Niko Kova? Pleased With Bayern Performance After Comfortable Victory Over Nürnberg

?Bayern Munich manager Niko Kova? has expressed his delight after his side’s comfortable ?3-0 victory over Nürnberg at the Allianz Arena.

A first-half brace from Robert Lewandowski and a first league goal of the season for Franck Ribéry in the second-half saw Die Roten move up to second in the Bundesliga.

The victory was also their first at home in the league since mid-September, while the clean sheet was their first at home and their third overall in the Bundesliga.

FC Bayern Muenchen v 1. FC Nuernberg - Bundesliga

Kova? was pleased with his side’s defensive display, which limited the number of opportunities for Die Legende.

As quoted by ?Bayern’s official website, Kova? said: “Today, we have allowed almost nothing for over 90 minutes. We ourselves had many opportunities, I am satisfied with the performance.

“It was important that we did not concede and that we did not lose the lead and the security that we had earned, by conceding goals.”

FC Bayern Muenchen v 1. FC Nuernberg - Bundesliga

The win was Bayern’s third in successive matches in all competitions and the league holders’ manager was ‘satisfied’ with their run of form.

Positive results are always important. We have now won three games in a row, in a way I am satisfied with.”

With the win, Die Roten moved within nine points of league leaders Borussia Dortmund, and Joshua Kimmich, who provided the assist for Lewandowski’s opener, indicated he was relishing the new challenge of chasing their rivals.

“I have not experienced a season like this. Last season we were a bit behind, but this season the gap is bigger.

Dortmund has won again today, that’s why the season is really exciting, because it’s not just uphill. Now we have another situation and it turns out we also have great players in our team.”


Starting XI of Current Footballers Who Followed in the Footsteps of ’90s Legends

If you ever wanted to feel old, you’re in the right place. It’s now been nearly 19 years since the end of the heady era of the 1990s. That means the icons we grew up admiring in that era have now long since retired and started families. In fact, some of their offspring have even followed in their footsteps and gone on to have successful careers of their own. 

We’ve taken the liberty of compiling a starting XI of current players who are following in the footsteps of ’90s legends: 

1. GK: Kasper Schmeichel – Peter Schmeichel

Peter Schmeichel is synonymous with success at Manchester United. Joining off the back of three Danish league titles, Schmeichel helped Alex Ferguson to his first Premier League title with the Red Devils. United went on to win four of the next six league titles, with Schmeichel also lifting three FA Cups and a Champions League trophy in his time in Manchester. 

His son Kasper actually came through the ranks at bitter rivals Manchester City but never made an impact on the first team. Struggling in the early stages of his career, Kasper found his feet at Leicester City. Helping the Foxes return to the top flight and playing an integral role in their shock title win in 2016.  

2. CB: Christian Maldini – Paolo Maldini

Paolo Maldini was a one club man during a period of European dominance for Italian giants AC Milan. Lifting an impressive seven Serie A trophies and five European Cup/Champions League trophies in a 24 year stint at the club. He also enjoyed a great international career although he never quite tasted success despite reaching a World Cup final, a Euro final and an Under-21 Euro final. 

Christian Maldini hoped to emulate his famous father starting out a career at AC Milan but things didn’t quite work out. Maldini was released by AC Milan, joining Serie C side Reggio Audace but quickly being loaned out to Maltese side Hamrun Spartans. He had two other unsuccessful spells with Pro Sesto and Fondi before joining Pro Piacenza this year. 

3. CB: Alex Bruce – Steve Bruce

Steve Bruce has had as successful a career as a manager as he did as a player. In the ’90s though he was Peter Schmeichel’s teammate in that famous Manchester United team. Bruce had left before the Champions League triumph but lifted the rest of those honours in Ferguson’s early years. 

His son Alex hasn’t had quite as glamorous a career, spending the majority of his time in England’s second tier. Alex played under his famous father twice having been on the books at Birmingham and Hull City while his dad was a manager there. It was at Hull where the duo struck a cord, earning promotion to the top flight and reaching the FA Cup final. 

