Bayern Munich

  • Schalke midfielder McKennie suffers seri...

    Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie looks set for an extensive injury layoff following the seemingly serious leg injury he picked up in a challenge with Bayern Munich’s James Rodriguez in a 2-0 defeat against the German champions. With Bayern 1-0 up in the 51st minute, the Americ...

    Schalke midfielder McKennie suffers serious leg injury against Bayern Munich

    Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie looks set for an extensive injury layoff following the seemingly serious leg injury he picked up in a challenge with Bayern Munich’s James Rodriguez in a 2-0 defeat against the German champions. With Bayern 1-0 up in the 51st minute, the American and Bayern goalscorer Rodriguez competed for a loose ball and the latter caught the former’s left shin, sending him tumbling to the turf in obvious pain, before he had to be carried off the field in floods of tears, to be replaced by Nabil Bentaleb. Robert Lewandowski then notched the second from the penalty spot to put the game to bed. The injury comes at a bad time for the 20-year-old, who has made 36 senior appearances in his career so far and was just cementing his place for club and country, having earned his fifth and sixth international caps and made his first Champions League appearance against Porto, notching an assist. It is hoped that the injury is not as severe as first thought, and Schalke are sending the player for a scan to determine the full extent of the damage. "We feared the worst," Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel told WA. "The entire tibia and fibula hurts him a lot." This is not the young midfielder’s first major injury setback, having suffered a cracked knee ligament last season. McKennie only missed six games, however, and he will be hoping to bounce back similarly quickly from this one. McKennie will almost certainly be ruled out of Schalke's next two Bundesliga matches against Freiburg and Mainz, as well as being a doubt for the USA's upcoming fixtures against Colombia and Peru. U.S. boss Dave Sarachan has used McKennie as a regular part of his five-man midfield of late, starting him alongside fellow holding midfielders Tyler Adams and Wil Trapp. The U.S. is also just two months out from taking on England and Itlay in a set of November friendlies that McKennie would have been odds on the feature in, though it now seems as though he could be facing a race to be fit in time for those matches as well. 

  • Schalke 0 Bayern Munich 2: James and Lew...

    Bayern Munich's 100 per cent start under Niko Kovac continued as goals in either half from James Rodriguez and Robert Lewandowski earned them a 2-0 win over struggling Schalke. The reigning Bundesliga champions have won each of their first four league games under Kovac, who has ...

    Schalke 0 Bayern Munich 2: James and Lewandowski deliver another win

    Bayern Munich's 100 per cent start under Niko Kovac continued as goals in either half from James Rodriguez and Robert Lewandowski earned them a 2-0 win over struggling Schalke. The reigning Bundesliga champions have won each of their first four league games under Kovac, who has also presided over victories in the DFL-Supercup, DFB-Pokal and Champions League. James put them ahead at the Veltins-Arena by nodding in from a corner and when he was tripped by Alessandro Schopf inside the box, Lewandowski converted the spot-kick to wrap up the three points. Schalke, who finished as runners-up last year, have now lost each of their first four Bundesliga games. There would have been huge frustration in the Schalke ranks over how they conceded the eighth-minute opener as ex-Bayern man Sebastian Rudy did not track James, whose header from Joshua Kimmich's near-post corner was not dealt with adequately by Ralf Fahrmann. Fahrmann saved a penalty against Porto in the Champions League in midweek, though he was also later beaten from 12 yards, but could only stand and watch as David Alaba's swerving free-kick from 30 yards crashed back off the crossbar. James had an excellent chance to double Bayern's advantage less than five minutes after the restart, but he somehow fluffed his lines when Franck Ribery's pass presented him with an open goal. However, the Colombian made amends by winning the penalty that Lewandowski slotted into the bottom-right corner in the 64th minute. Schalke boss Domenico Tedesco took off Franco Di Santo and he responded by arguing with his coach, whose evening would have got worse had Fahrmann not kept out another Alaba free-kick.   What it means: Kovac's winning run continues Eyebrows were raised when Kovac took over Bayern but his team have responded to the sceptics with a hugely impressive start. This was their biggest test in the Bundesliga so far and they were far too strong for a side that finished directly beneath them in 2017-18. James makes the difference By scoring one goal and winning the penalty that led to the other, James made the biggest impact on this game. His second-half miss was inexplicable but ultimately only a footnote in the grand scheme of things. No revenge for Rudy Midfielder Rudy was the one man in the Schalke team with added motivation given Bayern sold him after last season. However, rather than proving his old employers wrong, the Germany international failed to impress as he allowed James to run off him and head the visitors ahead. Key Opta stats: - Lewandowski scored his 183rd Bundesliga goal and is now alone in sixth place on the all-time Bundesliga goals list, one strike ahead of Ulf Kirsten. - Bayern's second goal was the 200th Fahrmann has conceded in the Bundesliga for Schalke. - For the third time in their Bundesliga history, Schalke have failed to pick up a point from the first four games of a season - 19 teams have been in the same situation previously and just one of them still managed to qualify for Europe (Borussia Monchengladbach in 2015-16). - Bayern have won each of their seven competitive games this season, and Kovac is only the second coach in the Bavarians' history after Carlo Ancelotti (eight) to make such a successful start. What's next? Schalke travel to Freiburg on Tuesday for their next Bundesliga fixture, while Bayern return home to face Bavarian rivals Augsburg on the same day.

