Daily Archives: April 5, 2017

Hoffenheim ends Bayern 20-game unbeaten run

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Hoffenheim dealt a surprise 1-0 defeat to FC Bayern Munich which saw the reigning Bundesliga champions stop just short of a 21-game unbeaten run.

Andrej Kramaric scored the only goal for Hoffenheim as the team advanced within a point of second-placed RB Leipzig, although the surprise league challengers have a game in hand.

Hoffenheim, whose whose 29-year-old coach Julian Nagelsmann is the youngest in the German top flight, has keeper Oliver Baumann to thank for as he turned in an inspired display to keep Hoffenheim unbeaten at home this season.

Kramaric shot wide early on, but still managed to give the hosts a deserved lead in the 21st minute with a powerful half-volley past Sven Ulreich.

But even as Hoffenheim dominated the first half, Bayern came close to levelling right before the break when striker Robert Lewandowski saw his effort hit the crossbar.

Then it was all Baumann after the break as he denied Lewandowski twice with match-winning saves, while Franck Ribery also went close as Bayern tried in vain for an equaliser.

The German champions lost only for the second time this season, although they would remain on top of the table with a strong 13-points lead. However, second-placed Leipzig will be able to trim it a little as they travel to Mainz later today.

Jurgen Klopp: Sadio Mane may not play for rest of season

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Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp has given confirmation that Sadio Mane will miss the rest of the Premier League season.

However, the German also insisted that the absence of the Senegalese international would not hurt Liverpool as the Reds campaign for a spot in the Champions League next season.

As the Mane’s knee was too swollen for scans to give a clear prognosis, Liverpool have yet to ascertain the level of damage, with Klopp adding that Mane’s injury “is not 100% clear”.

“We have to wait until the knee is not that swollen any more. The only thing I can say for sure is that he will not be available for tomorrow (against Bournemouth).”

“All the rest we have to see. It is not very positive when it is like this. I cannot say at this exact time so we have to wait.”

When asked if the injury was potentially season-ending Klopp replied: “Unfortunately that is possible but why should I say it now when I don’t know? The knee is swollen and we have to wait for the final assessment.”

Mane scored 13 goals in his debut season for Liverpool since joining from Southampton, and the Reds won only one of seven games when he was absent playing for Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations in January — with his pace being sorely missed Klopp’s side.

Nevertheless, the Liverpool manager insists that his squad are better equipped to cope without the forward at this stage of the campaign.

“My job is to find solutions. This is a good situation: we have 59 points, we are in a nice position. Yes, a few teams have played less games than we have but they cannot win them all because they have to play each other. The whole season is to prepare the finish and this is the finishing part of the season.”

“Eight games to go. We expect results from ourselves, we want to fight for everything. A few key players are not available at the moment but as long as we have 11 players to start and a few to bring on everything is fine.”

Atletico Madrid maintains winning run ahead of capital derby

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Atletico Madrid kept their winning run going with a 1-0 victory against Real Sociedad ahead of a challenging trip to derby rivals Real Madrid.

Filipe Luis’ first-half goal was enough as Atletico Madrid took a further step towards Champions League qualification by opening up a three-point gap ahead of fourth-placed Sevilla in the La Liga table.

Diego Simeone’s men fired 13 shots in the first half at the Vicente Calderon and, although they faded a little after the break, firm defensive play saw them secure a fifth successive La Liga win which piles more pressure on Sevilla ahead of their trip to Barcelona later today.

Although sluggish at the opening minutes, once Atletico found their stride Real Sociedad struggled to keep them quiet and Filipe Luis gave them a deserved lead in the 28th minute by finishing off a brilliant one-two with Fernando Torres to score his second goal in as many games.

Torres’s assist would also equal his his best assist tally in a single LaLiga season (five in 2006/07), and the former Liverpool striker should have doubled Atletico’s lead later in front of an open goal, only to find the woodwork from close range.

They wasted another two glorious chances on the stroke of half-time – with Yannick Carrasco shooting straight at keeper Geronimo Rulli when set up by Griezmann, and Luis then doing the same on the rebound.

In the second half, La Real managed to dominate possession but a lack of creativity saw them unable to really challenge the Atletico defence, allowing Jan Oblak to remained untested and Atletico to hold on for the win.

This was the Madrid team’s fifth successive win in La Liga, their best run since April 2016 when they won six, and a good win in their sails as they travel across town to play table leaders Real this weekend, who themselves are travelling to Butarque for their own game against a struggling Leganes.