Bayern Munich have announced that head coach Thomas Tuchel will leave the club at the end of the season.

Tuchel’s position has come under scrutiny following a woeful run of results that has left the Bundesliga champions facing the prospect of a first season without winning a trophy since 2011-12.

Bayern chief executive Jan-Christian Dreesen told the club website: “In an open, good conversation we came to the decision to mutually end our collaboration in the summer. Our goal is to carry out a sporting realignment with a new coach for the 2024/25 season.

Former Chelsea boss Tuchel, who took over in March 2023, said: “We have agreed that we will end our collaboration after this season. Until then, I and my coaching team will of course continue to do everything we can to ensure maximum success.”

Harry Kane made little impact as Bayern Munich’s week went from bad to worse following a shock 1-0 loss in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash with Lazio.

Ciro Immobile’s second-half penalty proved the difference at Stadio Olimpico to pile pressure on Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel on the back of a damaging 3-0 defeat at title rivals Bayer Leverkusen.

England captain Kane, who is one short of reaching 50 club goals in European competition, barely touched the ball during a tight battle between two former Chelsea managers in the Italian capital.

His side dominated possession before Maurizio Sarri’s men snatched a slender aggregate advantage when Immobile sent Manuel Neuer the wrong way from 12 yards in the 69th minute after Dayot Upamecano was dismissed for a late challenge on Gustav Isaksen.

Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala went closest for the German club, who have plenty to do in the return match at Allianz Arena on March 5.

Bayern arrived in Rome having fallen five points off the pace in the Bundesliga following Saturday’s emphatic loss at Leverkusen.

Under-fire boss Tuchel made three personnel changes in a bid to bounce back, including dropping Eric Dier and recalling Germany internationals Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Muller.

Kimmich curled wide in the opening exchanges before Kane could not keep a close-range effort down following Muller’s pull back, while Luis Alberto lashed over from distance for the side sitting seventh in Serie A.

Former Manchester City forward Sane went close when his 32nd-minute effort whistled past the left post after Leon Goretzka and Muller shifted the angle of a free-kick on the edge of the D.

Musiala then fired over following impressive build-up play as the away side failed to register an attempt on target before the break.

Bayern beat Lazio 6-2 on aggregate as reigning champions at the same stage of the tournament in 2020-21 and were heavy favourites to repeat that feat.

Yet, having been relatively untested defensively, the visitors nearly conceded within three minutes of the restart.

Danish forward Isaksen was sent clear on goal after Bayern centre-back Upamecano was dispossessed by former Liverpool man Alberto, only for his low effort to be repelled by the legs of Neuer.

The six-time European champions were struggling to regain the upper hand and felt aggrieved to fall behind 21 minutes from time during a pivotal moment in the match.

French referee Francois Letexier pointed to the spot and brandished a red card after Upamecano caught Isaksen with his studs inside the box.

Bayern were unhappy with the decision but that did not stop Immobile – fresh from scoring his 200th Serie A goal in Saturday’s 3-1 win at Cagliari – calmly rolling home into the bottom right corner.

Former Tottenham striker Kane saw a long-rang free-kick deflected over as below-par Bayern sought a leveller.

Yet the surprise result could have been worse.

Felipe Anderson and substitute Pedro each went close to doubling Lazio’s lead late on, with Tuchel given plenty to ponder.

Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel has defended “p****d off” Thomas Muller’s right to deliver a withering assessment of his team after their Bundesliga title hopes suffered a major setback.

Bayern, who have won the league for the last 11 seasons, were beaten 3-0 at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday as the hosts opened up a five-point lead at the top of the table, prompting 34-year-old Germany international Muller to reveal he was “p****d off” at their lack of “energy and freedom” in an explosive post-match interview.

However, speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday night’s Champions League last-16 clash with Lazio, Tuchel said: “I think he pretty much hit the nail on the head – and if anybody is allowed to issue a statement like that, it is Thomas.”

Tuchel, who admitted his players are currently struggling to transfer their quality in training into games, added: “Thomas is allowed to say this to the microphones because he’s also going to address it internally.

