Inter meet in a battle for top spot in Group D, with both already qualified as the Italian side travel to Spain with a woeful recent record.

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are already through in Group A as well, with Lionel Messi aiming to follow in the footsteps of George Weah and Neymar at home to Club Brugge.

Stats Perform takes a look at the key Opta data behind the next set of matches.

Milan v Liverpool: Reds eye English record

Milan are searching for their first win against an English side in Europe since February 2012, while the Rossoneri have recorded victory in just one of their past nine home games in the Champions League group stage.

In contrast, Liverpool have triumphed in all five of their opening games this season as they look to become the first English side to win all six of their group-stage matches in a single campaign.

The Reds are also aiming to record victories in six consecutive games in the European Cup/Champions League for the first time in their history, with Alisson on the hunt for three consecutive clean sheets in the continental competition for his first time.

Paris Saint-Germain v Club Brugge: Mbappe and Messi await leaky defence

Club Brugge were defeated by five goals in their last clash against RB Leipzig, the third consecutive group game in which they conceded at least four times.

No team has ever gone four straight games letting in at least four, but the Belgians will have to negotiate with Messi, who could become just the third player – after Weah in 1994 and Neymar in 2017 – to score in his first three consecutive home games for PSG in the competition.

The visitors will also have to contend with Kylian Mbappe, the France international managing five goal involvements in three matches against Brugge – his joint-most against a single opponent in the competition, along with Red Star and Istanbul Basaksehir.

RB Leipzig v Manchester City: Guardiola's men out to defend German record

City are unbeaten in their previous 14 games against German opposition, including a six-game undefeated streak on the road, in a run that stretches back to November 2014 in the Champions League.

The reigning Premier League champions have won their past nine such fixtures, scoring 28 goals and conceding just nine in return, while Leipzig are winless in their most recent three meetings with English sides.

If Leipzig fail to defeat Pep Guardiola's side, it will be the first time they have not registered a single home win during the group stages in Europe.

Real Madrid v Inter: Los Blancos looking for goalscoring milestone 

Inter have claimed just one win in their past 11 meetings with Spanish opposition in European competition and their last away win against such sides came all the way back in October 2004.

The Serie A outfit have not beaten Madrid in Europe since March 1967 as Carlo Ancelotti's side look to score their 1,000th goal in the European Cup/Champions League in just their 455th game.

Karim Benzema could be central to Madrid hitting that milestone if he is passed fit, the forward already with five group-stage goals to his name this term as he sits two behind Raul in the club charts in the competition (66).

 

Other fixtures:

Ajax v Sporting CP:

16 - Ajax have scored 16 goals in their five games in the Champions League this season, with only Bayern Munich (19) and Manchester City (17) finding the net more.

15 - The previous three meetings between Ajax and Sporting have seen a total of 15 goals scored, at an average of five goals per game. Indeed, neither side has managed to keep a clean sheet in any of their three clashes to date.

Borussia Dortmund v Besiktas:

60 - Jude Bellingham has had a direct hand in 60 per cent of Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League goals this season (one scored, two assisted), with the last Englishman to enjoy more than three goal involvements during the group stages of a season before the age of 19 being Jack Wilshere in 2010-11 for Arsenal (one scored, three assisted).

5 - Besiktas remain the only Champions League side in 2021-22 to lose all five of their matches and are looking to avoid being the first team since AEK Athens in 2018-19 to lose each of their six group games.

Porto v Atletico Madrid:

5 - Porto will be aiming to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League for a fifth time in their past five tournament appearances (2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2020-21). The last time they failed to do so was in 2015-16 under Julen Lopetegui.

786 - Luis Suarez's only goal in 11 appearances for Atletico Madrid in the Champions League was a penalty against Milan in September, giving him a minutes-per-goal ratio of 786. At previous club Barcelona, the Uruguay striker scored 25 goals in 55 appearances, with a minutes-per-goal ratio of 192.

Shakhtar Donetsk v Sheriff: 

1 - Shakhtar Donetsk have only won one of their past 11 home games in the Champions League (D5 L5), while they have failed to score in seven of the games in this run, including both in 2021-22 (D1 L1).