4. CB: Daley Blind – Danny Blind

Danny Blind was a star centre-half for Dutch side Ajax who were still a European powerhouse in the ’90s. Blind won five league titles and four KNVB Cups in his time with the Dutch side as well as the last of Ajax’s European trophies in 1995. He is one of only two Dutchmen in history to lift the Champions League, UEFA Cup, UEFA Super Cup and Intercontinental Cup. 

His son Daley Blind has forged a respectable career of his own but is perhaps best known for a faltering spell at Manchester United. After coming through the ranks at Ajax he completed a £13m move to United but never really found his feet in four years at the club. Blind finally returned to Ajax last summer.  

5. CM: Thiago Alcantara – Mazinho

Mazinho had a prominent career in the ’90s in Italy, Spain and Brazil but it was domestically where he enjoyed his most success. Winning four Brazilian league titles and six other major domestic honours. He is probably best remembered on this continent as a member of the Brazil 1994 World Cup winning team. 

His son Thiago Alcantara won’t be following in his footsteps in that respect after he switched allegiances to Spain. Coming through Barcelona’s famed La Masia Academy, Alcantara was lauded as one of the best young talents in Europe when German giants Bayern Munich swept him up in 2013. 

6. CM: Rafinha Alcantara – Mazinho

Thiago isn’t the only of Mazinho’s children to become a modern day star, the Brazilian may end up been better remembered for his famous sons. Thiago’s brother Rafinha also came through the ranks at Barcelona’s La Masia Academy. 

Rafinha remained with Barcelona winning two La Liga crowns and the 2015 Champions League with the Spanish side. He has spent loan spells with Celta Vigo and Inter but remains at Barcelona to this day. 

7. RM: Tom Ince – Paul Ince

Paul Ince played for both Manchester United and Liverpool during the 90’s, but it was at the former where he had the most success. Another significant part of Ferguson’s early triumphs that provided the foundation for 20 years of success. 

His son Tom has been a star in England’s second tier but has never quite made it in the top flight despite four attempts. Having previously starred for Blackpool and Derby in the Championship, Ince was recently snapped up by relegated Stoke City. He’s not quite hit top form but he has been a significant addition for the Potters as their joint top scorer so far this season.

8. LM: Justin Kluivert – Patrick Kluivert

Patrick Kluivert was once Danny Blind’s teammate at that famous Ajax side where he began a glittering career. After helping Ajax to the league title and Champions League trophy, Kluivert was snapped up by Italian giants AC Milan. From there he spent six years at Barcelona and a season in the Premier League with Newcastle before returning to win a final Eredivisie with PSV. 

His son Justin enjoyed a impressive debut campaign at Ajax at the age of just 17, becoming a first team regular the following year. His 11 goals from 36 appearances saw him continue to follow in his father’s footsteps with a switch to Serie A, joining Roma this summer. 

9. FW: Rivaldinho – Rivaldo

Rivaldo is a player that needs little introduction, the highlights of his nomadic career being consecutive La Liga triumphs with Barcelona and lifting the Champions League with AC Milan. Like Mazinho, it was on the international scene where he had the greatest impact as a member of arguably the best Brazil squad in history. Reaching the 1998 World Cup final before lifting the trophy the trophy in 2002. 

His son Rivaldinho has a lot to live up to, the highlight of his career so far being a brief stint with Boavista in the Primeria Liga. He currently plies his trade in the Bulgarian top flight with Levski Sofia. 

10. FW: Bradley Wright-Phillps – Ian Wright

Born in Woolwich Arsenal, Ian Wright got to live the dream becoming a legend for his boyhood club Arsenal in the ’90s. With 185 goals in all competitions he remains one of the Gunners all-time top scorers, lifting five major honours with the club. 

