Bayern Munich – Borussia Dortmund Preview: Klopp prepares for final Klassiker

The former Mainz boss will leave BVB in the summer but will first hope to inflict one last defeat on his side’s bitter rivals

Borussia Dortmund must get past old foes Bayern Munich in this week’s DFB-Pokal semi-final at the Allianz Arena if they are to keep alive Jurgen Klopp’s hopes of bowing out with silverware.

Klopp will leave Dortmund at the end of the season – with former Mainz boss Thomas Tuchel already confirmed as his replacement - and is set to take charge of the club in a Klassiker for the final time on Tuesday.

A difficult season for the 47-year-old’s side has meant the meetings between the two sides this season have been of reduced importance, with BVB well of the pace of the newly-crowned Bundesliga champions.

However, victory in Bavaria will put Dortmund within one win of salvaging something from a disappointing season and ending Klopp’s seven-year tenure on a high.

Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt kept Dortmund in the hunt for Europa League qualification but, for now, Klopp has urged his players to focus on the Pokal.

“[Saturday] was an important day for us because we have finally left the relegation battle behind us,” explained the 47-year-old, who will be without goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller (hip).

“If the number of points between us and the teams above us in the European places is less than the number of games remaining, we’re in with a chance.

“We’re just three points away. Now it’s all or nothing. We’re in a good position. I hope that we somehow manage to pull it off. But first of all we have to travel to Bayern on Tuesday. 

“I hope we produce a performance that shows we really want to win the cup. That would serve as a real springboard for this match. We’re going there with the intention of achieving something.”

Bayern sealed their 25th Bundesliga title after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin was followed a day later by Wolfsburg’s loss to Borussia Monchengladbach.

Progression on Tuesday would keep Pep Guardiola’s side on course for a second treble in three seasons.

Guardiola – whose side have beaten Dortmund twice since suffering defeat in the Super Cup – could welcome back Arjen Robben and Mehdi Benatia from injury.

Captain Philipp Lahm told reporters: “Hertha defended in numbers and did very well. We wanted to do more than we actually did but it was important that we won at the end.

“We definitely need to improve for Tuesday’s game. You aways want to play well but it’s not always easy to do so.”

Tuesday will see a re-run of last year’s final, which saw Bayern run out 2-0 winners in extra-time, with the German champions targeting an 18th Pokal success.

Dortmund will close in on a fourth victory in the competition with a win – having won the Pokal most recently in 2012.

Barcelona are at Bayern's level – Ter Stegen

The two sides will face one another in the Champions League semi-finals and the goalkeeper is confident his team have what it takes to win the tie

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is convinced his side are at the same level as Bayern Munich after the two sides were paired together in the Champions League semi-final draw.

The Catalans saw off Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals, while the newly-crowned Bundesliga champions beat Porto in their tie to set up a mouthwatering last four clash.

Ter Stegen is more than familiar with Bayern having faced them on several occasions during his time with Borussia Monchengladbach before joining Barca last summer and is expecting a tight contest.

“It will be a great duel,” he told Bild. “We have a great team, are in top shape and will try to raise our game.

“We know Bayern have a lot of quality. I look forward to the reunion, it will be a close tie and I hope we can prevail in the end.”

Ter Stegen is yet to make a league appearance for Barcelona this season but has featured in 10 Champions League games – including both legs of the quarter-final win over PSG – and will hope to retain his place for the remainder of the competition.

The tie has added intrigue with Bayern boss Pep Guardiola facing former club Barcelona for the first time since leaving Camp Nou in 2012 after four success-laden years in charge.

Bayern Munich crowned Bundesliga champions

Wolfsburg’s slip-up against Borussia Monchengladbach on Sunday saw Pep Guardiola’s men claim the German title with four rounds remaining


Bayern Munich have been crowned Bundesliga champions for the third time in a row.