“And it’s important that the team internally talks about it because when we wake up tomorrow and look out of the window and see Rome, you know it’s a different competition and a new day.

“Even though Bayern Munich loses, the sun will rise again, even though you won’t believe it. We will allow ourselves to really be happy and to try to win. That’s part of the game.”

Tuchel finds himself under pressure heading into the game, but is adamant he will not allow it to distract him.

He said: “No, I don’t feel any increasing pressure. Pressure as such is a privilege, it’s a sporting pressure. I’ve never felt it differently and it hasn’t changed anything.

“It’s important to stay self-confident, to stay self-critical.

“The stronger the noise is around the game and the stronger the pressure gets, it’s more important to stay calm. Nothing will change.”

Lazio will hope to inflict further misery on the 2020 winners, and striker Ciro Immobile is relishing the chance to go head-to-head with Bayern’s 28-goal England striker Harry Kane.

Italy international Immobile told a press conference: “Numbers are important for a striker.

“Being able to compare myself with top-level players like Harry Kane is a big motivation for me. It allows me to understand the level I have reached in my career.

“But tomorrow it’s not a direct match with Kane that matters but the match between Lazio and Bayern.”

The Serie A side returned to form on on Saturday when they won 3-1 at Cagliari, in the process ending a run of three games without a victory, but they remain in eighth place in the table and a full 23 points adrift of leaders Inter Milan.

However, head coach Maurizio Sarri said: “We must not forget that we play to have fun. We need to rediscover the sense of fun on the pitch despite all the responsibilities we have to assume.

“If the child who loved playing football dies, the man also has less fun.”

Bayern Munich head coach Thomas Tuchel is targeting a “statement performance” to end the 30-match unbeaten run of title rivals Bayer Leverkusen.

Leverkusen hold a two-point lead over Saturday’s visitors at the top of the Bundesliga after winning 16 and drawing four of their 20 league games this season.

Xabi Alonso’s side can also boast a 100 per cent record in the group stage of the Europa League and twice came from behind in the German Cup on Tuesday to beat Stuttgart 3-2 and advance to the semi-finals.

However, Bayern can call on their experience of winning 11 consecutive Bundesliga titles and Tuchel believes his side have room for improvement as they approach the business end of the season.

“It’s exciting that two teams are earning points at such a high level,” Tuchel told a pre-match press conference.

“We’ve also had a very good campaign in terms of our history. We’re completely focused on what we can do. We want a statement performance. If we want to win, we need a top performance.

“It’s the week in which we want to prove ourselves. We’re playing for our own objectives, and our objective is to step things up a notch, and then we can be fine in every game. Then we’ve got the individual quality for it. We’re ready to improve.”

Tuchel’s side also have the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Lazio to look forward to and the 50-year-old added: “We have a very attractive week ahead of us.

“A win for Leverkusen opens up a gap, but it won’t be over, although it feels like a special moment to lay your cards on the table. It’s about challenging ourselves and therefore the opponent from the first second to the last.

“We want to take the next step. Leverkusen are having an outstanding season. We’ve still got room for improvement. We feel ready to take the next step and want to push Leverkusen.”

Alphonso Davies remains sidelined with a tendon injury but Joshua Kimmich, Kim Min-jae and Dayot Upamecano have returned to training and are set to be in the matchday squad.

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who has been struggling with a knee problem, was set to take part in training on Friday before a decision is taken over whether he or Sven Ulreich will make the starting XI.

Thomas Tuchel is expected to lead Bayern Munich against Borussia Monchengladbach despite the head coach being hit by flu in recent days.

The former Chelsea boss missed training on Wednesday and Thursday through the illness and has looked a doubt for Saturday’s Bundesliga clash at the Allianz Arena.

Sporting director Christoph Freund stood in at the pre-match press conference but said Tuchel would “in all likelihood” be on the touchline as Bayern look to heap pressure on Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

“Thomas will come down to Sabener Strasse (training ground) today and take training,” Freund said. “He’s getting better. We’re positive he can be at the game tomorrow.”