25 – Sheriff's 2-0 victory over Shakhtar in this season's tournament came despite the Moldovan side having just 25 per cent possession – since 2003-04, only Atletico (23) versus Barcelona in April 2016 have won a Champions League game by multiple goals with a lower possession percentage.

This week sees the end of the group stages for this season's Champions League with honour, ambition and, yes, prize money on the line.

Two Spanish giants are being made to sweat on matchday six as Atletico Madrid need a win and a favour to stay in the competition, while Barcelona quite probably need to beat Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena to avoid dropping into the Europa League.

Atalanta and Villarreal will battle it out for second place in Group F, while Real Madrid and Inter face off at the Santiago Bernabeu to determine who will win Group D.

Group G will perhaps be the most dramatic, with all four participants in with a chance of finishing first or second, but what exactly does each team need from their final group game? Stats Perform has the answers for you here...

 

Group A

Manchester City have already secured top spot after beating Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 on matchday five, with the French side definitely finishing second, sitting four points behind City and four points ahead of both RB Leipzig and Club Brugge.

Leipzig, who sacked coach Jesse Marsch over the weekend, host City and need to match or better Club Brugge's result to clinch third place and a Europe League spot.

The Belgians must get something from their trip to Paris and hope that they achieve a better result than Leipzig.

 

Group B

Liverpool have had first place sewn up since they beat Atletico Madrid at Anfield on matchday four and now sit 10 points ahead of second place in what had been labelled a 'group of death' when the draw took place.

It's all to play for otherwise, though, with Porto second. A win for them at home to Atletico will confirm their passage to the knockout stage. A draw will also be fine as long as Milan do not beat Liverpool at San Siro.

Milan need to win against the Reds and hope the other game is a draw, while the Spanish champions have to beat Porto and hope that the Italians fail to beat Liverpool.

 

Group C

The most straightforward group of all as every position has already been confirmed, with Ajax top, Sporting CP joining them in the knockout stage as runners-up, while Borussia Dortmund will go into the Europa League and Besiktas are out.

 

Group D

Real Madrid and Inter have both qualified, with Carlo Ancelotti's men only needing to avoid defeat to the Italians at the Santiago Bernabeu to top the group. Inter need to beat Madrid to overtake them.

Sheriff will go into the Europa League having already been confirmed in third place above Shakhtar Donetsk.

 

Group E

Bayern Munich have won the group and Dynamo Kyiv will finish bottom, but the battle for second and third is going to the wire.

Barcelona have a two-point advantage in second place, but travel to Bayern, while Benfica host Dynamo, with the Portuguese side boasting the superior head-to-head record over the Catalans.

A win in Germany sees Xavi's men safely through, but should they draw or lose, they will be reliant on Benfica failing to win as well.

 

Group F

Manchester United sealed top spot with their 2-0 win at Villarreal on matchday five.

The Yellow Submarine are a point ahead of Atalanta in second, so only need to avoid defeat in Italy, while Gian Piero Gasperini's side must win to take the other qualification place.

Young Boys can still claim a Europa League spot if they beat United at Old Trafford and Atalanta lose.

 

Group G

The tightest of groups where it all comes down to the final round.

Lille sit top on eight points, and a win at Wolfsburg will secure that spot, while a draw will still see them qualify as they have a superior head-to-head with Sevilla.

Salzburg will go through if they avoid defeat at home to Sevilla, winning the group if they win and Lille do not.

Sevilla have to win in Austria to go through. They will at least secure third and a place in the Europa League if they lose and Wolfsburg also fail to beat Lille.

Wolfsburg actually cannot finish third but can finish first or second with a win against Lille.

 

Group H

Chelsea and Juventus have both qualified from the group, and Thomas Tuchel's side will secure top spot with a win at Zenit. Juventus must better Chelsea's result when they host Malmo.

Zenit have already confirmed their place in the Europa League, while Malmo are out.

Der Klassiker referee Felix Zwayer explained the controversial moments in Bayern Munich's 3-2 win over Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Dortmund succumbed to defeat at home to defending champions and leaders Bayern, with the second half seeing controversial decisions go in favour of Die Roten.

Firstly, Marco Reus' protests were ignored when the Dortmund man was tripped in the Bayern box by Lucas Hernandez, before the visitors got their winner in similarly contentious fashion.

Mats Hummels threw himself between two players in an attempt to reach a corner delivery, but he appeared to start stumbling and ultimately fell into the ball with his arm first.

