Bundesliga: This Was an Auf Wiedersehen with Style!

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Bayern Munich 5-1 Eintracht Frankfurt

It briefly looked like us fans of the Bundesliga could be in for a final twist.

Early in the second half, with Borussia Dortmund 2-0 up at Borussia Monchengladbach, Bayern Munich were pegged back.

After a season of Bundesliga 2019 highlights galore, could there be more drama to come?

But the thought merely lasted a matter of minutes and no more.

Just as Manchester City had done in England six days ago, the German champions showed their character when they needed it most.

In the end, the Bundesliga 2019 betting odds were correct.

In the end, it was the perfect send-off for two of the club’s modern day greats.

Highlights of the game

Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben contribute in Bayern Munich's final Bundesliga match of the season

Arjen Robben, Rafinha and Franck Ribery celebrate after Bayern Munich win their seventh consecutive title

For both Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben to mark their final Bayern appearances with goals after coming off the bench was most fitting.

And there was also an on-pitch tribute for right-back Rafinha, who is leaving after eight seasons.

Here is a club which has been under the cosh at times this season. Beaten in the last 16 of the Champions League and struggling to dominate as in previous years.

Yet when it mattered, they emerged on top, clinching the title for the seventh successive year and ending Dortmund’s brave but ultimately futile efforts.

Of course, it’s easy to point to the nine-point lead Dortmund once held in the winter. Or the fact when Lucien Favre’s team got a few jitters and allowed Bayern to reel them in.

However, that would be extremely harsh on Niko Kovac’s side, which accepted the domestic challenge of spirited Dortmund — the toughest opponents they’d faced for some time and one which deserve enormous credit for their 2018/19 campaign – and still came through.

In fact, victory against RB Leipzig in the DFB Pokal next weekend will seal a league and cup double. More still, they have recognised the need to strengthen and acted.

Robben and Ribery will not be here when the first ball is kicked next season, but some new faces will be with the capture of Lucas Hernandez from Atlético Madrid for a fee understood to be a club record €80m (£68m).

They have also been quick to the signature of Stuttgart defender Benjamin Pavard — another French World Cup winner last summer — and are now being linked with the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Ajax’s exciting David Neres among others.

So, there is no chance of this club standing still.

This was a day, though, of celebration and reflection.

When the talented Sebastien Haller tucked home an equaliser for Kovac’s former side five minutes into the second period, a few nerves could have been natural. Instead, Munich just stepped up a gear.

Already a goal to the good through Kingsley Coman’s cool fourth-minute finish, they quickly regained their advantage through David Alaba before one-time Swansea man Renato Sanches took advantage of more poor goalkeeping to seal the points and the title.

It was left to Ribery and Robben to apply the finishing touches.

First, the Frenchman jinked into the area on the diagonal, swivelled past two Frankfurt defenders before dinking his finish past the onrushing goalkeeper Kevin Trapp.

Then the magical Dutchman Robben scored his 99th German league goal from about a yard out from Alaba’s low cross.

His team-mates, who surrounded Ribery moments earlier, embraced the Bayern veteran as the Allianz Arena went into party mode.

This was the perfect auf wiedersehen!

Bologna Asian Handicap [email protected] 2.16 1X2 Lazio @ 2.08 Total Goals 2-3 @ 1.97 Third Line text CLICK HEREDisclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.Serie A

Key statistics

Frankfurt qualify for the Europa League second qualifying round next season, thanks to results elsewhere.

Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has been confirmed as the Bundesliga’s top goalscorer for the second year running with 22 goals – the fourth time he has ended the season with the Torjägerkanone prize.

Ribery has won a record-breaking nine Bundesliga titles — one more than fellow club legends Robben, Thomas Müller, Alaba, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Oliver Kahn and Mehmet Scholl.

Ribery has scored more Bundesliga goals than any other player from France (124 goals), while Robben is the top Dutch scorer in Bundesliga history (99 goals).

