Simone Inzaghi believes Inter demonstrated "a great desire to win" after Edin Dzeko's double secured a 2-1 victory over Sassuolo.

Inter, who beat Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday, got back to winning ways in Serie A after suffering back-to-back defeats, while they also ended a run of three successive away losses.

At the age of 36 years and 205 days, Dzeko passed the 100-goal mark in the Italian top flight, becoming the third-oldest player to do so after Goran Pandev (37y 268d) and Sergio Pellissier (37y 243d).

Inzaghi hailed the character shown by his players, telling DAZN in his post-match interview: "We saw an Inter that had a lot of desire to win and this overcame physical and mental fatigue.

"The team had a great desire to win, like Tuesday [against Barcelona in the Champions League]. Towards the end, despite the tiredness, we grew technically and this allowed us to win the game."

Inzaghi also highlighted the impact of club captain Samir Handanovic who, despite dropping to the bench to facilitate a Serie A debut for Andre Onana, gave a rousing pre-match speech in the dressing room at the MAPEI Stadium.

"Samir is an added value on the pitch and also off," Inzaghi said. "Only in this way can we move forward. But not only Samir, [everyone] made an important contribution.

"[Andre] played as I expected. A goalkeeper of very important quality and, in two months, he has shown that he can play the place with a great champion like Handanovic."

The big games keep coming for the Nerazzurri, who travel to Camp Nou in midweek for their return fixture against Barca.

"Now, we will have Barcelona, it is a delicate and important moment, with a few rotations especially in attack and in midfield," Inzaghi added. "We have to recover our energy."

Simone Inzaghi believes Inter demonstrated "a great desire to win" after Edin Dzeko's double secured a 2-1 victory over Sassuolo.

Inter, who beat Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday, got back to winning ways in Serie A after suffering back-to-back defeats, while they also ended a run of three successive away losses.

At the age of 36 years and 205 days, Dzeko passed the 100-goal mark in the Italian top flight, becoming the third-oldest player to do so after Goran Pandev (37y 268d) and Sergio Pellissier (37y 243d).

Inzaghi hailed the character shown by his players, telling DAZN in his post-match interview: "We saw an Inter that had a lot of desire to win and this overcame physical and mental fatigue.

"The team had a great desire to win, like Tuesday [against Barcelona in the Champions League]. Towards the end, despite the tiredness, we grew technically and this allowed us to win the game."

Inzaghi also highlighted the impact of club captain Samir Handanovic who, despite dropping to the bench to facilitate a Serie A debut for Andre Onana, gave a rousing pre-match speech in the dressing room at the MAPEI Stadium.

"Samir is an added value on the pitch and also off," Inzaghi said. "Only in this way can we move forward. But not only Samir, [everyone] made an important contribution.

"[Andre] played as I expected. A goalkeeper of very important quality and, in two months, he has shown that he can play the place with a great champion like Handanovic."

The big games keep coming for the Nerazzurri, who travel to Camp Nou in midweek for their return fixture against Barca.

"Now, we will have Barcelona, it is a delicate and important moment, with a few rotations especially in attack and in midfield," Inzaghi added. "We have to recover our energy."

Erling Haaland continued his remarkable scoring run as Manchester City climbed above Arsenal at the Premier League summit after a commanding 4-0 victory over Southampton.

City soon eased into the ascendancy at Etihad Stadium as Joao Cancelo and Manchester derby hat-trick hero Phil Foden struck in a first half where a tepid Southampton offered little.

Riyad Mahrez stretched the advantage after the break before Haaland collected his 15th league goal, as many as Kevin De Bruyne managed when finishing as City's top scorer in the competition last term.

Pep Guardiola's team moved two points clear of Arsenal, who play Liverpool on Sunday, after their ninth straight home win in the league, scoring at least three goals in each of those games.

 

Former City goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu parried away a fizzing Mahrez half-volley, while Haaland struck the left post after a Foden throughball in a frantic start.

Cancelo broke the deadlock in the 20th minute as he twisted past James Ward-Prowse before drilling a left-footed strike past Bazunu, who then denied Foden on the half-hour mark.

