Sergio Ramos revealed he enjoys the responsibility of taking crucial penalties for Real Madrid, although he claimed he would be playing tennis if he was looking for individual recognition.

For the second time in four days, Ramos grabbed the only goal from 12 yards for Madrid, this time to secure a 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao at San Mames on Sunday.

A seventh straight victory moved the LaLiga leaders seven points clear, at least until Barcelona take on Villarreal later in the day.

Ramos is focused on ensuring Madrid keep winning, having been flawless since the season's restart – a period in which the captain has now scored five times, including from the spot against Getafe on Thursday.

"All I think about is the three points," he said. "But those moments of doubt [when taking penalties], that's when I feel most comfortable.

"I just wanted to take that responsibility. What matters most is the overall result. The only thing that matters is that it helps the team win."

On his personal exploits, Ramos added: "The individual recognition is second for me.

"What matters is that the team get the objectives we want and manage to get the three points in every game we play. Luckily, for the moment, we are getting those results.

"I would have probably played tennis if I were more interested in individual recognition. This is a very beautiful sport, a team sport, and it's very nice to win as a team."

Having also overcome Getafe this week and with relatively kinder fixtures to come, Ramos acknowledged the magnitude of Madrid's latest victory.

"It was very important for us. We knew today was going to be one of the most important games of those that are left for us," he said. "It's a very difficult game always, travelling away to Bilbao.

"We just organised it like that: we had 11 finals left coming back from lockdown and we just had to go game by game, getting the three points.

"I believe today, again, the team proved that against a team like this, you always have to be at it. We're very happy with the three points. That was our objective.

"It's three very important points to put more pressure on Barcelona, who play later today.

"We just want that league title. From the first minute, you could see how we wanted to go for that game and get the result today.

"We knew we weren't going to win 3-0 or 4-0 today – it was going to be a very tough game – but it was important."

Xavi has ended speculation that he was set to return to Barcelona by signing a one-year contract extension with Al-Sadd.

It was reported that the ex-Barca captain was poised to replace the under-pressure Quique Setien at Camp Nou.

Xavi has made no secret of his desire to coach the Catalan giants, but the 40-year-old has agreed to remain in Qatar for at least another season.

The former Spain midfielder has won the Qatari Super Cup and Qatar Cup in his first season in charge of Al-Sadd and is hungry for more trophies.

He told the club's official website: "I am happy that the squad is complete today after the return of the remaining first-team players, in preparation for this upcoming period and the resumption of the league championship.

"I am happy to continue with Al-Sadd, and the team's goal will always be to compete for all titles."

Xavi's side are third in a Stars League that will resume later this month after being halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Al-Sadd trail leaders Al Duhail by 10 points with only five matches to play.

Barca legend Xavi recently stated that he will only return to the LaLiga champions when the time is right, having turned down the chance to replace former coach Ernesto Valverde in January.

"I'm a club man. I would like to return at the right moment to start a project from zero," he was quoted as saying by Sport.

"I've said it a lot of times, but I want to take footballing decisions at Barcelona.

"It's clear that after the [presidential] elections the stage would be set, of course. I'm not ruling anything out.

"They came for me in January, we were speaking. I told them the circumstances and timing weren't right."

Sergio Ramos was Real Madrid's penalty hero for the second time in four days as a 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao sent the LaLiga leaders seven points clear.

Zinedine Zidane's men have been flawless since the season's restart to claim control of the title rice, but they were given a stern test by Getafe on Thursday and again had their work cut out for a time on Sunday.

Yet as against Getafe, Ramos stepped up to net a second-half penalty and secure all three points in Bilbao, with his latest decisive goal coming after Dani Garcia tripped Marcelo in the area to prompt a VAR review.

A seventh straight victory ensured Madrid made the most of playing before rivals Barcelona, who will kick-off at Villarreal later in the day knowing they have an even more significant gap to make up.

Madrid recalled Marco Asensio for his first start of the season in a move which almost brought immediate reward.

The fit-again forward drew a low save from a fourth-minute free-kick, with Karim Benzema then unable to direct his header goalwards when Dani Carvajal squared the rebound.

