Serge Gnabry Edges Closer to World Class Status After Another Frustratingly Brilliant Performance

Serge Gnabry isn’t Bayern Munich’s most important player just yet, but the Germany international showed exactly why he could be the player to take that mantle off Robert Lewandowski during their 4-1 win over Köln.

It was Bayern’s Polish striker who opened the scoring and Kingsley Coman added a second inside the opening five minutes, but it was Gnabry’s fantastic brace on Sunday which put the icing on the cake for the Rekordmeister.

The 24-year-old’s first goal was special. Gnabry plucked a long ball out of the air with a perfect touch on the edge of the six-yard box and, after jinking past a couple of defenders, he picked out the bottom corner of Timo Horn’s goal.

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-COLOGNE-BAYERN MUNICH

Gnabry’s second was similar, although this time the Germany international picked out Horn’s far post from outside the penalty area at a crucial point in the game when Köln started to get a foothold in the match.

The winger’s two goals were the perfect showcase of why Gnabry is rated so highly at Bayern Munich and why he’ll be the staple of their team for years to come, just like Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry were during the last decade.

But Sunday’s win also showed the other side of Gnabry’s game which is stopping him from breaking into European football’s truly elite group of players.

Gnabry had the majority of Bayern Munich’s goalscoring chances and could have finished the match with four or five to his name, most notably missing what was effectively an open goal by spooning a five-yard shot onto the crossbar.

So while Gnabry was the driving force for Bayern Munich against Köln, the Germany international also wasted the chance to really make their dominance show on the scoreline.

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-COLOGNE-BAYERN MUNICH

Gnabry’s certainly shown that he’s already got the ability to be Bayern Munich’s marquee player in the biggest games, having scored four away at Tottenham in the Champions League group stages earlier this season.

But if he wants to become the club’s poster boy in their post-Lewandowski era, Gnabry needs to start putting together a consistent run of devastating performance no matter who Bayern Munich’s opponents are, and he needs to be just as ruthless in front of goal when the game’s wrapped up as he is as when it’s scoreless.


For more from Ben Carter, follow him on Twitter!

Let’

Köln 1-4 Bayern Munich: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Lewandowski Nets 40th Goal This Season

?Bayern Munich returned to the top of the Bundesliga table thanks to their 4-1 win over Köln on Sunday, as Robert Lewandowski scored his 40th goal for club and country this season.

Lewandowski only needed three minutes to open the scoring at the RheinEnergieStadion and Kingsley Coman added a second just moments later, while Serge Gnabry put the result beyond doubt with a stunning goal all within a quarter of an hour.

Joshua Kimmich almost added a fourth before half-time but his long-range shot crashed back off the post, while just after the break Köln striker Jhon Córdoba had a goal ruled out by the Video Assistant Referee.

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-COLOGNE-BAYERN MUNICH

Gnabry scored his second of the game against the run of play with another brilliant strike from the edge of the area, although Köln’s Mark Uth was eventually able to pull one goal back for his hometown club.

But it was too little too late for the hosts and Bayern eased out the rest of the match to return to winning ways after last week’s draw against RB Leipzig.


KOLN

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Horn (6); Ehizibue (5), Bornauw (6), Czichos (5), Katterbach (5); Skhiri (6), Hector (6), Drexler (6), Uth (5), Jakobs (6); Cordoba (4).

Substitutes: Kainz (6), Schmitz (N/A), Modeste (N/A).


BAYERN MUNICH

Key Talking Point

It’s a scoreline that will make neutrals think Bayern’s 4-1 win over Köln was just a case of the reigning champions steamrollering their opponents, but Hansi Flick deserves a lot of credit for the way he set up against Markus Gisdol’s side.

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-COLOGNE-BAYERN MUNICH

Gnabry and Coman showed exactly why they’re such a dangerous double act out wide for Bayern, but it was Thomas Müller’s free role just behind Lewandowski which seemed to cause the most problems for Köln.

The former Germany international picked up two assists inside the opening five minutes and he should have had another two before the half time whistle, while both Jonas Hector and Ellyes Skhiri struggled to mark him throughout the game.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Neuer (7); Pavard (6), Boateng (7), Alaba (8), Davies (8); Kimmich (7), Thiago (7), Muller (9); Coman (8), Gnabry (9), Lewandowski (8).


Substitutes: Hernandez (7), Tolisso (6), Goretzka (6).


Thomas Müller

For the last couple of years, it’s felt like it was only a matter of time before Müller’s spell at Bayern came to an end, but the club’s Raumdeuter is back to his best under new manager Hansi Flick.

??


??

??

Two assists early in the first half saw Müller continue his fine form over the last few months and he’s now been directly involved in 18 goals in Bayern Munich’s last 16 games, but it was his overall performance against Köln which helped bring out the best of his teammates at Bayern Munich.


Looking Ahead

Bayern host SC Paderborn next before they can turn their attention to the Champions League knockout stages against Chelsea, while Köln will continue their relegation fight away at Hertha BSC.


For more from Ben Carter, follow him on Twitter!

Let’

David Alaba Reveals He Supported Arsenal as a Kid & Refuses to Rule Out Future Premier League Move

?Bayern Munich star David Alaba has refused to rule out the possibility of a move to the Premier League in the future, even revealing that he supported Arsenal as a child. 

The 27-year-old has been at Bayern since he was 16 years old and has become one of the German giants’ key figures in recent years.

