Late Coman equaliser sees Bayern hold Salzburg in CL

Kingsley Coman struck a last-minute equaliser as Bayern Munich drew 1-1 at RB Salzburg in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie.

Substitute Chukwubuike Adamu put the Austrian underdogs ahead after 21 minutes and it looked as if the six-time European champions would see their record unbeaten away run in the competition end at 21 games.

But Coman, who scored the winner against Paris Saint-Germain in the 2020 final, latched onto Thomas Muller’s flick on to drill home at the far post.

Salzburg started in brisk fashion, but Bayern went close after 10 minutes when Serge Gnabry forced a smart save from Philipp Kohn.

Bayern fell behind after Karim Adeyemi drove at the home defence and Brenden Aaronson touched the ball into the path of Adamu.

Salzburg's Chukwubuike Adamu, left, celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal vs Bayern Munich
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RB Salzburg’s Chukwubuike Adamu celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal

The Nigerian, on as a 12th-minute substitute for the injured Noah Okafor, wasted no time in sweeping it past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal.

Aaronson soon forced a fine low save from Ulreich and English referee Michael Oliver ruled there was no contact from Benjamin Pavard when Karim Adeyemi fell theatrically in the Germans’ box.

Leroy Sane flashed a shot wide at the other end and Bayern dominated the second period without creating too many chances.

Kohn denied Kingsley Coman and Sane as Bayern belatedly bared their teeth.

But the visitors were fortunate when Ulreich thwarted Adeyemi and the outstretched Pavard brilliantly blocked Adamu’s follow-up effort.

It sets the tie up wonderfully for the second leg at the Allianz Arena, due to be played on Tuesday March 8.

Champions League: The state of play

As the 2021/22 Champions League returns for the round of 16, we bring you the state of play, upcoming fixtures and the schedule for the remainder of the tournament.

The group stage of the competition came to a conclusion in early December, with Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona the big-hitters who exited prior to the round of 16, dropping into the Europa League as a result.

After beating AC Milan in December, Liverpool became the first English side to win all six Champions League group stage games
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After beating AC Milan in December, Liverpool became the first English side to win all six Champions League group stage games

For Dortmund, it represented just the second time in a decade they had failed to progress from the group stage, with five-time winners Barca a mainstay of the latter stages in 19 of the last 20 campaigns.

From a British perspective, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City sealed their spot in the last 16 with a game to spare, meaning their 2-1 defeat to RB Leipzig in their final group game mattered little, although Champions League holders Chelsea had to settle for second spot in Group H after drawing 3-3 with Zenit in their last group fixture.

Chelsea beat Manchester City to win the Champions League in 2020/21
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Chelsea beat Manchester City to win the Champions League in 2020/21

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side – who had already grabbed top spot in Group B with two games to spare – became the first English side to win all six Champions League group-stage games, beating AC Milan 2-1 in their final match to give a reminder of their own threat in this competition.

Meanwhile, Manchester United pipped last season’s Europa League winners Villarreal to Group F top spot, despite drawing two of their last three games, and will face now face Atletico Madrid.

Round of 16

First-leg fixtures

Tuesday February 15

Wednesday February 16

Tuesday February 22

Wednesday February 23

Second-leg fixtures

Tuesday March 8

Wednesday March 9

Tuesday March 15

Wednesday March 16

Quarter-finals

Draw scheduled to take place on Friday March 18.

First legs scheduled to be played on Tuesday April 5 and Wednesday April 6; Second legs on Tuesday April 12 and Wednesday April 13.

Semi-finals

Draw scheduled to take place on Friday March 18.

First legs scheduled to be played on Tuesday April 26 and Wednesday April 27; Second legs on Tuesday May 3 and Wednesday May 4.

Final

Scheduled to be played on Saturday May 28 at Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg.

Euro: Bayern suffer shock thrashing | Real Madrid held

Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich slipped to a shock 4-2 defeat at VfL Bochum on Saturday, conceding all four goals in the first half.

Bayern had already scored a record 68 goals this Bundesliga season before this game, putting them on course for an all-time best return, but it was Bochum who had the better day.

Bayern took the lead from a familiar source in the ninth minute, when Robert Lewandowski scored his 25th league goal of the campaign to set the visitors seemingly on course for another victory.

