Bayern Munich put pressure back on Borussia Dortmund as they battled to a 1-0 victory at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

The leaders were kept at bay by Oliver Glasner's side until Leroy Sane struck with 19 minutes of normal time remaining.

The victory, a first against Glasner for Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann in his Bundesliga coaching career at the sixth attempt, moved the champions nine points clear of Dortmund at the top of the table ahead of their clash with Augsburg on Sunday.

Frankfurt largely contained Bayern in a cagey first half, although Kevin Trapp had to make a strong double save to keep out Joshua Kimmich's volley and Kingsley Coman's follow-up.

Robert Lewandowski was denied following a good throughball from Serge Gnabry and Trapp sprung to keep out another effort from the striker two minutes later.

Just at it looked like Bayern were running out of ideas, Kimmich slid the ball through to Sane in the box, and the winger kept his composure to slot past Trapp.

Frankfurt mounted some late pressure, leading to a few scrambles in the Bayern box, but Sven Ulreich was mostly untroubled in goal.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting ignored a free Sane, shooting straight at Trapp when a cross seemed the better option, but Frankfurt could not punish the error.

Bayern Munich have announced that Thomas Muller has tested positive for COVID-19.

The veteran forward contracted the virus for the first time in February 2021 following the Club World Cup in Doha.

Muller has now returned a positive coronavirus test for a second occasion, with the reigning Bundesliga champions confirming he will serve another period of self-isolation.

That likely rules him out of the clash with Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday as Julian Nagelsmann's side look to extend their six-point advantage at the summit of the German top flight.

Muller may target a return for the meeting with Bayer Leverkusen on March 5, dependent on when he returns a negative test and comes back into training.

The Germany international's absence will serve as a blow for the Bavarian team, given he leads the assist charts this season across all competitions at Bayern (19).

Muller has 10 goals to his name - only Robert Lewandowski (39), Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry (both 12) have managed more - and has created a team-leading 89 chances, 20 more than any team-mate.

The 32-year-old has played the most games for his side this term as well (33), and his absence will frustrate Nagelsmann, who is still without Manuel Neuer after he required knee surgery.

The goalkeeper did, however, return to light training on Monday so could provide a boost for Bayern in the near future, with Alexander Nubel currently deputising in goal.

Manuel Neuer's eventual exit from Bayern Munich will be a "bigger problem" than Robert Lewandowski departing, according to former boss Felix Magath.

Neuer joined the Bavarian side from Schalke in 2011 and holds the record for the most clean sheets in the Bundesliga (209), having surpassed Oliver Kahn (196) in 2021.

The Germany international's contract is due to expire at the end of the next season, when he will be 37, leading to speculation over his future at Julian Nagelsmann's team.

The goalkeeper has been absent in recent weeks after undergoing knee surgery, coinciding with a downturn in Bayern form.

Nagelsmann's side were downed 4-2 by Bochum in their first game without their captain and were then held by Salzburg before ending a poor run of form with a 4-1 win over Greuther Furth last time out.

Neuer returned to light training on Monday and Magath, who completed consecutive doubles in charge of Bayern between in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons, believes the 35-year-old is more important to the reigning Bundesliga champions than talisman Lewandowski.

"Bayern and the national team live strongly from Manuel Neuer," Magath said to German outlet Kicker, adding: "Marc-Andre ter Stegen can be very good, but he doesn't have Neuer's charisma. Manuel is a stroke of luck for German football."

When pushed for a comparison between Neuer and Lewandowski, Magath responded: "It will be a bigger problem for Bayern when Neuer is gone."

 

Neuer helped Bayern earn a 3-2 home win over RB Leipzig in his last outing, as he matched Oliver Kahn's all-time record of 310 Bundesliga wins by a player. He achieved the first 77 wins with Schalke.

Meanwhile, Lewandowski has again been in scintillating form this campaign, scoring 39 times across all competitions – 14 more than any other player across Europe's top-five leagues.

The Poland forward currently finds the net once every 71.2 minutes on average, with only Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland managing goals at a faster rate among those to have scored 15 or more in the same group.

While Neuer's return date remains unconfirmed, Lewandowski will hope to continue his prolific term as Bayern look to extend their six-point advantage at the Bundesliga summit when they face Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

Corentin Tolisso suffered a muscle strain in Bayern Munich's 4-1 win over Greuther Furth.