Pep Guardiola’s men beat Hertha Berlin 1-0 on Saturday to move 15 points ahead of Wolfsburg, who were beaten at Borussia Monchengladbach 24 hours later, thus leaving the Bavarians with an unassailable lead with four rounds of the season remaining.

Bayern wrapped up the title in record time last season, with seven games to go, and while the confirmation this term comes much later, they have been just as dominant domestically.

Bayern have not been knocked off the top of the table since they moved into pole position in week five and have cruised to the title once again. If they win all of their remaining games, they will fall just two points short of last year’s total of 90.

Guardiola’s team are also on course to win a second European and domestic treble in three years as they remain in contention for the Champions League, where they face Barcelona in the semi-finals, and the DFB-Pokal, in which they will meet Borussia Dortmund in the last four on Tuesday.

Bartomeu: I hope Guardiola gets the reception he deserves

The Camp Nou chief is looking forward to the Champions League semi-final but insists the team’s focus is solely on La Liga for now

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says he hopes Pep Guardiola gets the reception he deserves when he returns to Camp Nou.

Guardiola will take his Bayern Munich side back to his old home in the Champions League semi-finals, marking his first visit to Catalunya since he stepped down as head coach in 2012.

“The three teams [left] are very good,” Bartomeu said to Canal Plus. “We know Bayern well; Pep is there, a man of this house. We hope he receives the reception he deserves.”

For now, however, Bartomeu insists Luis Enrique’s side must be fully focused on La Liga following their 2-0 win over local rivals Espanyol on Saturday.

“For now, we’re just thinking about the league,” he said.

“Espanyol are a strong rival. Our first half was very good and the second more about maturity, controlling the play.

“They had chances and so did we. We leave very happy.

“I’m looking to Getafe, that’s the only game I see. We have to maintain this gap to Real Madrid.”

Jordi Alba received a red card for two quick-fire bookings in Saturday’s game, prompting a furious response from the full-back and team-mate Sergio Busquets.

Bartomeu, however, said the club would not publicly criticise the official.

“We sent a message of maturity,” he added. “I don’t know what happened between Mateu [Lahoz] and Jordi Alba. They were far away, they had some words. We’re not going to criticise referees.”

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Guardiola: Bayern down to bare bones

The Bavarians will be crowned Bundesliga champions if Wolfsburg fail to beat Gladbach on Sunday, but their efforts have come at a cost

Pep Guardiola says Bayern Munich are “down to the real bare bones” as they stand on the brink of Bundesliga glory after Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Hertha Berlin.

Bastian Schweinsteiger scored the only goal of the game at the Allianz Arena, which moves them 15 points clear of Wolfsburg, who have five games remaining.

Wolfsburg are in action on Sunday at Borussia Monchengladbach and anything less than a win will see Bayern lift a third successive Bundesliga trophy, though Guardiola claims he will not be watching as he will be preparing to face Borussia Dortmund in Tuesday’s DFB-Pokal semi-final.

“For the game after the Champions League we had a lot of youngsters in the team,” Guardiola told reporters. “We knew it was going to be tough. Our players have heavy legs, you could see that today as we’ve had very few breaks.

“My team are magnificent. I’m incredibly proud of my players, because it wasn’t easy after the Champions League. We’re down to the real bare bones, every game is a shock to the system for us.

“A big challenge lies ahead. We’re almost champions already, so now we have to concentrate on the other competitions.

“I won’t watch the Wolfsburg game, I’ll be watching the replay of Dortmund because we play them in the DFB-Pokal.”

In addition to Bundesliga glory and being two wins from domestic cup success, Bayern are also in the semi-finals of the Champions League where Guardiola will come up against former club Barcelona next month.

Neuer: Bayern needed Weiser's moment of brilliance

The winger set up Bastian Schweinsteiger with an excellent dribble and pass against Hertha, which leaves the Bavarians on the brink of Bundesliga glory


Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has lauded the “moment of brilliance” from Mitchell Weiser which broke the deadlock after they defeated Hertha Berlin 1-0 on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola’s men were struggling to break down the Allianz Arena visitors until the 21-year-old surged to the byline and pulled the ball back for Bastian Schweinsteiger to hammer into the top corner from inside the box.