Tuchel was pictured later on Friday taking training on the eve of the Gladbach game, with Noussair Mazraoui back with the group following Morocco’s exit from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Joshua Kimmich returned to light training after a shoulder injury and new signing Bryan Zaragoza worked with his new team-mates for the first time.

Bayern announced in December that a deal had been reached with Granada to sign the 22-year-old forward at the end of the season, but injuries saw him arrive earlier than planned in a loan switch.

Sporting director Freund said: “It wasn’t the original plan. Due to the injuries, we discussed what we could do. We then decided we’d tried to bring him now. It was a last-minute thing.

 

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“I was in Granada on Monday, had good discussions and were able to reach an agreement. We’re very happy Bryan is here now.”

 

Zaragoza, speaking at his unveiling, added: “The plan was for me to come in the summer.

“The situation is how it is. This is a unique chance for me. I’m very grateful to Granada, but this was a big chance for me.”

Zaragoza is the third first-team signing made by Bayern during the winter transfer window after Eric Dier and Sacha Boey joined from Tottenham and Galatasaray respectively.

Sporting director Freund said: “We wanted to strengthen at the back with a centre-back and right-back. We’re happy.

“What’s happened with Bryan wasn’t the plan, but we reacted to the situation and were able to bring it forward. I’m very happy about that.

“Whether it’s all going to work out, we’ll see in the coming weeks and months. I’m positive and pleased we’re now well set.”

Gladbach will be hoping to darken the mood in Munich, with boss Gerardo Seoane looking to tweak the set-up that earned a 0-0 draw at leaders Leverkusen last weekend.

 

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“When you play against the top teams, you need to play really well across the board,” he said. “The other team also has to have an off day.

 

“From time to time against Leverkusen, we wanted to press higher up the pitch and go on the attack, but we didn’t manage to do that.

“Sitting back worked well, however. We’ll have to be quicker on the counter and use space better than we did last weekend against Bayern.

“We’re planning on preparing as much as we can for the opposition and playing as well as we can in all departments.”

Union Berlin head coach Nenad Bjelica saw red after pushing Leroy Sane in the face during Bayern Munich’s narrow 1-0 win in the Bundesliga.

Bayern led through Raphael Guerreiro’s strike early in the second half before Bjelica appeared to push the former Manchester City winger twice in a sideline clash.

The narrow victory moved Bayern to within four points of Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen as they bounced back from the weekend’s defeat to Werder Bremen.

Harry Kane had an effort disallowed for offside while England team-mate Eric Dier made his Bayern debut as a half-time substitute.

Athletic Bilbao’s Williams brothers both scored in extra-time as Barcelona endured more Copa del Rey misery at the San Mames in a 4-2 humbling in their quarter-final.

Inaki came off the bench to put the hosts ahead right at the end of the first additional period before Nico, eight years his junior at 21, applied the finishing touch with the last kick of the game.

The Catalans’ previous two visits in the competition in 2020 and 2022 both ended in defeat and when Inaki Williams reacted brilliantly to a huge stroke of luck by converting his own shot which rebounded off a post, history repeated itself.

It was no less than they deserved after stunning Barca by taking the lead after just 36 seconds through Gorka Guruzeta.

The visitors turned things around with goals from Robert Lewandowski and Lamine Yamal in a six-minute spell midway through the first half but they never looked comfortable and Oihan Sanchet’s equaliser – from a sublime Nico Williams cross – just after the interval paved the way for former Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde’s side to win the game over 120 minutes.

LaLiga leaders Girona were also knocked out as they fell to a 3-2 defeat at 10-man Real Mallorca.

The hosts scored three times in the first half courtesy of Cyle Larin and two efforts from Abdon Prats, one a stunning strike and the other a penalty.

Girona pulled a goal back midway through the second half when Cristhian Stuani scored a spot-kick after being fouled by Antonio Raillo, who was sent off, and they reduced the deficit further via a Savio finish in the sixth minute of stoppage time, but a last-gasp equaliser proved beyond them.

