Blaszczykowski warns Bayern & Dortmund players to keep cool heads in Champions League final

The Poland midfielder wants football, rather than any conflict, to take centre stage at Wembley when the fierce rivals clash for the biggest prize in European football

Jakub Blaszczykowski has urged his Borussia Dortmund team-mates and rivals at Bayern Munich to ensure they do not let emotions spill over and ruin the Champions League final.

The two Bundesliga giants will clash at Wembley on May 25 after getting the better of Real Madrid and Barcelona in the semi-finals to ensure it will be an all-German showpiece in London.

The sides clashed in league action on Saturday, each resting a number of key players in a battling 1-1 draw, but tensions are high between the two clubs after a public war of words following Bayern’s swoop for Dortmund star Mario Gotze.

I hope it’s going to be intense, but not too fiery,” Blaszczykowski told the Bundesliga’s official website.

“Football should always take centre stage. Of course it’s always going to be emotional when these two clubs meet, but things should stay within the boundaries.”

There was tension on the pitch when Rafinha was sent off after lashing out at Blaszczykowski, prompting angry scenes involving BVB boss Jurgen Klopp and FCB sporting director Matthias Sammer.

“It was a clear foul on me and the referee decided accordingly,” said the Dortmund midfielder.

“I was quite amazed by the discussions that followed, but I prefer to not comment on it as I consider it finished. It was important to keep cool on the pitch and not further rise to provocation. It wasn’t at all easy, but fortunately we managed.”

Blaszczykowski admitted his side felt they should have won the match, but said his team-mates should be proud as the point all but ensured they will finish the campaign in second place.

“Both sides made quite a few changes in order to rest some players and help others to recover from minor injuries,” said the Pole.

“It’s a bit of a shame we only managed a draw as we played rather well. We had a number of chances to wrap up the game, but unfortunately we missed them and even failed to convert from the penalty spot. Maybe we could have done better in the final 25 minutes of the game, when we were one man up.

“There’s still a way to go until the final. This game was important for us as we wanted to do everything we could to secure second place in the table. We’re now six points ahead of Leverkusen.

“It’s our goal to reach second place this season, so we should be very proud to have achieved it.”

Klopp & Sammer lock horns during BVB-Bayern clash

The Bayern sporting director and the BVB coach clashed on the touchline in the aftermath of Rafinha’s red card in a heated affair at the Westfalenstadion

Saturday’s clash between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich was a feisty one, with the referee Peter Gagelmann dealing out a number of bookings.

Things came to a head midway through the second half when Rafinha picked up his second booking in a number of minutes for lashing out at Jakub Blaszczykowski.

That turned out to be boiling point. Minutes later, Matthias Sammer and Jurgen Klopp were engaged in a heated argument on the touchline before being pulled apart and forced to apologise.

The two sides eventually recorded a 1-1 draw, with Mario Gomez’s header cancelling out Kevin Grosskreutz’s early volley.

Tottenham should consider Bale sale, says former striker Walsh

The ex-Spurs man admitted in an ideal world the 23-year-old would remain at White Hart Lane but indicated his departure can’t be ruled out and wouldn’t necessarily be disastrous

Paul Walsh believes Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas should think about allowing star man Gareth Bale to leave the club because his transfer fee would be big enough to buy three “world-class players”.
The Welshman has been in incredible form this term, netting 19 Premier League goals on his way to claiming three Player of the Year awards, with his displays reportedly putting the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich on alert.

And with Spurs rumoured to be asking for somewhere in the region of €70 million, former White Hart Lane man Walsh, who made 128 appearances for the club, reckons the pain of losing him would be easily numbed by new signings.

“Of course they should keep him, but they could also cash in by buying three world-class players for that amount of money,” he told The Sunday Mirror.

“Gareth has three years left on his contract, so the club can say: ‘You’re not going anywhere. We are going to keep you.’ But they also have to think that he may have to go, depending on their financial situation.

“Obviously getting into the top four will help. Others have gone before him so you can’t rule it out.

“I don’t think it’s the end of the world because they could really strengthen the side with three fantastic new players.”

Forget El Clasico – Dortmund-Bayern is Europe's best rivalry now

Germany’s finest teams fought out a closely contested encounter at the Westfalenstadion and Saturday and Goal takes a look at the major talking points

By Enis Koylu

In many ways, the result of Borussia Dortmund’s clash with Bayern Munich at the Westfalenstadion was inconsequential. With the Bavarians’ title long since wrapped up and BVB near certain to finish in second, there was little to play for other than pride for both teams.

