Bayern Munich 1-0 Freiburg: Can earns Bavarians’ B team facile win

Bayern Munich set a new record for points in a Bundesliga season with a 1-0 victory over Champions League-chasing Freiburg at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.

Emre Can’s first-half goal was enough to clinch victory for the Bavarian giants, who fielded a host of reserves, but still managed to dominate the encounter from start to finish and outclass Christian Streich’s side.

The win sees Bayern move onto 84 points, surpassing the record of 81 set by Borussia Dortmund last season, while Freiburg remain one point behind fourth placed Schalke, having played a game more.

Jupp Heynckes named nearly an entirely different XI from the one that took to the field against Barca midweek, with Jerome Boateng the only survivor, as the likes of Mario Mandzukic and Rafinha stepped in.

Bayern soon settled and exhibited their customary dominance of possession, with Freiburg barely managing to get a foot on the ball in the opening exchanges.

Xherdan Shaqiri was heavily involved in most of the home side’s offensive efforts, and should have done better with 20 minutes gone, snatching at a volley from the edge of the area that flew wide.

Bayern would come closer around the half hour mark when Luis Gustavo’s ball over the top released Diego Contento, but the full-back, with all the time in the world to pick out a cross, instead lifted the ball too far ahead of Mandzukic at the far post.

It was a let-off for Freiburg, but their good fortune would not last much longer. Shaqiri’s inch-perfect free-kick from the right hand side was glanced with the slightest of nods by Can, steering the ball into the far side of the goal.

Gustavo had an excellent opportunity to double Bayern’s advantage almost immediately, but the Brazilian could only hit right at Oliver Baumann after good link-up play from Contento and Mandzukic.

But the Freiburg keeper was made to work harder shortly after the restart, when Can’s shot proved too hot to handle, forcing him into an awkward parry.

Shaqiri then attempted to force the issue with a long-range effort that went just off target, after a delightful turn to free himself in space for the shot.

And the home side were left cursing their luck once again just before the hour mark, when Mandzukic clipped onto the bar after spotting Baumann off his line, following an excellent feed from Claudio Pizarro.

Heynckes brought on Franck Ribery and Mario Gomez in the closing stages, and the two substitutes almost contrived to unlock Freiburg for a second time, but Gomez could not divert the Frenchman’s cross on target from point blank range.

But Bayern were fortunate not to be hit with a sucker-punch in the 77th minute, when Tom Starke’s flap at a corner opened up space for Daniel Caligiuri to shoot, but the effort was tame and right at the feet of the recovering keeper.

However, it was a rare positive moment for the visitors amid total Bayern domination. Ribery and Gomez both wasted chances late on to add another goal, but it mattered little in the end as the hosts ran out comfortable winners.

Heynckes: Mandzukic will start against Freiburg

The Croat has missed recent matches due to a combination of suspension and injuries but will return for the clash against Christian Streich’s side

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has confirmed Mario Mandzukic will start his side’s game against Freiburg at Allianz Arena on Saturday after sitting out last week’s win over Hannover with a minor knock.

The 67-year-old also says that Thomas Muller sustained a minor knock during the 4-0 victory over Barcelona in midweek and will wait and see before deciding on the full team.

“Let’s see how the guys are today. Yesterday we had a day off and today it is hot. Muller is doubtful, but Mandzukic will be in the starting XI,” he told reporters.

Heycnkes went on to comment on opposite number Christian Streich whose Freiburg side are pushing for a Champions League spot, having been close to relegation when he took over in December 2011.

“I want to praise Christian Streich and his performances as a coach,” he continued.

“This style of play with those limited opportunities is fantastic. Plus he is a nice colleague.”

Bayern take on the Mage Solar Stadion outfit at 15:30CET.

Heynckes plays down Madrid rumours

The 67-year-old says he will not reveal his next move until the expiration of his contract this summer amid reports of a return to the Bernabeu

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has played down rumours that he will take Jose Mourinho’s place at Real Madrid next season.

The 67-year-old is set to be replaced by Pep Guardiola at the Allianz Arena this summer and although he knows about his next move, he promised not to reveal his future until his contract expires.

“I won’t tell you what I will do after June 30,” he told reporters.

“I look at that in a relaxed manner. I know what I will do and I’ve known it for some time. I never had an agent and the rumours from Spain is only what the media are writing“.

The German believes that Bayern are now among the best sides in Europe having beaten Barcelona 4-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

“It was a spectacular week in football. You can see how much the Bundesliga has caught up and that we are on the same level as Europe’s elite,” he continued.

“We enjoy our success with calmness and discipline. There is no room for arrogance with us. We always have to get our machine working against from scratch.

“I look forward to returning to Spain. I lived there for a while. And it is great for every player to play at Camp Nou.”

Heynckes also said that his side are excited about the prospect of linking up with Mario Gotze of Borussia Dortmund, who will ply his trade for Bayern next season.

“We have lots of extraordinary players in midfield, and the team are happy about his transfer,” he added.

“There are always new stories and rumours at Bayern. The players take it calmly. We know how to handle it.”

Schalke will not sell Draxler, insists Heldt

The creative midfielder has caught the attention of a number of big European clubs, but the Bundesliga outfit are determined to hold on to him

Schalke general manager Horst Heldt has stressed the club have no intention of selling Julian Draxler in the summer transfer window.

The Germany international has been linked with clubs such as Juventus, Inter, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in the past few months, but the Gelsenkirchen side are determined to hold on to the 19-year-old.

“There is no exit clause and we have no intention of selling Julian at the end of this season. He is feeling very well at the club and is the face of Schalke,” Heldt was quoted as saying by Bild.

“What I would say if a €100 million offer came in tomorrow? You can’t blame Julian for having the desire to play at one of his dream clubs in Spain at some point. If Barcelona or Madrid were to offer €100m, we would look at things differently.

“Bayern? Where would he have to play at Bayern with all the players they already have …”

Draxler has a contract with Schalke until the summer of 2016.

Bayern deny Lewandowski agreement

The Bundesliga champions have dismissed rumours that they have secured the services of the Dortmund attacker

Bayern Munich have released an official statement denying they have reached an agreement with Robert Lewandowski from Borussia Dortmund.

The Poland international’s agent Maik Barthel stated on Thursday that the striker wants to leave BVB this summer and added they have already agreed personal terms with another club, leading to speculation that Lewandowski was set to join Bayern.

Nevertheless, the Bavarians have stressed that there is no truth in the reports claiming Lewandowski to the newly-crowned Bundesliga champions is a done deal.

“Bayern Munich have taken notice of various reports about Robert Lewandowski and want to make it clear that Lewandowski does not have a contract with Bayern,” a statement on the Bayern website reads.

The 24-year-old attacker has a contract with Dortmund until the summer of 2014, but has told the Champions League semi-finalists that he has no intention of extending his deal.

Lewandowski is therefore widely expected to leave BVB at the end of this season, with Bayern leading the race for his signature ahead of Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus.

Dortmund were dealt a huge blow earlier this week when star player Mario Gotze announced that he will leave the club for Bayern this summer.