Raphael Guerreiro edged Bayern Munich to a narrow victory over Union Berlin to take the champions to within four points of Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

On a night when on-loan Tottenham defender Eric Dier made his Bayern debut as a half-time substitute and England skipper Harry Kane saw a 23rd league goal of the campaign chalked off, Union coach Nenad Bjelica was sent to the stands after appearing to push Leroy Sane in the face, an offence which is certain to result in significant disciplinary action.

A 1-0 victory was the bare minimum in the wake of Saturday’s home defeat by Werder Bremen with head coach Thomas Tuchel, who it was announced before kick-off has abandoned his pursuit of Newcastle defender Kieran Trippier, reportedly under pressure after a testing run.

It took a double save by Union keeper Frederik Ronnow to keep the sides level when he first repelled Matthijs de Ligt’s header and then Dayot Upamecano’s follow-up from Joshua Kimmich’s sixth-minute corner.

Kingsley Coman saw an 11th-minute drive turned away and Konrad Laimer dragged another wide of the far post before De Ligt missed the target with another header from a corner as the home side pressed for an opener.

With Jamal Musiala and Sane prominent, Bayern probed away and Coman flicked just off target from a Guerreiro cross before Leon Goretzka curled another attempt over.

Kimmich shot tamely at Ronnow and Guerreiro fired another well wide with Union continuing to frustrate the hosts, although the visitors mounted a rare attack and Janik Haberer blazed over from distance after Robin Gosens had laid off Benedict Hollerbach’s cross.

Worryingly for Tuchel, Upamecano pulled up clutching his hamstring as he pursued Hollerbach, although the central defender managed to complete the half after treatment.

The sides headed for the dressing rooms – to the clear displeasure of some of the locals at Allianz Arena, with the deadlock unbroken – but with both Sane and Musiala having gone close in stoppage time.

Dier belatedly replaced Upamecano at the break and the jeers turned to cheers within seconds when, after Kane’s shot had thundered back off the post, Guerreiro forced the ball past Ronnow at the second attempt to ease the tension inside the stadium.

Kane thought he had extended his side’s lead when he dispatched Sane’s 55th-minute cross, but his effort was ruled out for offside after a VAR review.

For all the home side’s dominance, Union remained in the game as long as only one goal separated the teams, and that jeopardy was highlighted when Kevin Behrens appeared to be tripped inside the box, but not in the opinion of the VAR official.

Tempers frayed on the sideline with 74 minutes gone when Bjelica raised a hand to Sane as the pair wrestled for the ball and received a red card for his actions.

Ronnow had to dive full-length to keep out Goretzka’s 81st-minute header, but the final whistle left many questions unanswered for Tuchel.

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich say they have ended their pursuit of Newcastle full-back Kieran Trippier.

Bayern saw a series of approaches, including an initial loan bid and a £13million cash offer for the 33-year-old England international, rebuffed by the Magpies, who insisted they were not prepared to let one of their key players leave this month.

However, Thomas Tuchel’s side have now admitted defeat in their attempts to lure him away from Tyneside.

Sporting director Christoph Freund told Sky Germany: “The Kieran Trippier issue is over. We only do what we are 100 per cent convinced of.”

Newcastle have also rejected a loan bid for striker Callum Wilson from Atletico Madrid, while Saudi Arabian club Al-Shabab have expressed an interest in fellow front Miguel Almiron.

None of the three players are understood to be agitating for a move.

Potential buyers have set their sights on the Magpies since chief executive Darren Eales admitted that they may have to sell players to buy in order to comply with profit and sustainability and financial fair play rules after a embarking upon £400million spending spree since their Saudi-backed owners took over in October 2021.

Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel knows it will not be easy to ‘flip the switch’ and get their Bundesliga campaign back on track.

Tuchel faced more questions over the direction of his side following the 1-0 home loss to Werder Bremen on Sunday, which left Bayern seven points behind unbeaten leaders Bayer Leverkusen, who have played one match more.

