Eintracht Frankfurt Troll Barcelona Despite Loss To Bayern Munich


Bayern Munich’s German midfielder Leroy Sane (2nd R) celebrates scoring the 4-0 goal with his team-mates during the German first division Bundesliga football match between FC Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt on October 24, 2020, in Munich, southern Germany.
CHRISTOF STACHE / AFP / POOL

 

Bundesliga side, Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday trolled Barcelona despite the team’s loss to Bayern Munich in a league game.

The German and European champions won 5-0 but Frankfurt in a tweet on their handle trolled Barcelona who were defeated 8-2 by the Bavarians in the quarter-final of the UEFA Champions League last season.

“FINAL — We fall to the Champions of Europe by less goals than @FCBarcelona did,” the club tweeted on their US handle after the match.

 

Lewandowski On Fire

Robert Lewandowski took his Bundesliga tally to a record 10 goals in the first five games this season with a hat-trick as Bayern Munich thumped Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0 on Saturday, then issued a warning to the European champions’ future opponents.

“I hope that we will keep this form for a very long time — it doesn’t matter against who we play, we always want to show our best football, we always want to win,” Lewandowski told Sky.

Lewandowski has scored nine goals in his last three league games and wrapped up his treble within an hour at the Allianz Arena.

Defending champions Bayern have scored 22 goals this term — 10 more than league leaders RB Leipzig who stayed top with a 2-1 win over 10-man Hertha Berlin.

 

(L-R) Frankfurt’s German defender Martin Hinteregger, Bayern Munich’s German forward Thomas Mueller and Frankfurt’s Japanese midfielder Makoto Hasebe vie for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match between FC Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt on October 24, 2020 in Munich, southern Germany. CHRISTOF STACHE / AFP / POOL

 

Bayern sit one point behind in second place, level on 12 points with third-placed Dortmund who later saw off Schalke 3-0 at home in the Ruhr derby with goals by Manuel Akanji, Erling Braut Haaland and Mats Hummels.

In Munich, Leroy Sane marked his return from injury with the fourth goal during a brief cameo, before England Under-17 midfielder Jamal Musiala also came off the bench to net the fifth.

– Davies injury –

However, Bayern’s victory came at a price with Canadian left-back Alphonso Davies out for up to eight weeks with torn ankle ligaments.

Lewandowski underlined his status as one of the world’s best strikers last season by scoring a career-best 55 goals in 47 games, including 34 in the Bundesliga.

The Polish international opened the scoring on 10 minutes when he fired home, then beat Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp with a powerful header in the 26th minute.

Bayern had a penalty appeal turned down when Douglas Costa’s cross clipped the hand of Frankfurt’s Makoto Hasebe.

Lewandowski wrapped up his hat-trick on the hour mark with a clinical finish from another Costa cross.

Sane then came on to ghost past a defender and drive his shot into the bottom corner with 18 minutes left before Musiala grabbed the final goal as Frankfurt suffered their first league defeat of the season.

Later, Haaland, 20, netted his 23rd goal in 26 games since his January transfer to Dortmund as they extended Schalke’s miserable record to 21 Bundesliga games without a win.

Dortmund bounced back from their 3-1 Champions League defeat in mid-week at Lazio with an impressive display.

Dortmund centre-back Akanji, back in the side after recovering from the coronavirus, opened the scoring on 55 minutes when he rifled home a rebound.

“I’m fully fit and it’s nice to score after a few unpleasant days at home in quarantine,” Akanji later told Sky.

– Haaland strikes again –

Haaland put the result beyond doubt with a superb chip over Schalke goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow on 61 minutes after staying on his feet despite a defender’s lunging challenge.

Hummels struck with a powerful header from a corner 12 minutes from time.

Earlier, Leipzig came from behind in a 2-1 win over Hertha, whose Colombian striker Jhon Cordoba scored in the eighth minute.

Leipzig drew level when defender Dayot Upamecano fired home from a free-kick on 11 minutes.

Berlin were reduced to 10 men after the break when substitute Deyovaisio Zeefuik was shown two yellow cards within four minutes of coming on.

Leipzig made the man advantage count when Marcel Sabitzer converted a penalty with 13 minutes left.

Hertha were lucky not to finish with nine men when another sub, Jessic Ngankam, scythed down Leipzig left-back Angelino and the referee changed his decision to a yellow card having initially shown a red.

