Javi Martinez to miss Bayern's Pokal opener

By Sports Desk August 10, 2019

Bayern Munich will begin their defence of the DFB-Pokal without midfielder Javi Martinez after head coach Niko Kovac confirmed the Spain international is out with a knee injury.

Martinez was missing from Bayern's squad for the 2-0 DFL-Supercup defeat to Borussia Dortmund and has been ruled out of the trip to Energie Cottbus on Monday.

The 30-year-old's last appearance came during Bayern's 6-1 Audi Cup win over Fenerbahce in July and Kovac said he would not make the trip to Cottbus.

"Everyone's available apart from Javi," Kovac told reporters.

"Javi Martinez fell on his knee and was in pain, so we're not taking any risks."

Kovac indicated that close-season signing Lucas Hernandez would not be rushed back into action following his recovery from knee surgery.

"We're taking things slow with Lucas," Kovac, whose side get their Bundesliga campaign underway on Friday when Hertha BSC travel to Allianz Arena, said of the former Atletico Madrid defender.

The Bayern coach said his players would take nothing for granted against Cottbus, who were relegated to the fourth tier of German football at the end of 2018-19 season.

"The atmosphere in the team is good, the boys get along - on and off the pitch," said Kovac.

"Cottbus were unfortunately relegated from the third league and we know how difficult it is to play in Cottbus.

"We have two titles to defend and that's what we want to do. You don't achieve anything by sitting back and doing nothing. It's better to get things done sooner rather than later."

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    Kingsley Coman faces another injury lay-off after sustaining a capsule tear and pulled tendon in his left knee during Bayern Munich's 3-1 win over Tottenham on Wednesday.

    Coman was replaced just prior to the half-hour of the Champions League encounter at Allianz Arena after appearing to suffer a hyperextension while attempting to chase down an errant pass midweek.

    The France international had earlier opened the scoring and appeared exasperated with his bad luck as he received treatment on the touchline.

    Coman has a history of ankle problems and suffered lateral collateral ligament damage in his knee in 2016.

    "The diagnosis of club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt late Wednesday evening revealed a capsule tear in the left knee," read a Bayern statement.

    "In addition, Coman has pulled the biceps tendon and compressed the knee joint. The knee is immobilised with a splint for some time."

    The setback places Coman in doubt for the club's three remaining Bundesliga fixtures before the mid-season break.

    Bayern went on to secure victory against a weakened Tottenham team but interim head coach Hansi Flick admitted: "His injury obviously overshadows the win."

    Thomas Muller replaced Coman in the 27th minute and restored the home side's advantage on the stroke of half-time, Ryan Sessegnon having equalised for Spurs.

    Philippe Coutinho put the seal on a perfect Group B campaign with a classy curling finish after the interval, delighting his coach.

    "It's important for him to have such a great feeling of success," Flick said of the Brazilian, who is on loan from LaLiga champions Barcelona.

    "Things went well in the first half, the second half was even better. It was important for him he scored a goal today.

    "I'm happy with the way we played. We kept trying to break our opponents down, we created chances that we didn't take, but still won 3-1, deservedly."

    The result sealed a Champions League record for Bayern, who were already assured of finishing above second-placed Spurs.

    The Bavarians' six victories and +19 goal difference cemented their status as the best group winners in the competition's history.

  • Sessegnon has a lot to improve but potential is there, says Mourinho Sessegnon has a lot to improve but potential is there, says Mourinho

    Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho praised Ryan Sessegnon's display in their 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League - but feels the youngster still has a lot to learn.

    Sessegnon scored his maiden goal for Spurs during an eye-catching Champions League debut at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.

    It was also the 19-year-old's first start for the club since his move from Fulham and Mourinho was suitably impressed, albeit adding there is plenty of room for improvement.

    "That is the quality we know he has. He arrives always in dangerous positions and he is a good finisher," Mourinho told BT Sport.

    "He has a lot to improve. He lost too many individual duels and he has to learn how to use his body. 

    "He was playing experienced players and has a lot to develop, but the potential is there."

    Sessegnon became Tottenham's youngest scorer in the Champions League when he netted in the 20th minute of the game - and he hopes the goal can help ignite his career with the club.

    He said: "I felt good. I was a bit tired at the end but to get the goal on my first start is a special moment.

    "Definitely this can help kick-start my Tottenham career. I was injured when I got here and it was difficult at the start.

    "I am back in the team now and just want to get more minutes under my belt."

    With both Spurs and Bayern already qualified from Group B, Mourinho opted to take a look at some of his fringe players during the game in Germany.

    "It was a good match for me," he said. "I don't want to speak about conclusions because it is too strong of a word.

    "But I would say some important information. Today I also learn a lot about Juan Foyth, who until today did not play a minute for me before.

    "We played a good team and it was a good test. Of course, I would prefer to win or draw. I would prefer to score in the last minute and lose 3-2 rather than 3-1. 

    "But we knew the match was important for other reasons and we did not want a result which left a shadow on us."

  • Bayern Munich claim Champions League record after dominating Group B Bayern Munich claim Champions League record after dominating Group B

    Bayern Munich set a new Champions League benchmark when they completed a perfect Group B campaign with Wednesday's comfortable 3-1 victory over Tottenham.

    Kingsley Coman, Thomas Muller and Philippe Coutinho were on the scoresheet as the Bundesliga champions improved their points haul to a maximum 18 from six games.

    Bayern finished well clear of second-placed Spurs, and the combination of points and positive goal difference – a commanding +19 – confirmed them as the best group winners in the competition's history.

    The highlight was undoubtedly the 7-2 thrashing of Tottenham in London at the start of October, a result that seemed to hasten Mauricio Pochettino's downfall.

    Bayern changed their own head coach in November, moving Niko Kovac aside, but interim boss Hansi Flick oversaw victories against Olympiacos, Red Star Belgrade and then last season's beaten finalists to complete a highly successful group stage campaign.

    Bayern and Tottenham will be both in the draw for the last 16, which takes place in Nyon on Monday.

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