Bayern Munich's search for coach Thomas Tuchel's successor is not distracting the team from their preparations for next week's Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid or their final Bundesliga matches.

That was the vow from Tuchel before Bayern first face Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday with the league title already secured by Bayer Leverkusen.

Bayern will part ways with Tuchel at the end of a disappointing domestic season, a year earlier than his contract.

Austria coach Ralf Rangnick confirmed this week there had been contact with Bayern while several other coaches have been linked with the club.

Tuchel, however, said the team was shutting out any such distractions as they chase a spot in the Champions League final.

"In the next 11 days it can only be football and the goals we can still reach," Tuchel told a press conference. 

"We want to collect points [in the Bundesliga] to get the best result and reach the Champions League final.

"For anything else, there is just no capacity at the moment, whether it is comfortable or uncomfortable despite the many issues."

With no chance of domestic silverware and Bayern battling to hold on to second place, three points ahead of third-placed Stuttgart whom they face in 10 days, Tuchel said it was clear Tuesday's game against Real Madrid was on everyone's mind already.

"I can accept and it is important that we all accept it that there is this background noise against Frankfurt," Tuchel said. 

"We don't have to tell ourselves a fairytale that we are only thinking 100% about Eintracht.

"There is this background noise that the Real Madrid game plays a role. When I get my coffee in the morning people don't say 'good luck for tomorrow' they say 'good luck for Tuesday' to me."

Bayern still have some injury concerns for the coming games with Dayot Upamecano doubtful after twisting an ankle in training and Leroy Sane racing to get fit in time for Tuesday.

Tuchel said: "We have a test [against Frankfurt] and either we are distracted or we find solutions. Put on ear plugs or headphones and study for the test. That is my task." 

The former Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain boss was also asked about over 12,000 Bayern supporters signing a petition asking for him to remain at the club.

"Even though this topic is good for me when they [the fans] wish you to stay, it's not something that is a priority and it isn't allowed to be a priority," he said.

"Whether it's pleasant or unpleasant, I don't allow myself to be influenced by it. We're only focusing on every day counting towards our goals and there is no exception here.

"This question is like the neighbour that is noisy at three in the morning, if we're honest! I'll set my headphones to noise-cancelling mode and ignore that. 

"This topic won't help me on Saturday and won't help me on Tuesday - and it is not my topic."

Mikel Arteta wants Arsenal to end their season in “beautiful” fashion after they were knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich.

The Gunners lost 1-0 at the Allianz Arena as Joshua Kimmich’s second-half header was enough to seal a semi-final against Real Madrid with a 3-2 aggregate victory.

It followed on from a 2-0 home loss to Aston Villa on Sunday that has dented Arsenal’s Premier League title chances.

They travel to Wolves on Saturday evening needing a reaction to a poor week and Arteta feels his side will approach the game in the correct manner.

Asked how painful the Champions League exit was, the Spaniard said: “It’s there.

“It’s not going to go away, certainly tonight, but I can guarantee you by tomorrow we’re fully focused on Wolves and everybody is lifted.

“What we still have to play for is beautiful. I said before it’s time to be next to these players.

“It’s easy to be behind them and praise the players and talk nice things when we win 10 in a row and one draw.

“The moment is now to be behind them and be next to them.”

After a tight game in which Bayern also hit the woodwork twice and Gabriel Martinelli missed a glorious chance to put the away side ahead, Arteta said his side are continuing to learn after returning to the Champions League for the first time in seven years.

“We haven’t played this competition for seven years and we haven’t been in this stage for 14 years,” he added.

“There’s a reason for it. We want to do everything fast forward, super quick in one season. I think we have the capacity and the quality to be in the semi-final because the margins are very small.

“Those margins are coming from something else that maybe we don’t have yet. We have to learn it. When you look historically it took other clubs seven, eight or 10 years to do it. Today that’s not going to make us feel better that’s for sure.”

While Arsenal are still relatively inexperienced at this level, Bayern are now preparing for a ninth semi-final in the competition since the Gunners last made it that far.

