MD1- How did German teams fare in the Champions League

Four German teams were in action as the group stages of the Champions League kicked off this week. Bayern, Dortmund and Hoffenheim were all on the road, with Schalke the only German team to enjoy home advantage. Bayern and Dortmund both won their away fixtures, while Hoffenheim squandered the lead twice in Kharkiv to draw with Shakhtar. S04 failed to make home advantage count as they were held by Porto at the Veltins Arena.

Results for German teams on MD1 of the Champions League

Club Brugge 0:1 BVB (Pulisic 85) Group A

Dortmund left it late to beat Brugge in Belgium, with Christian Pulisic scoring the winner five minutes from time. Brugge are probably the easiest of BVB’s opponents in Group A, with further trips to Madrid and Monaco awaiting Lucien Favre’s men

Schalke 1:1 Porto (Embolo 64) Group D

S04 took the lead through Embolo on 64 minutes, but conceded a penalty ten minutes later to allow Porto back into this fixture. They’ll be off to Moscow in a fortnight’s time to play Lokomotiv, who were beaten 3:0 by Galatasaray in their opener

Benfica 0:2 Bayern (Lewandowski, Sanches) Group E

A good result for Bayern, beating Portuguese giants Benfica in front of a 60.000 strong crowd at the Estadio da Luz.

Shakhtar 2:2 Hoffenheim (Grillitsch, Nordtveit) Group F

A draw is a fairly good result for any team travelling to Shakhtar, but Hoffenheim would probably feel they squandered two points here. More importantly, their next opponents are Man City, who will be out for blood after being upset by Olympique Lyonnais at the Etihad.

Ander Herrera at CB- United crash to defeat against Spurs

Perhaps a reflection of the faith (or the lack of it!) that Jose Mourino has in Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof. The duo were criticised by fans for their role in the second round defeat against Brighton and Mourinho, wanting to play 3 at the back, opted to ask Ander Herrera, normally a central midfielder by profession, to play alongside Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.

It didn’t matter- United’s defence continued to be poor, none more so than for Spurs’ third goal and Lucas Moura’s second, when the Brazilian sent Smalling straight back to Maidstone United, with the latter failing miserably in a one on one situation. That’s not how United defenders of the past would’ve performed, and it indicates how badly things have fallen at Old Trafford.

MUN TOT

United had their chances, the best of which fell to Romelu Lukaku, who took advantage of a poor backpass from Danny Rose. Continue reading Ander Herrera at CB- United crash to defeat against Spurs

Bayern 3:1 Hoffenheim- Bavarians kick off new season with win

Champions Bayern Munich kicked off the new Bundesliga season with a hard fought 3-1 win at home over TSG Hoffenheim. The fixture, which saw late drama with VAR being involved, also had Kingsley Coman stretchered off, with fears that the French international could be set for a long stint on the sidelines.

The game, Niko Kovac’s first BuLi one in charge of Bayern, saw the home side go ahead in the 23rd minute when Thomas Muller headed in Joshua Kimmich’s pinpoint corner.

Bay

Adam Szalai’s low, drilled finish, aided by some lethargic Bayern defending, brought Hoffenheim level just before the hour mark. Szalai, for those not in the know, is a former Liverpool player- the Reds are themselves in action tomorrow night against Brighton, a game they’re expected to win.

There was however late drama when Robert Lewandowski converted from the spot seven minutes from time to put Bayern ahead. He had missed the original spot kick, but was asked to retake it- a VAR decision, and made no mistake from the second attempt. Hoffenheim, deflated, were then caught out by a quick throw in, with Arjen Robben capitalising to give the hosts a 3:1 win.

Bayern 3 (Muller, Lewandowski pen, Robben) beat Hoffenheim (Szalai 1)

Chelsea 3:2 Arsenal | Late Alonso goal condemns Unai Emery to another defeat

A late goal from Marcos Alonso condemned Unai Emery to the second straight defeat of his Arsenal managerial career as the Gunners went down 3-2 to Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal had been beaten by Pep Guardiola’s clinical defending champions on the opening week, but Emery would’ve been hopeful of a result against Chelsea- a team against whom the Gunners have enjoyed success, and like them, only just settling into a new system under a new manager. Continue reading Chelsea 3:2 Arsenal | Late Alonso goal condemns Unai Emery to another defeat

Kevin de Bruyne picks up knee injury in training

Star Man City playmaker Kevin de Bruyne is set for a stint on the treatment room after injuring his right knee in training. The extent of the injury is unknown, but initial estimates suggest that De Bruyne would probably miss the next two months of City’s season. He is expected to be treated by Dr Ramon Cugat in Barcelona.

If De Bruyne is out for about 2 months, the games he’ll miss (Premier League ones) would be the ones against Huddersfield, Wolves Newcastle, Fulham, Cardiff, Brighton, Liverpool and Burnley. Not a very tough set of fixtures- you’d expect City, with their squad depth, to comfortably get through all those fixtures, with the trip to Anfield being the only really testing one for Pep Guardiola’s side. Continue reading Kevin de Bruyne picks up knee injury in training

Croatians at Inter Milan- Modric mulls switch

Inter Milan could have another Croatian in their ranks for the upcoming 2018/19 season after it was revealed that Real Madrid star Luka Modric was mulling a switch to the San Siro. Modric, 32, was a key figure for his country at the recently concluded World Cup, winning three MOTM awards as his side finished runners up to France.

Luka Modric

Inter already have Marcelo Brozovic and Ivan Perisic in their ranks and have taken Sime Vrsaljko on loan. With three Croatians already on the Nerazzurri’s books, the San Siro looks like an attractive destination for Modric, who has pretty much everything there was to win at Real Madrid.

However the question remains whether Real will be willing to sell both Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo in the same transfer window. This may be Real’s best opportunity to cash in on Modric, and the move will also potentially allow more first team football for Mateo Kovacic.

Inter are also in the market for Arturo Vidal, but the Chilean’s transfer may not materialise if they get Modric.