However, there was no stopping Foden shortly after as the England international delicately chipped over the onrushing Bazunu following De Bruyne's pass.

Mahrez volleyed in a third goal from Rodri's lofted cross shortly after half-time, before City had a penalty appeal turned down for what they thought was a Mohammed Salisu pull on Haaland.

Southampton could not keep Haaland quiet for much longer, with their new talisman converting into the bottom-left corner in the 65th minute after Cancelo's cutback.

What does it mean? City dominant as Saints away woes continue

A 6-3 humbling of Manchester United and a 5-0 victory in Europe over Copenhagen were backed up in dominant fashion by City against Southampton, with Guardiola's side showing no signs of relenting.

While a tougher task will follow at Anfield against Liverpool next week, City continue to sweep aside opponents at will as they search for a fifth top-flight crown in the last six seasons.

Meanwhile, Southampton's away struggles persist, and boss Ralph Hasenhuttl is under serious pressure now. They are without a clean sheet in their last 19 Premier League away games – both the longest current run in the league and their worst such streak in the competition.

De Bruyne makes history

De Bruyne has been in incredible form throughout the start of this season and picked up yet another assist after teeing up Foden – the ninth goal the Belgium international has set up in as many Premier League games this season.

The simple throughball for Foden also marked De Bruyne's 94th assist in the Premier League for City, surpassing David Silva for the most goals created for the club in the competition.

Haaland is human

Haaland has taken to life in England with ridiculous ease, scoring 20 goals in 13 games across all competitions and breaking numerous records along the way.

After just nine Premier League games, the striker needs just one more goal to surpass City's top scorer last season, De Bruyne, which is frankly astonishing.

He missed a few chances here, though, and looked on in disbelief when his shot that rattled the left post did not bounce into the net off the upright.

What's next?

City head to Copenhagen to play in the Champions League on Tuesday, before the crunch clash at Liverpool arrives next Sunday, when Southampton host West Ham.

Goals from Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic and Armando Broja gave Chelsea a 3-0 win over Wolves at Stamford Bridge in Graham Potter's first home league match in charge.

A much-changed Chelsea dominated the opening 45 minutes and took the lead in first-half injury time when Havertz nodded home Mason Mount's cross.

Mount then had a big hand in the second, playing in Pulisic to dink over Jose Sa, before substitute Broja raced through to add a late third as Chelsea beat Wolves for the first time in four attempts.

The Blues move up to fourth as Potter earns an important first home league victory after making seven changes.

The hosts started brightly with Conor Gallagher and Havertz both going close in the early minutes, though Daniel Podence headed just wide at the other end.

Jorginho saw a low drive parried away by Sa, while Mount dragged a shot left of the target as Chelsea pressed for an early goal.

Joao Moutinho tested Kepa Arrizabalaga with a powerful free-kick, before Sa made a brilliant save to tip a Pulisic curler wide at full stretch.

But Wolves' resistance was broken in first-half injury time as Havertz looped a sublime header into the far corner from Mount's driven cross from the right.

The visitors enjoyed a much better spell after the interval, but fell further behind when Pulisic and Mount combined before the former delicately finished to make it 2-0.

Havertz could have added a third shortly after, but his chip was pushed away by Sa before Hwang Hee-chan missed a golden opportunity to pull a goal back as he fired straight at Arrizabalaga.

Broja rounded off the scoring in the dying minutes, cutting onto his right foot before firing a delightful finish into the bottom corner to cap a brilliant Chelsea display.

Barcelona coach Xavi believes the club and Atletico Madrid have reached an agreement for the permanent transfer of Antoine Griezmann to Los Colchoneros.

Reports emerged earlier this week suggesting the two LaLiga giants had struck a €19.9million deal for the Frenchman, who is on loan at Atletico from Barca.

Griezmann made his return to Atletico on an initial temporary deal last year, with the two-year agreement set to become a permanent move for a reported €40m in 2023 if a specific clause was met.

The clause required Griezmann to play at least 30 minutes – not including stoppage time – in a percentage of Atletico's matches, though the exact proportion is unclear as some media outlets claim it is over 80 per cent and others suggest it is around 50 per cent.