Manager Thomas Tuchel also becomes just the second man, after Jose Mourinho, to guide three different clubs to the final four and was pleased with the performance of the hosts.

“It’s always better to play in front of your own fans,” he said.

“With every tackle and every good action you get the support and it lifts you and gives you a second wind.

“Now it’s the semi-finals and everyone needs to step up – we need to step up and the supporters need to step up again.

“It was a chess game in the first half. Nobody wanted to make the first mistake. Everyone played a bit safe – there were moments for us, there were moments for Arsenal.

“We encouraged the team at half-time to show a bit more personality, a bit more courage. We were more fluid and played a fantastic second half. We deserved to win.”

Arsenal’s Champions League hopes were snuffed out as Joshua Kimmich’s bullet header was enough to take Bayern Munich into the semi-finals.

After an enthralling 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium last week, this tie was finely poised but it was the hosts who progressed as Kimmich headed home in the second half to seal a 1-0 win for Bayern.

Thomas Tuchel became just the second man to lead three different clubs into the last four of the Champions League and his side are now closing in on a Wembley final on June 1.

Bayern showed the sort of pedigree in the competition that comes from years of being involved in the business end of the tournament – they have now qualified for 13 semi-finals and have reached the stage nine times since Arsenal’s last semi-final appearance in 2009.

Arsenal, in fact, have never won an away Champions League game from the quarter-final stages onwards and they failed to turn in the sort of performance here that would change that.

Having lost 2-0 at home to Aston Villa on Sunday to dent their Premier League title hopes, their European exploits came to a shuddering halt as Bayern’s nous eventually saw them advance.

The win also maintained England captain Harry Kane’s chances of winning silverware in his debut season in Germany, the former Tottenham striker missing out on a Bundesliga title following Bayer Leverkusen’s remarkable campaign.

Kane had a quiet evening after half a chance in the opening exchanges and it was Arsenal who enjoyed a good spell as they looked to take the lead in the tie.

Gabriel Martinelli flashed a shot wide before wiggling through a couple of challenges only to come up against the imposing presence of Bayern skipper Manuel Neuer in the hosts’ goal.

At the other end, David Raya was called into action for the first time as he saved from Jamal Musiala following a speedy Bayern break.

Neuer’s first meaningful action of the night saw him paw a deflected Martin Odegaard shot off target as he sprang up to prevent the ball running behind for a corner.

Martinelli then missed a great chance to open the scoring just after the half-hour, shooting straight at Neuer when picked out free in the Bayern box.

Bayern were fuming as they looked to catch Arsenal out after Bukayo Saka was down needing treatment and Mikel Arteta gathered his players on the touchline only for the winger to clamber to his feet.

A quick throw-in with all of the Arsenal side distracted was instead pulled back by referee Danny Makkelie, much to the chagrin of the home fans.

Bayern were second best for the majority of a largely passive first 45 minutes for the hosts, but straight after the restart they were on it, hitting the crossbar through a Leon Goretzka header before Raphael Guerreiro’s follow-up deflected against the post.

Arsenal were slightly rattled and Gabriel Magalhaes passed the ball out of play for a corner following a breakdown in communication with Raya.

Arsenal survived the resulting set-piece but fell behind soon after, Kimmich flying past a slow-moving Martinelli to power Guerreiro’s cross into the back of the net.

Arteta reacted almost immediately by turning to his bench, bringing on Gabriel Jesus and Leandro Trossard but Arsenal’s race appeared to be run.

They struggled to create any chance of note in chasing the game, taking more and more risks at the back in doing so.

This may not have been a repeat of Arsenal’s two previous visits to the Allianz Arena, both 5-1 defeats, but it showed Arsenal are still a step below Europe’s elite.

Mikel Arteta believes Champions League quarter-final success against Bayern Munich will take Arsenal to the next level as he told his players to “write a different story” at the Allianz Arena.

The Gunners head into Wednesday’s second leg locked at 2-2 with Thomas Tuchel’s Bayern after a thrilling draw at the Emirates Stadium last week.

