Manchester United completed an unprecedented treble in Barcelona and NBA legend Vince Carter was also celebrating on this day 21 years ago.

Bayern Munich were on the brink of winning the Champions League at Camp Nou, but late goals from Teddy Sheringham and current United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer secured a dramatic 2-1 victory for Alex Ferguson's men.

May 26, 1999 is also a date for Carter to reflect on with great memories, as he was named NBA Rookie of the Year, while history was made by India batsmen Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly on the same day.

A decade earlier Arsenal snatched the First Division title from Liverpool at Anfield with a last-gasp strike from Michael Thomas.

 

1989 - Thomas fires Gunners to title

It came down to the final match of the season to decide who would be crowned champions of England 31 years ago.

Liverpool had overtaken the wobbling Gunners to take a three-point lead, but a victory by a margin of two goals or more would be enough for George Graham's side to take the title.

Alan Smith put the London club in front seven minutes into the second half to get the nerves jangling even more on such a tense evening on Merseyside.

Arsenal looked to have fallen just short of winning the First Division for the first time in 18 years, but Thomas surged through from midfield to win it right at the end and Arsenal took the title on goals scored with a stunning 2-0 victory.

 

1999 - Solskjaer leaves Bayern crestfallen in Barcelona

Bayern appeared to have dashed United's hopes of becoming the first team to win the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup in the same season.

Mario Basler's early strike put the Bavarian giants in front and that looked to be enough for Ottmar Hitzfeld's well-drilled side to lift the trophy at Camp Nou.

United had almost run out of ideas but with three minutes of added time shown on the fourth official's board, goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel came up for a corner that eventually resulted in Sheringham sweeping home following a scuffed shot from Ryan Giggs.

There was one final twist as Bayern were hit with the sucker punch, Sheringham nodding on another corner and Solskjaer prodding in from close range to spark wild celebrations.

 

1999 - Carter 'not surprised' by Rookie MVP gong

Carter was a revelation in his debut NBA season for the Toronto Raptors.

He averaged 18.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists a game, subsequently securing 113 of the 118 first-placed votes to be named the best rookie in the league.

Carter said after learning he had landed the award: "I can't say I'm surprised. But I'm overjoyed."

The Raptors missed out on the playoffs, but Carter gave them plenty of grounds for optimism and he has gone on to become an eight-time NBA All-Star.

 

1999 - Ganguly and Dravid slay Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka bowlers who faced India in a Cricket World Cup contest in Taunton must have had nightmares over this day in Taunton 21 years ago.

It was Dravid and Ganguly who might have given them sleepless nights as they piled on 318 for the second wicket - an ODI record at the time.

The magnificent partnership, now the third-highest for the second wicket in the 50-over format at international level, enabled India to post 373-6 and go on to win by 157 runs.

Ganguly made a sublime 183 off 158 balls and the classy Dravid 145 from 129 deliveries on a painful May day for Sri Lanka.

A key contest in the Bundesliga title race takes place later on Tuesday when Borussia Dortmund host champions and leaders Bayern Munich.

Bayern are four points clear at the top of the table with seven matches left to play, making this a must-win encounter for Dortmund.

BVB have seen their fortunes boosted since the January arrival of in-demand striker Erling Haaland from Salzburg.

Bayern have a formidable frontman of their own, though, in the shape of former Dortmund star Robert Lewandowski.

Ahead of a huge Klassiker contest, we have used Opta data to review the numbers behind the two strikers' prolific 2019-20 campaigns so far.


GOALSCORING STATS

Lewandowski just edges Haaland when it comes to goals scored in league matches this season, with 27 to his name compared to 26 for the Dortmund star, whose figures include his time with both Salzburg and BVB.

However, the Poland international has spent 546 minutes longer on the pitch then Haaland, who has scored a goal, astonishingly, for every 64.5 minutes he has spent on the pitch.

Lewandowski's mark is 17.8 minutes longer than Haaland, but he still averages more than a goal a game with his minutes-per-goal rate also impressive at 82.3, his goals having come in just 25 appearances.

While it is worth bearing in mind Haaland was playing against weaker opposition in Austria, he has only needed 2.8 shots per goal, compared to 4.2 for Lewandowski.

The Bayern star is more of a presence in the opposition penalty area though, with 22 per cent of his touches there, compared to 18 per cent for his rival.