Borussia Moenchengladbach warmed up for Tuesday’s Champions League game at home to Real Madrid with a 3-2 comeback win at Mainz.

Germany midfielder Lars Stindl gave Gladbach an early lead, but the visitors were 2-1 down at half-time after French striker Jean-Philippe Mateta scored twice for Mainz.

Gladbach midfielder Jonas Hofmann converted a penalty on 76 minutes before Matthias Ginter headed the winner as Gladbach climbed to fifth.

Union Berlin drew 1-1 at home against Freiburg as Vincenzo Grifo’s first-half goal was cancelled out two minutes later by Union midfielder Robert Andrich.

AFP

Lewandowski Hits Four As Bayern Munich Win Seven-Goal Thriller

Bayern Munich’s Polish forward Robert Lewandowski celebrates scoring during the German first division Bundesliga football match FC Bayern Munich vs Hertha Berlin on October 4, 2020 in Munich, southern Germany. (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE / AFP).

 

Robert Lewandowski netted four goals – including the decisive added-time penalty – as defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich survived a fight-back by Hertha Berlin to seal a nervy 4-3 win on Sunday.

Lewandowki, voted European footballer of the year on Friday, scored twice to put Bayern 2-0 up early in the second half only for Hertha to score three times to make it 3-3 with time almost up.

However, the Poland hot-shot then converted a 93rd-minute spot kick to seal the win which lifts Bayern to fourth in the table.

The victory got Bayern back to winning ways after their record 23-match winning streak was ended by a 4-1 defeat at Hoffenheim last Sunday.

Yet the European champions again looked jaded at the Allianz Arena while Hertha finished the stronger.

Fresh from their 3-2 victory over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday in the German Super Cup, Bayern gave a first start to US junior international Chris Richards, 20, at right-back.

In the build-up, Bayern announced the signing of defensive midfielder Marc Roca from Espanyol to replace Thiago Alcantara who has joined Liverpool.
– Hertha fight back –

Bayern made a nervy start as Hertha’s Colombia striker Jhon Cordoba beat Manuel Neuer on 15 minutes with a fierce strike, but he was offside.

Thomas Mueller headed the ball in the Hertha net on 36 minutes, but the VAR ruled he was offside.

Lewandowski first struck on 40 minutes when he fired home the rebound after Hertha goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow had saved his initial header.

It was Lewandowski’s 100th Bundesliga goal for Bayern at Munich’s Allianz Arena.

It was 1-0 at the break, but the Poland star doubled his tally six minutes into the second half when he turned through 180 degrees to fire home after Richard’s pass.

Hertha pulled a goal back when Cordoba struck with a header on 59 minutes from a free-kick by Matheus Cunha, who has been called up by Brazi.

The 21-year-old Cunha then made it 2-2 after dribbling past Jerome Boateng, then beat David Alaba and Benjamin Pavard before firing past Neuer on 71 minutes.

Bayern again pulled ahead when Mueller met Alaba’s free-kick and served up a tap-in for Lewandowski on 85 minutes.

There was still time for Hertha replacement Jessic Ngankam to header an equaliser past Neuer on 88 minutes.

However, Lewandowski netted the decisive spot kick just before the whistle after being pulled down by Berlin defender Maximilian Mittelstaedt.
– Augsburg miss top spot –

Earlier, second-placed Augsburg missed the chance to top the table as they were held to a goalless draw at Wolfsburg, who had a first-half goal disallowed.

Having beaten Union Berlin and shocked Borussia Dortmund in their opening German league games, a third straight win would have sent Augsburg top ahead of RB Leipzig, who routed bottom side Schalke 4-0 on Saturday.

With coach Heiko Herrlich missing on the sidelines due to a lung problem, Augsburg’s attack failed to find the net at Wolfsburg, who have drawn their opening three league games.

The hosts had a first-half goal by midfielder Josip Brekalo ruled out as the VAR spotted striker Wout Weghorst offside in the build up.

AFP

Struggling Mainz Sack Head Coach Beierlorzer

Achim Beierlorzer
Mainz’ German head coach Achim Beierlorzer arrives for the German first division Bundesliga football match Mainz 05 v VfB Stuttgart on September 26, 2020 in Mainz, southern Germany. (Photo by Daniel ROLAND / AFP) 

 

 

Mainz sacked head coach Achim Beierlorzer on Monday after just two games of the new Bundesliga season.