Defeat to Aston Villa on Sunday has since dented Arsenal’s Premier League title bid as attention now turns to Europe once again.

Arsenal had lost seven last-16 ties in succession before returning to the Champions League this season – three times to Bayern.

Arteta, though, feels reaching a semi-final against either holders Manchester City or record 14-time winners Real Madrid would elevate Arsenal.

Asked how transformative victory would be and whether it would take Arsenal to the next level, the Spaniard replied: “Absolutely.

“It would be unbelievable. If we make it happen tomorrow and we’re in the semi-final, we’ll be in a really high emotional state with something that we haven’t achieved in 15 years and that’s the opportunity.

“All the preparation has been to achieve that. We have earned it. We have earned it for 10 months and everything we did last season, to start our journey in the Champions League after so many years.

“Tomorrow we have an unbelievable opportunity to make it happen.”

Arteta has overseen a sea change in approach to big away games this season, ripping up the recent form books and guiding Arsenal to draws at title rivals City and Liverpool.

They have lost 5-1 on their last two visits to the Allianz – but Arteta wants another memorable away performance to redress more recent history.

“We have to change it and the opportunity comes there,” he added.

“There are lots of things we can do to write our story very differently tomorrow, we know that and it is going to be about putting in a very, very strong performance collectively and individually to earn the right to be in the semi-final.

“Most of our players haven’t experienced a night like this, this is going to be the first one, they are super-motivated, they are prepared, they feel confident and it is something that tomorrow we are going to have to show against an opponent that has this experience – but we want to make it happen.”

Harry Kane admits the season will be a failure if Bayern Munich do not win the Champions League.

Bayern host Arsenal on Wednesday in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final, with the first match last week ending in a 2-2 draw.

Bayer Leverkusen romped to the Bundesliga title at the weekend, ending Bayern’s run of 11 straight league trophies and leaving them with only Europe’s highest honour to play for.

While Kane has excelled individually, his wait to win a team trophy after more than a decade without one at Tottenham could well continue.

The England captain told a press conference: “Of course every player, every club wants to win trophies, that’s the ultimate goal every season, but there’s a process into winning, there’s a process individually and in the team.

“You want to improve as a player every year, you want to show the world your capabilities and you want to push yourself to the very limits and you hope that helps with the team.

“Of course, from the club’s point of view it will be a failed season if we don’t win anything this year because we’re expected to win but all we can do is take that into next year and try and turn that around.

“The main thing for us is we still have an opportunity to turn this season into a great season if we win the Champions League. That motivation is still there and as players you can only hang onto that. If we can do something special tomorrow night then of course that keeps that hope alive.

“It’s a time to raise our game, it’s a time for me and the players who have been in big situations, pressure situations, to step up and be counted. It’s going to be an amazing atmosphere. There’s a lot of expectation but I think there’s a good belief among the squad that we can achieve something tomorrow.”

Kane’s history with Spurs adds an extra edge to the occasion, with the striker also having been released by Arsenal as a child.

He played down the significance, saying: “I think it’s something that’s probably built up more from the outside, from the media, from the fans, rather than me myself.

“Of course I had a lot of history with Arsenal playing for Spurs for so many years in that north London derby, obviously it was the biggest game of the season every year probably, but it’s a different chapter, it’s a different moment for me playing for a different team and my focus is trying to beat a really good side.

“Of course I know there’ll be a lot of Spurs fans watching hoping that Bayern Munich go through but I can’t focus on that.

“Maybe it was in the back of my mind, being released from a young age, there was always a point to prove, and I feel like I’m the type of player who throughout my whole career has had points to prove. I don’t think that ever leaves you.

“Now I’m at Bayern Munich and they’re a top team in the Champions League and of course I have history with them but all I can do is try and help Bayern Munich qualify for the semi-finals.”

A superb second-half strike by Raphael Guerreiro helped Bayern Munich to a 2-0 win against Koln and keep the champagne on ice in Leverkusen.

Defeat for Thomas Tuchel’s side would have confirmed Bayer Leverkusen as Bundesliga champions but the current holders claimed a hard-fought victory.