That was about the extent of Athletic goalkeeper Unai Simon's involvement before half-time, while Thibaut Courtois repelled Raul Garcia's powerful header at the other end.

Simon might have had a far greater role to play, though, as both Rodrygo and Benzema squandered huge headed opportunities from searching Asensio centres, each missing the target completely.

The second period appeared set to play out in similarly frustrating fashion for Madrid until Marcelo went down in the area and a penalty was eventually awarded, with Ramos coolly tucking his finish inside the left-hand post in the 73rd minute.

Simon saved smartly with his legs from Benzema in the closing stages, but the one Ramos goal proved enough for Madrid again.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge believes Schalke could have been Bundesliga champions in recent years had they not lost so many talented young players. 

After a promising first half to the 2019-20 season, Schalke endured a wretched run of results either side of the break in the campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic, failing to win any of their final 16 games to finish 12th.

There have also been issues off the pitch, with chairman Clemens Tonnies resigning following fan protests, while marketing director Alexander Jobst has confirmed there will need to be cuts due to the financial situation the club faces.

Yet their situation could have been different had they retained some of their rising stars through the years, according to reigning champions' Bayern Munich's chief executive Rummenigge.

Among those to move on were goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka, who both went to Bayern. The duo will be joined at the Allianz Arena next season by two more talents developed by Schalke, goalkeeper Alexander Nubel and Leroy Sane, the latter this week confirming his switch from Manchester City.

"Schalke could have been German champions in the meantime if they could have kept these and many other players who have trained them well in their youth division," Rummenigge told Sport1.

"The pool of their youth work is one of the best in all of Germany.

"The fact is that they have always sold very hopeful players, such as Leroy Sane to Manchester City in 2016, to meet their financial needs."

The COVID-19 health crisis is likely to have major financial implications on the vast majority of football clubs, even those seen as the biggest spenders in Europe.

Rummenigge revealed Bayern have never planned their budget around potential success, instead setting a relatively low bar each season to make sure they have long-term security.

"Until February, this was one of the safest [clubs] in the world," he said.

"If the team performed by reaching at least the last 16 in the Champions League and going very far in the DFB-Pokal, then they knew we always on June 30 that the year will be financially okay."

The former West Germany international feels the economic climate will naturally lead to changes in the transfer market, adding: "I think we all agree that we have to deal with transfer sums and player salaries a bit more responsibly and rationally. How we do that in the future – all over Europe – you will have to discuss."

David Alaba is yet to agree a contract extension at Bayern Munich, but Hansi Flick says it would be special if he finishes his career at the Allianz Arena.

Austria international Alaba's deal is due to expire next year, with Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City all credited with an interest in the versatile defender.

Following Bayern's DFB-Pokal final victory over Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, in which Alaba scored the opening goal, Flick said he was keen for the 28-year-old and Thiago Alcantara to sign new contracts.

However, the Bayern boss acknowledged it will be "more difficult" to keep Thiago amid links to Premier League champions Liverpool.

"I will stand up for it and try everything to keep two such quality players," said Flick.

"David has become an exceptional player here. It's not just on the pitch that he's good for us.

"He knows he has a huge appreciation at the club. It would be very special if he ended his career here with us."

Since making his debut for Bayern in February 2010, Alaba has won 19 trophies.

Barcelona will be without Junior Firpo when they face Villarreal in LaLiga on Sunday.

A right hip problem will keep the left-back out of the meeting at the Estadio de la Ceramica.

The issue further restricts Quique Setien's senior options in defence, with Samuel Umtiti ruled out of the match due to a left knee injury.

Junior has featured 20 times in all competitions for Barca this season, starting just once since the league resumed last month following its suspension amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Defending champions Barca will be seven points adrift of top spot at kick-off if leaders Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao earlier in the day.

Villarreal are unbeaten since LaLiga returned, winning five of their six games, and are just three points behind fourth-placed Sevilla in the final Champions League qualification spot.

Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz has been tipped to leave the Bundesliga outfit at the end of the season.

Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are among the possible destinations.