Neuer, who played his part in denying the capital club from leaving Munich with anything to show for their efforts, gave credit to the opposition for the way they kept Bayern at bay until the 80th minute mark.

“Hertha defended well around the 18-yard box and that’s why we needed Weiser’s moment of brilliance,” Neuer told Sky.

Bayern’s win means they could be crowned Bundesliga champions if Wolfsburg fail to beat Borussia Monchengladbach on Sunday, but Weiser says the focus is on preparing to face Borussia Dortmund in Tuesday’s DFB-Pokal semi-final.

“Berlin played very deep in their own half,” the winger said. “It was a difficult game for us but, luckily, we were rewarded. We’ll probably be watching the Wolfsburg game tomorrow individually, but our focus is already on Tuesday’s game.”

The Bavarians are still in the hunt for their second treble in three seasons after qualifying for the semi-finals of both the Champions League and DFB-Pokal.

Klopp: Dortmund want to fight Bayern, not get flowers

The coach appreciates the gesture from the club ahead of his departure from Signal Iduna Park, but admits he is more concerned with knocking them out of the DFB-Pokal


Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has thanked Bayern Munich for their plan to present him with flowers following his decision to quit the club, but says he is looking for a fight in Tuesday’s DFB-Pokal semi-final.

The Bavarians will give the 47-year-old a bouquet ahead of the game, after the former Mainz boss announced he will quit Signal Iduna Park in the summer after seven years in charge.

Klopp, who oversaw Dortmund’s 2-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday thanks to goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Shinji Kagawa, appreciates the gesture but insists he won’t take his eye off the ball.

“The flower plans are a lovely gesture but on Tuesday we’re looking for fight,” he told reporters. “We don’t want to be softened by flowers.

“We want to win the DFB-Pokal trophy and have no fear. We are not the favourites but we are playing well, we showed today how good we can be.

“The result was totally deserved. Everything was good today, we took our chances and the second goal was so quick – it was a great move, so we are happy. Bayern are, of course, on top but we will be confident.”

Dortmund were beaten by Bayern in the DFB-Pokal final last season by Bayern in extra-time.

Klopp: Dortmund want to Bayern fight, not flowers

The coach appreciates the gesture from the club ahead of his departure from Signal Iduna Park, but admits he is more concerned with knocking them out of the DFB-Pokal


Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has thanked Bayern Munich for their plan to present him with flowers following his decision to quit the club, but says he is looking for a fight in Tuesday’s DFB-Pokal semi-final.

The Bavarians will give the 47-year-old a bouquet ahead of the game, after the former Mainz boss announced he will quit Signal Iduna Park in the summer after seven years in charge.

Klopp, who oversaw Dortmund’s 2-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday thanks to goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Shinji Kagawa, appreciates the gesture but insists he won’t take his eye off the ball.

“The flower plans are a lovely gesture but on Tuesday we’re looking for fight,” he told reporters. “We don’t want to be softened by flowers.

“We want to win the DFB-Pokal trophy and have no fear. We are not the favourites but we are playing well, we showed today how good we can be.

“The result was totally deserved. Everything was good today, we took our chances and the second goal was so quick – it was a great move, so we are happy. Bayern are, of course, on top but we will be confident.”

Dortmund were beaten by Bayern in the DFB-Pokal final last season by Bayern in extra-time.

Bayern Munich 1-0 Hertha Berlin: Schweinsteiger makes the difference for hosts

The midfielder scored late on for Pep Guardiola’s men to ensure they have a chance of winning the Bundesliga title this weekend

Bastian Schweinsteiger scored the only goal of the game as Bayern Munich beat in-form Hertha Berlin to all but secure the Bundesliga title.