Nevertheless, Atletico coach Diego Simeone had been carefully managing Griezmann's minutes seemingly to avoid triggering the €40m clause – the Frenchman has completed two full LaLiga games this term, and in his other six appearances he featured for no more than 30 minutes each time.

Atletico's tactics appears to have succeeded in getting Griezmann's price reduced considerably, with Xavi revealing an agreement was in place.

"The club tells me that they have reached an agreement, but it is not official," he told reporters on Saturday.

"If there is an agreement, all parties are happy. I wish the player the best."

Griezmann controversially joined Barca from Atletico in 2019 when the Blaugrana triggered his €120m release clause.

But in two full LaLiga campaigns at Camp Nou, Griezmann struggled to rediscover the form that attracted Barca to him in the first place, scoring 22 goals in 71 league games – he netted as many times in a single season on two separate occasions for Atletico in the past.

Although he was even less productive in front of goal upon his return to Atletico, scoring just three in 26 league outings last term, Simeone remains a strong advocate for the 31-year-old.

Edin Dzeko took his tally of Serie A goals past 100 as Inter edged out Sassuolo 2-1 at the MAPEI Stadium on Saturday.

The 36-year-old became the third-oldest player to reach a century in the Italian top light when he broke the deadlock in the 44th minute with only his second strike of the season.

Davide Frattesi's 60th-minute volley brought the hosts level, but Dzeko grabbed the winner and his 101st in the division when he headed home Henrikh Mkhitaryan's cross 15 minutes from time.

Simone Inzaghi's side are back to winning ways in Serie A following back-to-back defeats, while also ending a three-game losing streak on the road.

Sassuolo went close to opening the scoring in the fourth minute when Frattesi was denied from tight angle while Armand Lauriente's follow-up was blocked by face of Nicolo Barella, who was subsequently cleared to continue.

A scorer in two of the last three meetings between the sides, Lautaro Martinez squandered a brilliant opportunity to break the deadlock 10 minutes later. Denzel Dumfries capitalised on sloppy possession by the hosts before crossing for the sliding Argentina international, who somehow steered wide from six yards out.

Inter broke through just before half-time as Dumfries flicked on a corner and Dzeko volleyed home from close range.

The hosts equalised on the hour mark when Rogerio's deep cross was met on the volley by Frattesi in the six-yard box.

However, the visitors regained the lead with a quarter of an hour remaining. Moments after Andrea Consigli had produced stunning reflexes to deny Martinez, the goalkeeper was powerless as Dzeko headed home Mkhitaryan's delivery to snatch all three points.

Bayern Munich would not consider selling a player of Jude Bellingham's quality if the Borussia Dortmund midfielder was at the Allianz Arena, according to Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. 

England international Bellingham is into his third campaign with Bundesliga side Dortmund and is considered one of the finest talents in world football, having impressed for both club and country.

The 19-year-old this week captained BVB to a 4-1 win at Sevilla, where he became only the second teenager to score in the first three games of a Champions League campaign after former team-mate Erling Haaland at Salzburg in the 2019-20 season.

Bellingham's continued fine form has led to strong talk from Spain that Real Madrid are already in talks to sign the youngster at the end of the season, although they may face competition from Premier League heavyweights Chelsea and Liverpool.

Dortmund would reportedly be open to selling Bellingham if a big enough offer is tabled, but Rummenigge insists that would never be the case at rivals Bayern, whom he spent nearly 30 years with as part of the club's board.

"As a rule, Bayern Munich do not need to sell players in order to improve their balance sheet," long-serving Bayern CEO Rummenigge told Funke Mediengruppe. 

"At Dortmund, there is already talk of Bellingham leaving. Bayern would not sell such a player."

 

Bellingham's tally of three Champions League goals this season is already a joint-high among English teenagers for a single campaign, along with Manchester United's Wayne Rooney in the 2004-05 season.

He has featured 102 times for Dortmund in all competitions since arriving from Birmingham City in July 2020 and been capped 17 times by England at senior level – a tally he is certain to add to at this year's World Cup.