Bayern came from behind to see off the Bundesliga's bottom side with four second-half goals, including two from Robert Lewandowski.

Tolisso was withdrawn from the action in the 25th minute, having gone down in pain grabbing his left thigh after a challenge from Paul Seguin.

"Coco has strained a muscle. We were initially worried that it was something more, but luckily it's 'just' a muscle strain," Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann said afterwards.

Nagelsmann said to DAZN: "How can we replace Coco? With Marcel Sabitzer, with Marc Roca, with Jamal Musiala and hopefully soon with Leon Goretzka again."

Centre-back Lucas Hernandez lasted just 53 minutes of Sunday's game at the Allianz Arena.

However, his issue was not as serious, with Naglesmann adding: "It's not bad with Luci, he has cramp."

Injuries have limited Tolisso to just 12 Bundesliga games this season, scoring two goals.

When the midfielder has played, he has done an excellent job of getting Bayern into attacking positions.

Indeed, only Mainz's Kevin Stoger (26.02) and Bayern team-mate Joshua Kimmich (20.42) have played more successful passes ending in the final third per 90 minutes than Tolisso (18.33) among players to have featured in at least 10 games.

 

Sabitzer (16.43) is fifth on that list while Musiala (15.99) is seventh, making them both excellent candidates to replicate the impact of Tolisso in that regard.

Tolisso's season-high for successful passes into the final third came when he played 32 against Arminia Bielefeld in November. He played 21 and scored the opening goal in last month's 4-1 win at Hertha Berlin and registered 13 in this month's 3-2 win over RB Leipzig, suggesting he was hitting his stride.

Bayern visit Eintracht Frankfurt in their next Bundesliga match on Saturday.

Bayern Munich avoided another slip-up in their pursuit of the Bundesliga title, coming from behind to beat the league's bottom side Greuther Furth 4-1 thanks to a Robert Lewandowski brace.

Julian Nagelsmann's men went into what most expected to be a routine game enduring a blip in form, having lost their last league fixture at Bochum and been held to a 1-1 draw by Salzburg in the Champions League.

It appeared as if their poor run might be extended when Branimir Hrgota gave Greuther a surprise first-half lead.

However, Lewandowski quickly repaired the damage after the interval and an own goal from Sebastian Griesbeck followed by a late header from the Poland striker and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's injury-time effort gave Bayern an ultimately emphatic win.

Greuther were the more threatening side in the first half and got their reward when captain Hrgota's free-kick took a significant deflection and found the top-left corner.

But Bayern needed just 30 seconds of the second half to level matters, Lewandowski turning in from Serge Gnabry's pull back from the right byline was flicked into his path by Choupo-Moting.

The visitors looked increasingly fragile at the back and the turnaround was completed as Thomas Muller's excellent right-wing cross was deflected onto the unfortunate Griesbeck, who could not avoid turning into his own net.

Bayern were not without their own problems at the back, though, Max Christiansen and Marco Meyerhofer each hitting the post for Greuther, but the points were secured when Lewandowski converted from Niklas Sule's header back across goal and Choupo-Moting had the final say after being teed up by Gnabry.

Julian Nagelsmann called for improvements from Bayern Munich and insisted his side must not become disenchanted after two disappointing performances.

The reigning Bundesliga champions are six points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund at the summit, despite falling to a 4-2 loss at Bochum last Saturday.

Nagelsmann's side followed up that disappointing defeat with another unspectacular performance in Salzburg on Wednesday, where they required a late Kingsley Coman strike to secure a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash.

The former RB Leipzig head coach expressed his frustrations with the recent outings but expects his team to bounce back when they travel to Furth on Sunday.

"We want to remain critical and have a certain claim in terms of success," Nagelsmann told reporters at Friday's pre-match news conference.

"We have to back that up, but we mustn't tear ourselves apart either. The tide can turn quickly, there is a lot of evaluation.

"The mood is appropriate for the fact that we have not won twice. Tomorrow's winner learns from today's defeat.

"We had detailed discussions after the game against Bochum. We didn't score an early goal in the second half, it was similar in Salzburg. But the will was obvious there. I was totally satisfied, I'm convinced that as a Bayern player you have the right to be successful.