Beierlorzer has overseen two defeats in those two games, the second on Saturday when Mainz were thrashed 4-1 at home by newly-promoted Stuttgart.

The 52-year-old manager arrived at Mainz in November 2019 and successfully led the club away from potential relegation last season.

Assistant coach Jan-Moritz Lichte will take charge of the side until further notice.

Beierlorzer’s sacking is the second in as many days, Schalke having shown David Wagner the door on Sunday.

-AFP

Bayern Boss Flick Refuses To Blame Players, Fatigue For Hoffenheim Humiliation

Hoffenheim players celebrate after the German first division Bundesliga football match TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v FC Bayern Munich on September 27, 2020 in Mainz, southern Germany.
Daniel ROLAND / AFP

 

Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick refused to blame fatigue or his players for Sunday’s shock 4-1 defeat at Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga which ended the European champions’ 23-match winning streak.

Having needed 120 minutes before to beat Sevilla 2-1 in the UEFA Super Cup showdown in Budapest on Thursday, Bayern lost for the first time in ten months, but Flick refused to blame his side’s tired limbs.

 


Bayern Munich’s German head coach Hans-Dieter Flick looks on ahead the German first division Bundesliga football match TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v FC Bayern Munich on September 27, 2020 in Mainz, southern Germany. Daniel ROLAND / AFP

 

“It was clear that we would lose at some point. We’re going to forget this game and still have confidence in our strengths,” said Flick in Hoffenheim as Bayern lost for the first time since December 2019.

“I can’t really blame the team for their dedication and determination. The mentality after the 120 minutes on Thursday was top.

“We’ll tick this game off and prepare to face Dortmund,” Flick added with one eye on Wednesday’s German Super Cup showdown in Munich, which could give Bayern a fifth title in 2020.

Bayern captain Manuel Neuer also refused to blame their crammed fixture list, a knock-on effect of the coronavirus pandemic, with the defending German champions often playing twice a week this season.

“We’re not looking for excuses. This is what awaits us this year. There’s a game every couple of days, we know that and have to accept it,” said Neuer.

Flick rested star striker Robert Lewandowski from his starting side, but Bayern never recovered from conceding two goals in the opening 25 minutes.

First, Hoffenheim defender Ermin Bicakcic, who later went off injured, headed the hosts into the lead, then striker Munas Dabbur chipped Manuel Neuer after a horrible mistake by Munich defender Benjamin Pavard.

A superb strike by Joshua Kimmich from the edge of the area gave Bayern a 2-1 lifeline at half-time.

Having hit the crossbar just before the break, Croatia international striker Andrej Kramaric netted a second-half goal, then converted a late penalty to seal the win and move Hoffenheim to the top of the league.

Bayern are in the unusual position of seventh in the Bundesliga table after the first two matches.

“The table standings mean nothing, honestly”, insisted Hoffenheim coach Sebastian Hoeness, the 38-year-old nephew of Bayern’s honorary president Uli Hoeness who coached Munich’s reserves last season before joining Hoffenheim.

“The win means that we are on the right path, the main thing is that we stay cool, we are still in a process” of developing.”

Bayern forward Thomas Mueller said they will take the defeat in their stride.

“I don’t know any team in sport that has remained undefeated or without defeat for years,” he said.

“Of course, we didn’t want that and before the game I didn’t have the feeling at all that it would happen today. But it happened.

“Now we just have to deal with it, have a good rest and on Wednesday, go straight into the next game.

“We have a very nice opportunity to fight back.

AFP

Hoffenheim End Bayern Munich’s 23-Match Winning Streak


Hoffenheim players celebrate after the German first division Bundesliga football match TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v FC Bayern Munich on September 27, 2020 in Mainz, southern Germany. Daniel ROLAND / AFP

 

European champions Bayern Munich suffered their first defeat since December when their 23-match winning run was ended by a shock 4-1 Bundesliga defeat at Hoffenheim on Sunday.

Hoffenheim, the current league leaders, raced into a 2-0 lead with early goals by defender Ermin Bicakcic and striker Munas Dabbur.

Although Joshua Kimmich gave Bayern a lifeline just before the break, Croatia international striker Andrej Kramaric netted a second-half goal and converted a late penalty to seal the win.

