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Bayern triumph over Lewandowski, Liverpool nick late win

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The Champions League returned for its second matchday of the season and yet again it served up all the drama we needed.

From drama in the early kick offs to scraps later on in the night, Tuesday’s games involved plenty of great goals and fascinating entertainment. There was also the high profile return of a certain Robert Lewandowski to former club Bayern Munich.

Here’s the roundup of action from the evening’s play.

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Liverpool 2-1 Ajax

There was only one game played in Group A on Tuesday night, as Rangers’ fixture with Napoli was pushed back a day.

Liverpool went ahead against Ajax through Mohamed Salah but were pegged back when Mohammed Kudus swept in a flowing move from the visitors aided by some slack defending.

However, Joel Matip popped up in the 89th minute to put the Reds ahead and earn their first points in Europe this season.

Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Atletico Madrid

Two goals in three late second-half minutes saw Bayer Leverkusen secure a vital victory over Atletico Madrid.

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In a match which saw Antonio Griezmann subbed on around the 63rd minute mark – again – the deadock was eventually broken as Robert Andrich steered in six minutes from time.

The Bundesliga side made sure of the victory with another strike from speedster Moussa Diaby.

Porto 0-4 Club Brugge

Arguably the biggest shock of the evening came in Portugal where Belgian outfit Club Brugge ran out 4-0 victors over Porto.

Ferran Jutglà had visitors ahead with a 15th-minute penalty before the visitors took the game away from the Primeira Liga side. Kamal Sowah and Andreas Skov Olsen struck within five minutes before Antonio Nusa made the scoreline 4-0 late in the second half.

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Brugge are now top of Group B with two wins already.

Bayern Munich 2-0 Barcelona

Bayern Munich eventually swatted Barcelona aside courtesy of strikes from Lucas Hernandez and Leroy Sane.

Robert Lewandowski returned to the Allianz Arena after his high profile departure from Germany and the Polish striker struggled on his old turf, missing a host of excellent chances.

He and Barça were made to pay for their inefficiency as Hernandez headed in from a corner before Sane completed a sweeping move by finishing beyond Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

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Viktoria Plzen 0-2 Inter

Inter got their first European points on the board as they comfortably saw off minnows Viktoria Plzen 2-0.

Edin Dzeko’s opener assisted by Joaquin Correa had the Nerazzurri up and running and they were aided by a 61st-minute red card for home midfielder Pavel Bucha.

Denzel Dumfries made sure of the result soon after, finishing from Dzeko’s assist to complete an easy night’s work for Inter.

Sporting CP 2-0 Tottenham

Tottenham were made to rue a poor performance in Portugal as two late strikes saw Sporting CP emerge 2-0 winners.

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Spurs struggled for any attacking fluency with both Harry Kane and Son Heung-min off the pace, and they eventually fell behind when substitute Paulinho headed in from a corner.

The disorganisation in Spurs’ ranks was clear to see when Arthur Gomes, only off the bench for a minute, made it 2-0 by weaving through and finishing beyond Hugo Lloris.

Marseille 0-1 Eintracht Frankfurt

Europa League holders Eintracht Frankfurt bounced back from their opening day defeat to Sporting CP by defeating high-flying Ligue 1 outfit Marseille 1-0.

Jesper Lindstrom’s effort on the stroke of half time was enough to separate the two sides, with Marseille now needing to overturn a mighty deficit following two defeats from two games.

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Hasan Salihamidzic expects ‘different’ Bayern Munich after international break

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Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has insisted Bayern Munich will be a ‘different’ team after the international break.

The German champions have endured a surprisingly mediocre start to the new campaign domestically, winning just three of their seven league games and losing to Augsburg in their match prior to the break. This poor form means Bayern are currently five points adrift of table-toppers Union Berlin.

Speaking to Bild, Salihamidzic addressed this form, revealing that the club held discussions with Julian Nagelsmann to review the start of the season, but insisted that the manager has his full backing: “We talked to Julian about all aspects of our start to the season, including the positive ones, because there was not only the defeat in Augsburg, but also a lot of goals at the beginning and two wins without conceding a goal in the Champions League.