"And that should also arouse greed. We saw that we lost clearly against a team that isn't aspiring to the Champions League. That should be warning enough. No one walks around with the handbrake on purpose."

 

The Bochum loss was Bayern's first to a newly promoted side in 16 games, but the Bavarians may take confidence from the fact they have not lost two consecutive Bundesliga games against promoted teams since 1997. Furth joined Bochum in climbing out of the second tier last season.

However, Bayern have experienced their worst start to the second half of a top-flight season in 10 years, with only nine points accrued from their first five games of 2022, winning three games and losing twice.

The last time they lost two or more matches in the first five matchdays of the second half of the season was in 2008-09 under Jurgen Klinsmann (three), and Nagelsmann's task could be made more difficult as he revealed doubts over the fitness of Coman and Serge Gnabry.

Nevertheless, Nagelsmann remained balanced in his views as he prepares Bayern for just their sixth meeting in professional football with Furth.

"Football is a head game," he added. "We didn't intentionally play a bad first half in Bochum. You can't shake off the cup game that easily either.

"There's often a black-and-white mindset. We have three points more than last year. We need a little more self-image and sovereignty. The head is an important part of the body.

"It's often the case that you have more to do psychologically than in terms of football. I train a world-class team here.

"You have to recognise the moment when a structure doesn't fit perfectly. In the last three games we haven't been completely in the flow. In the end it's about delivering and not about taking long-term steps."

Manchester United face the prospect of losing key midfielder Paul Pogba on a free transfer at the end of the campaign.

The France international is into the final four months of his existing deal and there are few indications that he is prepared to extend his terms at Old Trafford.

And in a further blow for United, they could see Pogba head to one of their domestic top-flight rivals.


TOP STORY – POGBA OPEN TO PREMIER LEAGUE STAY

The Telegraph reports that Pogba, who rejoined United from Juventus in a big-money deal in 2016, is prepared to wait until the end of the season before deciding on his future.

Signing a new deal with United is said to remain an option, but Pogba will not be short of options should he become available to sign on a free – albeit with big wages to factor in.

The report indicates that the 28-year-old will weigh up any interest from fellow Premier League clubs, with Chelsea and Manchester City having previously been linked.


ROUND-UP

- It is shaping up to be a busy transfer window for United as a number of other players are also out of contract. According to Ekrem Konur, Edinson Cavani and Juan Mata are attracting strong interest from clubs in the Middle East.

- Jesse Lingard is another who could be on his way out of Old Trafford, though The Express claims that the England international is not considering a free transfer to Tottenham. Lingard would reportedly prefer to move abroad ahead of next season.

- Arsenal have joined Everton and Wolves in the race to sign Rafael Leao from Milan, according to La Repubblica. The 22-year-old is enjoying his best campaign to date at San Siro, having registered double figures for goals.

- Italian outlet Tuttosport suggests that Juventus are pushing ahead with plans to sign Nicolo Zaniolo from Serie A rivals Roma, who are supposedly prepared to accept an offer in the region of €40million for a player with two years to run on his deal.

- Leeds United's in-demand winger Raphinha is holding off talks over a new contract at Elland Road, suggests GOAL. The Brazil international has previously been touted as a target for Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.

Julian Nagelsmann acknowledged Bayern Munich made too many mistakes in the first half of their Champions League last-16 first leg against Salzburg but believed they deserved their last-gasp equaliser.

Bayern looked set for another shock result following the weekend defeat to Bochum when Salzburg's Junior Adamu scored in the 21st minute.

That was the first time Bayern had trailed in the Champions League this season, making them the final team in the competition to have done so.

They salvaged a draw in the 90th minute, though, when Kingsley Coman popped up at the back post to put Bayern in control ahead of the return leg in Munich next month.  

The France international's goal saw Bayern extend the longest unbeaten streak away from home by a team in Champions League history to 22 games (W17 D5).

While Nagelsmann was unimpressed with his side's first-half display, he said their performance after the interval warranted at least a draw. 

"We did better in the second half, just like in Bochum," he told DAZN. "In the first half we were too prone to making mistakes in the opposing half. We lost too many balls. 

"The rest of our defence wasn't good, as was the goal we conceded, which is actually relatively easy to defend. A very avoidable goal. We weren't aggressive enough when pushing. It's a balancing act. 