The eventual 1-1 draw was probably a fair reflection of proceedings but with the two teams set to meet again in three weeks’ time in the Champions League final, both will have been eager to shore up any deficiencies ahead of the big match. And Goal was on hand to assess the action.

This is Europe’s most intense rivalry right now

In the wake of the announcement of Mario Gotze’s transfer to Bayern, the two clubs have engaged in a very public war of words. Hans-Joachim Watzke’s assertion that he would not be happy to entertain the Bayern hierarchy at Dortmund was indicative of the tension between Germany’s finest.

And that spilled onto the pitch on Saturday. A total of five players picked up bookings after some robust tackles – and it was miraculous that only one saw red.

In the wake of Rafinha’s dismissal (for elbowing Jakub Blaszczykowski), Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer (a BVB legend) and Jurgen Klopp squared up to one another on the sidelines before being dragged apart by the referee. Thomas Muller and Felipe Santana later had a row on the pitch, as did Jerome Boateng and Robert Lewandowski as tensions threatened to boil over.

The world was waiting for a Clasico Champions League final but they’ve got something just as fiercely contested, if not more so.

Bayern have the edge in penalty shoot-outs

The old cliche that Germans will always have the edge in a penalty shoot-out has spawned a string of predictable jokes about the first-ever all-German Champions League final, but BVB have serious problems from the spot.

Bayern’s loss to Chelsea in a shoot-out last season certainly hurt their pride, but the likes of David Alaba, Thomas Muller and Mario Gomez could all be called upon. BVB have no such luxury. Mats Hummels, Jakub Blaszczykowski, Gotze and Robert Lewandowski have all had their time as the designated penalty taker, but no one has shown himself to be reliable.

Lewandowski missed yet another spot kick and Manuel Neuer’s heroics in the Bayern goal will give his side confidence.

Ever-improving Sahin is giving Klopp a selection headache

Ilkay Gundogan’s substitution after less than 15 minutes would have had Dortmund hearts beating a lot faster but, in the Germany international’s absence, Nuri Sahin stepped up to the plate.

His fall from the top has been well documented over the last two years but, in a notably scrappy match, the Turkey star has was a calm, assured presence in midfield, picking many an incisive pass as he tried to swing the balance in his side’s favour.

At 24, Sahin is entering the prime of his career and his presence in the squad could give Klopp something to think about in the weeks and months to come, with his loan deal from Real Madrid not set to expire until next summer.

BVB can still overcome Bayern

Saturday’s match was – incredibly – only the second game Bayern have failed to win in 2013, the other being a clash with Arsenal when their progression in the Champions League was long assured thanks to a 3-1 away win in the first leg.

Dortmund’s brilliant record against Bayern was there for all to see but the Bavarians looked to have ended their hoodoo against the deposed champions with victories over them in the Pokal and Supercup earlier this season.

But BVB demonstrated that they are still capable of harming their rivals in a way no other team can seem to do and were it not for Lewandowski’s tame penalty, they’d have walked away with three points.

Bayern don’t need Lewandowski – they have Gomez

With Gotze’s move to Bayern already confirmed, speculation has been rife that Lewandowski could follow him to the Allianz Arena. Gomez, a proven striker of international class has been out in the cold this season but ably demonstrated his ability at Signal Iduna Park.

The former Stuttgart star still has an uncanny ability to find himself in the right place at the right time and his movement to get away from his marker for his equaliser was nothing short of fantastic.

Despite being relegated to the bench this term, he has scored over 100 goals in his last three seasons. Bayern should be careful about what they wish for before they consider selling him.<ad

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Dortmund and Bayern is never a friendly, says Neuer

The Germany international was happy to escape with a point after he saved a penalty from Robert Lewandowski and saw Rafinha sent off

Manuel Neuer admitted clashes against Borussia Dortmund are never friendly affairs after Bayern Munich drew 1-1 with their arch-rivals in a feisty encounter on Saturday.

Mario Gomez cancelled out Kevin Grosskreutz’s opener, while Neuer kept out Robert Lewandowski’s penalty and had to be on guard in the latter stages following Rafinha’s dismissal for two bookable offences.

“No matter where the game takes place, it is never a friendly between these two teams,” the 27-year-old told Sky after the match.

“It is always an eye-to-eye duel. We played the second-half with 10men, which was difficult of course.”

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes was equally impressed with how die Roten shrugged off Champions League exertions against Barcelona to earn a result at Signal Iduna Park.

“It was an intense game,” he said.

“After the week’s events, It was not easy to move on with the agenda. There is high praise for my team, which acted outstandingly aggressive with 10 players. We deserved the point.”

The two sides face one another again in the Champions League final at Wembley on May 25.