It had been a difficult period for Bayern, who had lost both league fixtures since the international break, but they battled to a 2-2 draw at Arsenal on Tuesday night in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

While Bayern’s focus was on more European glory this season, they were determined to return to winning ways domestically and they hit the post twice in the first half, once through Harry Kane.

Kane was unable to add to his tally, but the hosts were eventually indebted to Guerreiro’s outstanding 65th-minute effort before Thomas Muller added a late second to ensure all eyes are now on Leverkusen to see if they can clinch the title with victory at home to Werder Bremen on Sunday.

Tuchel made a raft of changes, with Bayern’s priority being next week’s tie with Arsenal.

Manuel Neuer and Leroy Sane were not in the squad but Kane did start and helped Munich dominate possession in the opening exchanges.

The first clear-cut chance when to Koln but fortunately for Bayern, Faride Alidou fired wide from a tight angle.

It was a sign of things to come, though, as Sven Ulreich, recalled for the rested Neuer, produced a superb save to keep the score goalless when he clawed away a header by Sargis Adamyan midway through the half.

Bayern had yet to seriously test Koln goalkeeper Marvin Schwabe until he denied Guerreiro on the half-hour mark following an excellent ball by Kane.

Slowly Kane’s influence was beginning to grow and he hit a post shortly afterwards when Muller flicked the ball through to the England captain, but his low effort smashed against the woodwork.

Further chances went Kane’s way but he drilled one effort wide before diverting another header off target.

Koln responded well and should have taken the lead on the stroke of half-time when Maz Finkgrafe produced another excellent ball into the area, but Alidou could only head wide.

An action-packed first 45 at Allianz Arena concluded with a Mathys Tel curler striking a post to ensure it stayed level at the break.

Bayern were dealt a blow early in the second half when Kingsley Coman went off to make him an immediate doubt for the midweek visit of Arsenal.

Jamal Musiala replaced Coman and his first involvement almost resulted in the breakthrough, but he fired over.

The pressure continued and Tel’s forced Schwabe into an excellent diving save soon after before the opener did arrive in the 65th minute.

A short corner by Joshua Kimmich found Guerreiro who let fly from 25 yards and watched his dipping left-footed effort nestle into the corner.

There was a sense of relief around the stadium, but Koln were not about to roll over and Ulreich had to save a long-range effort from substitute Benno Schmitz.

Better was to follow when Ulreich thwarted Steffen Tigges from close range after a poor pass by Bayern defender Dayot Upamecano, before the hosts did seal the points when Muller slotted home deep into stoppage time.

Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel said he will avoid Bayer Leverkusen securing the Bundesliga title on Sunday by watching Arsenal’s Premier League match against Aston Villa instead.

Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen are on the brink of being crowned champions and host Werder Bremen on Sunday.

Even if Bayern beat Cologne at the Allianz Arena a day earlier, Leverkusen – 16 points clear with just six matches remaining – will take their first title by seeing off Bremen.

However, Tuchel, whose side host Cologne fresh from a pulsating 2-2 Champions League draw at Arsenal on Tuesday night, will have his attention elsewhere.

“I won’t be watching the Leverkusen game on Sunday,” he said. “I’ll watch Arsenal.”

The Champions League is the only trophy still up for grabs for the German giants following a disappointing domestic campaign.

And ahead of the quarter-final return leg in Munich on Wednesday, Tuchel has hinted he will rotate his side for the visit of Cologne.

“We’ve got several days between Cologne and Arsenal, but there’s the consideration to throw in some other players and make some changes,” said the former Chelsea manager, who is leaving Munich at the end of the season.

“If we make changes, then it’s more to give players some match rhythm for Wednesday and not to rest anybody.”

Leroy Sane is among those unlikely to feature on Saturday.

The former Manchester City winger impressed for Bayern at the Emirates on Tuesday night before he was substituted in the second half.

“It’s about how much pain he can tolerate,” added Tuchel of Sane.

“We geared everything towards him being able to play for Arsenal. He was an important factor there and played a great game.

