Beckenbauer: Barcelona will use dirty tricks

The Germany legend expects the Primera Division leaders to put up a fight in this week’s return after their heavy loss in the first leg

Franz Beckenbauer has warned Bayern Munich that Barcelona will not hesitate to use dirty tricks in the return of their Champions League semi-final tie at Camp Nou on Wednesday.

The Catalans were beaten 4-0 at the Allianz Arena last week and the West Germany legend has little doubt that they will give their all in the return in an attempt to turn things around.

“Barcelona will use any trick in the book to throw Bayern off balance. They’ll not hesitate to use methods that are against the rules of the game as well as legitimate tricks. They will fight back,” Beckenbauer told Bild.

“Barca will not give up. They will give their all to turn things around. They will try to provoke Bayern and use dirty tricks if necessary.

“Barca will probably try to make it a physical battle in order to disrupt Bayern’s game. Bayern must try and avoid a lot of personal duels. There will be plenty of minor fouls.”

Wednesday’s match at Camp Nou is scheduled to kick off at 20:45CET.

Bundesliga Round 31 Results: Huntelaar hat-trick as Schalke push for fourth


Greuther Furth became the first side to be relegated from the 2012-13 Bundesliga after a 2-1 defeat at the Trolli Arena on Friday.

The Bavarians twice came from behind, with two goals from Nikola Djurdjic cancelling out efforts from Mohammed Abdellaoue and Andre Hoffmann.

But Sergio Pinto’s 87th minute strike sealed the points for the visitors and put Furth on the brink of a descent back into the 2. Bundesliga.

And this was confirmed when Hoffenheim and Augsburg’s victories on Saturday made it mathematically impossible for the Bundesliga debutants to extend their stay in the top flight for another season.


A lone Stefan Kiessling penalty was enough to give Bayer Leverkusen a narrow victory Werder Bremen at the BayArena on Saturday and a place in next season’s Champions League.

The 29-year-old forward struck his 22nd goal of the campaign from the spot shortly after half an hour after Sidney Sam was clearly impeded by Sebastian Mielitz inside the area.

The win sees third-placed Leverkusen wrap up a Champions League berth for next season, while they need only two points from their remaining three games to guarantee automatic entry into the competition.

Bremen meanwhile remain entrenched in the relegation dogfight, and are only two points above the drop zone.


Two first-half goals was enough for relegation-threatened Hoffenheim to take a vital three points from Nurnberg in a 2-1 victory at the Rhein Neckar Arena on Saturday.

Tobias Weis’ close range finish and Sejad Salihovic’s header put the home side 2-0 up before the 20-minute mark, but Koen Casteels conceded a penalty just before the hour, allowing Timmy Simons to pull one back for the visitors.

However, there were no more goals forthcoming and Hoffenheim held on for the win, which puts them three points from safety with three games to go.


Gladbach’s Champions League hopes for next season were dealt a huge blow with a damaging 3-1 defeat to Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen Arena on Saturday.

Maximilian Arnold struck his third goal in as many games via a significant deflection off Roel Brouwers to open the scoring for the hosts, but Peniel Mlapa kept his cool to slot home the equaliser between Diego Bnaglio’s legs early in the second half.

The score did not stay level for long, however, as Ivica Olic finished from an angle, before teeing up Diego to round the keeper for the clinching goal late on.

Gladbach are now five points off the fourth and final Champions League berth with only nine points left to play for, while Wolfsburg have mathematically ensured their safety for another season.


Augsburg secured a potentially priceless victory by brushing aside Stuttgart 3-0 at the SGL Arena.

The hosts seemed set to be frustrated after a tepid encounter saw no goals in the first half, but Sascha Molders headed in just after the hour mark to send palpable relief around the stadium.

It was a tense finale for Augsburg, who knew that one slip up could cost them a point and potentially a place in the Bundesliga next season, but Marcel de Jong’s long-range stunner with seven minutes remaining put paid to any hopes of a Stuttgart comeback.

Ji Dong-Won rounded off the victory by finishing off a counterattack in the 85th minute to put Augsburg back into 17th place, only a point from escaping the drop zone, while Stuttgart stay 12th.


Frankfurt missed out on a golden opportunity to stake a claim for a Champions League place with a 0-0 draw against Mainz at the Coface Arena on Sunday.

Sebastian Rode’s tame effort at the end of a promising break was about the best on offer from both sides in a dull and uninspiring contest that does little for either team’s European hopes for next season.

Frankfurt sit three points behind Schalke and fourth place, while Mainz have only three games to make up a five-point gap on the final Europa League spot.


Schalke moved ever closer to wrapping up fourth place with a convincing 4-1 thrashing of Hamburg at the Veltins Arena on Sunday afternoon.