Havertz's future could become a lot clearer following Leverkusen's 4-2 defeat to Bayern in the DFB-Pokal decider.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA BOOSTED BY HAVERTZ NEWS

Kai Havertz wants to meet with Bayer Leverkusen to discuss his future after the DFB-Pokal final loss to Bayern Munich, according to Bild journalist Christian Falk.

Havertz scored a consolation goal as Leverkusen went down 4-2 to Bayern in Berlin on Saturday.

Chelsea are interested in Havertz, Real Madrid are hesitant about signing the Germany international in 2020, while Bayern are not prepared to make a bid this year.

Liverpool, Barcelona and Manchester United have also been linked.

 

ROUND-UP

- Falk also claims Bayern star Thiago Alcantara could join Liverpool or United. Bayern are braced for Thiago to leave at the end of the season and the Spanish midfielder has been tipped to move to Premier League champions Liverpool. However, United are also reportedly interested.

United, Arsenal, Napoli and Atletico Madrid are among the teams eyeing a cut-price deal for Madrid outcast James Rodriguez, says Marca. Everton and Wolves have also been mentioned as suitors.

- According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are desperate to sign Atletico midfielder Thomas Partey, so much so they are prepared to sell either Matteo GuendouziAlexandre Lacazette or Lucas Torreira to fund the transfer.

- Gazzetta journalist Nicolo Schirra reports Sporting CP are in advanced negotiations to extend Joelson Fernandes' contract. The Portuguese side are looking to increase the 17-year-old's release clause from €45million to €100m amid interest from Barca, Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.

Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing Monaco full-back Djibril Sidibe, Foot Mercato claims. The Ligue 1 champions are looking to sign a right-back after Thomas Meunier left for Dortmund.

- Madrid forward Luka Jovic remains Milan's first choice to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Calciomercato says. Milan are ready to meet Jovic's agent as they look to pair the Serbia international with former Eintracht Frankfurt team-mate Ante Rebic at San Siro. Patrik Schick – who spent the season on loan at Leipzig from Roma – is another option should Milan fail to land Jovic.

Inter prefer David Alaba over Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri and have already met the Bayern star twice, according to SportMediaset. Alaba has also been linked to Chelsea, PSG, Madrid and Manchester City.

Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick said Robert Lewandowski can win the Ballon d'Or after taking his season tally to 51 goals after the German champions won the DFB-Pokal title.

Lewandowski scored twice as Bayern eased past Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 on Saturday to retain their DFB-Pokal crown and wrap up a domestic double for the second successive season.

After David Alaba and Serge Gnabry put Bayern ahead, Lewandowski took centre stage in the second half with goals in the 59th and 89th minutes behind closed doors in Berlin.

It continued Lewandowski's red-hot form in 2019-20 after the Poland international star exceeded half a century of goals across all competitions this term.

Lewandowski topped the Bundesliga charts with 34 goals to lead Bayern to an eighth consecutive title, while he has netted 11 in the Champions League as Europe's premier club competition prepares to return next month.

And Flick backed Lewandowski for Ballon d'Or glory post-match, telling reporters: "Fifty-one goals are already very strong. The first goal Lewy scored, the third goal we scored, was already excellent.

"The way he takes the ball down there and the way he locks up. Of course, he's had a bit of luck with that as well. But that's what distinguishes him, that he has this confidence in his quality.

"If I measure for goals now and I see that he has scored 34 goals in the Bundesliga this year, then you can think about how a player from the Bundesliga can become the Ballon d'Or winner. So why not? He has laid all the groundwork with this achievement this year and I would wish him well."

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi won the Ballon d'Or in 2019, edging Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The last Bayern player to receive the individual honour was Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in 1981.

Simone Inzaghi acknowledged Lazio's Serie A title chances have been dealt a blow after losing 3-0 to Milan but insisted the Scudetto hopefuls will not give up.

Lazio were comprehensively beaten by visiting Milan in Rome on Saturday as Inzaghi's men fell seven points adrift of leaders and defending champions Juventus.

Without leading goalscorer Ciro Immobile and Felipe Caicedo due to suspension, Lazio's Scudetto dream was derailed by Hakan Calhanoglu, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ante Rebic at Stadio Olimpico – Milan leading 2-0 at half-time.

