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German clubs losing ground in Champions League; Bayern lead the way

The ESPN FC panel pinpoint where Borussia Dortmund's biggest shortcomings lie following their 2-1 defeat against Tottenham.

Six points in three games on Matchday 5 was one of the better returns for the three German clubs in this year's rather wretched Champions League campaign.

Genuine happiness, however, was in short supply once more. Collectively, RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund performed at a level that had tabloid Bild crying out for "Help!" and worrying that Bundesliga sides were destined "to play only a supporting role" on the European stage in 2017-18.

On the evidence of the midweek games, that...

 By Mark Lovell

The true Klassiker: Bayern Munich's best battles with Monchengladbach

Jupp Heynckes says he told Arturo Vidal he needed to improve his physical shape if he wanted to keep his place at Bayern.

Forget Borussia Dortmund or upstarts RB Leipzig, the Bundesliga's original Klassiker is Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Monchengladbach. The two heavyweights dominated Germany from the end of the 1960s until 1981, with Bayern winning the league six times and Gladbach five.

Here are five memorable meetings to whet the appetite before Saturday's true Klassiker.

Bayern drunk with success

Back in May 1974, Bayern had just sealed their first hat trick of league titles, with Gladbach only a point behind in...

 By Mark Lovell

Ulreich a 9/10 for Bayern in goal, James a 7/10 off bench in lucky win

Corentin Tolisso provided the game-winner late in the second half to help Bayern seal another three points in Group B.

Bayern Munich kept their faint hopes of topping the group ahead of PSG alive with a fortunate 2-1 win courtesy of second-half goals from Robert Lewandowski and Corentin Tolisso after Sofiane Hanni's equaliser restored parity for the Belgian champions just after the hour mark.

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Positives

The Bayern bandwagon keeps chugging on, recording a ninth win in a row in all competitions under Jupp Heynckes. 

Negatives

Bayern conceded for the 11th Champions League game in a row on away soil, allowing...

Are Bayern Munich too dependent upon Robert Lewandowski?

Jupp Heynckes knows Robert Lewandowski can score but needs to find others for Bayern Munich to succeed.

Bayern Munich pushed their lead at the top of the Bundesliga to six points by thumping Augsburg. Not much to see here; it was one-way traffic and Robert Lewandowski bagged two goals, bringing his seasonal total to 17. If you want to nitpick, the one concern under Jupp Heynckes is that Lewandowski has no obvious understudy.

Beyond that, Bayern's manager continues to shuffle his deck. Juan Bernat made his first appearance of the season, Rafinha gave David Alaba a breather at left-back and the great...

 By Mark Lovell

'Re-Vidal-ized' Bayern surge with Lewandowski a 9/10 in victory

Robert Lewandowski bagged a brace to power Bayern Munich's comfortable 3-0 home win over Augsburg.
Robert Lewandowski bagged a brace to power Bayern Munich's comfortable 3-0 home win over Augsburg.

Chasing a sixth consecutive league title, Bayern Munich cruised six points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with a comfortable 3-0 win over Augsburg, courtesy of Arturo Vidal's opener and a goal in each half from the prolific Robert Lewandowski.

Positives

Bayern comfortably won the Bavarian derby, making it eight wins in succession in all competitions under Jupp Heynckes, including five straight in the Bundesliga to move nine points clear of deposed leaders Borussia Dortmund. Just five games ago...