“Since he showed a reaction, we’re focusing on him on Wednesday. The plan is for him to return on Sunday or Monday. But if he plays, he’ll show a reaction in his pubic bone again, which will remain the case for the time being.

“It’s clear what assets and talent the boy has. But we’ve been waiting for him to score a competitive goal since October. He got off to an outstanding start to the season, but he’s slowed down a bit.

“The expectations before the Arsenal first leg were huge and he delivered. We expect him to keep pushing himself, then he’ll be a key player for us.”

Tuchel will watch Saturday’s match from the stands after he was shown a fourth yellow card of the season in last weekend’s shock defeat to Heidenheim.

Cologne are four points from safety and Bayern are unbeaten in their last 19 meetings against their opponents on Saturday.

Harry Kane says the bitter pill of Bayern Munich’s doomed Bundesliga title defence and the prospect of a Wembley final is fuelling his desire for Champions League glory.

Former Tottenham star Kane returned to haunt familiar foes Arsenal by converting a first-half penalty in Tuesday evening’s thrilling quarter-final first leg which ended tantalisingly poised at 2-2.

Bayern’s 11-season run as German champions could be over before next week’s return match with the Gunners as unbeaten runaway leaders Bayer Leverkusen sit 16 points clear with only 18 left to play for.

England captain Kane has understandably written off domestic silverware but retains hope of ending the season on a high under the arch of his country’s national stadium on June 1.

“Look, it’s a competition that the club want to win,” he said.

“Not winning the Bundesliga this year is a tough pill to swallow and it makes this competition even more important but we know there’s still a long way to go.

“We have to find that togetherness, we have to find that team ethic where we grind out games because we haven’t done it enough this year.

“In the Champions League, we’ve done well, had a good campaign but we will need more of that if we want to go all the way to Wembley.”

Kane was cast in the role of pantomime villain at a raucous Emirates Stadium and responded with his 15th career goal against the Gunners to help keep Bayern’s season alive.

The 30-year-old, who now has a remarkable tally of 39 goals this term, sees parallels between his current team’s predicament and when Spurs reached the 2019 Champions League final despite finishing 27 points adrift of champions Manchester City in the top flight.

“That campaign itself is similar because we weren’t having a great time in the league if I’m totally honest,” he said

“But we found some passion and togetherness in the Champions League and we managed to get to the final.

“That experience gives me hope that we can find that again, we know we can perform in the big games and try to get back to the final.

“Being at Wembley is also extra motivation for me personally being my national stadium and it’s still there to try and achieve.”

Bayern departed north London feeling aggrieved after Swedish referee Glenn Nyberg opted against penalising Arsenal defender Gabriel for inexplicably picking up the ball in his own box after a David Raya goal kick in the 67th minute.

Manager Thomas Tuchel branded the decision “horrible”, while Kane and fellow ex-Spurs man Eric Dier were both left bemused.

Arsenal later appealed for an added-time penalty when Bukayo Saka tumbled under a challenge from visiting goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

“It was a stonewall penalty and I don’t know why the ref didn’t give it,” Kane said of the Gabriel incident.

“It would have been strange. But the ref blew the whistle (for play to resume), he (Raya) passed it, he (Gabriel) picked it up, it would have been child like but that’s not our problem.

“The rules are the rules. Maybe they should have had one, we should have had one.”

Bayern’s sense of injustice was heightened by Leandro Trossard’s 76th-minute equaliser after goals from former Arsenal forward Serge Gnabry and Kane overturned Saka’s early opener.

Kane hopes to harness the passion of a packed out Allianz Arena in the second leg, having been relentlessly jeered by home supporters as the six-time European champions played in the absence of travelling fans due to a UEFA sanction.

“I think they have a soft respect for me, the Arsenal fans,” said Kane. “I was a fan when I was younger so I know how it goes and, for me, I just try to perform.

“For some reason, I get a lot of penalties at the Emirates and I’ve been happy I’ve been able to put them away and it will be nice to be at home next and in front of the Munich fans.