Lazio – eyeing their first league crown since 2000 – face an uphill battle overhauling Juve with eight matches remaining in 2019-20, while Inter could move within a point of second spot by beating Bologna on Sunday.

"This defeat weighs on us in the table, but we knew that there were some objective difficulties today," Lazio head coach Inzaghi told DAZN. "We weren't very fortunate either, as we conceded a goal with a deflection, another on a penalty that Thomas Strakosha almost saved.

"Then we had two chances to get it back on track, only to concede the third goal. Unfortunately, I can't rotate the squad right now, so playing four games in under two weeks becomes difficult.

"We've got to look forward and prepare for the next match. We know the journey we have taken and have no intention of letting go. We'll probably lose [Joaquin] Correa to injury for the next one, we must try to rotate a little, because these lads are now very tired."

"Correa has been struggling with a calf problem for a few weeks," added Inzaghi. "If Caicedo and Immobile weren't suspended, he wouldn't have played today. Lucas Leiva had his first appearance today after just 25 minutes of training. We only made the decision after a fitness test this morning.

"Bobby Adekanye hadn't played for 25 days either, [Sergej] Milinkovic-Savic and Correa told me they weren't feeling right. It was difficult against Milan in these circumstances. Even then I have to think we could’ve got back into it at 2-1.

"Initially, Luis Alberto was meant to be in support of Correa, but we were lacking a physical presence and hadn't really used this tactic without Immobile. If we'd had Adekanye in training during the week, I probably would've started him, as he is at least a centre-forward."

It was a return to form for Milan, who faced defeat before rallying to earn a 2-2 draw at relegation-threatened SPAL last time out.

Milan – with Ibrahimovic back in the line-up – dominated against Lazio as they stayed on track to qualify for the Europa League next season.

"We work really well at Milanello, I always said that I had a group of responsible players who are aware of the importance of the shirt they are wearing," said Milan boss Stefano Pioli, who is tipped to be replaced by Ralf Rangnick at the end of the campaign. "I don't know what will happen with our future, with my future, but we are too concentrated on fighting to the end so we can at least get Milan back into the Europa League.

"We won't get the Champions League now, but Milan are a prestigious club and have to be in European competition.

"The players are continuing to give 110 per cent, even those who signed contracts to the end of the season and probably won't remain here after that. They are determined to prove they are still strong players at this level and to give their best for Milan."

Ibrahimovic, who has recovered from a calf injury, converted a first-half penalty to take his tally to five goals since returning to Milan from LA Galaxy in January.

"Ibra has allowed us to grow in terms of mentality, quality, technique, it's a real pleasure to work with him and see how he deals with his team-mates," added Pioli, whose Milan host Juve on Tuesday. "Now we've got a month left and can continue pushing all the way."

Thomas Muller felt Bayern Munich's DFB-Pokal final victory over Bayer Leverkusen was a "sad moment" because the game had to take place behind closed doors. 

Bayern have been in electric form since top-flight football in Germany resumed after the coronavirus shutdown, storming to an eighth consecutive Bundesliga title before closing out another campaign of domestic dominance with a 4-2 win in Berlin on Saturday. 

David Alaba's brilliant free-kick opened the scoring at the Olympiastadion and Serge Gnabry doubled the advantage. 

Although Leverkusen improved considerably after the break, Robert Lewandowski scored a brace to move past 50 goals for the campaign and seal glory. 

Nevertheless, playing at Germany's most famous stadium without fans led to mixed emotions for Muller.

"It's a bit of a sad moment," he told ARD.  "When the fans are missing at a cup final like this, it's not the same. 

"We did well for most of the way, but it hurts a little bit too." 

Wherever they were watching, once again Bayern supporters had plenty to enjoy from a team revitalised under Hansi Flick, who will now aim to repeat the 2012-13 treble when the Champions League concludes next month.

"We leave the stadium proud that we have achieved this," Flick told Sky. "What the team has achieved in the last few weeks is sensational. The attitude is simply fantastic.

"I am very, very happy. The way the team performs is extraordinary."