"The equaliser was deserved, we defended with more risk. I saw a lot of cramps in the Salzburg side. That's probably also an indication that we didn't do so badly in the second half."

The average age of Salzburg's starting XI was 23 years and 242 days – the youngest in the knockout stages of the Champions League for any team in almost 19 years, since Ajax in April 2003 against Milan (22 years and 205 days).

Bayern forward Thomas Muller was full of praise for Salzburg's young guns, but he believed the German giants deserved to leave Austria with a draw.

"It's mixed feelings," he said. "Salzburg are a good team and the atmosphere was great. Compliments to the crowd, that's how you imagine football. 

"The general conditions were great, which is why it was fun even though we suffered a lot. In the second half we not only showed a reaction, but were also overwhelmingly superior. 

"It was a good move how we came back. However, it was certainly not our desired result. Sometimes we still lack the courage to position ourselves. In attack, we have to blame ourselves for not making good use of the spaces that were there. 

"We made wrong decisions there. Hats off that we still managed to draw 1-1. I think, to be honest, that was okay."

Kingsley Coman scored a 90th-minute equaliser at Salzburg to salvage a 1-1 draw for a below-par Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Julian Nagelsmann's side received a wave of criticism after a sensational 4-2 Bundesliga defeat to Bochum at the weekend, and they were almost on the wrong end of another upset in Austria on Wednesday.

Junior Adamu looked to have scored the decisive goal after 21 minutes in what was the hosts' first ever game in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Salzburg were denied a famous win late on, though, as Coman stole in at the back post to put Bayern in control ahead of the return leg next month.

 

Four more teams begin their Champions League knockout-stage campaigns on Wednesday when Inter host Liverpool and Bayern Munich travel to Salzburg for the first leg of their last-16 ties.

The clash between European heavyweights Inter and Liverpool at San Siro could potentially be a landmark one for Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, who is one short of becoming the eighth coach – and the first German – to reach 50 wins in the competition.

Salzburg's meeting with Bayern will be a special occasion regardless as the Austrian Bundesliga champions are competing at this stage of the competition for the first time ever.

Bayern are unbeaten in their last 21 away games in the Champions League since September 2017 – the longest-such run in European Cup history – and they beat Salzburg by a combined 9-3 scoreline in last term's group-stage meetings.

With the help of Opta, Stats Perform picks out some of the best of the numbers ahead of Wednesday's pair of last-16 ties.

Inter v Liverpool

Each of the four previous encounters between Inter and Liverpool have come in the knockout rounds of the European Cup and Champions League. Inter advanced over two legs in the 1964-65 semi-finals en route to being crowned the kings of Europe, while Liverpool emerged victorious at this very stage in 2007-08.

Liverpool have won their last two away games against Italian opposition in European competition – just one win fewer than they managed in their previous 14 such encounters – after beating Atalanta in 2020-21 and Milan earlier this season 

Inter have been eliminated from two of their three two-legged knockout ties against English opponents since the Champions League changed format in 2003-04, losing to Liverpool in 2007-08 and Manchester United in 2008-09, before eliminating Chelsea in 2009-10.

The Nerazzurri have won their last two Champions League home matches, which is one more than they managed in their previous nine between November 2018 and September 2021. However, not since between December 2009 and November 2010 – a run of seven victories – have they won three in a row in San Siro in the competition.

Mohamed Salah is in line to make his 50th Champions League appearance for Liverpool. The Egypt international has scored 32 goals in 49 games to date – only Cristiano Ronaldo (51 for Real Madrid) and Robert Lewandowski (36 for Bayern Munich) have ever netted more as of their 50th game for a single club.

Inter will hope Edin Dzeko can continue his good record against Liverpool, having netted in each of his past three meetings with them, scoring once for Manchester City in 2015 and twice for Roma in the semi-finals of this competition in 2017-18. 

Salzburg v Bayern Munich

Bayern are facing Austrian opposition in the knockout stages of a European competition for the fourth time. The German giants have advanced on each of the previous three occasions – against Rapid Vienna in the 1966-67 Cup Winners' Cup and Austria Vienna in successive European Cup campaigns in 1985-86 and 1986-87.