The Bavarian giants knew victory at the Allianz Arena on Saturday would practically end Wolfsburg’s slim hopes of denying them a third consecutive league success, but had to wait until 10 minutes from time for Schweinsteiger to secure all three points.

Wolfsburg can delay Bayern’s official coronation by winning at Borussia Monchengladbach on Sunday, but Pep Guardiola’s side would still be 12 points clear with a vastly superior goal difference heading into the final four rounds of fixtures.

Bayern hammered Porto 6-1 in midweek to set up a Champions League semi-final against the head coach’s former club Barcelona and remain on course for a famous treble, with a DFB-Pokal semi-final against Borussia Dortmund to come on Tuesday.

Hertha have now lost their last eight games against the champions, but gave a great account of themselves and had a clear chance to open the scoring when Nico Schulz was denied by Manuel Neuer when clean through in the second half.

Germany captain Schweinsteiger proved to be the match-winner on his return to the starting line-up, though, applying a fine finish soon after hitting the post.

Hertha would have been forgiven for heading into the game with some trepidation following Bayern’s midweek display, but they could have been in front after only 13 minutes when an unmarked Valentin Stocker volleyed wide from close range at the back post.

Guardiola’s men were soon playing with their usual swagger and Robert Lewandowski came close with a header which looped just wide of the far post. 

Hertha were clearly not lacking confidence themselves, though, and Salomon Kalou should have done better when he cut inside the penalty area from the left but blazed a wild shot well off target.

The champions lost their way in what transpired to be a frustrating half as Pal Dardai’s side more than held their own.

Teenage midfielder Sinan Kurt made his Bundesliga debut as a half-time substitute, with fellow youngster Gianluca Gaudino withdrawn by Guardiola.

Bayern looked vulnerable at the back and ought to have been behind 10 minutes into the second half, when Schulz raced clear from the halfway line, only for Neuer to pull off a fine save from the Hertha man’s measured finish.

Schweinsteiger snatched at a chance from close range after Hertha goalkeeper Sascha Burchert flapped at a corner from the left as the opening goal continued to be elusive.

Burchert also produced a fine reflex save to keep out a Lewandowski header and Schweinsteiger clipped the post before eventually popping up with the winner.

Mitchell Weiser was the architect, surging to the byline and pulling the ball back for Schweinsteiger to apply a composed finish.

'Barcelona are nothing without Messi'

Former Bayern star Jean-Marie Pfaff believes Pep Guardiola’s side are the strong and that they will ease past the Spanish club if they shut down the Argentine

Former Bayern Munich goalkeeper Jean-Marie Pfaff says Barcelona are overly reliant on Lionel Messi.

Barcelona were drawn against Bayern in the Champions League semi-finals on Friday , with the Bavarians’ coach Pep Guardiola set to face his former club in a competitive fixture for the first time since moving to Germany.

Bayern stormed into the last-four with a 6-1 second-leg demolition of Porto on Tuesday to claim a 7-4 aggregate victory, while Barca cruised past Paris Saint-Germain 5-1.

Pfaff, who played for Bayern between 1982 and 1988, reckons the German club have the edge on Barca in terms of depth.

“Barcelona are a great team but I believe Bayern Munich are much stronger collectively,” the Belgian told Sport1.

“If Messi doesn’t have a good day, half of the Barcelona team isn’t good. The striker can be good but if the last pass doesn’t come it’s difficult.

“I think the whole team of Bayern Munich, from the goalkeeper to any other player can combine very well.”

Barca will host the first leg and, while Pfaff does not deny that Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez make up one of the most dangerous attacks in world football, the 61-year-old is confident Bayern can match the Catalan club across 180 minutes.

“Yes, this is a difficult game. And this is of course a very big game,” he said.

“To play in Barcelona against Neymar, Messi and Suarez; with these three strikers, Bayern’s defenders have to stay focused.

“But the game is about two lots of 90 minutes. And so I think that Bayern Munich will go through.”

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