Things did not seem to be going to plan for the hosts when Marcel Jansen headed Hamburg into a fifth-minute lead but Michel Bastos was on hand to confidently restore parity only five minutes later.

Then Klaas-Jan Huntelaar took over. The striker who had set up Bastos’ equaliser, latched onto Julian Draxler’s feed to tap in the go-ahead goal in the 21st minute.

The Dutchman’s diving header just before the hour put the hosts even further in front, before he used his head once again to round off his personal treble only eight minutes later.

Schalke are now three points clear of Frankfurt for the final Champions League place, but have little hope of catching Leverkusen in third for automatic entry into the competition.

Watzke: Dortmund will discuss decent offers with Lewandowski

The Schwarzgelben supremo insists the Pole, who has been heavily linked with Bayern Munich, is not necessarily bound for the exit door at Signal Iduna Park

Borussia Dortmund general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke has revealed the club have promised to speak with Robert Lewandowski and his representatives should they receive any offer for the striker’s services.

The Poland international’s agent, Maik Barthel, claimed earlier this week his client had agreed to join Bayern Munich, with the Bundesliga champions said to have decided to meet the player’s buy-out clause. However, both clubs denied this was the case.

Indeed, while Watzke has now admitted to Aktuellen Sportstudio that Dortmund have ceded to a request from Lewandowski’s advisers to discuss any “decent offers” received before May 15 for the forward, “that does not mean that Robert will definitely change [clubs].”

Bayern have already persuaded Dortmund playmaker Mario Gotze to swap Signal Iduna Park for the Allianz Arena this summer, with the Bavarians having agreed to meet the Germany international’s €37 million buy-out clause.

Thiago targets Barcelona comeback against Bayern

The 22-year-old knows anything can happen in football and he is hoping for an incredible turnaround against the Bundesliga champions on Wednesday

Barcelona midfielder Thiago insists the club can stage a comeback against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final second leg.

The Catalan club were blown away in the Allianz Arena as the Germans put four past them without reply but the 22-year-old is still hopeful Tito Vilanova’s charges can overturn what seems an almost insurmountable deficit.

“I think we will make a comeback,” he told the club’s official website.

“We’re in good condition and we have a team that always want to win, but anything can happen in football.”

The Camp Nou outfit were held to a 2-2 draw by Athletic Bilbao on Saturday in what was the Basques’ final game at San Mames before it makes way for their new stadium.

And Thiago paid tribute to their ground and believes their new home will be just as good.

He said: “San Mames is a historic stadium and we’ve always really enjoyed playing here, but I’m sure the new stadium will be great as well.”

Alexis Sanchez was among the scorers as Barca edged closer to the Liga title and the Chilean knows the value of having a fit Lionel Messi for the Champions League clash against Bayern as the Argentine came off the bench to score and assist in Saturday’s league encounter.

“We know what it means to have Messi on the pitch, it doesn’t surprise us, when he comes in, he changes the game,” he said.

” [Against Bayern] we need to fight back, but we also know it will be very difficult.”

The second leg of the semi-final is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, May 1 at 20:45CET.

'Bayern aren't done yet' – Ribery issues Barcelona warning

Die Roten winger promises no respite for the Catalans despite his side carrying a 4-0 lead into Wednesday’s Champions League tie, demanding another top-class performance

Franck Ribery has dismissed any idea of complacency on the part of Bayern Munich, stressing that they must deliver a good display against Barcelona.

The Bavarians go into Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg on the back of a devastating 4-0 win over the Blaugrana last week, warming up for the fixture with a 1-0 victory against Freiburg on Saturday.

However, despite progress to the final looking reasonably assured, Ribery warned the Liga leaders that Bayern would not be taking anything for granted.

“We are not done yet,” the 30-year-old Frenchman was quoted by

“It is very difficult at Camp Nou. We have to play like we did in the first game.”

The former Olympique de Marseille player’s thoughts about continued focus were also echoed by Bayern director of sport, Matthias Sammer.

“The focus in Barcelona should be on the performance and not on the result,” the 45-year-old stressed.

“We just have to carry the ball as we did in the first leg and play with creativity. If we don’t do it that way, it could be dangerous.”
Die Roten have enjoyed an excellent season and Emre Can’s goal against Freiburg was enough to take them to 84 points, breaking the Bundesliga points record with three games still to play.

“It’s a wonderful achievement,” Sammer enthused.

“I am really happy about it. This is very important for the head, for our rhythm and the mood in the dressing room.

“The season has been a marathon. We’ve already won the championship. In the Champions League we are very much in the hunt but we’re not yet at the destination.”