Monthly Archives: August 2016

Bayern Munich annihilates Werder Bremen in Bundesliga opener

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Bayern Munich began their new Bundesliga campaign with a flying start as they defeated Werder Bremen at the Allianz Arena by 6-0.

The defending champions were already ahead at the ninth-minute after Xabi Alonso’s stunning volley. The Spanish midfielder was given plenty of time to control the ball before smashing it into the top corner of the net from 20 metres.

Robert Lewandowski doubled Bayern’s lead just four minutes later, after a Frank Ribery through ball caught out Werder’s defense. The Polish striker then essentially sealed Werder’s fate a minute into the second half.

Team captain Philipp Lahm and Ribery then made it fourth after a one two with Thomas Muller before Ribery also found the net. Then Lewandowski completed his hat-trick with a 77th-minute penalty, his second hat-trick of the season after he also bagged one in the German Cup last week.

Carlo Ancelotti, who replaced Pep Guardiola at the helm of Bayern Munich in the summer, said before the match that Bayern aims to win every tournament of the season.

“We started very strongly, we scored the early goals and we controlled the match. All is well,” He said of Bayern after of the game.

“Honestly, I didn’t change very much. This is a very strong team. We just tried to play a little more directly.”

Mats Hummels made his second Bundesliga appearance for Bayern in the match. He made his first game for Bayern back in May 2007 before beginning an illustrious career with Borussia Dortmund.

“It was a little weird for me to return to the Allianz Arena,” said Hummels. “I was a little nervous, but it’s a perfect start for us, to put us on track in the league.”

“For me, I’m still not 100 per cent in my form but it was a good match,” he added humbly. “The road is still long for us.”

Atletico Madrid continues winless run in La Liga

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Atletico Madrid continues their winless streak after the Spanish giants put in another disappointing display in La Liga.

Diego Simeone’s men could not earn the full three points against a promoted side for the second time running after Leganes held them to a goaless draw.

The result also meant that Leganes – a team that just earned their first promotion in their 88 years history) – now has four points in Spain’s Primera division – twice as much as Atletico.

Antoine Griezmann, who made his first appearance of the season for Atletico after starring for France in Euro 2016, did not mince words in his post-match interview.

“If we continue like this, we will fight for relegation,” the French International said. “We are angry, we must shake up because otherwise we will be out of hand. We must begin to be ourselves.”

The 25-year-old forward also said that he had work to do to get back to his best after winning the European Championship golden boot with six goals.

“I’m fine, I only need pace,” Griezmann explained. “I’m working to get back to my level.”

Atletico Madrid will face against Celta Vigo on September 10 after the International break. Celta are without points in the league as of yet, having suffered a 1-0 defeat against Leganes in their opening La Liga match before taking a 2-1 loss against Real Madrid.

Iker Casillas dropped from Spain International squad

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New Spain manager Julen Lopetegui has excluded former captain Iker Casillas from his first squad.

Casillas, 35, is Spain’s most capped player after 167 appearances for his national side, winning two European Championships and the 2010 World Cup in the process.

However, former Porto boss Lopetegui overlooked Casillas for World Cup qualifiers against Belgium and Liechtenstein next month.

Taking over his duties between the posts is David de Gea. The Manchester United keeper had shown great performances in the European Championship; his effort kept Spain in the game even as they trailed a goal behind Italy in their last match within the tournament.

Cesc Fabregas and Pedro have also been left out of La Roja, while Diego Costa and Juan Mata are recalled after being left out of the Spanish Euro 2016 squad.

Spain faces Belgium in a friendly in Brussels on 1 September before hosting Liechtenstein in Leon four days later in their first World Cup qualifier.

Spanish squad

Goalkeepers: David de Gea (Manchester United), Pepe Reina (Napoli), Adrian (West Ham)

Defenders: Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal (both Real Madrid), Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba (both Barcelona), Marc Bartra (Borussia Dortmund), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich)

Midfielders: Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets (both Barcelona), Saul Niguez, Koke (both Atletico Madrid), Marco Asensio, Lucas Vazquez (both Real Madrid), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich), David Silva (Manchester City), Juan Mata (Manchester United)

Forwards: Paco Alcacer (Valencia), Nolito (Manchester City), Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid), Vitolo (Sevilla), Diego Costa (Chelsea)

West Ham ousted by Astra Giurgiu for second year running

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West Ham United was denied a spot in the Europa League after Astra Giurgiu defeated the London club by 1-0 (2-1 on aggregrate) in the qualifying playoffs of the European tournament.

It is also the second successive season that Astra, who have only won once in five league games this season, extinguished the Hammers’ hope of making it into the Europa League.

After a 1-1 away draw last week, West Ham trailed as a counter-attack by the Romanian champions was precisely finished by Filipe Teixeira just before half time.

The Hammers improved after the break, with Jonathan Calleri, Ashley Fletcher and Winston Reid registering attempts. In comparison, Astra converted just one out of two their attempts.

However, their resolve in defense held their opponents at ba; without a goal, West Ham could not force extra time to save their European campaign.

Home fans quickly left the Premier League club’s new 60,000-seater stadium within seconds of the full-time whistle, although a small number of Romanian fans remained to celebrate with their jubilant players.

““I said this is one of the most important games for us this year. This is like a final that you have to win to go through,” said West Ham manager Slaven Bilic. “The disappointment is massive. We didn’t play good in the first half or with desire as a team. We were second best.”

The Hammers’ exit from the Europa league leaves Manchester United and Southampton as the only English sides in the competition; a draw later today will decide who will be their opponents in the group stages, a list that includes Italian giants Inter Milan, Dutch runners-up Ajax and Spanish side Athletic Bilbao.