Both players are scoring more than their expected goals rate, with Haaland's 10 Bundesliga strikes defying an expected rate of 6.0, while Lewandowski's 27 are favourable to his expected tally of 25.1.

When it comes to creativity, it is another mixed picture, as Lewandowski has laid on 27 chances for his team-mates, compared to 21 for Haaland.

However, Haaland has 6 league assists to his name, twice as many as Lewandowski, who has 3.


KEY OPTA FACTS

Haaland

- The Dortmund striker became the youngest player to reach the milestone of scoring 15 goals in the Austrian Bundesliga. He was 19 years, three months and 20 days old at that moment.

- Haaland did not need long to get comfortable in the BVB jersey. He scored in all three competitions in his debut appearance: a hat-trick in the German Bundesliga against Augsburg, a goal in the DFB-Pokal loss to Werder Bremen, and two goals in the Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain.

Lewandowski

- The in-form Bayern star got his 27th goal of the season on the 27th matchday of the league season, which represents his personal best. The overall Bundesliga record is held by Gerd Muller, who had 34 goals by the 27th match round of the 1971-72 season.

- Lewandowski has scored 12 goals in his last six Bundesliga matches against Dortmund. He has netted a total of 16 league goals against his former side – only Klaus Allofs has more (18).

Manchester City look set to have to fill a void in their squad.

Germany international Leroy Sane is tipped to swap City for Bayern Munich.

And Leon Bailey has reportedly emerged as a target for City.

 

TOP STORY – SANE OUT, BAILEY IN AT CITY?

Manchester City are targeting Bayer Leverkusen's Leon Bailey as a replacement for Leroy Sane, according to the Daily Mail.

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are hoping to sign City star Sane in the off-season.

Should Sane complete his return to Germany, Bailey has been identified by Pep Guardiola's City.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tuttosport claims Juventus have warned Paul Pogba he will have to accept a drastic cut to his salary if the Manchester United star is to return to the Serie A champions. Pogba has been linked with former club Juve and LaLiga giants Real Madrid. The Red Devils have reportedly re-opened the door to Juve over a possible deal.

Luka Jovic wants to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu and turn things around with Madrid, reports Marca. The Serbia forward, who has struggled since arriving from Eintracht Frankfurt, has emerged as a target for Milan.

- Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik is pushing for a move to Juve, says Calciomercato. The Poland international is a free agent in 2021 and is valued at €40million by Napoli, though he is hoping to lower the club's demands.

Juve are desperately trying to convince Arthur to leave Barcelona for Turin, according to Mundo Deportivo. Juve want Arthur to replace Miralem Pjanic, who is reportedly close to swapping clubs.

- Onda Cero says Barca could recall Philippe Coutinho from his loan spell at Bayern. With Bayern opting not to exercise their option to purchase Coutinho, the Brazilian could find himself back at Camp Nou ahead of LaLiga's proposed resumption.

Inter have been in contact with Edinson Cavani's entourage over a move to San Siro, says Calciomercato. Paris Saint-Germain forward Cavani is coming out of contract and could replace Inter star Lautaro Martinez, who is wanted by Barca.

- The Daily Mail claims Barca will listen to loan offers for Ousmane Dembele. The injury-prone Frenchman has previously been linked to PSG, Juve, Arsenal, United and Liverpool.

Erling Haaland cannot yet be compared to Robert Lewandowski, according to Hansi Flick, though Bayern Munich's coach firmly believes Borussia Dortmund have a star in their ranks.

Haaland has hit the ground running since his move to Dortmund in January, continuing the stellar form he showed in the first half of the season for Salzburg.

The 19-year-old has scored 10 goals in 10 Bundesliga appearances, propelling Dortmund on in the title race.

Lucien Favre's side sit four points behind leaders Bayern heading into Tuesday's behind-closed-doors Klassiker at Signal Iduna Park.

Haaland's form has been touted as a potential match for former Dortmund striker Lewandowski, who netted his 41st goal of the season in all competitions in Bayern's 5-2 win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, yet Flick believes it is too early for such comparisons to be made.

"It is [Haaland's] first season, so comparing him now is too early," Flick told reporters.

"Robert has always been at a world-class level in recent years. But Haaland is a huge talent.

"He is a young player, but he has a huge pull towards the goal. He just wants to finish.

"He has a brilliant dynamic. He is greedy, is an enormous size but is still agile. But we don't just have to watch out for him [on Tuesday]."

