Beckenbauer: Bayern and Guardiola belong together

The legendary defender is hopeful the coach will remain at the Allianz Arena beyond next summer as he feels he is the perfect fit for the club

Bayern Munich honorary president Franz Beckenbauer believes Pep Guardiola should stay at the Bavarian club because they are a perfect fit for each other.

Guardiola inspired Bayern to a 5-1 humbling of supposed title-challengers Borussia Dortmund on Sunday with the win maintaining the defending Bundesliga champions’ 100 per cent start to the new season and moving them seven points clear at the top of the table after eight games.

Former Barcelona boss Guardiola’s contract expires in June 2016 and he has yet to commit his future to Bayern, but Beckenbauer believes their working relationship is close to perfection.

He told Sky : “You should never separate what belongs together. 

“He’s very talkative and witty. His training sessions are like a show. His players could get a pass to their team-mates with a blindfold on.”

Bayern executive board chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge reiterated that the club and Guardiola would sit down between now and Christmas to discuss an extension to his contract.

He told : “I’ve always said that we would sit down in the second half of 2015 and that leaves us still a few months.

“There’s a lot on the table which is pro-Bayern and a game like this one against Dortmund is bound to make the coach happy too.”

Beckenbauer: Lewandowski success due to Robben and Ribery absence

The Bayern Munich and Germany legend believes the Polish striker has been able to shine because injuries have enhanced his importance to Josep Guardiola’s side

Bayern Munich icon Franz Beckenbauer believes the absence of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery has helped Robert Lewandowski flourish.

Ribery hasn’t featureed for Bayern yet this season, while Robben picked up a knock early on in the campaign and has made just five appearances.

The absence of that key duo has by no means hurt Bayern’s ambitions, though, as Lewandowski has stepped up instead.

The striker has already netted 12 goals in seven Bundesliga appearances in 2015-16, nine of which came in his last three outings, and Beckenbauer feels he has used the absence of Robben and Ribery to his own advantage.

“Lewandowski is getting much more involved than before. Robben and Ribery always dribbled and then went for a shot,” Beckenbauer told Sky Deutschland.

“They only went looking for Lewandowski when they did not know where to go.

“He is much more integrated into the team now.”

Robben is expected to make his comeback after the international break, while Ribery is also on his way back to fitness, but Beckenbauer predicts they could face a tough task to win back their starting berths.

“Robben and Ribery will have to push pretty hard,” he added.

“Ribery will have to get back to his former best if he is to displace Douglas Costa. But he is already in his thirties and has been injured for a long time. He will need time.”

Robben & Ribery fitness boosts for Bayern

The Dutchman could make his comeback immediately after the international break, while his French colleague is nearing the end of his injury nightmare

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has revealed both Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are almost ready to return to action.

Robben tore an adductor muscle on September 3 but played a full part in training on Monday and is set to make his comeback after the international break, in the Bundesliga clash with Werder Bremen on October 17.

Ribery, meanwhile, has been sidelined since March with a persistent ankle problem but he is expected to be given the green light imminently to resume full training.

Speaking after Sunday’s 5-1 demolition of Borussia Dortmund, Guardiola stated: “On Arjen, I hope that he could come back into the team after the international break.

“As for Franck, he will come back soon. He has been back running in training for a long time now.

“Having the two of them back would be great for our game!”

Despite being shorn of the services of two of their key players, Bayern have been in impeccable form so far this season – they are currently seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga after opening their campaign with eight successive wins.

Bayern have not won the title yet – Guardiola

His team may be cruising atop the Bundesliga, but the Spanish coach insists they still make too many mistakes and have a lot of work to do

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola urged his team to stay grounded despite opening up a seven-point lead atop the Bundesliga with a 5-1 thrashing of Borussia Dortmund.

Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski netted a double each at the Allianz Arena on Sunday before Mario Gotze added a fifth in the comprehensive win.

Guardiola insisted there was still work for his team to do, despite their 100 per cent record giving them a huge advantage over their rivals already.

“I’d like to congratulate the players. We struggled early on and didn’t create many chances before the opener,” he said.

“We won 5-1 but made a lot of mistakes which we need to correct. We’re happy because we beat one of the best teams in Europe.

“No-one has won the German title today. We have to keep our feet on the ground.”

The loss stretched Dortmund’s winless run in all competitions to four games, with their form dipping after a red-hot start to the campaign.