“It was hard with no fans, strange to have no-one there for us but I thought we dealt with it well and I think you’ll see them even more excited next week having not been to this game and maybe even louder than they usually are.

“Hopefully we can use that energy to our advantage and really try to put the pressure on.”

Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel fumed at the referee’s explanation for allowing Arsenal to escape punishment for a “kid’s mistake” during an exhilarating Champions League quarter-final first leg.

Bayern felt they were denied a clear penalty in the 66th minute of the breathless 2-2 draw at Emirates Stadium after Gunners defender Gabriel inexplicably picked up the ball following a David Raya goal kick.

Swedish match official Glenn Nyberg reportedly opted against awarding a spot-kick due the bizarre nature of the incident, with his on-field explanation branded “horrible” by former Chelsea manager Tuchel.

Six-time European champions Bayern led 2-1 at that stage before Gunners substitute Leandro Trossard levelled the tie ahead of next week’s return match in Munich.

“The referee made a huge mistake,” said Tuchel.

“I know it was a crazy situation. They put the ball down, he whistles and the defender takes the ball with his hands.

“What makes us really angry is the explanation on the pitch. He told our players it was a ‘kid’s mistake’ and he won’t give a penalty for that in a Champions League quarter-final.

“It’s a horrible, horrible explanation. Kid’s mistake, adult’s mistake, whatever – we feel angry because it was a huge decision against us.”

Bukayo Saka fired the hosts into a 12th-minute lead on a raucous north London evening.

But former Arsenal forward Serge Gnabry equalised before a penalty from ex-Tottenham striker Harry Kane turned the match in the Bavarians’ favour.

Trossard equalised and a helter-skelter contest threatened to have a late twist as Bayern substitute Kingsley Coman hit a post in the 90th minute before Saka was denied an added-time spot-kick after tumbling under a challenge from visiting goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, who offered no opinion on the Saka incident, rued a big chance missed by Ben White at 1-0 and defensive errors but remained upbeat about progressing to the last four.

“We started the game really well, we were dominant, we played in the opponents’ half,” he said.

“We generated some momentum, scored the first goal and then it’s a critical moment of the match, Ben White is in front of Neuer to make it 2-0 and we have to put the ball in the back of the net and it becomes a different moment.

“And then in Champions League you cannot give anything to the opponent.

“We have given them two goals today and when you have this situation they are going to punish you.

“In a certain way we are alive and we’ve done what we had to do when the game became very difficult for us but as well as understanding that, we have to step up the level in certain aspects of the game.

“I sense the belief there, we are going to go to Munich and have the chance to win it and we’re going to be better in certain areas and that’s how we are going to prepare it.”

Thomas Tuchel admitted Bayern Munich are out of Bundesliga title contention after a 2-0 defeat in Der Klassiker left them 13 points adrift of league leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

Karim Adeyemi struck early on before Julian Ryerson sealed a 2-0 win for Borussia Dortmund, their first at the Allianz Arena since 2014, as Bayern’s bid for a 12th league title in a row was left hanging by the thinnest of threads.

For Tuchel, who will leave the Bavarian giants at the end of the season, the matter has already been settled. When asked if they were out of the running for the league crown, he told Sky: “Obviously, yes.

“After this game there is no more need to count points. How many is it now? Congratulations to Leverkusen.”

Xabi Alonso, Leverkusen’s head coach, this week rebuffed speculation linking him with former clubs Bayern or Liverpool as the Spaniard publicly committed his future to his current employers.

They looked set for a first defeat in 39 matches in all competitions after going behind at home to Hoffenheim as Maximilian Beier gave the visitors a 33rd-minute lead they held until the closing stages.

Robert Andrich equalised with two minutes left, lashing home a bobbling effort, and Leverkusen sealed a 2-1 win in added-on time, as Patrik Schick reacted fastest to volley home Nathan Tella’s cross before their hopes of a maiden league title were given a further shot in the arm by Bayern’s setback.

Raphinha’s second-half goal helped Barcelona edge out 10-man Las Palmas 1-0 to close the gap on LaLiga leaders Real Madrid to five points.

