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2 minutes ago

Winning, not aesthetics, the main priority for Dortmund versus Hannover

Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp praises his side for their 4-0 thrashing of Galatasaray in the UEFA Champions League.

"Perverse" is what manager Jurgen Klopp called the discrepancy between Borussia Dortmund's standing in the Bundesliga and Champions League group table after BVB's 4-0 win in Istanbul. Apparently at the Dortmund airport baggage claim, the manager already received the order from a fellow BVB fan to "do the same this weekend."

And right that anonymous BVB fan is; the black and yellows are more than desperate to win Saturday's game against Hannover. The word crisis was even used by sporting director...

23 hours ago

Xabi Alonso provides the tempo that makes Bayern's jazz flow

The ESPN FC team look at the Group E standings after matchday three and take their picks on who will advance to the knockout rounds.
Xabi Alonso was brought in as a stopgap in August but he has quickly become one of Bayern Munich's key players.

Like all the best ideas, this one, too, looks incredibly obvious in hindsight.

Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer said they needed someone "to help immediately" when Bastian Schweinsteiger was ruled out for an indefinite period of time at the end of August, a few days after Javier Martinez had ruptured his cruciate ligament. Who were they going to call? The answer, as we know now, was Xabi Alonso.

But first, they called his Real Madrid teammate Sami Khedira. The board did, to be precise....

 By Uli Hesse
2 days ago

Germany struggle to rival youth of record-breaker Martin Odegaard

Fifteen-year-old Martin Odegaard became the youngest player to debut in a European competition when he came on as a substitute when his Norwegian side took on Bulgaria.

This past week, Norway's teenage phenomenon Martin Odegaard made history -- not for the first time -- when he became the youngest player to see action in a European Championship qualifier. The youngster was 65 days shy of his 16th birthday when he was brought into the game against Bulgaria.

As much as Germany is currently heralded for its youth setup, the aforementioned record is one we can't even come close to. In fact, among the 10 youngest footballers to play for Germany, only two have made their...

 By Mark Lovell
3 days ago

Bayern hitting stride ahead of Champions League clash at Roma

Bayern Munich remain on course for yet another German league title after a 6-0 rout of Werder Bremen while Dortmund's troubles continue as they lose at Cologne.

It was hardly a surprise that Bayern beat bottom club Bremen on Saturday to retain their four-point advantage at the top of the Bundesliga. It was a 6-0 result, and the visitors failed to muster a single shot on goal. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has not conceded for 748 minutes and counting. That is eight wins in a row against the fragile four-time champions from the North, racking up 35 goals in the process. There were braces from both Philipp Lahm (yes, really) and Mario Gotze, who goes to the top...

4 days ago

Crisis talk engulfs Borussia Dortmund after another Bundesliga defeat

Borussia Dortmund's poor start to the season continued with a 2-1 defeat at Cologne in the Bundesliga.

Seven points from eight game is frustrating beyond measure and is Borussia Dortmund's worst spell under Jurgen Klopp.

Losing 2-1 against a Cologne side that had not previously scored at home is in-keeping with BVB's tendency to lose to lesser sides who are struggling themselves.

"This is the start of the rest of our season" Klopp said before the game but, instead, it looks like yet another false dawn.

BVB will finish in 14th place at best after this matchday, only just above the relegation zone,...

 By Mark Lovell
7 days ago

Thiago injury overshadows Bayern's return versus Bremen

Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago is set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a third serious knee ligament tear in training.

It's top versus bottom as league leaders Bayern Munich host winless stragglers Werder Bremen on their return to domestic business after the international break.

The good news for the visitors is that no other side has as strong a record against Bayern as the team from Northern Germany. Werder even wrapped up their last of four Bundesliga titles with a win in Munich's Olympic Stadium back in 2004. And there the positivity ends for Bremen. You have to go back to 2008 for the last of those 26 successes...