Wright also of course fathered Shaun Wright-Phillips who enjoyed a more illustrious career but he’s now retired too and it’s Bradley who came closer to replicating his father. After a stuttering career in England, Bradley Wright Phillips made the switch to the MLS. Bradley has established himself as one of the most potent scorers in the MLS with New York Red Bulls scoring 124 goals in five years at the club.

11. FW: Timothy Weah – George Weah

George Weah is often regarded as the greatest African player of all time having, amassed a wealth of personal honours, including the Ballon d’Or. Spending the best part of his career with Monaco, PSG and AC Milan, Weah also helped Liberia qualify for consecutive African Cup of Nations and come within a point of their first ever World Cup finals in 2002. 

His son Timothy is created quite a buzz in America after staring in the youth leagues and attracting interest from PSG, who moved him to their own academy in 2014. At just 18, he already has eight full international caps and his first senior international goal. He also made his debut for PSG this year an already has two goals from his first six senior games for the club. 

12. SUB: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Mark Chamberlain

Mark Chamberlain may not have had as star studded a career as some of the others on this list but he remains a legend in his hometown of Stoke-on-Trent. Having turned out for both Port Vale and Stoke City, Chamberlain went on to have an impressive career across England’s four tiers, joining top flight Sheffield Wednesday before spells with Portsmouth and Brighton. 

His son Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has surpassed his father in many ways carving out a career at Arsenal and Liverpool. Injuries have blighted his career somewhat but he remains a key player for both club country when fit. 

13. SUB: Sveinn Aron Gudjohnsen – Eidur Gudjohnsen

Eidur Gudjohnsen first made his name at Chelsea, helping them to their first league title in 50 years. Gudjohnsen and Chelsea followed up by lifting the league title again the following year, it wasn’t long before Barcelona came calling. Spending three years with the Spanish giants before moving on to Monaco and Tottenham. 

Gudjohnsen has three sons Andri Lucas, Daniel Tristan and Sveinn Aron all of whom are pursuing careers in football. It’s eldest Aron though who was the first to sign a professional contract having played for three Icelandic clubs, Aron joined Serie B side Spezia in the summer. 

14. SUB: Ianis Hagi – Gheorghe Hagi

Gheorghe Hagi remains the most famous Romanian player in history having played for both Real Madrid and Barcelona. Hagi made a name for himself at Steaua Bucuresti winning six major honours including a UEFA Super Cup. He went on to spend two years at each of the Spanish giants before enjoying a trophy-laden five year spell with Galatasaray. 

His son Ianis was tipped to be one of Europe’s bright young stars when Fiorentina signed the teenager in 2016. He never really got his chance in Florence though making just two appearances in two years before returning to his native Romania with Viitorul Constanta in January this year. After an impressive return to form, Ianis Hagi was nominated for the 2018 European Golden Boy award, the second nomination of his career. 


Bayern Munich 3-0 Nürnberg: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Bavarians Thrash Die Legende

Bayern Munich moved up to second in the Bundesliga after defeating Nürnberg 3-0 at the Allianz Arena.


Robert Lewandowski headed home the opener, following a corner in the ninth minute, before doubling the lead in the 27th minute.

Franck Ribéry then added a third in the 57th minute to seal a first home league victory since mid-September for the Bavarians. 


Key Talking Point

The hosts dominated the first period and looked to get the ball out to their wide players, who possessed terrific quality from crosses. The Bavarians used this to their advantage, as Kimmich’s brilliant delivery was headed home by Lewandowski for the opener.

FC Bayern Muenchen v 1. FC Nuernberg - Bundesliga

Bayern moved the ball well and their swift passing tempo cause a myriad of problems or their opponents, who simply couldn’t deal with FC Hollywood’s offensive prowess. This was the case for their second of the match when Leon Goretzka’s speculative effort cannoned off the bar and was dispatched home by Lewandowski, who could have had a first half hat-trick.

The second half continued in the same manner, as Bayern made it three with some brilliant approach play, which occurred after seizing onto an error from keeper Fabian Bredlow.