Flick, who is anticipating a resilient Dortmund performance, also acknowledged the peculiarity of playing such a pivotal match in front of no supporters, due to the coronavirus crisis.

"It is a very special game," Flick said as he was asked if playing behind closed doors could present an advantage to Bayern.

"The atmosphere can inspire any team. It is about how you can cope with it. You have to accept the current situation. You can't look for an excuse. We have to implement the match plan."

Thomas Muller has been in scintillating form since Flick took charge of Bayern, and was at his best once more against Frankfurt, providing his 17th league assist of the season before helping himself to a seventh goal of the campaign.

"Thomas is a player who can lead a team very well and gives commands over and over again," Flick added.

"He played very well against Frankfurt and was always available – he brought dynamism into play. Thomas has enormous experience but wants to win every game.

"He embodies 'Mia san Mia' perfectly and knows that he has to go to the limit again and again to win games."

Lucien Favre is convinced Borussia Dortmund will be an entirely different beast in Tuesday's Klassiker to the one Bayern Munich thrashed 4-0 earlier in the season, with Erling Haaland and Emre Can playing a part in that.

Bayern were comfortable victors in the first Klassiker of the season back in November, with a Robert Lewandowski brace added to by Serge Gnabry's effort and a Mats Hummels own goal.

Tuesday's encounter will likely play a vital role in deciding where the Bundesliga title ends up, with Bayern four points clear of Dortmund at the summit.

While the phenomenon of home advantage may have been lost since the Bundesliga returned behind closed doors following the coronavirus-enforced suspension, Favre – whose Dortmund side will host Bayern – insists conclusions from their previous meeting are irrelevant this time.

"Obviously we didn't play well in the first meeting," Favre told reporters. "It was three days after our home match against Inter.

"Since then we improved and play with another system. It suits our squad more. In the transfer market we signed two players [Haaland and Can] and have more presence on the pitch now.

"We are simply better than back then, but this match [the 4-0 defeat] definitely was not good from us."

Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc added: "I can back Lucien 100 per cent on this. It's a crucial factor that we added two winners in Erling Haaland and Emre Can.

"Furthermore, there is big difference in our performances between home and away matches. We beat them at home last year, we beat them in the Super Cup.

"We are all looking forward to this match, as does the whole of German football."

But Zorc was eager to impress on Favre and the players the importance of this match, certain that failure to win will effectively doom their title challenge.

"First and second place in the league table are facing off. Emotionally it is a different match, just like it was in the derby against Schalke," Zorc said.

"When you play without fans it's going to be determined by the values we showed on the pitch in the previous two games. The team has been right on point.

"Obviously, you don't have to be a prophet when you say: If we want to keep competing for the title, we have to win the match. It's as simple as that.

"There are only six more matches to play after that. It's easy to say, difficult to achieve, since Bayern are an exceptional side."

Thiago Alcantara will miss Tuesday's Klassiker between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.

Head coach Hansi Flick confirmed the midfielder will not be available for the game at Signal Iduna Park after being forced to miss Monday's training session.

"Thiago didn't train," Flick told reporters. "Unfortunately, he is ruled out for this game. The final secret regarding the line-up, I'd like to keep to myself."

Thiago has played 23 times in the league this season but sat out Saturday's 5-2 win over Eintracht Frankfurt due to a groin problem.

In his absence, Flick hopes to see Leon Goretzka continue his impressive run of form.

"He won plenty of balls against Frankfurt and was very aggressive. That's very important for a holding midfielder," Flick said. 

"He has added some muscle, which has benefited his game. Leon is developing well. 

"He was a little more attacking before, as a 10 or a number eight. But, as a six, he can show off his strength, his sprints forward.

"He interprets things differently to Thiago. I'm happy to have alternatives in this position."

Bayern head into the game with a four-point lead over Dortmund at the top of the table, with just seven games of the season remaining.

They are on an eight-match winning run in all competitions and won the reverse fixture 4-0 at the Allianz Arena last November.

Tuesday's game takes place just a day after the seventh anniversary of Bayern and Dortmund's meeting in the Champions League final at Wembley in 2013, when Arjen Robben's late goal secured the treble for Jupp Heynckes' side.

Robert Lewandowski might be Bayern Munich's most lethal forward, but the prize for their best player this season arguably belongs to Thomas Muller.

A regular fixture at the Allianz Arena for 11 years, Muller is sixth on Bayern's all-time appearance list on 523 games and has scored 196 goals. His 147 assists give him a total of 343 goal involvements in a club career that has yielded 21 trophies.