However, Christopher Antwi-Adjei’s superb equaliser less than five minutes later got the hosts back into the contest, before Jurgen Locadia’s 38th-minute penalty turned the match.

Robert Lewandowski was unable to prevent defeat
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Robert Lewandowski was unable to prevent defeat for Bayern Munich

Cristian Gamboa arrowed an unstoppable strike into the top corner two minutes later, before Gerrit Holtmann curled another fine goal into the net on the cusp of half-time to stun the champions.

Lewandowski did score again, 15 minutes from time, but it was too little, too late for Julian Nagelsmann’s team as Bochum held on for a famous win.

The defeat, just Bayern’s fourth league loss of the season, does not affect their position too much, and they remain nine points clear at the top of the standings as they close in on a record-extending 10th successive league title. Bochum stay 11th.

Bayer Leverkusen continued their fine recent form with a 4-2 victory over Stuttgart in the Bundesliga, their fourth successive league victory.

BAYERN 4-1 DOWN AT BOCHUM
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Thomas Muller looks dejected in the defeat

Moussa Diaby opened the scoring for Bayer in the 41st minute with his 10th league goal of the season, after the hosts had hit the woodwork twice in the first half.

The goals flowed in the second half as Tiago Tomas equalised four minutes after the break, before Amine Adli glanced a header home in the 52nd minute to restore Leverkusen’s lead.

Teenager Florian Wirtz then squeezed home a third for Bayer in the 85th minute to spark a late flurry of goals, with Tomas then converting from close range to give Stuttgart hope with two minutes left.

Yet straight down the other end, the in-form Patrik Schick netted a fine fourth for the home side – his 19th league goal from 19 starts – to put the game to bed.

The victory helped third-placed Leverkusen close the gap to Borussia Dortmund in second to two points, with Marco Rose’s side facing Union Berlin on Sunday. Stuttgart remain deep in the relegation mire in 17th, four points from the safety zone.

Meanwhile, Hertha Berlin lost at rock-bottom Greuther Furth 2-1, Borussia Monchengladbach eased their relegation worries with a 3-2 win over Augsburg, and Wolfsburg won at Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0. Freiburg came from behind to draw with Mainz 1-1.

La Liga: Real held by Villarreal

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale reacts to a missed chance
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Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale reacts to a missed chance

La Liga leaders Real Madrid were held to a 0-0 draw away at Villarreal on Saturday, as their lead at the top of the table was reduced to just four points.

Real came into the game without injured talisman Karim Benzema and it told as they struggled to gel in an uncharacteristically sluggish first half, before looking more like their old selves after the break.

“We had a number of opportunities to win it but in football you need to take your chances,” said Real midfielder Casemiro.

“The coach ensured we were much better in the second period, which is a performance we will take encouragement from. We’re coming into the business end of the season and we are all working well, pushing in the right direction.

“The coaching staff are always pushing us and we want to win everything this season.”

Real coughed up a number of chances in the opening stages, with Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze a menace throughout, as Real skipper Marcelo struggled against the Nigerian’s pace and directness.

Villarreal forward Arnaut Danjuma hit the post before Real ‘keeper Thibaut Courtois produced a fine save to deny Alberto Moreno from the edge of the box as the home side pushed for an opener.

Real had calls for a penalty waved away as Vinicius Junior went down clutching his face after a coming together with Raul Albiol, while Villarreal were incensed that Marco Asensio was not shown a red card for a high challenge on Vicente Iborra.

The visitors were much-improved after the break, with Gareth Bale – making his first appearance for the club since August – clipping the bar before he and team-mate Vinicius were denied in quick succession by Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli.

Substitute Luka Jovic then hit the bar in stoppage time as Real sought a late winner with fellow replacement Nacho’s follow-up cleared off the line by Serge Aurier.

Madrid move onto 54 points, four ahead of second-placed Sevilla with both sides having played 24 games. Villarreal, meanwhile, are fifth on 36 points.

Serie A: Dzeko earns Inter draw at Napoli

Inter's Edin Dzeko celebrates with team-mates
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Inter’s Edin Dzeko celebrates with team-mates

Inter Milan retained top spot in Serie A with a 1-1 draw in a top-of-the-table clash at Napoli on Saturday, as Edin Dzeko responded to an early Lorenzo Insigne penalty.