It was the first time Bayern have lost under head coach Hansi Flick in any competition since going down 2-1 to Borussia Moenchengladbach on December 7, 2019.

Hoffenheim coach Sebastian Hoeness is the nephew of Bayern’s honorary president Uli Hoeness and left Munich’s reserves in July to take over at the new Bundesliga leaders.

Bayern looked tired in Hoffenheim, showing the effects of being taken to extra time in the UEFA Super Cup on Thursday before beating Sevilla 2-1 in Budapest.

The defeat brings to an abrupt end Bayern’s run of 23 consecutive wins, a record for a club in one of Europe’s five main leagues, surpassing Real Madrid’s 22 straight wins between September and December 2014.

 


Hoffenheim’s Croatian forward Andrej Kramaric (C) celebrates scoring the 4-1 goal from the penalty spot during the German first division Bundesliga football match TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v FC Bayern Munich on September 27, 2020 in Mainz, southern Germany. Daniel ROLAND / AFP

 

With Robert Lewandowski rested ahead of Wednesday’s German Super Cup showdown at home to Borussia Dortmund — the chance to win a fifth title in 2020 — his 19-year-old understudy Joshua Zirkzee struggled to spark Bayern’s attack.

Hoffenheim took full advantage of Munich’s lethargy with Bicakcic giving them the lead on 16 minutes when he out-leapt Corentin Tolisso at a corner and headed past Manuel Neuer.

The hosts doubled their lead when Bayern defender Benjamin Pavard tried to snuff out a counter-attack, but his pass rolled into the path of Israeli striker Dabbur, who held his nerve to chip the ball over Neuer on 24 minutes.

It was the first time Bayern have been two goals down since they lost 5-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt in November 2019, a defeat which cost Flick’s predecessor Niko Kovac his job.

Bayern knuckled down and went in 2-1 down at the break after Leroy Sane’s superb pass across the box eventually landed at the feet of Kimmich who fired home superbly from the edge of the box on 36 minutes.

Hoffenheim could have had a third goal as their Croatia striker Andrei Kramaric clipped the crossbar after his shot beat Neuer on the stroke of half-time.

Flick responded by beefing up his side by bringing on Lewandowski and central midfielder Leon Goretzka for Zirkzee and Pavard respectively on 57 minutes.

Lewandowski went close with a couple of half-chances but Kramaric made sure of the win when he finished a counter-attack with a stunning strike on 77 minutes.

With the visitors growing ever more desperate, Bayern conceded a penalty in added time when Neuer brought down replacement forward Ihlas Bebou in the area and Kramaric converted the resulting penalty.

AFP

Schalke Sack Wagner After Worst Start In The Bundesliga

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 18, 2020 Schalke’s German headcoach David Wagner is pictured after the German first division Bundesliga football match FC Bayern Munich v Schalke 04 in Munich, southern Germany on September 18, 2020. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

 

Schalke 04 announced on Sunday they have sacked head coach David Wagner after going 18 league games without a win, which includes the worst to a start to a season in Bundesliga history.

After 15 months in charge, time finally ran out for the 48-year-old former Huddersfield manager following Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at home to Werder Bremen which left Schalke without a league victory since January.

Having kicked off 2020/21 with a humiliating 8-0 loss at Bayern Munich last weekend, Schalke’s record of 11 goals conceded with one scored in two defeats is the worst start to a season in the league’s history.

“We hoped that we could turn things around. Unfortunately, the first two matches did not produce the necessary performances and results,” said Schalke’s sports director Jochen Schneider.

“We have therefore decided to take the path of a new start in terms of personnel,” he added.

“Despite the disappointing results, this decision was anything but easy for us.”

Wagner seemed resigned to his fate after Saturday’s defeat, saying: “I am the main person responsible, as a coach you need results and we aren’t getting them.”

His successor is expected to be announced soon, with former RB Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick — who has already coached Schalke in two stints — among the best-known candidates linked to the vacant job.

Having won promotion to the Premier League in 2017/18 with Huddersfield, Wagner returned to Germany with an enhanced reputation when he was unveiled as head coach of Gelsenkirchen-based Schalke in May 2019.

Schalke lay third last December in Germany’s top-flight, but crashed dramatically in 2020 conceding 48 goals and earning just six points in a disastrous end to last season.