His place in Bayern folklore is secure. At the start of the season, the same couldn't be said for his future.

Muller started just three of 11 Bundesliga games under Niko Kovac and did not complete 90 minutes even once. His struggles at club level came after Germany coach Joachim Low decreed he would no longer be required for international duty, a century of senior caps and a World Cup winners' medal not enough with which to plead his case.

It seemed Muller's career at the highest level was petering out. And then, last November, came a Flicker of hope.

When Kovac's troubled time in charge came to an end, assistant Hansi Flick was tasked with steadying the ship and getting a trophy challenge back on track. Six months on, the former Germany number two has done just that, rewriting the story of the season with Muller as his chief protagonist.

MULLERDEPENDENCIA

"Emotionally, it was very tense back then," was how Muller described his time under Kovac, shortly after he extended his contract to 2023 in April.

"With the change of coach and different playing style, everything has developed positively. Not only have I been playing more, but I've also been able to put my stamp on our games again."

Flick certainly saw every reason to put his faith back in Muller, naming the 30-year-old in his starting line-up for 14 of his first 16 Bundesliga games in charge. Muller has repaid that by producing arguably the form of his career.

Since Flick took over, Muller was been involved in 20 Bundesliga goals for Bayern, scoring seven and setting up 13. That's the best record at the club, and came after he endured a goal drought of 1,356 minutes that ended in late November.

This is not a case of a forward feeling unburdened during a 'new manager bounce', either. Muller has been at the heart of Flick's set-up. He has been involved in by far the most open-play sequences to end in a shot (121 – at least 17 more than any other player). In terms of sequences to end in a goal, only Lewandowski on 23 comes close to Muller's 27. He has also had a hand in 27 of Bayern's 49 league goals from open play under Flick.

CHASING DOWN DE BRUYNE

Aside from goalscorer, Muller has taken on something of a new role under Flick: that of playmaker.

Flick seems to have remembered Muller's qualities from their time working together at international level and embraced them. In short, Bayern's best football now goes through their number 10.

Under Flick, Muller is averaging just over 70 touches per 90 minutes, a higher number than he has recorded under any other Bayern coach. His goal-involvement average stands at one every 66 minutes – a personal best in the Bundesliga by far.

Muller's distribution seems to be getting better, too. He has completed 79 per cent of his passes under Flick, created close to four chances per 90 minutes on average, and 1.3 certified 'big chances'. Louis van Gaal, Jupp Heynckes, Pep Guardiola, Carlo Ancelotti – none of them could get Muller to reach these numbers.

It tallies, then, that Muller is enjoying his best season for Bundesliga assists. His 17 in the first 27 matchdays has only ever been achieved once, by Kevin De Bruyne for Wolfsburg in 2014-15.

Another four assists in the remaining seven games will see Muller eclipse the Belgium star's Bundesliga record of 20 for a whole season. That would be a remarkable number to reach for a forward who doesn't take set-pieces.

Then again, Muller is no ordinary player.

Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre is expecting Jadon Sancho and Mats Hummels to be involved in Tuesday's Klassiker against Bayern Munich, while Axel Witsel could also be in the squad.

Dortmund host Bayern in a potentially vital match for the title race, with Favre's side heading into the clash four points adrift of the pacesetters.

Both sides have resumed their Bundesliga campaigns following the coronavirus-enforced hiatus with a pair of wins – Dortmund beating rivals Schalke and Wolfsburg, while Bayern eased past Union Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt.

Favre has had to contend with injury problems since the resumption, however. Sancho has only been fit enough to make two substitute appearances, Hummels was withdrawn halfway through Saturday's 2-0 win over Wolfsburg with an Achilles issue and Witsel has missed the past two fixtures with a muscular problem.

But there is a chance all three could take part in some capacity.

"I think Mats Hummels will be okay to play. I can't say for sure, but I'm 99 per cent [sure] he will be on the pitch," Favre said.

"Axel Witsel started to train with the team yesterday [Sunday]. He could be in the squad.

"Jadon was lacking training. He has now been training with the squad for 10 days. He played 20 minutes against Schalke and a little more against Wolfsburg. He did well. He is getting there slowly.

"He did well in training and slowly but steadily gets back to his old level. He is getting there, I don’t see a problem – we'll see."