Ribery’s 23rd trophy with Bayern takes him level with legend Khan.

Kovac won the DFB Cup with Frankfurt last season, overseeing a 3-1 win over Bayern in the final. Bayern face Leipzig in this season’s final on 25 May.

Frankfurt are winless in their last 17 Bundesliga meetings with Bayern since beating the record champions 2-1 in March 2010. They have not won in Munich since November 2000.

What’s next?

There’s just one match remaining this season for Bayern – next week’s German Cup Final.

 

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Robben hints at retirement

Arjen Robben admits that he is contemplating retiring from football this summer.

The former Chelsea winger had previously confirmed his intention was to leave Bayern Munich but the Dutchman has now revealed he will hang up his boots if he can't find a perfect option for his family and his career.

Robben was sidelined with injury since November before returning to action against Hanover two weeks ago, revealing he had hoped to get back playing much sooner.

The Netherlands winger has scored 98 goals in 200 Bundesliga games for Bayern, winning seven league titles and the Champions League, but he's now contemplating calling it a day.

"I am late making my decision because of my injury. I wanted to get back on the pitch first," said Robben.

"It is not an easy decision to make. If you decide that you are going to keep playing, you have to find a place where everything is just right, not just in terms of football but also for my family."

Asked whether he might stop playing altogether, Robben said: "It is an option, but I don't know whether it will happen."

Bayern are 2/9 to defeat Eintracht Frankfurt in their final league game this weekend. They currently sit two points above Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table.

Frankfurt are 11/1 to stun the champions on Sunday with the draw priced at 11/2 for their Allianz Arena clash.

Brazilian full-back Rafinha, 33, is the third long-serving Bayern Munich player to announce his departure after Robben and veteran winger Franck Ribery.

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Robben wary of Reds

Arjen Robben says facing Liverpool in the last-16 of the Champions League was the 'worst possible draw' for Bayern Munich.

Former Chelsea winger Robben is coming towards the end of his career with the Bundesliga champions and will be attempting to add a second Champions League medal, having triumphed in 2013 with the German outfit.

The 34-year-old has announced he will leave Bayern this summer and he's wary that Liverpool could halt his dreams of signing off his stint at the club with further Champions League glory.

Beaten by Real Madrid in last season's decider in Kiev, all the signs are there that Jurgen Klopp's men are serious contenders again, says Robben.

"Liverpool are doing well again, just like last year when they made it to the final, and I also see them as a favourite for the Champions League this season," the Dutchman said.

"For us, it was perhaps the worst possible draw, but it's going to be a great challenge. We have to look at ourselves, keep working hard and improve ourselves. If we have a good day and play the way we want, I'm sure we'll make it very difficult for Liverpool."

Bayern are 14/5 to win the first leg at Anfield on 19th February, with Liverpool 17/20 and the draw 14/5 on Merseyside.

Robben meanwhile has been impressed with the impact compatriot Virgil van Dijk has made since joining the Reds from Southampton in January, though he's unsure if the former Celtic player is now the best defender in world football.

"I do not know if he is the best defender in the world, other people are allowed to judge that, but I’m happy for him," he said.

"He has made big strides lately – just look where he comes from.

"He has grown as a player, but also as a personality. I am happy for him, where he is at the moment. He is a key player at a gigantic club, and he is the captain of the Dutch national team. He deserves all the compliments."

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Ribery heading for Bayern exit

Franck Ribery is the latest player set to leave Bayern Munich at season's end, the Bundesliga champions have confirmed.

Bayern's sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic indicated that the French winger is likely to join Arjen Robben in exiting the Allianz Arena next summer.

Robben confirmed earlier this month that he would leave when his contract expires in the summer after a decade of success with the German champions.

Ribery, 35, and Robben have been part of a hugely successful era for Bayern since arriving more than nine years ago.

"The president [Uli Hoeness] talked about it [the possibility of Ribery leaving], and I think it will be like that. It's a year of changes," Salihamidzic told reporters.