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“Julian is very clear. He and his team of coaches know exactly what to do. Above all, Julian knows that he has the full backing of FC Bayern, and that doesn’t need to be emphasised again and again.”

Salihamidzic also discussed potential reasons for why Bayern has struggled this season thus far, stating that the winter World Cup has some part to play: “For me, there is no question that in this extraordinarily demanding season with a world championship in the middle, only those teams have a chance of winning the title that find a rhythm as an entire squad group, that develop their rotation style and push themselves as a unit. Our players have quality, mentality and character, they want and will show that.

“We will appear differently after the international break. And I expect that too. Physical intensity, greed and the willingness to push yourself to the limit in every game are the prerequisites for success. We also need a much better, more focused exploitation of opportunities.”



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Thomas Muller suggests Bayern Munich’s struggles are hurting Germany national team

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Thomas Muller has hinted that Bayern Munich’s slow start to the season was a factor in Germany’s shock 1-0 defeat at home to Hungary on Friday evening.

Die Mannschaft fell to a 17th-minute Adam Szalai goal to knock Hansi Flick’s side out of contention to reach next summer’s Nations League finals.

Speaking after the loss in Leipzig, Muller suggested that players’ struggles at club level have been carried into the national setup.

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“The first half was very disappointing,” he said. “We made far too many mistakes and you could feel that many in their clubs are not going through the easiest phase. Without pressure we made mistakes and almost everyone was affected.”

Four of Germany’s starters on Friday – Muller, Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane – hail from Bayern Munich, who have won just three of their opening seven Bundesliga games so far this season. Gnabry was hooked at half-time by Flick for West Ham defender Thilo Kehrer, while Muller came off for Wolfsburg striker Lukas Nmecha with five minutes remaining.

Centre-back Niklas Sule departed Bayern for Borussia Dortmund this summer, and while BVB sit second in the Bundesliga table, the 27-year-old has started just once for his new club and is understandably lacking in match sharpness.

Germany travel to England on Monday in each side’s final game before the World Cup.

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Bellingham’s preferred destination; Man Utd chasing Kane

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Jude Bellingham would prefer to join Real Madrid if he chooses to leave Borussia Dortmund next summer. Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City are all keen on the England midfielder. (El Chiringuito)

Liverpool tried to sign Bellingham in 2012 and offered £9,000 for the then-Birmingham midfielder, whose family rejected the chance to move. (The Athletic)

There is an option in Gerard Pique‘s contract allowing Barcelona to terminate it in 2023 if he plays fewer than 35% of the minutes available to him this season. The plan is to replace Pique with Athletic Club’s Inigo Martinez. (Mundo Deportivo)

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Ousmane Dembele‘s contract also has a €50m release clause which will become active next summer (L’Equipe)

Manchester United are the latest side to reach out to the representatives of Tottenham striker Harry Kane over a possible transfer next summer. (Fichajes)

Arsenal have made contact with Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Jesper Lindstrom over a possible January transfer. The 22-year-old is expected to cost around £17m. (Bild)

Graham Potter is considering recalling winger Callum Hudson-Odoi from his loan with Bayer Leverkusen in January. The new Chelsea manager is a massive fan of the young winger and believes he can earn minutes at Stamford Bridge. (Bild)

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Barcelona have spoken to Rennes midfielder Lovro Majer about a possible transfer. The Croatia international has been hailed as ‘the new Luka Modric’. (Foot Mercato)

Tottenham remain interested in Inter centre-back Alessandro Bastoni, whose negotiations over a new contract have stalled. (InterLive)

Another Inter centre-back, Milan Skriniar, is being urged by Paris Saint-Germain to allow his contract to expire in the summer so he can join on a free transfer. (Tuttosport)

With his contract up in 2023, N’Golo Kante has been contacted by Juventus, AC Milan and Inter over a possible pre-contract agreement in January. (Tutto Juve)

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Manchester City have been scouting Benfica left-back Alejandro Grimaldo, whose contract expires at the end of the season. (Calciomercato)

There are no plans for Bayern Munich to sign a new striker in January, with club officials adamant that Julian Nagelsmann will figure out a way to get his new-look attack gelling soon. (Sky Germany)



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