  • 'It won't be like Renato's' - Bayern's G...

    Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka is expecting a mixed reception when he returns to former club Schalke for the first time on Saturday. The Germany international, who joined Bayern on a free transfer in June, is looking forward to going back to Gelsenkirchen after being pen...

    'It won't be like Renato's' - Bayern's Goretzka prepares for Schalke return

    Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka is expecting a mixed reception when he returns to former club Schalke for the first time on Saturday. The Germany international, who joined Bayern on a free transfer in June, is looking forward to going back to Gelsenkirchen after being pencilled in for a starting spot. However, Goretzka does not anticipate receiving the same positive reaction from supporters which Bayern team-mate Renato Sanches enjoyed at Benfica in the Champions League in midweek. "I think it will be similar to my departure,” Goretzka told Kicker. “There are two camps, the ones who wish you the best and who have understood my change a bit, and the others who are expressing their dissatisfaction. It will be the same on Saturday. “I guess it will not be quite like Renato’s (return to Benfica). "For sure this is a special game for me. Personally, I'm just looking forward to coming back to Gelsenkirchen and seeing the old boys again."  "I arrived here very well, had very good, intense weeks to start, I am doing very well, I feel accepted."  Goretzka’s only start of the season so far came in a 3-0 win at Stuttgart on September 1, but Bayern coach Niko Kovac confirmed the player will face his old club. Kovac, who left Goretzka out of his squad for the subsequent victory over Bayer Leverkusen and then used him as a late substitute in the Champions League win against Benfica, said the 23-year-old had done enough to earn a start this weekend. "Leon Goretzka is playing well so far," Kovac told reporters. "He has integrated well in the team. I'm convinced that he will do well tomorrow and will be in the starting 11. Kovac wants his side to put in another dominant performance against Schalke, but admitted it will be a tough assignment for his players. "Against Schalke we want to pick up where we left off last week against Leverkusen. I'm expecting an aggressive, intensive match. "If we play our best, we can win this game too. Otherwise it will be difficult." Kovac will hope Goretzka can emulate team-mate Sanches by scoring against his old employers, with the Portuguese midfielder netting against Benfica on Wednesday. Sanches scored Bayern's second in the 2-0 triumph as he made his first start for the German champions since May 2017. Kovac praised Sanches and gave a positive assessment of his squad's fitness ahead of the trip to Gelsenkirchen. "Renato did very well against Benfica. He justified the faith we have put in him and he will play regularly in the coming weeks." "Every player that went to Lisbon is fit. The only absentees from the squad are [Kingsley] Coman, Rafinha and [Corentin] Tolisso. Otherwise everyone is fit and will be available tomorrow."

  • Bayern's Kovac hails 'special' Sanches a...

    Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac heaped praise on goalscorer Renato Sanches, describing his performance as "special" in the club's successful Champions League opener against Benfica. Ex-Benfica midfielder Sanches returned to haunt his former club, the 21-year-old Portugal int...