Former France international Ribery has made 406 competitive appearances for Bayern, scoring 119 goals, and he has featured in 19 games so far this season.

He will have a key role to play as Bayern continue to prosper this season.

"I am pleased that Franck is still playing that well," Salihamidzic said. "He's one of our key players."

Bayern are 1/1 to win their Champions League game against Ajax in Amsterdam on Wednesday. The home side are 11/4 while the draw is 14/5.

Bayern need only avoid defeat in the Amsterdam Arena to take spot in Group E with the Eredivisie side set to join them in the last-16, regardless of the outcome on Wednesday.

The reverse fixture in October resulted in a 1-1 draw, with a repeat scoreline this time priced at 6/1.

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Robben confirms Bayern exit

Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben has confirmed this will be his last season playing with the reigning Bundesliga champions.

The 34-year-old, who has scored 98 goals in 198 Bundesliga games for the Bavarian giants, has enjoyed a stunning career with the club winning seven league titles and a Champions League trophy.

Robben has enjoyed previous spells with the likes of Chelsea and Real Madrid and will now be looking ahead to the next chapter, after confirming he will not be hanging up his boots at the end of the season.

"I can say that this is my last year (at Bayern) and it is good like that," said Robben

"The club moves on and I may move on. It is the end of a very good and long period. I won't stop completely yet."

Bayern currently find themselves in a real battle to retain their Bundesliga crown, after what has been a difficult start to their season.

Robben's side find themselves in fourth place in the German top flight, with rivals Borussia Dortmund currently leading the way.

BVB hold an impressive nine-point lead over Bayern, who are 11/8 to win the league, while Dortmund are 4/6 to claim the title.

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Bundesliga: Super Lewandowski tames the Wolves

Wolfsburg 1-3 FC Bayern

Robert Lewandowski put in a man-of-the-match performance to get Bayern back to winning ways with a big Bundesliga victory in Wolfsburg.

The Poland hitman scored two and made the third as the league champions put Wolfsburg to the sword, winning comfortably, despite going down to ten men after Arjen Robben was sent off.

Bundesliga News: Niko Kovac says Bayern sacking rumours are untrue

Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac during the game vs Wolfsburg

In the lead-up to such a high-intensity game, the last thing Niko Kovac needed was to read that Arsene Wenger is being discussed as his replacement at FC Bayern. But his players did the talking for him on the pitch. They were favourites to win this game at odds of 1.36 at us, and in the end, they did it in some style.

Highlights of the game

Bayern have the household names in their ranks, and it was Lewandowski who had the first attempt on goal, heading straight at Koen Casteels after a good cross from David Alaba found him in space. And then James Rodriguez tested the keeper with a low drive on 12 minutes.  In a rare foray up field, Wolfsburg had an effort when Brazilian wing-back William crossed for Wout Weghorst, but the big striker headed wide of Manuel Neuer’s post.

That seemed to spark something in the Champions and they swarmed down the pitch to put Casteel’s goal under some pressure, with efforts from Joshua Kimmich and Arjen Robben. Lewandowski then brought a great save from the home keeper with a shot which was arrowing towards the top corner.

But the arch-poacher gave Casteel no chance on the half hour, taking a pass from Mats Hummels and firing his shot into the bottom-left corner. It was a smart end to a barren period for Lewandowski and a just reward for Bayern’s superiority.

Kovac will have kept the half-time Bundesliga 2018 updates from his team, the big news coming from Stuttgart where league leaders Borussia Dortmund were 0-3 up. BVB’s exciting young winger Jadon Sancho was on target again.

But Bayern could only affect what was happening in Wolfsburg, and they did just that, taking the game away from their hosts as Lewandowski pounced and scored from close range.

Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben sees red in game vs Wolfsburg in Bundesliga

Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben is shown a red card by referee Guido Winkmann

Javi Martinez had a headed chance to make it three, but Casteel saved and then, on 57 minutes there was a glimmer of hope for the hosts when Bayern went down to ten men. The experienced Robben was already on a yellow, and the referee had no hesitation in waving him on his way with a red card when he flew in on Elvis Rexhbecaj.

Then, Wolfsburg were right back in it six minutes later when Admir Mehmedi crossed for Weghorst and the 6ft-6in striker fired home. That lifted the home crowd, and it was game on with half an hour to play.

But not for long! Bayern restored their two-goal lead on 72 minutes and Lewandowski turned provider this time, setting up James Rodriguez to shoot low into the corner.

Lewandowski came close to his hat-trick with a low drive, but Casteel got down well to save at his post and despite a late flurry of activity from the hosts. Kovac’s side saw the game out with ease.

Key Statistics

Bayern have been on a poor run which has seen them pick up a single point in three games. Before the international break, the Champions were humbled by Borussia Monchengladbach in a 0-3 defeat.

But the Bundesliga 2018 odds still has them as overwhelming favourites to retain their crown, and that makes some sense on this performance.

They dominated the first half with 65 per cent possession and seven shots on goal while Wolfsburg hadn’t troubled Neuer. Both teams were skippered by their goalkeepers, and Casteel had earned his wage by the end of the game, facing 11 shots on target. Meanwhile, all Neuer had to do was pick the ball out of the net.

Die Wolfe have now conceded two or more goals in the last six games, and that’s a real worry, particularly as they have failed to win in seven. But Bayern have now won for the first time in five and climbed up to second.

The visitors stretched the head-to-head lead to 39 wins to six.

What’s next?

Wolfsburg have two away games to come now, but they could yield points with visits to bottom club Dusseldorf and then Hannover. Scoring goals isn’t such a problem for them, but keeping them out certainly is.

And it’s back to the Champions League for Bayern, off to Athens to take on AEK. Kovac’s team will then continue their Bundesliga chase with a trip to Mainz.

 

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Robben guards against complacency

Arjen Robben insists Bayern Munich cannot allow complacency against Sevilla in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final in Germany.

The Bundesliga champions won 2-1 in Spain last week, despite failing to perform at their best.

Bayern are aiming to reach a seventh European semi-final in nine years and join Liverpool and Roma in the last four.

Defending champions Real Madrid look almost certain to be there too, as they lead Juventus 3-0 ahead of their quarter-final second leg in the Spanish capital.

Having watched as Sevilla stunned Manchester United at Old Trafford in the previous round, Robben isn't going to take anything for granted.

"We need to be careful," said Robben. "They did brilliantly in Manchester and we know we have to perform."

Bayern have been knocked out by a Spanish team in each of the four seasons since they last won the Champions League, but Dutch winger Robben says they'll be aware of the pitfalls.

They sealed their sixth successive Bundesliga crown with a 4-1 win at Augsburg on Saturday and manager Jupp Heynckes admits that confidence is high in the dressing room for Bayern, who are 2/1 to win the Champions League this season.

"We're in a good mood, we're hungry and our big goal is to reach the semi-finals," said Heynckes.

"They have to take risks and score two goals in our stadium."

Bayern are 17/2 to win the second leg 3-0, while Sevilla are 11/1 to win the match and the draw is 6/1.

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Heynckes praises veteran duo

Jupp Heynckes says Bayern Munich will turn their focus on attempting to win the Champions League after clinching the Bundesliga title on Saturday.

Heynckes was also quick to praise veteran duo Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben who are being linked with transfers away from Bayern this summer.

Robben, who is out of contract at the end of this season, scored his side's third goal in a 4-1 win at Augsburg on Saturday as Bayern secured a sixth successive Bundesliga title with seven games still to play.

Ribery came on as a late substitute, and Heynckes admitted afterwards: "It was an act of recognition on my part, because these are players that play for FC Bayern for nine and 10 years respectively.