And former England centre-back Rio Ferdinand recently commented he believes Bellingham is ahead of any other previous midfielders at the same age.

"What he's doing in his position at his age, we haven't seen," Ferdinand told BT Sport. "The best of our generation, [Frank] Lampard, [Steven] Gerrard, [Paul] Scholes, [Patrick] Vieira, Roy Keane, they weren't doing this.

"He's still got to go on and prove it over a long period of time, but they weren't doing what he is doing right now [at the same age]. Influencing games at this level, captaining teams at this level, and mentally this kid's a beast."

Xavi revealed Frenkie de Jong could start in defence on his return from injury when Barcelona welcome Celta Vigo in LaLiga.

The Blaugrana are aiming to remain at the LaLiga summit as they seek a response from the midweek Champions League defeat by Inter.

De Jong is back in the squad having missed his side's last two matches after sustaining a thigh injury while on international duty with the Netherlands last month.

Though he did not confirm the midfielder would start at Camp Nou, Xavi indicated he could fill in at centre-half in the absence of the likes of Ronald Araujo and Andreas Christensen.

When asked about De Jong at his pre-match press conference, the head coach said: "He's 100 per cent. We'll see what we decide tomorrow.

"Frenkie can play centre-back, we've already tried it. He is powerful and fast, but there are other alternatives. There is versatility in the dressing room."

One of those alternatives could be 19-year-old Chadi Riad, who would make his senior Barca debut should he feature against Vigo.

"We know him from last year and the pre-season," Xavi said. "He is aggressive, with good output ... he has a future. We follow him. He can prove things, he can become important."

Xavi also urged his players to lend leading marksman Robert Lewandowski a hand on the goalscoring front. 

The Poland skipper has scored nine of their 19 goals in LaLiga this term, with his nearest challengers Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele both netting just twice apiece thus far.

"We have to improve the goals without him," the head coach observed. "And also improve fouls, shoot from outside the area... everyone must contribute goals. We have to improve the scoring ability of those at the top.

"We need to shoot more when we have the ball, find that final pass, find the right solutions. We must improve and be more competitive. You have to be more optimistic in front of goal."

 

 

 

Miralem Pjanic has hit out at former Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman, claiming training sessions lacked intensity, tactics and ideas during the Dutchman's spell at Camp Nou.

Pjanic made 19 league appearances for Barcelona in the 2020-21 season after joining from Juventus, spending the last campaign on loan at Besiktas before joining Emirati outfit Sharjah last month.

The Bosnia and Herzegovina international has been critical of Koeman in the past, accusing the Dutchman of "disrespecting" him following his move to Turkey in September 2021.

Speaking to Cadena Ser on Friday, Pjanic attacked Koeman's methods once more, saying: "I was very surprised in training with Koeman.

"There was no intensity, no tactics, no ideas. We did not prepare for the games."

 

Pjanic spent his most recent pre-season at Barcelona under Koeman's successor Xavi, and was far more enthusiastic in his assessment of the current Blaugrana coach.

"Preparation and training was good under Xavi, similar to what I was used to at Juventus, for example, where we won everything," Pjanic added.

"Now the sessions at Barca have a lot of intensity. Xavi and his staff were very clear with us at the start of the season. They told us this year we would have to run and go 2000 miles per hour.

"Every day is like a game in training at Barcelona now, because there is so much quality in the squad and a lot of intensity."

Xavi has led Barca to an unbeaten start to the season in LaLiga, having overseen a second-placed finish after taking over from Koeman midway through last season. 

Stefano Pioli has called for Milan to respond to Wednesday's demoralising defeat at Chelsea when they host Juventus in a huge Serie A clash on Saturday.

Goals from Wesley Fofana, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Reece James condemned Milan to their heaviest ever Champions League group-stage loss last time out, ensuring the Rossoneri remain third in Group E.

Milan have fared better on the domestic front, however, and sit four points clear of the under-fire Bianconeri in the early-season Serie A table.

Speaking at Friday's pre-match news conference, Pioli called for Milan to set their chastening defeat at Stamford Bridge aside as he demanded defensive improvements.  