The result leaves the Italian champions one point clear of Napoli below them with a game in hand, but third-placed AC Milan will go top if they beat Sampdoria on Sunday.

Insigne fired the hosts in front in the seventh minute after Stefan de Vrij trod on Victor Osimhen’s foot in the box, and Piotr Zielinski almost made it two with a shot that thumped the post.

Inter struck back early in the second half when Dzeko profited from a fortuitous deflection to hammer home a finish, as Simone Inzaghi’s side avoided a second damaging defeat in a row following last weekend’s Milan derby loss.

The Nerazzurri’s derby defeat opened up the title race and handed Napoli the chance to go top with a win in their bid for a first league title since the Diego Maradona-inspired 1989-90 season.

The hosts took an early lead when referee Daniele Doveri awarded a spot-kick after a look at the pitchside VAR monitor, which captain Insigne dispatched.

Zielinski was inches away from doubling Napoli’s lead with a curler from the edge of the box that struck the woodwork, while Denzel Dumfries dragged a shot well wide from a good position with Inter’s best chance of the first half.

Inter levelled less than two minutes after the restart when Dzeko’s header struck Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s foot and bounced back into the path of the Bosnian, who drilled a finish off the bar and in from close range.

The visitors had captain Samir Handanovic to thank for keeping them level, as the Slovenian reacted sharply to stop an Osimhen strike before superbly charging down an Eljif Elmas effort at the back post.

Elsewhere, Mattia Zaccagni scored a double to add to a Ciro Immobile penalty as sixth-placed Lazio beat Bologna 3-0 in Rome to move three points behind Juventus in fourth.

Europe: Giroud double settles Milan derby

Olivier Giroud again showed why he can never be written off, scoring two late goals as AC Milan rallied to beat rivals Inter Milan 2-1 and reignite the Serie A title race.

Milan moved one point behind the defending champions and leaders with victory, although Inter have played one game fewer.

Midfielder Ivan Perisic put Inter ahead when he volleyed in from just inside the penalty area in the 39th minute from a corner.

Simone Inzaghi’s side looked in comfortable control until Giroud – France’s second all-time leading scorer with 46 goals – equalised 15 minutes from time.

Four minutes later, Giroud produced a superb flick with his right foot to spin around his marker inside the area, before curling the ball under the body of goalkeeper Samir Handanovic with his left.

He jumped into the arms of coach Stefano Pioli after the final whistle, his name written alongside other match-winners at the Derby della Madonnina.

Milan finished with 10 players after left-back Theo Hernandez was sent off in the fifth minute of injury time, and Inter coach Simone Inzaghi will have regrets.

His side could have been well ahead, but Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan showed just why he is pushing to become France’s No 1 at the World Cup in Qatar later this year.

He made a fine reflex save to keep out Marcelo Brozovic’s deflected 20-yard shot, then another stop from Denzel Dumfries’ low strike.

After Handanovic launched himself to the left to keep out Sandro Tonali’s thunderous strike from 25 metres out 10 minutes before half-time, Maignan thwarted Lautaro Martinez at the other end.

Ivan Perisic had earlier given Inter the lead at the San Siro
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Ivan Perisic had earlier given Inter the lead at the San Siro

He was beaten when Perisic put the ball beyond his reach from former Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu’s corner.

But after Calhanoglu latched onto Brozovic’s superb pass in first-half injury time, as Inter again attacked down the left flank, Maignan showed brilliant judgment to rush off his line and make a sliding tackle.

Elsewhere, Fiorentina hosted Lazio with both sides sitting on the same points tally and needing a win to level with sixth-place Roma, who had earlier drawn 0-0 at home to struggling Genoa.

Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo wheeled away in delight and tore off his shirt after drilling in a last-minute shot, but then was sent off for protesting to referee Rosario Abisso after his effort was disallowed following a VAR review. It showed a clear foul by Roma striker Tammy Abraham on a defender moments before the goal.

Genoa had defender Leo Ostigard sent off in the 68th minute for grabbing forward Felix Afena-Gyan around the neck and dragging him down.