That does not bode well for Salzburg, who have won only one of their last six games against German teams in European competition, conceding 18 goals at an average of three per match. However, that solitary win did come in their most-recent home match – a 3-1 win over Wolfsburg in the group stage.

Julian Nagelsmann's side are one of only three teams with a 100 per cent record in the Champions League this term, along with Liverpool and Ajax. Only three sides prior to this campaign have ever won their first seven games of a Champions League campaign, with Bayern the most recent to do so three seasons ago.

Salzburg will be hoping to follow Atalanta, RB Leipzig (both in 2019-20) and Wolfsburg (2015-16) as only the fourth team to win their first game in the knockout stage of the Champions League.

Robert Lewandowski is set to make his 50th away appearance in UEFA's showpiece competition. The Bayern striker has scored 37 goals to date in those games, which is already the most of any player to have reached that landmark, three more than next-best Lionel Messi.

Lewandowski's 11 direct goal involvements in the group stage were the second-most of any player, behind Ajax's Sebastien Haller (12). Next on the list is team-mate Leroy Sane, who scored five and assisted four more in six appearances.

It's November 25, 2020. A young German winger stands on the touchline anxiously waiting to step on to the Allianz Arena pitch for his Champions League debut in his hometown.

But as he waits to be allowed on, there are people watching both on television and in the largely empty stands who know this isn't how it should've been.

Rather than wearing the all-red of Bayern Munich, Karim Adeyemi jogs on in the all-black of Salzburg with the Austrian champions 3-0 down.

A technically gifted and rapid forward, Adeyemi has long been considered one of Germany's most promising young players, having cost Salzburg a reported €3million when he was 16.

Adeyemi had left Bayern six years earlier. It's a detail that has dominated much of his early professional career, with questions about why he left never far away.

Now 20, Adeyemi has previously spoken at length about his attitude as a kid, how learning wasn't much to his liking and distraction was a regular nuisance to him. These factors certainly didn't help at Bayern.

Neither, Adeyemi alleged in the past, did the club, who he said showed little support to players who strayed from "the plan". The collective, rather than individualistic talents, was prioritised.

He and Bayern were simply not a good match at the time. He left Die Roten and, while such a disappointment might've been enough to derail other ordinary kids, Adeyemi has since proven he is rather extraordinary.

A move to a smaller local club, Unterhaching, soon followed. It was there that, according to youth coach Marc Unterberger, Adeyemi was able to develop with a greater degree of individual emphasis and that eventually translated into him becoming a better asset for the team as a whole.

"He had his own thoughts on how to deal with things," Unterberger told Stats Perform in 2021. "We never wanted to change him completely, and I think we succeeded quite well. Karim is a really great guy and a great person.

"Until the time Karim came to us, we had never had such an exceptional player in our youth division.

"Of course, as a young person, you benefit from being accepted for who you are, but I would like to make it very clear that there was no situation within the team in which Karim behaved in such a way that we as a club were forced to act.

"On the contrary, over time he developed more and more towards putting himself at the service of the team. He was easily distracted, that's right, but let's be honest, something like this is normal when young people develop."

Unterberger arguably knows Adeyemi better than any other coach, given he was there for the youngster's entire six-year stay at Unterhaching.

"I can still remember it very well, the first time I saw him play in an Under-11 tournament," he recalled.

"Back then he was still playing for TSV Forstenried. My first thought was: 'We absolutely need this player'. Fortunately, it worked out later!"

That might be something of an understatement in reality. The €3m fee that Unterhaching received made him the most expensive Under-18 German player ever at the time, while 2019 saw him win the Fritz-Walter Gold Medal, an award handed out to Germany's best youth player. Previous winners include Timo Werner, Emre Can and Mario Gotze.

But most importantly, that move proved an unequivocal success for the player, as did his next.

Adeyemi confirmed to Stats Perform last year that he rejected the chance to join Chelsea from Unterhaching in his teens, instead opting to move just over the border to Salzburg. Had he gone to London, maybe he would've broken into their first-team – but it's probably just as likely that he'd have been lost among the Blues' army of loan players.

That's not to say loans can't work. Adeyemi's Salzburg career was carefully mapped out for him even before he joined, and that included an initial 18-month stint with Liefering, who essentially act as a B team. A haul of 15 goals and eight assists in the second tier provided strong evidence the teenager was ready for the step up in 2020.