While replays showed Hummels was not looking at the ball, seemingly rendering it accidental, Zwayer pointed to the spot following a VAR check and Robert Lewandowski subsequently scored what proved to be the winning goal.

Zwayer offered an insight into his decisions, telling Sky Germany: "It was contact in the upper body area, which is allowed to happen even at high speed.

"The situation is not black and white, I decided against the penalty kick because of my line [of sight]. It was not necessary for me because I had a clear view.

"Again, in the situation with the handball on Hummels I had a factual perception. In the other situation I had a complete view, if the video assistant had a second shot - like an arm that was out - he would have given me that on the ear."

 

On the Hummels incident, Zwayer added: "The situation was a standard, corner kick. I see in the running game that it's about a touch by Hummels. In the game it was not clear whether the arm went to the ball.

"I checked it after Cologne, then the arm position was checked. In the end, he clearly deflected the ball with his elbow. I came to the decision in the end that it was a penalty."

It comes after Dortmund star Jude Bellingham questioned the integrity of Zwayer in a remarkable post-match rant.

Bellingham suggested it was the standard of refereeing to be expected from someone who had "match-fixed" before, alluding to controversy earlier in Zwayer's career.

However, Zwayer has never been found to have fixed a game.

In 2005, Zwayer was caught up in a scandal that centred around fellow referee Robert Hoyzer, who was found to have fixed 2.Bundesliga matches.

In one match, Zwayer was Hoyzer's assistant and was accused of taking a €300 bribe before he and three others turned Hoyzer in.

Zwayer faced a German FA (DFB) disciplinary over the matter in 2006. In December 2014, German newspaper Die Zeit published documents that showed Zwayer was banned for six months, information that did not emerge at the time.

Dortmund head coach Marco Rose was sent off after BVB conceded a penalty to Bayern on Saturday.

Having lost their last four matches at home to Bayern – their joint longest losing streak at home to a team, Dortmund are second and four points off the pace through 14 matches.

"The first one [penalty], I still see it the same way. It would be a shame if we talk too much about refereeing decisions here now," Rose told reporters. "I saw both situations again, and now I can be accused, rightly of course, of wearing black and yellow glasses. But, for me, the situation with Marco Reus is different. Because Marco is clearly in front of the ball, the opponent not only pushes him from behind as the referee said and perceived, but he also runs him over.

"And there is also frustration. You can see that in the way he falls. And so, for me, it is a clear penalty. And I have seen the second situation several times. It starts with Thomas Muller's hand on Mats Hummels' shoulder. Mats tries to protect himself a bit, which is natural, which is very natural, stumbles, doesn't see the ball anymore, dives somewhere and then the ball falls on his hand. In the first situation there was no video evidence.

"The referee even said that he had received confirmation from Cologne that his perception was correct. This statement is incredible and not very comprehensible to me. And then, in the second situation, you look at yourself accordingly just with pity and bitterness. We have to talk about it very, very much. And of course, it also makes you emotional, that's clear."

Robert Lewandowski was spurred on by Borussia Dortmund supporters chanting the name of Lionel Messi ahead of Bayern Munich's clash with Borussia Dortmund.

That was the verdict of Julian Nagelsmann, the head coach who saw his Bayern side prevail 3-2 in a thrilling Klassiker to move four points clear of their closest rivals at the Bundesliga summit.

Lewandowski scored twice for the leaders, the second of those goals a late penalty, in the same week he missed out to Lionel Messi for the Ballon d'Or.

Dortmund fans, who worshipped Lewandowski during his four seasons at Signal Iduna Park, taunted the striker by singing Messi's name while both sides were warming up.

The Poland international took revenge with his double, however, taking his tally against BVB to 26 goals in all competitions – his most against a single side.

Speaking after the game, Nagelsmann said: "All of this rather spurred him on. He scored the significant goals and paid the fans back after all the Messi calls in the stadium."

 

Bayern were 2-1 up at half-time in Saturday's top-of-the-table clash after Lewandowski and Kingsley Coman struck to cancel out Julian Brandt's early opener.

Erling Haaland hit back for Dortmund, who saw a couple of big decisions go against them in what could well be a defining moment in the Bundesliga title race.