Union Berlin head to the Allianz Arena for Wednesday night’s rearranged game – with Bayern fans demanding an immediate response.

“It is not a case of simply flipping a switch. It is not easy,” Tuchel told a press conference.

“We are very aware of the state of play. It is our job and my responsibility to influence it. We are actually very positive, but we are falling well short of our expectations in matches.

“We will continue to demand it until it works, and we are ready to show the desire that will also spark the fans – we are below our expectations.

“We can do a lot better. There is a lot of room for improvement. The explanation in terms of passion, bite, tackling and enthusiasm remains the same.

“It is the foundation for all tactical things. We have not shown that and we will try to do so tomorrow.”

Tuchel maintains he is not feeling any extra pressure from the Bayern boardroom.

“I also have a very good relationship with (chief executive) Jan-Christian Dreesen. There have been no concrete exchanges,” Tuchel said.

“Christoph Freund is with us every day as sporting director. He has expressed his opinion – and he is right to do so.”

Tuchel reported no fresh injury concerns, but remains without defenders Kim Min-Jae and Noussair Mazraoui, who are on international duty.

Union Berlin head coach Nenad Bjelica is expecting Bayern to come out “with anger in their stomachs”, but challenged his side to make the most of their own opportunities.

 

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“Bayern are one of the most difficult opponents you can face in the Bundesliga, but like Werder Bremen, we are hoping to take our chances and capitalise on them to come home with one or more points,” Bjelica said at a press conference.

“Munich will certainly go into the game with anger in their stomachs, which is why we want to go into the clash with maximum discipline, aggression and courage.”

Union Berlin, whose last match against Mainz was postponed because of freezing conditions, have strengthened the squad with the signing of forward Chris Bedia from Swiss club Servette.

Rani Khedira and Josip Juranovic remain unavailable because of injury, while Aissa Laidouni is away at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel has backed planned demonstrations against right-wing extremism in Germany as he prepares his players for their Bundesliga clash with Werder Bremen.

The club’s honorary president Uli Hoeness made a statement against Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party during a memorial ceremony for the nation’s football great Franz Beckenbauer on Friday, while Bayer Leverkusen head coach Xabi Alonso and Freiburg counterpart Christian Streich have also spoken out.

Asked about the protests at his pre-match press conference, Tuchel said: “We can’t stand up enough.

“There’s no doubt about fighting against all forms of extremism, but obviously also against right-wing extremism in particular given the discussion and our history. There can be no doubt there.”

Tuchel’s comments came a day after Germany paid an emotional tribute to Beckenbauer, who won the World Cup both as a player and a manager.

He said: “Franz was in the same league as Pele and Diego Maradona – you can’t get bigger than that.

“It was a nice, respectful and dignified service. The speeches were very powerful.”

Bayern returned to action after the league’s winter break with a 3-0 victory over Hoffenheim last Saturday and head into Sunday’s fixture sitting in second place behind Bayer Leverkusen with a game in hand.

Tuchel, who confirmed loan signing Eric Dier will be in the squad, said: “It’s obviously a classic fixture that had a huge allure when I was a kid.

“There’s always a special energy and lots of goals. Bremen have a special way of playing, always looking to attack.

“It’s about three points. We’ll adjust everything for what’s best for us to get the three points.”

Bremen head coach Ole Werner, who will be without suspended duo Marvin Ducksch and Leonardo Bittencourt, knows his team will have to be at their best to extend a four-game unbeaten run.

Werner told a press conference: “We need to be on our A game throughout the full 90 and hope that Bayern aren’t at their absolute best. That being said, we’re preparing for the challenge with what we have available to us.

“We’ll have to mentally adapt to having less possession than we usually would. In the moments where we do have the ball, we have to make the most of our chances.

“We could dwell forever on the fact that Bayern are the league front-runners, but it’s important that we just focus on ourselves.”

Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel insists his side will “give everything” to earn victory over fellow high-flyers Stuttgart in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

Munich bounced back from their humiliating 5-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt with a 1-0 win over Manchester United in the Champions League on Tuesday thanks to a second-half strike from Kingsley Coman and Tuchel’s side will be looking to set the record straight in the league again.