The cash-strapped Royal Blues have deep financial problems off the pitch and the coronavirus pandemic, with a loss of matchday revenue due to games played behind closed doors, has added to their debts.

AFP

Bayern Munich Thrash Schalke 8-0 In Historic Bundesliga Start

Bayern Munich midfielder Serge Gnabry celebrates (C) after scoring with teammates Lucas Hernandez (L) and Leroy Sane during the match against Schalke 04 in Munich on September 18, 2020.  CHRISTOF STACHE / AFP

 

Serge Gnabry hit a hat-trick as holders Bayern Munich romped to a record 8-0 rout of Schalke on Friday in the opening game of the 2020/21 Bundesliga season behind closed doors.

The result is the highest win for an opening game of a new Bundesliga season.

Germany winger Leroy Sane scored on his Bayern debut while Leon Goretzka, Thomas Mueller and Robert Lewandowksi also netted for the all-conquering European champions.

England junior international Jamal Musiala, 17, became Bayern’s youngest goal-scorer in the Bundesliga when he came on to grab their eighth.

Bayern Munich Told To Start League Season Behind Closed Doors

Bayern Munich's Canadian midfielder Alphonso Davies (4thR) celebrates scoring his team's fourth goal with teammates during the German first division Bundesliga football match between FC Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt on May 23, 2020 in Munich, southern Germany. ANDREAS GEBERT / POOL / AFP
Bayern Munich’s Canadian midfielder Alphonso Davies (4thR) celebrates scoring his team’s fourth goal with teammates during the German first division Bundesliga football match between FC Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt on May 23, 2020 in Munich, southern Germany.
ANDREAS GEBERT / POOL / AFP

 

Bayern Munich must kick off the new Bundesliga season behind closed doors because of a rising coronavirus infection rate in the Bavarian capital, city officials said on Thursday.

The decision puts an end the European champions’ plans to allow 7,500 fans into the Allianz Arena to watch Friday’s opening game at home to Schalke.

“It would be the wrong signal to let spectators into sports stadiums against the background of the current figures,” said Munich mayor Dieter Reiter.

Germany’s politicians have given Bundesliga clubs the green light to allow the partial return of fans into stadiums, providing the rate of infection in each region remains below 35 per 100,000 inhabitants.

However, the figure for Munich was revised to 47.6 per 100,000 on Thursday.

While the defending champions must kick off without fans, set numbers of spectators are expected to attend other Bundesliga matches on the opening weekend of the league season.

Reiter said he could understand the frustration of the club and Bayern’s fans, but “for me, this high number means that we at least have to think about much more drastic restrictions in public life.

“I can’t let thousands of fans into the stadiums at the same time.”

Bayern head coach Hansi Flick accepted the news as they start their quest to win their ninth Bundesliga title in a row.

“I’ve always said I’m in favour of keeping an eye on things,” Flick told reporters on Thursday.

“We have to protect ourselves and make the best of the situation.

“You have to take the numbers into account. These are things that I can’t do anything about, we have to be prepared for them.”

AFP

Bundesliga To Allow Fans In Stadium Upon Govt Approval

The Chief Executive Officer of German Football League (DFL), Christian Seifert. AFP

 

Germany’s first and second division football clubs have said they are ready to allow some fans back into stadiums next season if the country’s government gives the green light later this month.

The Chief Executive Officer of German Football League (DFL), Christian Seifert, said the possibility of fans in stadiums depend solely on the approval of authorities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If and when fans will return to the stadiums is not a decision for the DFL but for the political leaders,” he said during a press conference on Tuesday.

“The DFL does not expect or demand anything but we are preparing to take this small step [with fans in stadiums] when the time comes.

“Priority is not full stadiums but the health situation. We should not take unnecessary risks but we should also not capitulate and just expect it to go away.”

Benfica’s German midfielder Julian Weigl (L) challenges Sporting’s Cape Verdean Jovane Cabral (R) during the Portuguese League football match between SL Benfica and Sporting CP at Luz stadium in Lisbon on July 25, 2020. PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP

 

The health ministers of the individual German states are due to meet next week to discuss the matter and the new Bundesliga season starts on September 18. The German Cup first round starts a week earlier.

Seifert said that if fans were allowed into stadiums there would be no visiting supporters at least until the end of the year to minimise the risk of infection, no standing tribunes and no alcohol sales.