Barcelona saw two goals chalked off for offside and Robert Lewandowski hit the bar but Las Palmas had goalkeeper Alvaro Valles red carded for a crude challenge on Raphinha outside his box after 25 minutes.

Xavi’s side were unable to initially capitalise on the extra man but Joao Felix came off the bench and provided a delicately-weighted ball over the top for Raphinha to head into the net in the 59th minute.

AC Milan extended their winning run to six matches with a 2-1 victory over Fiorentina in Serie A on an emotional night at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

There had been tributes before kick-off to Fiorentina general manager Joe Barone, who collapsed in the team hotel just as they were preparing to travel to the stadium for the match against Atalanta and later died in hospital.

The Rossoneri produced a clinical display with second-half goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Rafael Leao either side of Alfred Duncan’s equaliser to consolidate second place in the table.

Third-placed Juventus slipped six points behind Stefano Pioli’s team after losing 1-0 to Lazio, who sealed all three points thanks to Adam Marusic’s strike three minutes into stoppage time.

Lazio claimed both the three points and also struck a psychological blow ahead of Tuesday’s Coppa Italia semi-final first leg between the two teams in Turin.

Bayern Munich forward Harry Kane has been passed fit for Saturday’s showdown with arch rivals Borussia Dortmund at Allianz Arena.

Kane suffered an ankle injury in Bayern’s Bundesliga victory over Darmstadt earlier this month, but still joined up with the England squad for the recent international break.

The England captain sat out the team’s loss to Brazil at Wembley last Saturday and returned to Germany after being released early from the national squad.

After the former Spurs striker was able to resume light training with Bayern on Monday, club boss Thomas Tuchel has now confirmed he will face Dortmund in this weekend’s ‘Klassiker’ in Munich.

“Harry trained fully with the team yesterday, has stepped things up each day. It’s all fine, he’ll play,” Tuchel told reporters on Friday.

The prognosis for Manuel Neuer is not as positive with the veteran goalkeeper still absent after he tore a muscle in his left adductor during training with Germany last week.

Tuchel did confirm Neuer is expected to return for the trip to Heidenheim on April 6, which would raise the prospect of the 38-year-old being available for their Champions League quarter-final fixtures with Arsenal.

Tuchel said: “Manuel Neuer is out.

“It’s nothing to do with risk. The pain is simply too great. We hope a week is enough and he’ll be in goal against Heidenheim.

“Aleks Pavlovic is unfortunately not available. Raphael Guerreiro also isn’t back yet, and Sacha Boey got injured during the week.”

Bayern welcome fourth-placed Dortmund with a 10-point deficit to try and cut to Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen, who host Hoffenheim on Saturday.

Yet Tuchel played down any suggestion his team could lack motivation and pointed to the importance of the fixture.

“The break in March always comes at an unfortunate time as you’re preparing for the end of the season. Everyone’s fighting for position in the decisive weeks. Now it’s time to show what we’re about,” the former Dortmund boss said.

“The table is how it is, but we can win the Klassiker. It’s an emotional game, an important game in the Bundesliga with a big rivalry and history.

“I’m expecting an opponent that wants to win. Dortmund are very good in attack, very flexible up front.

“They want to have the ball. It’ll be an open game. That’s what we think. There’s a good mood and atmosphere. We were very good in attack in recent games. We want to win.”

Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel wants to build on his side’s last-gasp win over Leipzig when they travel to Freiburg on Friday.

Harry Kane’s stoppage-time winner last Sunday ended Bayern’s run of three straight defeats in all competitions.

“It’s been a good week,” Tuchel told a press conference. “A win always helps everyone, particularly a last-minute win. It’s given us confidence and a positive general feeling.

“We’ve had a good week, the messaging hasn’t changed much. We’re carrying on. Tomorrow it’s about being ready. The focus is more than ever on the here and now.”

Bayern remain eight points adrift of Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen so their season probably hinges on overturning a 1-0 deficit against Lazio in the second leg of their Champions League meeting on Tuesday.