Stuttgart sit just one place beneath Munich in the table and could leapfrog the German champions with victory at the Allianz Arena.

Tuchel thinks Sebastian Hoeness’ team deserve their lofty placing due to consistent performances.

He told a press conference: “They’re very consistent. Together they’re greater than the sum of their parts. They deserve to be up where they are. They’re very homogeneous, tactically very flexible.”

“It’s impressive how Stuttgart play. You can see Sebastian’s mark on the team. I think Stuttgart have had a consistent over performance, so there must be good unity between the team and the coach.

“It’s completely deserved, so we’ll give everything our greatest respect and recognise that.”

Coman and Noussair Mazraoui both featured at Old Trafford in midweek but picked up injuries and were subsequently substituted which will rule them out of the clash on Sunday.

The pair will join Serge Gnabry on the sidelines but Tuchel will be hoping to have top scorer Harry Kane in his ranks after an illness.

Tuchel continued: “We’ve got tough games. The fixture list is how it is, we know it beforehand.

“The two injuries on our right side hurt us. They were both in good form. King has had a very good season so far. Nous too.

“It came out of nowhere and hurts because both are important players.

“Harry Kane is a bit ill. We hope he can train again tomorrow. Jamal Musiala is fine.”

Bayern will be looking to extend their unbeaten run at home with a return to winning ways but Tuchel thinks his side need to be at their best to earn a result.

He added: “Everyone wants minutes. It’s even more important now we don’t have as much competition for places that the intrinsic motivation is high.

“We showed that at Old Trafford. It needs to be there again on Sunday. If we won’t match that with the same spirit as Stuttgart show every game, then we won’t win.”

Thomas Tuchel has warned Manchester United there will be no let-up as already-qualified Bayern Munich attempt to extinguish the Old Trafford giants’ European hopes.

The perennial Bundesliga champions opened Group A with a 4-3 home win against the Red Devils and went on to seal progress to the Champions League knockout phase with two matches to spare.

Bayern are among the favourites to win a competition that United will be out of on Tuesday unless they seal a home win while Copenhagen and Galatasaray draw in the other final group game.

Erik ten Hag’s men would be guaranteed of at least Europa League football if they win a match that Tuchel says his side will approach with full focus despite wrapping up top spot.

“I understand that some people thought that against Copenhagen it looked like we weren’t throwing everything into it,” the Bayern boss said, referring to the 0-0 home draw a fortnight ago.

“But when you sign for Bayern or United, you sign to give 100 per cent every day.

“When you wear the Bayern Munich jersey, you behave like champions, there’s no other way.

“We have high expectations, even if we are always under pressure. United will give everything tomorrow to get through.

“But we expect a top performance from us. I hope we can match United’s enthusiasm and energy, which I’m sure they’ll bring to the game.”

United are not only desperate to stay in Europe but also determined to atone for Saturday’s shocking 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth, which saw Ten Hag’s inconsistent side booed off the field.

“They’re always a dangerous team, they have a certain aura about them,” said Tuchel of United as Bayern look to maintain their competition record unbeaten 39-match run in the group stage.

“It’s part of the club’s DNA that they can survive difficult moments. They have ups and downs in their game, but they’ve conceded a lot of goals recently.

“In strong moments, you can see what they’re really capable of. The stadium creates special moments. It will be a big challenge for us.”

Bayern are looking to bounce back from a shocking loss of their own, having lost 5-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday afternoon.

It was their first Bundesliga defeat of the season and third in all competitions – losses they bounced back from with 4-0 away victories on both occasions.

Bayern sharpshooter Harry Kane admitted their performance against Frankfurt “wasn’t good enough” and said the group was fully focused on showing the “right reaction” at Old Trafford.

The England captain has hit the ground running and scored 22 goals since joining from Tottenham during a summer he was strongly linked to long-term admirers United.

“Every fan wants Harry to play in their team,” former Chelsea boss Tuchel said. “We’re very proud we were able to sign Harry.