"We put the game in London behind us straight away and we'll revisit it from Sunday onwards," Pioli said. "The players are eager to react. 

"This doesn't necessarily mean we'll win because the opponents exist too, but we won't be lacking in desire, motivation and determination.

"We've conceded a few too many goals. We can do better, and Chelsea did well to make the most of our mistakes the other night. 

"When there are simple situations, a team of our quality needs to be more attentive. We're a bit more of an attacking side than last year, but I don't think that it can be put down to this.

"Often, we have the numerical superiority, and we can interpret certain situations better."

Milan's last home outing saw them lose to Serie A leaders Napoli, ending a six-match winning streak at San Siro in the competition. The Rossoneri have never lost successive home league games under Pioli.

Meanwhile, Pioli has defended young forward Charles De Ketelaere, who has yet to score since joining from Club Brugge, comparing his early struggles to those of Rafael Leao and Sandro Tonali.

"He's on the right path, and I'm happy with what he's doing. I remember Rafa three years ago and Tonali in his first year," Pioli said.

"Many were quick to criticise them and question their qualities. Charles is talented and needs time to adapt and learn about certain situations, but he's on the right path."

Although Juventus have made an underwhelming start to the new campaign, they have lost just four Serie A games in 2022, and Pioli expects a stern test.

"During a season, there are two or three games that carry more weight, and going up against Juventus is of particular importance for many reasons," Pioli said.

"We're all responsible for the performance in London, and we're determined to show that we're a different team compared to the one that showed up on Wednesday."

It is a long time since the winners of a Klassiker may not be sitting pretty at the top of the Bundesliga at the end of the game.

But even a ninth successive victory for Bayern Munich over Borussia Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park on Saturday may not be enough for the champions to be at the summit.

Bayern head into the first showdown with Dortmund this season in third place, level on points with Edin Terzic's fourth-place side as Union Berlin surprisingly lead the way ahead of Freiburg after eight matches.

It is the first time in 13 years that neither side have been in the top two when this fixture has kicked off.

Dortmund have already suffered three Bundesliga defeats this season, but they come into the game buoyed by a 4-1 Champions League victory at Sevilla.

Bayern hammered Viktoria Plzen in midweek after a 4-0 rout of Bayer Leverkusen, so there could be goals aplenty this weekend.

Stats Perform previews the 132st showdown between the two rivals in all competitions in the Bundesliga era by picking out some standout Opta data.

 

Dortmund desperate to end dismal Klassiker run

The last time Dortmund got the better of Bayern was back in August 2019, when they 2-0 winners in the German Super Cup.

Their two goalscorers in that game are no longer at the club, with Jadon Sancho at Manchester United and Paco Alcacer with Sharjah.

Dortmund have not beaten Bayern in the Bundesliga since winning a classic 3-2 in November 2018, Marco Reus – who is missing this weekend due to an ankle injury – claiming a double.

Only against Hamburg between 1982 and 1985 have Dortmund lost eight competitive games in a row, so another defeat this weekend would set an unwanted record.

 

Hummels could make timely return

Mats Hummels has missed the two games since the international break due to illness, but could return against his former club.

Nine of the 10 goals Dortmund have conceded in the Bundesliga this season have been when Hummels was not on the pitch.

They have shipped only goal in 512 minutes while the vastly experienced centre-back has been on the field, but let in one every 23 minutes without him.

Terzic said ahead of the match: "We would be very happy if he were an option. It's a case of seeing how he feels and how his body reacts to the workload."

 

Sane and Musiala firing for free-scoring Bayern

Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala have made great starts to the campaign for Julian Nagelsmann's side.

Sane endured a difficult start to life at Bayern after his move from Manchester City, but the winger has scored nine goals this season – four of those coming in the Champions League.

Only Gerd Muller has scored more than Musiala's five goals in eight matches at the start of a Bundesliga season as a teenager, the Bayern and Germany legend striking seven times at the start of the 1965-66 campaign.

Falling behind may not be a problem for free-scoring champions

The importance of starting strongly is stressed so often, but Bayern may not be too concerned if they go behind.