Player Ratings

Starting XINeuer (5); Rafinha (5), Süle (6), Boateng (6), Alaba (6); Gnabry (5), Kimmich (6), Goretzka (6), Ribéry (7); Müller (6); Lewandowski (8*).

SubstitutesThiago (5), Coman (5); Wagner (N/A).

STAR MAN – Robert Lewandowski had a poor game last time out in Bayern’s last Bundesliga game at the Allianz Arena. He missed several big opportunities, which went on to cost the side. However, he looked like his usual goal-scoring self against Nürnberg.

Lewa got into some dangerous positions and awaited the service from his teammates, which was spot-on and he did the rest. He did well to get ahead of the keeper to head home for the opener and then showed great instincts to react to the follow-up after Goretzka hit the bar.

WORST PLAYER – Serge Gnabry just didn’t seem to be at his sharpest in the match. He got into some threatening positions but didn’t seem to produce anything of any real quality. He managed to get to the byline on a few occasions, but his decision making let him down. The forward elected to shoot when the angle was against him and his deliveries from out wide rarely beat the first man.


Key Talking Point

The away side didn’t really get going and couldn’t keep hold of the ball for very long in the first 45 minutes. They found it difficult to get out of their own half and even when they did, they didn’t show enough quality to create much in Bayern’s, with their final pass letting them down. 


Despite Die Legende’s improved performance in the second half, an error from their keeper Bredlow enabled Bayern to make it three and put an end to the contest.

They did, however, work the ball well at times and got into some promising positions, but again they couldn’t make the most of their chances with Sebastian Kerk seeing his effort from inside the area blocked behind.

Player Ratings

Starting XIBredlow (5); Goden (5), Margreitter (6), Mühl (5), Leibold (6); Erras (5), Rhein (5); Bauer (6), Kerk (6); Ishak (6*), Misidjan (5).

SubstitutesEwerton (N/A), Petrák (N/A), Zre?ák (N/A)

STAR MAN – There wasn’t anyone in a Nürnberg shirt, who truly deserved the accolade, considering they didn’t really get going. However, Mikael Ishak worked his socks off against Bayern. He chased several lost causes and did his utmost against two experienced and well-disciplined defenders. He tried to create chances for his side and did well to keep possession in tight areas of the field.

FC Bayern Muenchen v 1. FC Nuernberg - Bundesliga

WORST PLAYER – Fabian Bredlow didn’t have the best of games in the Nürnberg goal. He made a couple of key saves at times, but was at fault for two of the three Bayern goals. He rushed off his line and was caught in no man’s land, which allowed Lewandowski to head home from a corner, before his misplaced pass eventually led to Ribéry slotting home the third of the match. He was fortunate not to have conceded a fourth, when he rushed off his line during another set piece which eventually ended up in the net, but the referee had already blown for an alleged foul.

Looking Ahead

Next up, Bayern travel to Amsterdam to face Ajax in the UEFA Champions League. A point in the Dutch capital will ensure the Bavarians finish as group winners.

Meanwhile, Nürnberg host ninth-placed Wolfsburg, hoping to end their four game winless run at home in the league and earn their first victory at the Max-Morlock-Stadion since the end of September.


Lyon Prepared to Sell Nabil Fekir in January as Kingsley Coman Calls for Bayern Move

?Lyon have refused to rule out a January sale of star man Nabil Fekir, putting multiple European clubs on alert over the possibility of him being available.

Fekir, who was strongly linked with Chelsea and Liverpool over the summer, eventually agreed to stay with the Ligue 1 side, but did not sign a new contract. A proposed move to Liverpool fell through at the time because of a problem with his medical – and he’d even been presented in Liverpool colours after images leaked of his interview with the club’s TV channel.

He remained in France though, and has been in typically sparkling form netting four times and providing four assists in all competitions this season, showing that the summer rumours haven’t effected him on the pitch.