There was little doubt over the destination of the trophy after Gnabry drilled home an unerring finish in the 24th minute.

"We are so lucky to have won the double today," he told Sky.

"In the first half we had the game completely under control, we could have scored one or two more goals.

"Then Leverkusen had a lot of counter-attacks, but in the end we won 4-2, and that's the most important thing."

Manuel Neuer is one of the survivors of Bayern's last treble season and the captain is eager to go all the way again.

"We have experienced in the last few weeks how motivated and hungry FC Bayern is," Neuer told Sky.

"What we have achieved is something very special. The attitude was sensational.

"We have a little break now, and then we'll prepare ourselves at the top and of course try to bring in the treble."

Maurizio Sarri said the only suitable way to hail Gianluigi Buffon is with applause after the veteran goalkeeper set a new Serie A record on Saturday.

Buffon made his 648th appearance in Italy's top flight as Juve cruised to a 4-1 victory over Torino in the Turin derby, breaking the record previously set by his former Italy team-mate Paolo Maldini.

Juve's victory and Lazio's subsequent defeat to Milan means Sarri's side are now seven points clear at the top of Serie A with eight matches remaining.

But when asked to describe Buffon, who signed a one-year extension with Juve in June, Sarri said the 42-year-old can only be applauded, with his legendary status already assured.

"Everyone can just congratulate with Buffon for what he did during his career," Sarri said in a news conference.

"He's a legend. No words needed, just applause. That's how we welcomed him in the changing room today, no words needed. Look at his numbers, he is a legend."

One player who will be leaving Juve at the end of the season is Miralem Pjanic, the midfielder heading to Barcelona with Artur coming the other way.

Pjanic was taken off shortly after half-time in the derby, but Sarri insisted it was not to do with his performance, but instead related to a booking the playmaker had received towards the end of the first half, with Torino then pulling one back to make it 2-1 in stoppage time.

"Pjanic received the yellow card and he was one I was the most nervous on the pitch because the penalty given to Torino," Sarri added.

"That's why I decided to change him, I didn't want to risk [a sending off]."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was on target again as Milan beat Lazio 3-0 at Stadio Olimpico to derail their opponents' Scudetto hopes.

Juve moved seven points clear at the summit with a 4-1 win over rivals Torino earlier on Saturday and Lazio were unable to close the gap in their game in hand.

Lazio had not lost in 16 home games since September 2017 but were two down at half-time - Ibrahimovic scoring a penalty after setting up Hakan Calhanoglu for the opener.

Ante Rebic added a third for Europe-chasing Milan in the second half as Lazio, without leading goalscorer Ciro Immobile, fell to just a second loss in 25 league matches.

Calhanoglu continued his good form since the restart by opening the scoring after 23 minutes, the midfielder's strike deflecting off Marco Parolo to help it over Thomas Strakosha.

Ibrahimovic had a goal ruled out for offside but did not have to wait long to score from the penalty spot after Alexis Saelemaekers' cross struck Stefan Radu's hand.

Strakosha got a hand to the spot-kick 11 minutes before the break but it squirmed under his body to leave Lazio, who recovered from a goal down to beat Fiorentina in midweek, with a big mountain to climb.

Manuel Lazzari thought that he had started a second-half comeback when he drilled home, only for the offside flag to deny him, and further misery followed when Rebic added a third goal.

The Croatia international took Giacomo Bonaventura's pass in his stride and swept past Strakosha for his ninth league goal of the season.

Milan should have added a fourth late on but Theo Hernandez missed a sitter, having earlier been denied by Strakosha following an impressive run.
 

What does it mean? Lazio's Scudetto hopes all but over

Lazio's slim Scudetto hopes are surely all over as this loss leaves them seven points adrift of leaders Juventus with eight games to go.

As for Milan, they now have 10 points from a possible 12 since the restart - the exception being a disappointing 2-2 draw with SPAL last time out - and are in sixth place.

Zlat is back

Ibrahimovic now has two goals in two starts since recovering from an injury during the lockdown that many feared would bring a premature end to his career.

He may have got a bit of luck with the penalty - Strakosha really should have kept it out - but he made his presence felt and also teed up Calhanoglu's opener.