Muller: My form has the doping authority suspicious

The 26-year-old proved candid about his performance against Borussia Dortmund, while Pep Guardiola still saw room for improvement in their performance

Thomas Muller joked that “doping authority are watching” him after his latest exploits for Bayern Munich in front of goal helped them to a 5-1 win over Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.

The Germany international controlled Jerome Boateng’s long punt upfield perfectly to open the scoring before he doubled his side’s advantage from the penalty spot.

His latest goals bring his tally for the season up to eight goals in as many league games, and Muller acknowledged the rich vein of form he is presently in typical joking manner.

“The guys from the doping authority are watching me,” he laughed to reporters, before revealing he had not practiced the move which led to die Roten’s first with Boateng in training.

“Jerome and I exchanged glances and he put the ball into the empty space. You can’t plan every action. You have to react quickly. 

“We didn’t practice long balls. But when there’s room up the pitch, that’s what you do in football.

“The way we won was a signal to our Bundesliga rivals.”

Robert Lewandowski then netted a double – his 11th and 12th strikes in four matches – before Mario Gotze rounded off the scoring against his former side.

Despite the comanding nature of the win, however, Pep Guardiola saw room for improvement in his team’s performance, and insisted the result is not decisive for the title.

“I’d like to congratulate the players,” he said. “We’re delighted because we’ve beaten one of the best teams in Europe.

“We struggled early on and didn’t create many chances before the opener. We won 5-1 but still made a lot of mistakes. There’s work to be done.

“The title isn’t won today. We have to remain grounded.”

The Bavarians’ latest win nevertheless has seen them open a seven-point gap at the top of the table between themselves and Dortmund.

Tuchel wants Reus to 'explode' against Bayern

The former Mainz manager wants the winger to put the Bundesliga title rivals to the sword in Sunday’s Der Klassiker

Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel is hopeful Marco Reus can return to his best form against Bayern Munich in Der Klassiker.

The Germany forward made it four matches without finding the net as he turned in a lacklustre display in Thursday’s 1-1 draw against PAOK in the Europa League.

Reus, 26, has consistently struggled with injuries over recent years and was sidelined by a toe problem earlier in the campaign.

But he has seven career goals against the Bundesliga champions to his mane, and Tuchel believes Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash at the Allianz Arena provides the ideal opportunity for Reus to end his slump.

“I always have the hope that Marco explodes. It is true that he is struggling right now,” he told a press conference.

“We see in his analytic stats that he is working very hard and how he fights and he will come back, hopefully tomorrow.”

Public relations between Bayern and Dortmund have often taken a strained tone over recent seasons but Tuchel was keen to voice his admiration for opposite number Pep Guardiola.

“He is the best, even if he doesn’t want to admit it himself,” he added.

“I’ve always been a fan of Barcelona. Barcelona under Pep was the benchmark for me.”

Bayern Munich – Borussia Dortmund: Klassiker special again for Guardiola

The Spanish coach expects a tough game when the Bundesliga champions host Thomas Tuchel’s challengers in Sunday’s highly-anticipated derby match

Bayern Munich


Pep Guardiola

expects Sunday’s clash with

Borussia Dortmund

to see the fixture regain its “special” aura, with

Thomas Tuchel

‘s men once more in the title fight.

Dortmund were unable to replicate their previous title challenges under Jurgen Klopp last season and finished seventh, but Tuchel appears to have them back on track.

Tuchel’s first 11 games in all competitions in charge resulted in victories, although three successive draws have left Dortmund four points off the pace of Bayern, who are yet to drop points in any tournament this term.

Guardiola has acknowledged that Dortmund will not be pushovers, though.

“Dortmund have been playing very well this season. They are a great team and my players know how good they are,” Guardiola stated at a press conference.

“Everybody wants to play in games like these. Dortmund versus Bayern is always a special match. 

“It’s not like this game will be decisive though. It is not a final. It is about three points. Nothing has been decided after it.

“Tuchel and his men enjoy having a lot of possession. They want to control the game and break free rapidly with balls over the top.”

Bayern will still be without Franck Ribery, Sebastian Rode, Medhi Benatia and Holger Badstuber, while Arjen Robben also seems likely to miss out. 

Arturo Vidal is raring to go again, however, after missing their 5-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb in midweek due to a knee injury.