UEFA Champions League'Olympique Lyonnais v Manchester City'

However, L’Equipe (via Get French Football News) are reporting that Lyon are not ruling out a January sale of Fekir. It’s understood the club would prefer him to sign a new deal, and are pushing for him to do so, but in the event that he refuses they will open the door to a January move. The club have made their position clear, they prefer to lose him in January for a large fee than in the summer when their negotiating position is considerably worse.

This news will put both Chelsea and Liverpool on high alert as the January transfer window fast approaches. Chelsea still rely heavily on Eden Hazard for their creativity, and Liverpool need as much depth as possible if they’re to challenge on multiple fronts.

They aren’t the only two clubs that may be interested however. Speaking to AZ as quoted by Goal, Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman reignited rumours that the Bundesliga club could look to make move for the Frenchman.

FC Bayern Muenchen v TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - Bundesliga

“If Nabil Fekir would like to join us, I would welcome that, but that’s what our management decides. I know that many young French players would like to play for Bayern, we are a huge team, one of the biggest in the world,” Coman said.

It’s understood Lyon would still be looking for €60m for their talisman, so it appears there could be a January battle for the attacking midfielder’s signature.


Picking the Best Potential Bayern Munich Lineup to Face Nürnberg on Saturday

Bayern Munich welcome rivals Nürnberg to the Allianz Arena on Saturday in the first edition of the Bavarian Derby since 2014.

The hosts go into this game having won just three out of their last nine league assignments and will be desperate to end 2018 with a strong run of form before the winter break.

Manager Niko Kovac will be without injured trio Arjen Robben, James Rodriguez and Corentin Tolisso, but the Croatian still has a wealth of talent at his disposal.

Here’s a look at how Bayern could line up for the big game on Saturday.

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Manuel Neuer (GK) – The German shot stopper is yet to miss a minute of football in any competition for Bayern this term. However, he has failed to display the form that has won him a host of honours, including a World Cup Golden Glove, and has kept just two clean sheets in 13 games thus far.

Rafinha (RB) – The 33-year-old is into his seventh season with the Bavarian giants but has been sidelined for much of the campaign with an ankle issue, though he will be fit to face Nürnberg on Saturday.

Niklas Sule (CB) – The German centre-back has been a mainstay in the Bayern defence this season, missing just one league game so far and will likely be one of the first names on the team sheet this weekend.

Jerome Boateng (CB) – Six-time Bundesliga winner Jerome Boateng continues to prove himself as one of the world’s best in his position. However, the former City man has made nine league appearances this term and has seen his side concede in eight of those games. He will be as eager as anyone to buck that trend in the upcoming weeks.

David Alaba (LB) – Alaba has appeared in all 13 Bundesliga fixtures so far, but it is in the Champions League where the Austrian has been most impressive this term, providing two assists in four group games.

2. Midfielders

Joshua Kimmich (CDM) – The young German has been used intermittently between the defensive midfield and right-back positions this season. Kimmich has proven his importance to manager Niko Kovac, and is yet to miss a minute of Bundesliga action so far this season.

Leon Goretzka (CDM) – In his 11 league appearances this term, Goretzka has already found the net twice whilst also notching one assist. The versatile midfielder has sometimes been shifted to a wider position by Kovac, but thrives being on the ball in the middle of the park.

Franck Ribery (RM) – The 35-year-old has lasted the full 90 minutes in only two league games this term and is yet to score in any competition. The Frenchman has netted twice against Saturday’s opponents already in his career though, and will look to add to his tally on Saturday.

Serge Gnabry (LM) – After failing to find the net in his first eight league games this year, Gnabry has now scored three in his last three appearances and will be eager to keep his goal scoring run going in his first Bavarian derby.

Thomas Muller (CAM) – The perennial Thomas Muller in now into his ninth season with Bayern’s first team and has continued to display his goal scoring prowess this year. He has registered four goals and three assists in the German top flight this season.

3. Forward

Robert Lewandowski (ST) – The Polish goal machine continues to ensure his name remains in the conversation of the world’s best strikers. He has scored 13 goals in 17 games in all competitions and continues to be the talismanic figure that the Bavarian giants need.