Lucas Hernandez avoided conceding a penalty despite appearing to commit a foul on Marco Reus, shortly before Mats Hummels was deemed to have handled at a corner.

Lewandowski converted the resulting penalty, leading to strong comments being made by the Dortmund camp in regard to the performance of referee Felix Zwayer.

Despite the controversial conclusion to the game, Nagelsmann felt his side were good value for their seventh successive win against Dortmund in all competitions.

"I think we deserved to win, but I also understand the discussions over the two penalty situations," said Nagelsmann.

"It was a very tight game that was worthy of its reputation. We could have scored more in the first half.

"Dortmund did it well early in the second half, but we found our rhythm again and had good control."

Bayern ended the game with an expected goals (xG) return of 2.27 compared to Dortmund's 1.44, backing up Nagelsmann's assertion that his side deserved all three points.

Dortmund had more possession (53 per cent) and outshot Bayern seven to six in the second half, however, and Thomas Muller conceded the visiting side rode their luck in the end.

"Dortmund's first goal has probably helped us," Bayern stalwart Muller told Sky Sport. "We got into the gaps relatively easily afterwards, with the goals scored after mistakes.

"We should have taken the lead in the first half. In the second half, I don't know whether we deserved to win from the way we played.

"The first-half display was definitely better – we moved the ball well and won our challenges. Based on the second-half performance, we didn't deserve it. It was more of a fight."

Jude Bellingham questioned the integrity of referee Felix Zwayer in a remarkable rant after Saturday's Klassiker – one that could see him face disciplinary action.

Borussia Dortmund succumbed to a 3-2 defeat at home to rivals Bayern Munich, with the second half seeing controversial decisions go in favour of Die Roten.

Firstly, Marco Reus' protests were ignored when the Dortmund man was tripped in the Bayern box by Lucas Hernandez, before the visitors got their winner in similarly contentious fashion.

Mats Hummels threw himself between two players in an attempt to reach a corner delivery, but he appeared to start stumbling and ultimately fell into the ball with his arm first.

While replays showed Hummels was not looking at the ball, seemingly rendering it accidental, Zwayer pointed to the spot following a VAR check and Robert Lewandowski subsequently scored what proved to be the winning goal.

Bellingham suggested it was the standard of refereeing to be expected from someone who had "match-fixed" before, alluding to controversy earlier in Zwayer's career.

However, Zwayer has never been found to have fixed a game.

In 2005, Zwayer was caught up in a scandal that centred around fellow referee Robert Hoyzer, who was found to have fixed 2.Bundesliga matches.

In one match, Zwayer was Hoyzer's assistant and was accused of taking a €300 bribe before he and three others turned Hoyzer in.

Zwayer faced a German FA (DFB) disciplinary over the matter in 2006. In December 2014, German newspaper Die Zeit published documents that showed Zwayer was banned for six months, information that did not emerge at the time.

Bellingham told Viaplay Football on Saturday: "For me, it wasn't a penalty, you know? Hummels is not even looking at the ball, and he's fighting to get it.

"It hits him and I don't think he's even looking at the ball. You can look at a lot of the decisions in the game.

"You give a referee – that has match-fixed before – the biggest game in Germany, what do you expect?"

Erling Haaland was similarly uncomplimentary about Zwayer but just about managed to keep his anger in check.

"I think it was a scandal when it comes to the referee," he said.

"Clear penalty [on Reus]. I asked [Zwayer], 'Why didn't you just go and look?'. He said, 'There's no need', arrogant...no, I have to calm down a little bit now.

"He was arrogant and I will not say more."

Robert Lewandowski scored twice, including a late penalty, as Bayern Munich edged title rivals Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in Saturday's thrilling Klassiker to go four points clear at the Bundesliga summit.

Lewandowski lost out to Lionel Messi for the Ballon d'Or this week, but he continued to let his football do the talking, taking his goals tally against his former club to 26 – more than he has managed against any other team.

Both sides created at will in a gripping first half, but Dortmund – who led through Julian Brandt in the fifth minute – paid the price for costly mistakes as Lewandowski and Kingsley Coman ensured Bayern were 2-1 up at half-time.

A sumptuous Erling Haaland strike got Dortmund back on level terms, but after somehow not winning a penalty of their own, they conceded one themselves and Lewandowski converted to seal the win, setting a Bundesliga away goals record in the process.