That is because Dortmund are the only team this Bundesliga campaign to lose twice after leading in games (3-2 v Werder Bremen and 3-2 at Cologne). 

Not that Bayern have been slow to get going, as they have scored 16 goals in the first half of Bundesliga games this season, with no other team scoring more than nine.

There is "much more to come" from Jude Bellingham, according to Borussia Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic.

Bellingham captained the Bundesliga side during Wednesday's 4-1 win at Sevilla, where he became just the second teenager to score in the first three games of a Champions League campaign.

The only other player to achieve that feat is his former Dortmund team-mate Erling Haaland, who did so with Salzburg in the 2019-20 season.

Bellingham's tally of three Champions League goals this season is already a joint-high among English teenagers for a single campaign, along with Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, back in 2004-05.

The 19-year-old England international has been in good form for club and country, and Terzic believes he can get even better.

 

"[Bellingham] has been playing very consistently, getting more control and balance in his game," he said at a press conference ahead of Dortmund's Der Klassiker clash with Bayern Munich.

"We are very happy with the way he presents himself here every day. But this is not the end, there is much more to come."

Dortmund and Bayern head into Saturday's contest level on points in the Bundesliga, both two points behind surprise leaders Union Berlin and second-placed Freiburg.

Terzic is hopeful his team can produce a similar performance to the one in Seville, rather than their last league outing, where they lost 3-2 at Koln.

"We will not only need a good and disciplined tactical performance; we will need courage too," he said. "Courage to keep the ball, courage in one-on-ones and to get shots away.

"Not only against Bayern, but especially against Bayern."

The 39-year-old confirmed Marco Reus will not return for the game, having already been out with an ankle injury before illness halted his rehabilitation this week.

However, Mats Hummels could be back after his own illness, with a hopeful Terzic saying: "We would be very happy if he were an option. It's a case of seeing how he feels and how his body reacts to the workload." 

Pep Guardiola is backing Xabi Alonso to make a success of his big break at Bayer Leverkusen.

Former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich midfielder Alonso was named head coach of the Bundesliga team on Wednesday.

It is the 40-year-old's most prominent role since retiring from playing in 2017, since when he has been building towards a top job, spending three years as coach of Real Sociedad B.

Like Guardiola, Alonso's playing career was spent largely as a deep-sitting central midfielder. Both men played for Spain, with Guardiola earning 47 caps and Alonso representing his country 114 times.

Alonso won a World Cup and two European Championships in Spain's golden era of success from 2008 to 2012, a period which coincided with Guardiola's reign as Barcelona boss.

He later played for Guardiola at Bayern Munich, where Alonso made a great impression on his compatriot and coach.

"He was an exceptional holding midfielder, and when you are an exceptional holding midfielder you have to understand the game," Guardiola said on Friday.

"He reads perfectly, and he's a lovely, lovely person."

Speaking at Manchester City's regular Friday press conference, Guardiola sent best wishes to Alonso, whose Leverkusen side face Schalke in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Leverkusen sit 17th in the 18-team league, winning one of eight games in the competition so far, form that saw Alonso's predecessor Gerardo Seoane sacked.

They have finished in the top six in each of the last five seasons, and 12 of the last 13 campaigns, so the club's standards are high.

Now Alonso steps in, and Guardiola said: "It's an incredible opportunity. He goes to the Bundesliga, a league that he knows quite well.

"It's a really good team in the Bundesliga, prestigious, still playing Champions League, I wish him the best, and hopefully he can do the job."

Leverkusen have failed to win any of their first four home games of a Bundesliga season (D1, L3) for the first time ever. The Schalke game comes at the BayArena, giving Alonso the chance to immediately halt that dismal run.

It happens that Leverkusen have only had more Bundesliga wins against Stuttgart (39) than they have achieved against Schalke (34), with Alonso's new team unbeaten in their past six league clashes with Die Konigsblauen (W4, D2).

Lionel Messi will sit out of Paris Saint-Germain's Ligue 1 trip to Reims after suffering from discomfort in his calf, Christophe Galtier has confirmed. 