Bayern will be brimming with confidence heading into Sunday’s encounter. Their return of 21 points with a +20 goal difference is a new Bundesliga record after seven games of a season, beating their previous best of 2012-13.

Dortmund, meanwhile, will be desperate to return to winning ways after a series of disappointing results in recent weeks.

They still sit second in the Bundesliga table, yet defeat on Sunday could see arch-rivals Schalke leapfrog them.

BVB also have reason for optimism ahead of the clash at the Allianz Arena as they have beaten Bayern at home in more Bundesliga games than any other team (nine), even if the Bavarians won their last match on home turf against Borussia 2-1, ending a run of four league home games without a win against them.

Tuchel will still be without Nuri Sahin and Erik Durm due to injury, yet Neven Subotic is fit again after making his comeback from a back injury versus PAOK.

Lewandowski would not score without his team-mates, says Guardiola

The Catalan boss highlighted the team’s role in the Poland striker’s goalscoring exploits and pinpointed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as a dangerman

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola hailed Robert Lewandowski’s fine form, but has insisted that the striker would not be as successful without the support of his team-mates.

Lewandowski has netted an incredible 10 goals in his last three outings for the Bundesliga champions and has already scored 14 times in all competitions this term.

Nevertheless, Guardiola has downplayed the hype surrounding the 27-year-old and has highlighted the role of the rest of the team ahead of Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash with Borussia Dortmund.

“We are obviously very happy with Robert’s form. You do not score three goals in one game that often, so we are pleased with it,” Guardiola said on Friday.

“But we should not forget that Robert needs his team-mates. He would not score any goals without them. 

“All the players are helping each other. That is the most important thing in the end.”

Bayern face a top of the table clash with Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund on Sunday in Der Klassiker and Guardiola pinpointed striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as a dangerous player. 

 Aubameyang has scored nine Bundesliga goals himself this season, just one fewer than Lewandowski, and Guardiola expects the Gabon star to cause Bayern problems this weekend.

“Aubameyang is incredibly dangerous. He has a lot of quality and is very fast,” the former Barcelona manager added.

“Our defence will have to remain alert all game.

“It is nearly impossible to keep him quiet when he gets some space.”

Lahm: Gotze is not lazy in training

The Die Roten veteran assured that his young team-mate was one of the hardest workers when it came to practice, while admitting that he missed Schweinsteiger at Oktoberfest

Bayern Munich stalwart Phillipp Lahm has defended Mario Gotze, stating that the forward trains as hard as any member of the German champions’ squad, despite suggestions to the contrary. 

Gotze was on target for Die Roten during the club’s 5-0 Champions League demolition of Dinamo Zagreb, but has often struggled to reproduce his Dortmund form since moving to the Allianz Arena. 

His team-mate, however, assured that it was not for want of effort. 

“Mario had a lot of games, also in the last season. The accusation that he is lazy in training, I can absolutely refute,” the Bayern captain told

“I see him every day and he is one of the most diligent in terms of preparation for training and regeneration afterwards.

“He is very young, but has already experienced a lot. When so much criticism breaks on such a young player, it’s not easy. We have done our best as a team to support him, he is fully integrated.

“We know how important he is. He has shown it not only last year, but also this season. He can make the difference. He knows that, so I am not worried about Mario.


Arsenal & Barcelona slip as Bayern climb Uefa's rankings

The Gunners have been leapfrogged by Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus after two surprise defeats while Barca’s draw with Roma on matchday one has cost them second place

Arsenal and Barcelona’s under-par starts to the Champions League has seen them fall down Uefa’s club rankings following the opening two matches of the group stages.

The Gunners are yet to register a point after defeats to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos, and as a consequence have slipped to 10th behind Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.

Barca, meanwhile, may have beaten Bayer Leverkusen on matchday two, but their draw with Roma during the opening week of games coupled with Bayern Munich’s 100 per cent record has seen the Bundesliga champions leapfrog them into second place.

Further down the table, Porto and Valencia have taken advantage of Schalke’s failure to qualify for the Champions League to climb to 11th and 12th respectively while Manchester City have overtaken Basel into 17th.

The rankings, which are based on performance in European competition over the past five seasons and determine seedings for both the Champions League and Europa League draws, are headed by Real Madrid with Chelsea and Atletico Madrid joining Barca and Bayern in the top five.

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