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10 hours ago

Dortmund's Bundesliga slump turns embarrassing in defeat to Hannover

Jurgen Klopp will surely find a way to pull Dortmund out of their misery, but how long will it take?

Slowly but surely it's starting to get embarrassing for Borussia Dortmund. They lost 1-0 to Hannover, a team that hardly ever scores points on the road, only won one game out of the last five and lost two wing-backs to injuries right before the game in a defence that was already troubled personnel-wise.

It was a game that BVB simply couldn't lose, or so you would think. Now the black and yellows have lost four Bundesliga games in a row and have cemented their image as a team that slumping opponents...

 By Mark Lovell
1 day ago

Last season's empty tank a good lesson for Bayern Munich

See whether you agree with Shaka Hislop's picks this week.

In German, there is a popular phrase "Die Kirche im Dorf lassen" (literally, that the church must be at the heart of village life). No, this has absolutely nothing to do with Bayern Munich's recent high-profile visit to see the pope. It is more often used to convey the meaning to not be too carried away by events and retain a sense of conservative perspective.

This is particularly apt for Bayern after their 7-1 Champions League demolition job in Rome. The Reds put down a marker to the rest of...

2 days 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...

3 days 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
4 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
5 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...