His introduction to top-tier football wasn't quite so explosive, only having a hand in goals in six of his first 29 Austrian Bundesliga matches, but a key factor here was the need to remain patient – only nine of those 29 games were as a starter.

It wasn't until the final three months of 2020-21 that Adeyemi began to nail down a starting role, with seven of his 11 starts coming between mid-February and the end of May. This period also yielded six of his seven league goals.

This proved the final push he needed – with Patson Daka leaving for Leicester City, Adeyemi went from being the forwards' supporting act to the leading man in attack.

As you'd expect, this led to a bit of a change in his role, but there's no doubt he's thriving, securing his first senior international cap in September and finding himself linked heavily with Borussia Dortmund.

 

Sure, chance creation frequency is down (2.7 per 90, to 1.6), but the pay-off in terms of his effectiveness in front of goal is more than worth it.

His 14 goals is a league high, while only Kelvin Yeboah (11.2) – who has since joined Genoa – can better Adeyemi's 10.1 non-penalty expected goals (np-xG). Though on a per-90-minute basis, Adeyemi ranks first in the division with 0.72 np-xG (minimum 650 minutes played).

But it would be doing Adeyemi a huge disservice to give the impression he's 'just' some poacher. He's an immensely exciting player characterised by his explosive pace, low centre of gravity and silky ability on the ball. Yeboah (21) is the sole forward with more carries leading to shots and chances created than Adeyemi (21), though the Ghanaian's total comes from nearly 300 minutes more on the pitch.

It's a similar story in the Champions League. His carries led to a combined total of eight shots and chances created in the group stage – the only Opta-defined strikers to better that were Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo (both nine) and Arnaut Danjuma (14).

 

Even if it's reductive to just look at that metric, there's no doubt his performances have translated to European football's biggest stage – Sevilla's Diego Carlos will have been hoping to never see the youngster again after terrorising the Brazilian in the group.

Adeyemi's displays were a major factor in Salzburg reaching the knockouts of the Champions League for the first time in their history.

It would be a truly inspirational tale were it to be him, the young Bavarian cast-off, who plotted Bayern's downfall this time.

Julian Nagelsmann has backed Bayern Munich to bounce back from hitting rock Bochum.

The Bayern boss will send out his team to face Salzburg in the Champions League on Wednesday after a wave of criticism in the wake of a shock 4-2 weekend defeat.

Such are the sky-high standards at German giants Bayern that the 4-2 loss to mid-table Bochum in the Bundesliga has seen the team exposed to criticism and questioning, mostly but not exclusively from outside the club.

Bayern still hold a six-point lead at the top of the German top flight, and they will be strongly favoured to fend off Salzburg over two legs at the last-16 stage in Europe.

"If you concede four goals, the defence is of course criticised," Nagelsmann said. "Before Bochum we were good. We are by far the team with the most ball wins in Europe."

Nagelsmann said he had been looking at how Bayern's opponents were able to open up a 4-1 interval lead and added: "You can anticipate many things if you're greedy. We didn't have that against Bochum.

"Most of the time we're able to score more goals than we concede. In the Champions League and in the cup, of course, the impact is greater when that happens. So we are all willing to get a better result than we got on Saturday."

Bayern have come under fire from club legend Lothar Matthaus, who now works as a television pundit. Matthaus pointed the finger at Dayot Upamecano and Lucas Hernandez, saying they are not providing good value for money.

Nagelsmann said he would not comment "on every expert opinion that comes out without pressure from the leather chair", adding: "In the end, it's about us delivering such a performance that this kind of thing doesn't even come up."

Bayern honorary president Uli Hoeness suggested there was perhaps "not enough friction" in the team, and Thomas Muller responded to that and similar verdicts on Tuesday.

Muller said: "At the end we are judged on our results. It was a disastrous result against Bochum.

"We've already discussed that, we're very self-critical. We already have friction. Many of us have known each other for years. The powers that come from that trust unleash more powers. I see us on the right track."

Looking at the Bochum result, Muller said: "We don't close our eyes and tick it off, we're very analytical and self-critical."

The pursuit of 21-year-old Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland is well known.

Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester United and Bayern Munich have all been linked with Haaland.