“He’s a great character and a great role model, a terrific player. He scores a lot of goals and will be very happy to play here tomorrow.

“It’s a great story that we were able to bring the England captain, your centre forward, to Germany.”

Referee Stephanie Frappart overturned a late penalty for Bayern Munich to ensure they were held to a goalless draw by Copenhagen in the Champions League.

The Group A fixture at Allianz Arena was not without controversy after Frappart pointed to the spot in the second minute of added time when the ball hit the arm of Peter Ankersen, but the French official was told to look at the incident on the pitchside monitor by VAR and changed her decision.

It occurred minutes after Bayern captain Manuel Neuer had made a superb double save to deny Mohamed Elyounoussi after Copenhagen produced an excellent display, although the post-match focus centred on Frappart.

Frappart’s decision to subsequently not give the spot-kick occurred 24 hours after Paris St Germain were given a controversial penalty against Newcastle in similar circumstances, but the draw did boost Copenhagen’s hopes of finishing second behind Bayern in the group.

Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel had confirmed on Tuesday that Thomas Muller would earn a rare start and he was one of four changes made from Friday’s win over Cologne, but Harry Kane still led the line for the home side.

While Bayern already had a place in the knockout phase assured, they were eager to keep up their perfect record.

Copenhagen had other ideas, especially after Galatasaray and Manchester United shared the spoils in the early kick-off, and the visitors had the first effort of note, but defender Denis Vavro dragged well wide from 35 yards.

The first opening for Bayern arrived 60 seconds later in the 14th minute when Muller’s header dropped for 18-year-old forward Mathys Tel, but he sliced wide.

Chances remained limited with the home team struggling to get out of second gear, although Raphael Guerreiro fired wide from a corner midway through the first half.

Tuchel would have been growing frustrated, but breathed a sigh of relief in the 27th minute when Copenhagen squandered a golden opportunity.

A skilful flick by Viktor Claesson sent Lukas Lerager away inside the area, but the midfielder cut back and teed up youngster Roony Bardghji, who curled wide from 14 yards.

It should have resulted in the breakthrough and Copenhagen were indebted to goalkeeper Kamil Grabara on the half-hour.

Bayern full-back Konrad Laimer got to the byline and his cross was headed back across goal by Tel, but Muller’s close-range header was brilliantly clawed away by Grabara.

The half-time sentiments of Tuchel failed to have the desired effect initially with Diogo Goncalves curling wide in the 47th minute for Copenhagen.

A chance was fashioned for the hosts just past the hour mark when Alphonso Davies laid into the path of Tel, but he sliced off target under pressure from Rasmus Falk.

Tuchel had already seen enough and that miss proved Tel’s last involvement with Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry sent on with 26 minutes left.

Copenhagen remained a threat with Neuer forced to parry wide an effort by substitute Elias Achouri before Kane did finally get a sight at goal.

Kane let fly from 22 yards but his firm drive was pushed over by Grabara in the 68th minute.

Grabara looked to have made another stop four minutes later from a Sane free-kick, but a goal kick was awarded and Bayern substitute goalkeeper Sven Ulreich was shown a yellow card by Frappart amid whistles from the Munich supporters.

More whistles occurred with 84 minutes on the clock when Muller went down twice in quick succession in the area and yet both hopeful penalty appeals were waved away.

There was still time for Neuer to show his class with a fine save to thwart a header by Elyounoussi before the follow-up shot by the ex-Celtic attacker was also blocked by the Bayern captain, with Frappart overturning the stoppage-time penalty given after Frans Kratzig’s pass hit Ankersen’s arm.

Harry Kane continued his record-breaking form by becoming the highest scoring Englishman in a single Bundesliga season with the winner in Bayern Munich’s 1-0 victory at struggling Cologne.

England captain Kane claimed his 18th goal of the season courtesy of a first-half tap-in to fire Bayern to the top of the table, above Bayer Leverkusen.