But Tuchel insisted: “The match takes place before Lazio. It’s a completely different match.

“The best preparation for one match is a successful performance. We have to take it up a notch. We managed a little uptick against Leipzig, which has given us energy.

“I’m confident we’ll win tomorrow, but it’ll only happen with full focus. It’s always difficult in Freiburg.

“They’re very flexible, very variable and do a lot of running. They carry the ball well down the right with (Ritsu) Doan. (Vincenzo) Grifo on the left tries to be a threat with crosses from deep.

“They also use long balls with up to seven attacking players. We need answers and that’s what we’ll prepare the team for. It’s always passionate in Freiburg, too.”

Tuchel will hand a late fitness test to former Manchester City winger Leroy Sane.

“Leroy always wants to play,” he said. “He’s someone who can tolerate pain extremely well. He’s felt something in the last few weeks.

“Maybe he’s been grinning and bearing it a bit too much. I get the impression he’s not completely free. He has a lot of aches and pains and is paying a bit of a price for the overload.

“We need to find the best solution for tomorrow. He’s doing an individual test now. If he can, we’ll take him into the final training session.

“We’ll see if he can make the squad tomorrow and perhaps help us from the bench. We have to look from day to day.”

Matthijs de Ligt is suspended in Freiburg so Minjae Kim will come into the side.

“Serge Gnabry is back in training but it’s too early to take him,” added Tuchel.

“Alphonso Davies is also back in training, he’ll be in the squad. Kingsley Coman, Sacha Boey and Noussair Mazraoui aren’t available.”

Thomas Tuchel insists he will give everything to Bayern Munich ahead of his departure in the summer and hopes the decision over his future allows the team to play with “freedom”.

Tuchel has been unable to arrest a downturn in form, and speculation over his position came to a head this week when the club announced he would be leaving at the end of the current campaign.

Saturday’s game against RB Leipzig will be his first in charge since the news became public, with Bayern looking to end a three-game losing streak following losses to title rivals Bayer Leverkusen, Lazio and Bochum.

And while there is a possibility Tuchel could be seen as a lame duck coach over the coming months, he thinks the removal of uncertainty over his role could spark an upturn.

“I view it professionally and unemotionally. It’s a professional sport at the highest level,” he said of his shortened reign.

“There aren’t guilty individuals. I don’t think I’m the only problem, but I have responsibility. Now we have a new situation, it’s resolved, which hopefully makes it clear and brings freedom.

“This job only works if I give 100 per cent of myself. I have a very high professional expectation of myself and that’s completely dedicated to Bayern Munich until the end of the season. We have aims: we’re going for the maximum in the league and won’t give up until it’s over. In the Champions League we still have a second leg (against Lazio), so we are playing for maximum success.”

Tuchel resisted the temptation to divert blame away from himself and on to his players, but accepted the performance levels on matchday had been falling consistently short of expectations.

“The management know my analysis, which is also very self-critical. But it’s definitely not an analysis for the public,” he said.

“I’m not personally disappointed in the players. We have high standards, that won’t change. I’ve never had the feeling that there’s a big problem but there is a glaring discrepancy between the way we’re training and the way we’re playing. We’ve trained at a good level but that’s no guarantee that we’ll produce a good performance.”

Injuries have upset Bayern’s rhythm this term and they continue to be stretched, with Dayot Upamecano suspended and an injury list that contains Kingsley Coman, Sacha Boey, Noussair Mazraoui, Bouna Sarr, Serge Gnabry and Alphonso Davies.

Leipzig have proved tricky opponents in recent times, taking two draws and two wins from their last four games against Bayern.

Dani Olmo bagged a hat-trick when his side romped to a 3-0 win in the Super Cup final last August, a memory that still burns bright with the Spaniard.

“I would say it was a perfect game from all of us and for me individually to score three goals in Munich, in the Allianz, and to be able to win a trophy,” he said.

“It was for sure one of my best performances but we have to keep going because football never stops and now we have another chance. Bayern is always the opponent that motivates us. It’s always special.”

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.

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