The Bundesliga became the first major football league to restart its season in May after a two-month break, earning praise for its health and safety protocols that were subsequently adopted by other European leagues. The league season ended in empty stadiums in May and June.

The German government has banned all events with large crowds until October 31.

The country fears a second wave of infections and the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased by 879 to 211,281.

Ballon d’Or Will Not Be Awarded In 2020 Due To Coronavirus

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 2, 2019 Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi reacts after winning the Ballon d’Or France Football 2019 trophy at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris. – Ballon d’Or will not be awarded in 2020, organisers France Football announced on July 20, 2020. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

 

 

 

The Ballon d’Or will not be awarded this year due to the extraordinary conditions created by the coronavirus pandemic, organisers France Football announced on Monday.

It will be the first time the trophy given for the world’s best men’s footballer has not been awarded since Englishman Stanley Matthews won the inaugural edition in 1956.

“There will be no edition in 2020, because it turns out, after thoughtful consideration, that all the conditions are not met,” said Pascal Ferre, the editor of the magazine.

The COVID-19 outbreak saw all major football leagues shut down in March, with the German Bundesliga the first to resume behind closed doors in May.

France Football said it would be unfair to vote on the world’s best player when some leagues, including the French Ligue 1, cancelled their seasons early.

Ferre also suggested that it would not be right to judge players based on games played without spectators present.

“We believe that such a singular year cannot… be treated as an ordinary year,” he added.

“Two months (January and February), out of the eleven generally required to form an opinion and decide who should lift the trophies, represent far too little to gauge and judge, without forgetting that the other games were played –- or will be played –- in unusual conditions (behind closed doors, with five replacements, Champions League’s Final 8 played in a single game).”

 

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 19, 2019 the Ballon d’Or trophy is displayed during a press conference to present the new Ballon d’Or trophy, on the outskirts of Paris. – Ballon d’Or will not be awarded in 2020, organisers France Football announced on July 20, 2020. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP)

 

Lionel Messi won a record-breaking sixth Ballon d’Or last year.

The women’s Ballon d’Or, which was first awarded in 2018, has also been cancelled, as have the Kepa Trophy, given to the best young player, and the Yashin award for best goalkeeper.

“This decision, which was taken of course with all the group stakeholders, does not delight us but it seems to be the most responsible one,” said Ferre.

“Protecting the credibility and legitimacy of such an award also means ensuring its flawlessness over time.”

France Football added that it was looking forward to holding a ceremony in 2021, but that this year it would instead organise a vote for the all-time greatest men’s XI.

 

 

-AFP

Stuttgart Join Cash-Strapped Bundesliga Clubs Seeking State Aid

stuttgart
Stuttgart’s Mercedes-Benz Arena. Photo: [email protected] Stuggart

 

Newly-promoted VfB Stuttgart are the latest cash-strapped Bundesliga club seeking financial aid because of lost matchday revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Stuttgart finished runners-up in Germany’s second division at the end of June to win promotion back to the Bundesliga a year after being relegated.

However, the 2007 German champions are among established names needing help balancing the books.

“During the lockdown phase, we examined all the possibilities for economic stabilisation and… applied for funding in order to secure our liquidity,” the club’s finance officer Stefan Heim told newspapers the Stuttgarter Nachrichten and Stuttgarter Zeitung.

“This was one of the measures we took to ensure VfB’s economic survival at a time when nobody could predict when and how things would continue in football.”

Heim said Stuttgart applied for aid through the state-owned KfW Bank, reportedly seeking a loan of around 15 million euros ($17 million).

They are not alone.

Germany’s top clubs are counting the cost of lost revenue as the last nine rounds of matches in the top two tiers were played behind closed doors due to the pandemic.

Werder Bremen, who just managed top stay in the Bundesliga after winning the relegation/promotion play-off, have confirmed that they want a loan from the state-owned KfW Bank.

Schalke 04, who had debts of 198 million euros before the pandemic, recently applied to the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for a guarantee to secure a loan, reportedly worth around 40 million euros.

Gelsenkirchen-based Schalke lost around two million euros of revenue for each of the four home games behind closed doors.

Even runners-up Borussia Dortmund are looking into ways of securing financial help from the state, according to magazine Der Spiegel.

However, Dortmund’s chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke says the government must check whether clubs hit financial difficulties through the coronavirus or bad management.