The 30-year-old striker’s remarkable tally is one more than Kevin Keegan managed for Hamburg in the 1978-79 campaign and the total Jadon Sancho registered for Borussia Dortmund in 2019-20.

His haul has come in just 12 league games since his big-money summer switch from Tottenham, while he has registered 22 goals in 17 outings in all competitions.

Thomas Tuchel’s side dominated proceedings against a team who remain second-bottom but squandered a host of chances to make the scoreline more emphatic, with Leroy Sane particularly culpable.

Unbeaten Bayern were back at RheinEnergieStadion for the first time since dramatically snatching the Bundesliga title from Dortmund on the final day of last season.

They began with purpose and were almost gifted an early lead when Cologne defender Timo Hubers inadvertently diverted the ball on to the outside of his own post with Kane waiting to pounce following fine work for Sane.

Former Manchester City forward Sane then failed to lift the ball over home goalkeeper Marvin Schwabe after being sent through on goal and later scuffed wastefully wide.

Kane’s decisive 20th-minute finish came between those golden chances.

He calmly slotted home on the rebound after Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s initial effort was blocked on the line by Julian Chabot to cap a swift Bayern counter-attack, started by Konrad Laimer’s interception.

Choupo-Moting almost doubled the lead two minutes later when he was denied by Schwabe.

Lowly Cologne, whose only win of the season was a 3-1 success over Borussia Monchengladbach on October 22, offered little from an attacking perspective in the opening period.

Visiting goalkeeper Manuel Neuer had to be alert to repel Rasmus Carstensen’s close-range header but the visitors were relatively untroubled.

For all of Bayern’s control, head coach Tuchel would have been eager to grab a second to secure the points.

However, chances were scant in a largely-forgettable second period which lacked tempo.

Sane saw a powerful effort blocked behind by Chabot, before Kingsley Coman headed against the crossbar from the resulting corner.

Bayern’s failure to kill off the game gave Cologne a glimmer of hope of snatching an unlikely draw going into the closing stages.

Yet the away side comfortably held on to move to the summit as the prolific Kane once again grabbed the headlines.

Bayern Munich head coach Thomas Tuchel is the latest high-profile manager to take issue with the football calendar after admitting his players are physically and mentally tired.

Tuchel’s mood has not been helped by the Bundesliga scheduling their fixture at Cologne for Friday night.

Pre-weekend matches in Germany are generally designed to help teams with Champions League fixtures the following week but coming immediately off the back of an international break does not appear to have done Bayern too many favours.

“People want to see the best players play football with joy and desire,” Tuchel told a press conference.

“The calendar is at the absolute limit, if not over it. The boys are tired. They’re mentally tired, they’re emotionally tired, they’re physically tired.

“There are two more Champions League games next year, there’s a tournament in the summer (Euro 2024), that’s just at the limit.”

Some of Tuchel’s internationals only arrived back in Munich on Thursday, just 24 hours before kick-off.

“It’s our second Friday match. Minjae Kim and Alphonso Davies are only back from their travels today,” he added.

“It’s very unfortunate scheduling, particularly in a sporting sense, but it shouldn’t be an excuse. I don’t want to go on about it.

“We’ve opted for a short trip on Friday morning so that the players can sleep at home. We want to win and we’ll prepare to do that.”

Tuchel will be without defender Matthijs de Ligt and forward Jamal Musiala while defender Raphael Guerreiro is a doubt with a minor problem.

“We’re looking closely at which internationals have had a big workload like Konrad Laimer, Minjae Kim or Alphonso Davies. We’ll decide late on the line-up for tomorrow,” said Tuchel.

Veteran forward Thomas Muller is in the final year of his contract and has seen reduced playing time this season but the 34-year-old has stressed he wants to continue playing next season.

Bayern are understood to want to keep Muller but they have yet to come to an agreement.

“We want him in the team. It’s clear he wants to keep playing. He’s a footballer through and through. Why shouldn’t he keep playing at the very highest level?” said Tuchel.

“I have a very positive impression of him. He’s in top shape and it’s all good. Thomas is a club icon, a living legend. He gets the maximum respect from us.”

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