Speaking in an interview with The Times however, Alaba was unwilling to dismiss the possibility of one day leaving the Bundesliga champions, and the childhood Arsenal supporter admitted he ‘can imagine playing somewhere else’. 

David Alaba ,

“We’ll see [what happens in the future],” Alaba said. “I know the Premier League very well because I followed it a lot when I was younger. I supported Arsenal. Patrick Vieira was one of my favourite players.

“At the moment I don’t think too much about it, but I can imagine playing somewhere else.”

But the Austria international was quick to reiterate that his immediate attention remains with ?Bayern and their intense title-race this season, as well as the chance of lifting another Champions League trophy. 

“I am very focused on Bayern Munich,” Alaba continued. “We really want to reach our goals and I really want to help the team.

“We’re in a good way to reach our goals in the Bundesliga, in the DFB-Pokal and maybe also to make a dream come true in the Champions League.”

Daniel Caligiuri , , David Alaba ,

Alaba is a superbly versatile player. He began his Bayern career at left-back but has since mastered a role in the centre of midfield and is currently occupying a centre back slot for the Bavarian giants.

The defender possesses bags of pace, which makes him an excellent addition at the heart of the Bayern backline, and his versatility has aided the rapid progress of wing-back Alphonso Davies this year.

Der FCB face ?Chelsea in the Champions League round of 16 tie this month, with Alaba hoping to win the big European Cup for the second time in his career. 

Let’

PSG Dethrone Man City in Finance Rankings – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool & Spurs Make Top 10

?Paris Saint-German are the most powerful football club in the world in terms of finances, according to the annual Soccerex Football Finance 100, a report from football business experts.

This is the third year in which they’ve published their findings, with PSG becoming only the second side to have taken top spot after Manchester City stole first place in each of the last two editions. The English side were edged out this time around, however, finishing as runners-up.

Sergio Aguero,Kevin De Bruyne

PSG were given a score of 5.318, which relates to the total value of their squad and other assets, such as the Parc des Princes. The net worth of their owner and his willingness to invest are also factored into the equation, as is the club’s net debt.

?Soccerex revealed that the Frenchmen just pipped the reigning ?Premier League champions, who posted a score of 5.197. Both teams are controlled by billionaires from the Middle East, with that the playing a significant role in their high rankings.

PSG edged ahead of City after the latter’s overall debt increased by €90m, taking it to a total of €172m. Les Parisiens, meanwhile, reduced their debt by €70m.

Bayern Munich, Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid fill third place to fifth, respectively. Arsenal lay sixth in the standings, one place above Chelsea, and two ahead of Liverpool.

Marcus Rashford,Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United find themselves significantly further back, with the Red Devils down in 16th, trailing ?Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim, as well as Guangzhou Evergrande of the Chinese Super League. 

Watford and Sheffield United are the only Premier League teams who failed to make the 100-strong list, though that looks likely to change in the near future as the Blades continue their push for European football.

Elsewhere, ?La Liga champions Barcelona are as low down as 12th, a place behind Atletico Madrid. Borussia Dortmund secured the final spot in the top 10, with Juventus occupying ninth position.


For more from Ed Alexander, follow him on Twitter

Let’

Manchester City Banned From Champions League for 2 Seasons & Fined €30m for FFP Breaches

?UEFA have confirmed that Manchester City have been banned from the Champions League for the next two seasons over Financial Fair Play breaches.

City have also been fined €30m (£25m) after they were found to have misled UEFA as well as breaking FFP rules.

Pep Guardiola

UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) discovered that City falsely inflated their sponsorship revenues. 

UEFA said in a statement: “Following a hearing held on 22 January 2020 the Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB), chaired by José da Cunha Rodrigues, has today notified Manchester City Football Club of the final decision on the case which was referred by the CFCB Chief Investigator.

“The Adjudicatory Chamber, having considered all the evidence, has found that Manchester City Football Club committed serious breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations by overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016.

“The Adjudicatory Chamber has also found that in breach of the regulations the Club failed to cooperate in the investigation of this case by the CFCB.

Fernandinho,Nicolas Otamendi

“The Adjudicatory Chamber has imposed disciplinary measures on Manchester City Football Club directing that it shall be excluded from participation in UEFA club competitions in the next two seasons (ie. the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons) and pay a fine of €30m.

“The decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber is subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). If Manchester City Football Club exercises that right the full reasoned decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber will not be published prior to publication of the final award by the CAS.”

City came under fire initially when leaked emails and documents uncovered by German outlet Der Spiegel back in November 2018 suggested that the club were finding ways of falsifying revenue streams. 

?The Guardian report that club owner Sheikh Mansour was alleged to have been funding the £67.5m deal with Etihad to sponsor City’s stadium and kits, and further leaks suggested only £8m from that sponsorship in the 2015-16 financial year came directly from the airline.

City have released a statement condemning the decision: “Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber. The Club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.

FBL-ENG-FACUP-MAN CITY-FULHAM

“In December 2018, the UEFA Chief Investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City, before any investigation had even begun. The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked UEFA process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver. The Club has formally complained to the UEFA Disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling.

“Simply put, this is a case initiated by UEFA, prosecuted by UEFA and judged by UEFA. With this prejudicial process now over, the Club will pursue an impartial judgment as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.”

Let’