The race is set to heat up, with Haaland reportedly holding a €75 million (£68m) release clause in his Dortmund contract which triggers at the end of the current season.

TOP STORY – MAN CITY LEAD THE WAY IN HAALAND RACE

Football Insider reports that Man City are in the box seat to sign Haaland in a major development with his father Alf-Inge Haaland's connection with the club.

Alf-Inge played with City from 2000 to 2003 and is telling Erling to join the club ahead of other suitors.

City's Abu Dhabi owners are set to launch a concerted pursuit for the Norwegian and will be able to meet his release clause.

Madrid 's bid to sign Haaland may be aided by Adidas, who are associated with the club and looking to bring him on board, after his deal with Nike expired at the end of January.


ROUND-UP

- ESPN reports that Lyon are preparing a significant offer for Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette, whose contract expires at the end of this season. Lacazette joined the Gunners from Lyon in 2017.

- El Nacional claims that Madrid are open to selling Brazilian midfielder Casemiro, who is being targeted by PSG. Casemiro is a regular but his sale may open up funds for moves for Kylian Mbappe and Haaland.

- Franck Kessie will depart Milan when his contract expires at the end of this season, reports Calciomercato, with Barcelona entering the race to sign the midfielder, and Tottenham also interested.

- Sport claims that Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta already has an agreement in principle to join Barcelona on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of the season.

- Edinson Cavani will exit Manchester United at the end of his contract in June, with Spain his preferred destination rather than returning to South America according to Fabrizio Romano.

Joshua Kimmich slammed Bayern Munich's performance during their 4-2 defeat by Bochum, describing it as their "worst of the season".

The Bundesliga leaders came crashing back down to earth at Vonovia Ruhrstadion as they were beaten for only the second time in 32 meetings between the sides.

Bayern conceded four goals for the second time this season with Christopher Antwi-Adjei, Jurgen Locadia, Cristian Gamboa and Gerrit Holtmann all on target before half-time for the hosts.

Julian Nagelsmann's side were also thrashed 5-0 by Borussia Monchengladbach in the DFB-Pokal in October.

And Kimmich questioned the mentality of his team-mates in a scathing post-match reflection.

"That was our worst performance of the season throughout the game," he told Sky.

"We missed all the virtues. If something like this happens once in the season, then I say that it can happen.

"But this is not the first time this has happened to us this season.

"We have to be careful. We have to ask ourselves whether this is the mentality that FC Bayern embodies."

Nagelsmann also bemoaned a "sluggish" display from his players but took full responsibility for the defeat.

"Both in victory and defeat, you sit together in the boat; I also told the guys," the head coach added. 

"Of course, I also criticise myself if the idea didn't work out very well.

"Bochum pressed well, but we played very slowly and sluggishly. Normally, I have to change a bit earlier in the first half. After the change of sides, it was a bit better."

Bayern Munich were beaten by Bochum for the first time in 18 years after a crushing 4-2 defeat at Vonovia Ruhrstadion.

Despite a Robert Lewandowski brace, Julian Nagelsmann's side could not avert a surprise loss against their inspired opponents.

Christopher Antwi-Adjei, Jurgen Locadia, Cristian Gamboa and Gerrit Holtmann were all on target before half-time for the hosts, who had not netted four times in the Bundesliga since a 5-3 victory over Wolfsburg in November 2007.

Meanwhile, the leaders conceded four goals in the German top flight for the first time since a 5-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt in November 2019.

Bayern had won each of their past eight away games against Bochum and took the lead after just nine minutes, Lewandowski scrambling the ball home after Kingsley Coman cushioned Thomas Muller's cross neatly into his path.

But the runaway leaders led for just five minutes as Antwi-Adjei beat Sven Ulreich after latching onto Holtmann's sweeping pass.

The hosts completed the turnaround from the penalty spot, with Locadia sweeping home after Dayet Upamecano was penalised for handball.

Two became three when Gamboa played a neat one-two with Patrick Osterhage and arrowed a terrific shot into the far corner, before Holtmann made it four with a wonderful curling effort from 20 yards.

The hosts thought they had increased their advantage after the break, but Antwi-Adjei was denied by the offside flag.

Lewandowski pulled one back with a neat volley 16 minutes from time, but Bochum maintained their composure and discipline to seal a memorable win.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.