Messi opened the scoring in spectacular fashion as PSG drew 1-1 at Benfica on Wednesday, becoming the first player to score against 40 different teams in Champions League history.

He has also been involved in seven goals in his last five Ligue 1 matches (two goals, five assists), but a medical update issued by the club revealed Messi would miss Saturday's match despite undergoing "reassuring examinations" on a calf injury.

"There will be changes," Galtier subsequently told Friday's pre-match news conference.

"Leo Messi will not be fit for Reims but will resume training on Sunday morning. Kylian Mbappe has angina but will be travelling to Reims."

Meanwhile, Galtier praised Gianluigi Donnarumma for his response to criticism of his early season performances, after the Italy goalkeeper made six saves at Benfica.

"He works well, nobody is airtight against remarks - sometimes it becomes criticism and nobody is insensitive," Galtier said.

"What I could notice in this period is that he remained focused on his work, by trying to eliminate his little flaws and keep his strengths. 

"I saw nothing different in his preparation for the Benfica match. Obviously, he and the whole team, we were all satisfied with his performance in Lisbon. 

"I always pointed out his few little mistakes, whether it was a lack of concentration or other issues. He was told after Benfica that he must continue to always be efficient."

Should PSG win at Reims, they will have taken 28 points from their first 10 matches of the Ligue 1 campaign.

In the 21st century, only two teams have reached at least 28 points at that stage of a Ligue 1 season, with both going on to finish as champions (Lyon – 28 in 2006-07, and PSG – 30 in 2018-19).

Thomas Muller will not feature when Bayern Munich meet Borussia Dortmund on Saturday after continuing to suffer from COVID-19 symptoms, Julian Nagelsmann has revealed.

Joshua Kimmich, however, is in contention to return after recovering from the virus, as Bayern bid for a ninth consecutive win over their rivals.

Muller and Kimmich missed Tuesday's 5-0 Champions League win over Viktoria Plzen after testing positive for the virus last week, but both players have now returned negative tests.

However, Nagelsmann revealed on Friday that Muller was still experiencing symptoms and would miss the trip to BVB, although he was more positive regarding Kimmich's chances.

"Though they have both tested negative, Thomas Muller still has some cold symptoms, so he won't be in the squad," Nagelsmann said.

"Joshua Kimmich, everything looks good. He has no symptoms, he was asymptomatic the whole time. 

"He'll travel with the squad and then we'll see how far off he is after five days on the sidelines, whether he can feature in the starting lineup.

"It's a special game and that might mean there are special circumstances, but we'll see how training goes and how he feels.

"At the end of the day, both are now free from the constraints, which is good news."

With surprise packages Union Berlin and Freiburg setting the pace at the Bundesliga summit, Saturday's game will represent the first time in 13 years that neither Bayern or Dortmund has topped the league table ahead of a head-to-head meeting.

Though Dortmund's eight-match losing streak against Bayern is their joint- longest against any opponent in their history, Nagelsmann is wary of the threat posed by Edin Terzic's men. 

"They have made some good signings and have put together a strong team," he added. "Overall, I think they are having a solid season.

"They are a tough opponent and it will definitely be a good game. They're going to be a top opponent and it will be a really good game.

"We want to win more than anything. Dortmund like to defend deep and remain compact while waiting for opportunities to counter. They always have a clear shape when they counter.

"There's not really any sense of extra anticipation or tension, the preparations are the same. We don't want to let the tension come in too early, because if it comes too early, it can be hard to carry through."

Saturday's match will also see two of Europe's most highly rated prospects go head-to-head, as Bayern and Germany creator Jamal Musiala faces in-form England midfielder Jude Bellingham.

Nagelsmann praised both players as he hailed Musiala's development before adding: "Bellingham is having a very good season, he's very active, a different player to Jamal.

"He's more of a box-to-box player. With Jamal, it's all about the danger he can pose in front of goal, the passes he can play, and we're very happy that we have him.

"He has developed really well. He also developed well last season but didn't really hit that top level. Now, we're starting to see him do that.

"They both also have good standings in their national teams as well, so I think we can all enjoy the fact they are in the Bundesliga." 

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