    Bayern's Kovac hails 'special' Sanches after Champions League goal

    Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac heaped praise on goalscorer Renato Sanches, describing his performance as "special" in the club's successful Champions League opener against Benfica. Ex-Benfica midfielder Sanches returned to haunt his former club, the 21-year-old Portugal international on target as Bayern claimed a 2-0 victory away from home on Wednesday. Sanches endured a forgettable loan spell at Swansea City last season but he was handed his first Bayern start since May 2017 and repaid the faith, converting James Rodriguez's cross nine minutes into the second half, having played a role in Robert Lewandowski's opener. Benfica also applauded Sanches – who left the Portuguese giants in 2016 after emerging through the youth ranks – following his display in the Group E clash at Estadio da Luz. "I'm happy," Kovac said during his post-match news conference. "Like I said in Munich, Renato wasn't going to be our travel guide. "Actually Thiago [Alcantara] should have played, but when we knew he was going to miss the game, I thought it was the right time to let Renato play. "What he did tonight was special. You could see why he is such a good player in his young age. A player with high technical and physical skills. And then he even scored. "I have to make a compliment to him and the Portuguese supporters, that they gave him applause. You don't see that very often. That speaks for their favour." On the match itself, Kovac said: "We wanted to have a good start in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League. "We knew Benfica have an exceedingly good team. They have a straightforward approach and try to finish quickly. We had to fight, we had many presentable chances but failed to make the most of them, we could have closed it out earlier. "We want to go far in the Champions League. We have to stay focused, we know we're being hunted by everyone." Bayern defender Mats Hummels also saluted Benfica's supporters for their treatment of Sanches post-game, tweeting: "Love it when a stadium does that. Massive respect @SLBenfica fans." Meanwhile, Benfica head coach Rui Vitoria told reporters: "We wanted to win but faced one of the strongest teams in Europe."

  • Benfica 0 Bayern Munich 2: Sanches retur...

    Renato Sanches marked his return to the Bayern Munich fold with a superb goal against his former club as Niko Kovac's side ran out 2-0 winners over Benfica in their Champions League Group E encounter. Having endured a torrid loan spell at Swansea City last term, Sanches was hand...

    Benfica 0 Bayern Munich 2: Sanches returns to haunt his former club

    Renato Sanches marked his return to the Bayern Munich fold with a superb goal against his former club as Niko Kovac's side ran out 2-0 winners over Benfica in their Champions League Group E encounter. Having endured a torrid loan spell at Swansea City last term, Sanches was handed his first Bayern start since May 2017 at Estadio da Luz, and - after playing a part in Robert Lewandowski's opener - the youngster duly repaid Kovac's faith in the 54th minute when he got on the end of James Rodriguez's delicate cross. However, things could have been different if not for Manuel Neuer, who kept Benfica at bay with a string of impressive saves either side of the interval. Serge Gnabry had a goal disallowed for offside as Bayern looked to extend their lead, but that decision mattered little as Kovac continued his winning start. Bayern were ahead in the 10th minute - Sanches picking out Franck Ribery, who combined with David Alaba to cut back for Lewandowski to tuck home. Arjen Robben and James both passed up chances as Bayern dominated, and their profligacy would have been punished had Neuer not kept out Eduardo Salvio's strike. But Benfica's hopes of a comeback took a blow shortly after the interval - Sanches on hand to hammer home from close range to cap off a move that he started. Jardel and Ruben Dias tried their luck with headers around the hour, but Neuer was in top form to keep Bayern's clean sheet intact. Substitute Gnabry thought he had put the game beyond all doubt in the 68th minute, only for the offside flag to prevent Bayern adding further gloss to the victory.   What does it mean: Bayern join Ajax at the top, Benfica's dreadful run continues Group E should not present a tough task for Bayern, with Rui Vitoria's side arguably the sternest opposition they will face. Ajax's 3-0 win over AEK Athens means that it is the Eredivisie giants who top the group as it stands, though. Benfica, meanwhile, have now lost their last eight Champions League matches. Pat on the back: Sanches back with a bang Sanches' career at Bayern has been an unmitigated disaster, but under Kovac there could be a way back for the youngster who stole the show at Euro 2016. Back at his former stomping ground, the midfielder was exceptional, and received a standing ovation from the Benfica supporters after netting the visitors' second. Boot up the backside: Robben misfires While Ribery starred on one flank, fellow veteran Robben was not at his best down the other. Three times the Dutchman got through on goal with only Odisseas Vlachodimos to beat, but on each occasion he failed to beat Benfica's goalkeeper, and is fortunate that his wastefulness did not prove costly. Key Opta stats - Benfica have lost each of their last eight Champions League matches, scoring just once and conceding 20 goals in those games. - Bayern Munich have lost just one of their last 20 European matches against Portuguese opposition (W13 D6). - Since his debut in October 2011, only Lionel Messi (42) and Cristiano Ronaldo (44) have scored more goals in the Champions League group stages than Robert Lewandowski (27). - Robert Lewandowski’s goal came in his third Champions League appearance against Benfica for Bayern Munich – the Polish striker has scored against 17 of the 20 teams he has faced the competition for Munich. - Renato Sanches registered his first Bayern Munich goal in his 27th appearance for the club in all competitions – it was his first appearance for any team since January, when he faced Notts County with Swansea City in the FA Cup. What's next? Desportivo Aves are up next for Benfica on their return to Primeira Liga action, while Bayern face Schalke - who are still without a win this term - in the Bundesliga.

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