“The State must check whether these are real effects of corona or not,” said Watzke.

Others agree and the situation is the subject of debate in Germany.

“It should not be the case that failed business models in football are artificially maintained by taxpayers’ money,” Jens Ammann from the German Taxpayers Federation told website Business Insider.

“It can’t be that professional salaries in the millions might end up being paid for by tax money.”

AFP

 

Lewandowski Passes 50-Goal Mark As Bayern Win 20th German Cup To Complete Double

Bayern Munich’s Polish forward Robert Lewandowski celebrates scoring during the German first division Bundesliga football match FC Bayern Munich v SC Paderborn in Munich, southern Germany, on February 21, 2020.
Guenter SCHIFFMANN / AFP

 

 

Robert Lewandowski passed the 50-goal mark this season as Bayern Munich completed the double with a 4-2 victory over Bayer Leverkusen behind closed doors to win a 20th German Cup on Saturday.

Bundesliga champions Bayern dominated at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium as David Alaba smashed home an early free-kick before Serge Gnabry added the second goal in the first-half.

Lewandowski has 51 goals in total this season after scoring twice in the second-half either side of a Sven Bender header for Leverkusen.

Kai Havertz converted a penalty deep into added time for Leverkusen.

“In the second half we showed that we are the better team and wanted to be cup winners,” said man-of-the-match Lewandowski.

Bayern, crowned Bundesliga champions for the eighth straight year last Saturday, have won all of their 11 games since the season resumed in mid-May after a two-months hiatus due to the coronavirus.

They could finish the season winning the treble as they are among the favourites for the Champions League finals in Lisbon next month.

This was the 13th time in the club’s history they have won the double.

Lewandowski, crowned Bundesliga top-scorer for the fifth time last weekend, netted six times in the cup, has 34 league goals and 11 more in the Champions League this season.

Leverkusen completed a hat-trick of defeats after also losing the 2002 and 2009 cup finals in Berlin.

When Lewandowski was clattered by defender Edmond Tapsoba on 16 minutes, it was Alaba who swung the resulting free kick inside the post to give Bayern the opening goal.

They doubled their lead after Joshua Kimmich won the ball in midfield eight minutes later.

His pass split the defence, Gnabry sprinted onto the ball and fired past Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky to make it 2-0 at the break.

 

Bayern Munich's German forward Thomas Mueller raises the German Cup (DFB Pokal) trophy as he and his teammates celebrate winning the final football match Bayer 04 Leverkusen v FC Bayern Munich at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin on July 4, 2020. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein / POOL / AFP)
Bayern Munich’s German forward Thomas Mueller raises the German Cup (DFB Pokal) trophy as he and his teammates celebrate winning the final football match Bayer 04 Leverkusen v FC Bayern Munich at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin on July 4, 2020. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein / POOL / AFP)

Under control

“We are so happy that we got the double. In the first half we had the game completely under control,” said Gnabry.

With players’ calls echoing around the near-empty terraces of the cavernous stadium, where Germany head coach Joachim Loew was one of a handful of guests, the game was played in an eerie atmosphere.

“It’s a bit of a sad moment,” admitted Bayern forward Thomas Mueller, who lamented the lack of fans, after winning the German Cup for the sixth time in his career.

“If the fans are missing at such a cup final, it’s not the same.

“We’ve done well this season over long stretches, but it also hurts a bit.”

Having skied a shot at goal moments earlier, Lewandowski made it 3-0 when he controlled a clearance kick by goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and tried a long-range speculative shot at Hradecky.

The Leverkusen keeper parried the shot, but watched in horror as it rolled behind him and over the goal line on 59 minutes.

“I noticed that the goalkeeper was a bit off his line, so I thought I’d just give it a try,” revealed Lewandowski.

“It was a little surprise it went in, but you always have to try.”

It fired life into Leverkusen, whose centre-back Sven Bender slipped his marker Leon Goretzka and headed home on 64 minutes.

Leverkusen nearly got a second moments later when Kevin Volland and Havertz both failed to connect with a cross.

Lewandowski claimed his second when he fired home Ivan Perisic’s pass on 89 minutes.

Bayern defender Alphonso Davies conceded the penalty in the fourth minute of added time which Havertz converted just before the whistle.

 

 

-AFP