A purposeful Dortmund start brought an early opener as Brandt – later withdrawn due to a nasty head injury – collected Jude Bellingham's lofted pass and finished emphatically having evaded Alphonso Davies.

But Bayern quickly hit back, Lewandowski clinically finding the bottom-right corner with his record-equalling 117th Bundesliga away goal after Thomas Muller charged down Mats Hummels' clearance attempt.

Several chances were wasted at either end thereafter, but Bayern managed to take a lead into the break.

Another botched Dortmund clearance – this time Guerreiro smashing into Hummels' midriff – saw the ball fall for Coman and he drilled home.

Dortmund restored parity again just after the interval, Haaland curling a gorgeous effort out of Manuel Neuer's reach and in off the right post.

They should have had the chance to lead a few minutes later but Lucas Hernandez mystifyingly avoided conceding a penalty when appearing to commit a blatant foul on Marco Reus.

Hummels was not so lucky, however, with a VAR check deeming him to have handled at a corner. Lewandowski squeezed his winning kick just inside the post for another away goal, an outright Bundesliga record for the Pole, and a valuable win for Bayern.

Borussia Dortmund head coach Marco Rose has confirmed Erling Haaland is not fit enough to play a full part in this weekend's key Klassiker clash with Bayern Munich.

Haaland scored just seven minutes into his comeback from a six-week injury lay-off in last Saturday's 3-1 win over Wolfsburg.

That was the Norway striker's 50th Bundesliga goal, reaching the landmark in just 50 matches and becoming the youngest ever player to do so at 21 years and four months.

However, with just those 17 minutes of football to his name since sustaining a hip injury on October 19, Haaland will not be considered to play the whole game against Bayern.

"Erling himself knows his situation," Rose said at Friday's pre-match news conference. "He has had a good week of training behind him. 

"But we all know that we have to be careful a little longer. He will certainly not be ready for 90 minutes, so we will have to see how long he can go."

 

Haaland has averaged 1.12 goals per 90 minutes played in Germany's top flight, scoring 40 with his left foot, six with his right and four headers.

Since making his Dortmund bow in January last year, only Robert Lewandowski (70 goals in 56 games) has scored more Bundesliga goals than the ex-Salzburg man.

Indeed, no player in Europe's top five leagues has scored more goals in all competitions this season than Bayern striker Lewandowski's 25.

Despite his continued brilliance in front of goal, Lewandowski finished second to record-extending seven-time winner Lionel Messi at Monday's Ballon d'Or ceremony.

Rather than feel sorry for himself, however, Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann is backing Lewandowski to be extra fired up against Dortmund on Saturday.

"I've already said that he's in great shape and it's not impossible that he could win this thing again," Nagelsmann said at his pre-match news conference. 

"He can't change the past. He's working every day on the present and the future gets created with his work in the present. I think it could be possible that he wins it someday.

"And I'm sure that, when you look at his current numbers without mathematical talent like me, it looks good for this season.  

"Therefore, I believe that he can do it and that those who vote will vote for him next year and say that he deserves the Ballon d'Or.

"It is important to accept this disappointment but also to take energy and motivation for other big performances. And I'm confident that he has this drive."

 

Against no team has Lewandowski scored more goals in all competitions than against former side Dortmund (24, level with his record against Wolfsburg).

Dortmund have lost their past six competitive matches against Bayern, but they enter this contest with six wins in their previous seven leagues games and are just a point behind Bayern.

Asked how his side go about beating reigning champions and current pacesetters Bayern at Signal Iduna Park, Rose said: "We need to play well in every department.

"I believe that Bayern have a clear structure with the ball and develop a goal risk from it with a lot of force. It is difficult to grasp. 

"It will be important to eliminate the offensive quality around Lewandowski and the wingers and to keep Munich out of the penalty area as much as possible."

Karim Adeyemi is inspired by the former Salzburg stars who have gone on to establish themselves as household names in European football as he plots a move of his own.

Adeyemi joined Salzburg in 2018 after spending six years with his local side in Germany, Unterhaching. He had joined them shortly after leaving Bayern Munich's academy.