Immobile absence is felt

Lazio were without Immobile for the first time in Serie A this season, while fellow forward Felipe Caicedo was also suspended.

Joaquin Correa and Luis Alberto had nowhere the same impact, managing just one shot on target between them.

What's next?

Milan host league leaders Juventus on Tuesday, the same day that Lazio, who will hope Stefano Pioli's men can do them a favour, travel to relegation-threatened Lecce.

Bayern Munich ran out 4-2 winners in the DFB-Pokal final to complete their domestic double and hand an unfitting potential farewell to Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz.

Leverkusen managing director Rudi Voller declared Havertz to be the finest player in his club's history during the build-up to the showpiece, while also noting there is an agreement with the 21-year-old that he can leave this coming close season if certain conditions are met.

Chelsea and Real Madrid have been listed among a host of clubs purportedly interested in Havertz, who endured a mixed outing at the Olympiastadion.

Playing as the most advanced forward for Peter Bosz's side during the first half, he looked on as David Alaba and Serge Gnabry established a commanding Bayern lead.

Dropping into an attacking midfield role after the break, Havertz was far more influential and concluded the match by scoring a stoppage-time penalty.

However, Robert Lewandowski's brace meant more silverware for Bayern and the type of success Havertz might be chasing in different colours come September.

Here, we take a blow-by-blow look at his performance.

4th minute – Received the ball on the halfway line but an attempted pass to release Nadiem Amiri was cut out in midfield. Havertz completed 67.7 per cent of his passes on the night.

7th minute – Sized up Alaba on the right but was easily dispossessed. He would lose possession on 20 occasions – more than any other Leverkusen player.

15th minute – After an earlier tetchy altercation with Alaba, Havertz prevented fellow Germany international Joshua Kimmich from taking a quick free-kick. A shove and a talking to from referee Tobias Welz followed.

20th minute – A cute lay-off to Julian Baumgartlinger ended with Wendell in a promising position on the left but the full-back's cross was blocked.

21st minute – The latest instalment in Havertz's personal battle with Kimmich did not go well as the Bayern man muscled him away from the ball to launch an attack, where Thomas Muller almost made it 2-0.

24th minute – Charles Aranguiz's lofted pass looking for Leverkusen's star man ran through to Manuel Neuer. Within a minute, Gnabry thrashed beyond Lukas Hradecky to double Bayern's lead.

27th minute – Havertz's frustration was clear as he again tangled with Kimmich in futile fashion, giving away a free-kick with a slide tackle of the agricultural variety.

33rd minute – Got in front of Alaba for a lovely takedown on halfway but his turning left-footed throughball was intercepted.

42nd minute – The offside flag meant it would not have counted in any case, but Amiri delaying his cross, Havertz falling over and then regaining his footing before the ball failed to reach him summed up a half to forget. Amiri made way for Kevin Volland at the interval.

60th minute – Havertz fashioned a little room on the right-hand side of the area, only to be snuffed out by Alphonso Davies and Alaba. Volland's earlier air shot in the area and Hradecky's howling error for Lewandowski's first meant it mattered little.

63rd minute – Operating increasingly from the right with Volland leading the line, Havertz got the run on the quicksilver Davies and delivered a teasing low cross that Alaba was forced to clear behind with Leon Bailey poised. From the resulting corner, Bender powered home.

66th minute – Came deep to drive a move from midfield. A searching cross from the right by Moussa Diaby narrowly evaded Volland and Havertz.

68th minute – Bailey's raking pass found Havertz on the right and he almost picked out his team-mate with a return cross.

71st minute – Bayern were now struggling to contain Havertz, who collected the ball menacingly 30 yards from goal. Unfortunately for Leverkusen, Volland was not equal to the pass he slid through.

75th minute – Again showing his influence in from central midfield, Havertz set Bailey on another menacing dribble, with the winger's shot deflected behind. The cutting edge Lewandowski showed in completing the scoring was sorely lacking from Leverkusen's period of mid-half ascendancy.

94th minute – In perhaps his last act in a Leverkusen shirt, Havertz thundered a consolation penalty into the top-left corner after VAR spotted a handball by Davies.