"Where does this happen these days? They are both great professionals with outstanding quality, too.

"We have to play Champions League on Wednesday, then Monchengladbach at home, then we have to play at Leverkusen on Tuesday and on Saturday we meet Hannover, I think.

"After that, I hope we play the semi-final of the Champions League. That's a lot, so I want us to keep our energy. That's why he [Ribery] didn't play from the beginning."

Bayern host Sevilla in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday, having won the first clash 2-1.

Bayern are 7/1 to emerge triumphant in the second leg 2-0 and can be backed at 10/3 to win the Champions League final next month.

Nothing Can Stop the Rise of the Bavarians!

Borussia Dortmund 1-3 Bayern Munich

It might be the “Der Klassiker,” but for Jupp Heynckes and Bayern, it was just another day at the office.

The Bavarians, once again, proved betting odds right and delighted their online gambling followers with a comprehensive victory over title-rivals Dortmund, who continue to fall in the rankings after a four-game winless stretch that started in October.

Bayern now have seven wins in seven football games in all competitions since Heynckes returned, and they are currently in full control of first place—four points clear of RB Leipzig and six ahead of BVB.

Arjen Robben opened the scoring for the Bavarians on 17 minutes as he became the club’s highest-scoring foreign player with 93 goals. James Rodriguez controlled a Thiago Alcantara cross perfectly before teeing up the Dutchman to fire into the top-left corner past keeper Roman Burki.

Dortmund had a chance to equalise through Andriy Yarmolenko, but he was swiftly denied by Sven Ulreich. Robert Lewandowski then made it 2-0 seven minutes before halftime, scoring through a cheeky heel flick that took a deflection off Julian Weigl.

Despite Christian Pulisic’s effort to bring Dortmund back into the game, it went all for naught when David Alaba found the back of the net in the 67th minute.

Marc Bartra scored for Dortmund on 88 minutes, though it was a mere consolation as the game is already beyond their reach.

Peter Bosz’ side slipped to third on the Bundesliga table, behind Leipzig who moved to second place after a 2-1 win over Hannover 96.

The Bulls had to fight back from a goal down, with Yussuf Poulsen cancelling out Jonathas’ 56th-minute opener before Timo Werner left it late to fire Leipzig back to title contention.

On the other games, Schalke moved into the top four with a 1-0 victory over Freiburg, while Frankfurt made it to sixth with a 2-1 drubbing of Werder Bremen. Hamburger SV also got all three points against VfB Stuttgart.

Elsewhere, Monchengladbach and Mainz, as well as Augsburg and Bayer Leverkusen, shared the spoils with a 1-1 scoreline.

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Robben bows out with Holland

Veteran winger Arjen Robben has retired from international football after the Netherlands failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals.

The 33-year-old scored both goals as the Dutch ended their qualifying campaign with a 2-0 win over Sweden, who now face a play-off after the loss allowed France to top Group A.

But, it is the end of the road for Robben, who scored 37 goals in 96 appearances for the Oranje, who was a part of the squad who reached the World Cup final in 2010 and made it all the way to the semi-finals four years later.

And the Bayern Munich ace is content that he has made the right decision, telling reporters: "I've been thinking about it for a long time. I have already considered it for a while, but then I went on. I wanted to finish this qualification.

"I'm 33 years old now. I'm playing at a top club in Europe and I want to concentrate on it now. It's also a good time to hand over the baton.

"I am very proud and honoured with my six tournaments. The most beautiful moments for me were the World Cups of 2010 and 2014, in which we were really a close team and a close group."

Robben has been with Bayern for just over eight years, having previously played for Real Madrid, Chelsea, PSV Eindhoven and Groningen.

He has helped the Bavarian giants to six Bundesliga titles, as well as Champions League glory in 2013.

Bayern can be backed at 2/5 to win the Bundesliga again this season, while they are 7/1 to triumph in the Champions League and 13/8 to lift the DFB-Pokal.

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