While he did not fit in with the culture at Bayern, Adeyemi developed into a highly sought-after talent at Unterhaching, attracting the attention of clubs such as Chelsea before ultimately becoming the most expensive under-18 German player ever at the time when joining Salzburg for €3million.

After spending a season and a half at sister club Liefering, Adeyemi returned to Salzburg in January 2020 and has steadily built up his minutes. The 2020-21 season was something of a breakout campaign as he scored seven times in 29 appearances, though in 2021-22 he has established himself as the club's latest star and a full international with Germany.

Numerous big clubs such as Liverpool, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund have been linked with him in recent times, with the 19-year-old seemingly unlikely to be in Austria next season.

While some might urge him to be cautious and choose another club that will help his development, Adeyemi is aiming high.

Asked about Salzburg's impressive list of alumni, Adeyemi told Tuttosport: "It's true, in recent years a lot of young players have matured in Salzburg and then landed at the best international clubs.

"I'm thinking of Erling Haaland, but also of Sadio Mane and Naby Keita of Liverpool, or Dominik Szoboszlai, who moved to RB Leipzig.

"Obviously, I also have this goal: I would like the next stage of my career to be at a top club."

Adeyemi is enjoying a wonderful campaign and does appear to be outgrowing – or have outgrown – the Austrian Bundesliga.

The 19-year-old had previously been used across the front, but this term he has really nailed down a spot as Salzburg's main striker. He may not be the tallest, but he has bulked up, possesses immense speed and is proving a reliable finisher.

Adeyemi has 11 goals in 15 Bundesliga appearances – excluding penalties, his tally of nine is only slightly higher than his non-penalty expected goals (8.1 xG) as well, which suggests he is not just in the midst of a lucky streak.

His 26.8 per cent conversion rate is also the third-best in the division among players with at least 20 shots, evidence of impressive maturity in terms of shot selection, especially given his age.

Another key dimension to his style of play is running with the ball. He has attempted 14 more dribbles than anyone else in the division this season (79) and completed the most (32) as well – granted, his success rate of 40.5 per cent is not extraordinary, but it is worth remembering as a striker he will be attempting those dribbles in the most congested areas of the pitch.

In terms of end product at the end of a ball carry, only five players can better his 16 shot involvements (shots taken and assisted), and Adeyemi is well aware of the role Salzburg have played in nurturing himself and other young players.

"The experience at Unterhaching was very important, but for the first time I played at a really high level with Salzburg," he continued.

"It's a fantastic club for young people like me. They throw you in right away and give you the chance to get to a high level quickly.

"Competing for the title of the Austrian championship is very helpful for the growth of a young person, it gives you experience.

"Equally important is the possibility of being protagonists in international competitions. This year we are in the group stage of the Champions League for the third season in a row, a fact that is far from obvious for a club in a small league like the Austrian one.

"In the Champions League we face the best teams and top players in the world: these experiences are priceless."

Bundesliga fixtures will see stadiums capped at 15,000 spectators from this weekend in a bid to tackle rising coronavirus cases in Germany.

On Thursday, 73,000 new infections and 388 deaths were reported in the country, with a fourth wave threatening to overwhelm intensive care units.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and her soon-to-be successor Olaf Scholz have consequently reached agreement with the leaders of Germany's 16 states to reintroduce preventative measures aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19.

One of the rules means Bundesliga matches, which have been operating with near-capacity crowds this season, will be restricted to 50 per cent attendance with a maximum of 15,000.

The reintroduction of measures impacts Saturday's Klassiker clash between leaders Bayern Munich and second-place Borussia Dortmund taking place at Signal Iduna Park. Only one point separates the teams at the top of the table.

German Football League (DFL) chief Christian Seifert said the governing body can understand why the rules have been put in place.

"The DFL is aware of the currently difficult corona situation, especially with a view to the strain on some regional health systems," he said via a DFL statement.

"It is regrettable that, due to the pandemic situation and the still too low vaccination rate in Germany, restrictions in many areas of life are once again necessary.

"In this situation, a differentiated, comprehensible, but above all effective policy strategy is required.

"A temporary restriction on the admission of fans to the stadiums is therefore understandable. The DFL hopes that this decision by the federal and state governments will lay the foundation for a rapid improvement in the pandemic situation.

"The DFL and its clubs will of course continue to support all vaccination effort."

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