Bayern Munich defeated Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 to retain their DFB-Pokal crown and wrap up a domestic double for a second successive season. 

Having missed out on Champions League qualification, Leverkusen were aiming to cause an upset and clinch their first trophy since 1993 in the process, but Kai Havertz and company failed to step up in Berlin. 

David Alaba and Serge Gnabry put Bayern in cruise control by the interval, with a 20th DFB-Pokal triumph all but wrapped up when Lukas Hradecky fumbled Robert Lewandowski's effort over the line moments after a glaring miss by Kevin Volland. 

Sven Bender headed in four minutes later to make things interesting, but Hansi Flick's side held firm before adding a fourth in an eventful finish, Lewandowski on target again before Leverkusen scored from the penalty spot.

Bayern cut through Leverkusen's press with an exceptional move in the 10th minute but Kingsley Coman failed to beat Hradecky. Yet Bayern only had to wait another six minutes for their opener, Alaba sending an exquisite free-kick into the right-hand corner. 

Hradecky pulled off an outstanding stop to deny Thomas Muller, playing in his eighth DFB-Pokal final, though he was beaten again when Gnabry drilled home after being released by Joshua Kimmich. 

Volland was introduced as Leverkusen searched for a way back into the contest, though the substitute completely missed his attempted shot with just Manuel Neuer to beat. 

Leverkusen's misery was compounded before the hour as Hradecky let Lewandowski's long-range strike slip through his grasp.

Bender took advantage of slack marking to swiftly pull one back, though it never looked likely to be enough to spark a comeback. After missing from point-blank range in the 73rd minute, Lewandowski added his second of the contest in the closing stages, lifting a delicate finish over Hradecky.

There was time for more drama, though, with Havertz hammering home from the penalty spot after Alaba's handball was spotted by VAR.

 

What does it mean? Two down, one to go for Bayern...

Bayern's development under Flick has been outstanding and with a domestic double once again wrapped up, this feels like a team with the confidence and quality to go all the way when the Champions League resumes in August. 

Kimmich in control as Thiago exit nears 

If reports are to be believed, Thiago Alcantara will soon be swapping Bayern for Premier League champions Liverpool. Yet in Kimmich, the Bundesliga giants are in excellent hands. He was typically composed as he dictated proceedings, topping off his display with a fine assist for Gnabry. 

Havertz's blushes spared by Hradecky 

Havertz failed to impress in what could well be his final outing for Leverkusen, but it was a calamitous error from team-mate Hradecky which will take the glare off his subdued display. The in-demand youngster did at least make an impact with a superbly taken penalty.

What's next? 

Bayern's players now face a month-long break before they take on Chelsea in the Champions League, leading 3-0 from the first leg. Leverkusen, meanwhile, will hope to retain their key players ahead of next season. 

Cristiano Ronaldo admitted to feeling a sense of relief after scoring from a free-kick in Juventus' 4-1 win over Torino on Saturday. 

Juve were comfortable winners in the derby and Ronaldo played a major role in their triumph, setting up Juan Cuadrado's goal before then making it 3-1, with Paulo Dybala having initially opened the scoring early on. 

Koffi Djidji's late own goal summed up the visitors' haplessness as he turned Douglas Costa's cross past Salvatore Sirigu, with Juve opening up a seven-point lead over Lazio at the summit. 

Ronaldo's stunning strike was his first direct free-kick goal in 43 attempts at Juve, and he acknowledged that his profligacy from such situations had been weighing on his mind. 

"I really needed that free-kick so I could get a bit of confidence [from free-kicks] back," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"[But] the important thing is to win regardless of who scores, be it Cristiano or Dybala. It is very important to win, but the truth is that we are doing well, Dybala and me, but the team is also doing very well, we are improving our confidence and against Milan we will try to win. "

It had not dawned on Maurizio Sarri how much such a goal mattered to Ronaldo either.

He added: "I didn't think he was suffering from the lack of a free-kick goal, but then he said 'finally' and then I understood he was."

Juve are next in action on Tuesday as they go to Milan in Serie A.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.