Bundesliga: Lewandowski back in goals as Bayern extend lead

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Highlights of the Bundesliga match between Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig

Robert Lewandowski ended his one-game scoring drought as his 24th goal in 21 games helped Bayern Munich stretch their Bundesliga lead to nine points with a 3-2 win over visiting RB Leipzig.

The prolific Lewandowski, who hadn’t scored in the 4-1 win at Hertha Berlin before the international break, met Kingsley Coman’s precise cross with a thumping header to give Bayern a 2-1 lead over Leipzig before the break.

Thomas Muller opened the scoring in the 12th minute, finishing off the rebound after Peter Gulacsi saved Lewandowski’s initial effort.

Andre Silva equalised shortly before the half-hour mark, squeezing the ball over the line after good work from Konrad Laimer and Christopher Nkunku.

Robert Lewandowski returned to the goals as he eyes another record-breaking season
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Robert Lewandowski returned to the goals as he eyes another record-breaking season

Muller had a goal ruled out through VAR for a foul by Lewandowski in the build=up, but Lewandowski atoned by restoring Bayern’s lead a minute before the interval.

Laimer set up Nkunku for antoher equaliser in the 53rd minute with a brilliant through ball on the left. Nkunku stayed cool before shooting through Manuel Neuer’s legs.

Bayern answered again soon after though, when Josko Gvardiol deflected Serge Gnabry’s cross into his own net.

Borussia Monchengladbach’s dismal spell continued with a 1-1 draw at Arminia Bielefeld.

Gladbach at least ended their three-game losing run across all competitions, but coach Adi Hutter remains under pressure with the team just two points above the relegation zone. Bielefeld stretched their unbeaten streak to six games.

Janni Serra opened the scoring in the 19th minute when he eluded three Gladbach defenders and let fly inside the left corner.

The home team were by far the better side until Alassane Plea equalized with a diving header to Jonas Hofmann’s lay-off in the 38th minute.

Bielefeld also pushed hard in the second half, with visiting goalkeeper Yann Sommer rescuing Gladbach twice.

But Gladbach might have grabbed a late winner, with Hofmann in particular failing to make more of some good counterattacking opportunities.

Union Berlin remained fourth despite losing 2-0 at Augsburg in their first game since top scorer Max Kruse the club. Augsburg climbed out of the relegation zone with the win.

Freiburg remained fifth despite a 1-0 defeat in Cologne. Cologne were without coach Steffen Baumgart due to COVID-19, but welcomed back 10,000 fans.

Ajdin Hrustic’s second goal proved to be the winner for Eintracht Frankfurt which won 3-2 at Stuttgart, and Mainz beat visiting Hoffenheim 2-0.

Euro: Real Madrid fight back for Elche draw

La Liga leaders Real Madrid fought back from two goals down at home to rescue a 2-2 draw against lowly Elche on Sunday thanks to a last-gasp Eder Militao goal in stoppage time.

Real Madrid, who missed a first-half penalty, wasted a golden opportunity to widen the gap at the top of the table after second-placed Sevilla stumbled at home with a draw against Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Elche opened a two-goal lead with their only two shots on target as Lucas Boye netted in the first half and Pere Milla scored after the break.

Luka Modric reduced the deficit with a penalty after 82 minutes and Vinicius Junior found Militao inside the six-yard box in the 92nd minute and he headed in the equaliser.

The goal denied Elche a first win at the Bernabeu stadium in 25 visits.

Real dominated from the beginning and were denied on three occasions by Elche ‘keeper Edgar Badia, who made fine saves to keep out shots from Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Vinicius in the first half.

Benzema missed a penalty with his effort going a few inches over the crossbar after Vinicius was fouled inside the area. It was Benzema’s first penalty miss in almost 13 years as a Real player, after converting all 16 of his previous efforts for the club.

Elche stunned Real with Boye heading home a cross from Fidel Chaves after a lightning-quick counter-attack just before the break.

Milla doubled their lead in the 76th minute after Boye fed a perfect pass to the Spanish forward, scoring with a curled shot from inside the box.

The visitors kept Real Madrid out for 80 minutes until VAR spotted a handball from Milla inside the area and Modric stroked the ball home from the spot.

After Benzema went off injured in the second half, Real looked to Vinicius to provide them with their creative spark and he set up the leveller for Miltao to rescue a point for the hosts.

Osasuna beat Granada 2-0 in the early game.

Serie A – Napoli close gap on Inter

Napoli were emphatic winners in Serie A
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Napoli were emphatic winners in Serie A

Napoli kept pace with Serie A leaders Inter Milan after thrashing lowly local rivals Salernitana 4-1, recording their third league victory in a row.

The hosts started brightly and raced into a 17th-minute lead through Juan Jesus, the defender’s goal given after a VAR intervention, with the on-field referee having originally ruled it out for handball.

Against the run of play, with their only shot at goal in the match, Salernitana levelled through Federico Bonazzoli in the 33rd minute.

That was only a brief reprieve for the visitors from across the Gulf of Naples, however, as Dries Mertens put Napoli back in front from the penalty spot in first-half stoppage time before Amir Rahmani tapped home four minutes after the break to make it 3-1.

Salernitana’s afternoon went from bad to worse moments later as Frederic Veseli was sent off for picking up a second yellow card when penalised for handball in the penalty area.

Substitute Lorenzo Insigne scored from the spot to seal a comfortable victory for Napoli who climbed to second on 49 points, one clear of AC Milan, who play Juventus later on Sunday, and four adrift of leaders Inter.

Roma secured a 4-2 victory at Empoli thanks to four goals in 13 first-half minutes, including a double from England striker Tammy Abraham.

The hosts started brightly and created several early openings, but they fell apart after Abraham’s swift turn and shot broke the deadlock in the 24th minute.

Abraham squeezed the ball home in the 33rd minute from close range to double his side’s lead, before January signing Sergio Oliveira scored his second goal since joining on loan from Porto two minutes later to put Roma in command.

Jose Mourinho’s team were not done there, as they added another in the 37th minute, with Nicolo Zaniolo converting at the end of a swift counter-attack from the visitors.

In cruise control, Roma were given a fright in the second half as goals from Andrea Pinamonti and Nedim Bajrami put Empoli in with a chance of an improbable comeback, but Mourinho’s side held on for the three points.

Fiorentina drew 1-1 with Cagliari while Torino and Sassuolo also played out a 1-1 draw. Spezia were 1-0 winners against Sampdoria.

Bundesliga – Bayern restore lead at the top

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Highlights of the Bundesliga match between Hertha Berlin and Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich cruised to 4-1 victory at Hertha Berlin, scoring twice in each half, to stay firmly in control of the title race and restore their six-point lead at the top.

Corentin Tolisso, who had seen a superb volley ruled as offside in the second minute, did everything right in the 25th, connecting with a Kingsley Coman cross to head the champions into the lead.

Thomas Muller doubled it on the stroke of half-time, stretching to flick in a Joshua Kimmich free-kick as Bayern cruised towards their seventh league win from their last eight matches.

Leroy Sane scored for Bayern Munich in their Bundesliga win
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Leroy Sane scored for Bayern Munich in their Bundesliga win

A mistake by Hertha ‘keeper Alexander Schwolow allowed Leroy Sane to slip in and score Bayern’s third goal of the afternoon in the 75th minute and Serge Gnabry made it 4-0 four minutes later, cutting in from the right to slip the ball through the ‘keeper’s legs.

The hosts, who have won just one of their last five league matches and remained in 13th place, got a consolation goal through Jurgen Ekkelenkamp 10 minutes from the end.

Bayern, who have now scored at least once in a record 67 consecutive Bundesliga matches, are on 49 points, six ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, who beat Hoffenheim 3-2 on Saturday.

RB Leipzig’s recovery in the Bundesliga continued with a 2-0 win over Wolfsburg, marking their third victory in a row.

Ligue 1 – Nice return to top of Ligue 1

Nice reclaimed second spot in Ligue 1 with a 2-0 win over Metz, with second-half goals from Khephren Thuram and Amine Gouiri.

Strasbourg were beaten 4-3 in a thrilling game with Bordeaux, while Nantes beat Lorient 4-2. Angers were 2-1 winners against Troyes as Clermont beat Rennes by the same scoreline.