Bayern warmed up for the trip to Dortmund with an entertaining 5-2 win over Frankfurt – Thomas Muller and Alphonso Davies catching the eye in particular for Die Roten.

Bayern Munich were taking on Borussia Dortmund in an all-Bundesliga Champions League final at Wembley after respectively dispatching Barcelona and Real Madrid.

And yet, much of the pre-match attention and soap opera in 2013 concerned a player who would not play, with some dark murmurings even questioning how fully his battle for fitness had been fought.

"The final was my big goal and in the past weeks I have battled hard for it," said Mario Gotze, Dortmund's sparkling 20-year-old forward. "I am unbelievably sorry that I will not be able to help the team in this important match."

The sincerity of that apology was questioned because, on the eve of the semi-final against Madrid, it emerged the jewel in Jurgen Klopp's BVB and German football's great hope would join Bayern after having his €37million release clause triggered.

"We don't know why the people who have leaked this have done so at such a delicate time. We can only speculate but we are all making the same suppositions," Klopp said in a barely-veiled swipe at Bayern.

After hammering Madrid 4-1 in the first leg – Robert Lewandowski scoring all four – Dortmund were hit by Gotze pulling his hamstring during the early stages of the return at the Santiago Bernabeu. It proved to be the last game of his first spell at the club and he looked on as his team-mates lost 2-1 to his colleagues of the near future.

Seven years on, Gotze is back at Dortmund having tasted the highest high football can offer and endured wretched lows. Again, an announcement has been made regarding an exit from Signal Iduna Park and he is unlikely to play against Bayern on Tuesday. Only this time, those twin factors bring shrugs rather than shrieks.

DORTMUND'S GOLDEN CHILD

Gotze was not the first player to cross the Klassiker divide and Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels would soon follow his lead.

But this defection cut deep because 'Super Mario' was one of their own – a youth product who arrived as an eight-year-old and progressed to give Klopp's gegenpressing machine an irresistible x-factor.

He also seemed to revel in tormenting Bayern.

Gotze claimed two assists as Dortmund won 3-1 at the Allianz Arena in 2011, their first away victory in the fixture for 20 years.

That result extinguished any remaining doubt that Klopp's men were on course for the title. The following season, Bayern opened up an early five-point lead, only for Gotze to score the only goal in the corresponding fixture and ignite a successful Bundesliga defence.

Jupp Heynckes' treble-bound stars emphatically reasserted themselves in 2012-13, although Gotze crashed home an equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw at the Allianz.

These repeated successes on enemy territory underlined what a crushing blow his loss was for Dortmund. However, for Gotze – a player dubbed the 'German Messi' who was ready to team up with Messi's mentor – it was impossible to see any downside.

 

ON TOP OF THE WORLD

On his return to Signal Iduna Park in November 2013, Gotze came off the bench to a furious barracking with the Klassiker locked at 0-0.

A swipe of his right boot opened the scoring, with all other Bayern players deliriously mobbing the non-celebrating man of the moment. Late strikes from Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller closed out a 3-0 victory and Pep Guardiola's side did not look back on a procession to the Bundesliga title.

That goal under such white-hot scrutiny would have been the highlight of any normal season.

But on July 13, 2014 at the Maracana, Gotze coolly chested down Andre Schurrle's cross and diverted a left-footed volley past Sergio Romero to give Germany a 1-0 win over Argentina in the World Cup final.

Messi and others were reduced to tears on the turf and Gotze was the toast of world football, partying with Rhianna in Rio.

His was a career heading for the stars, although a closer examination of life in Munich pointed towards the problems to come.

STRUGGLES UNDER PEP

Gotze's depiction as a Bayern flop is unfair if you look purely at the individual numbers he returned and three successive Bundesliga medals he pocketed.

An injury-ruined final season in Bavaria in 2015-16 preceded a cut-price return to Dortmund and did much to fuel that perception. Ultimately, the boundless promise of his early years means Gotze being merely good felt like failure.

The goal to break Dortmund hearts was one of 10 in 27 Bundesliga appearances in 2013-14, with 20 of those starts. Nine in 32 followed before he was restricted to 11 league starts in his and Guardiola's final season at the Allianz Arena.

"Technically, [Guardiola] was a tremendous asset," Gotze told DAZN in 2018, in an interview where he described Klopp as his "footballing father".

"But he is very focused on the game and doesn't think about players outside of his plan. He didn't have much empathy, and empathy is part of being a world-class coach."

Despite hard work on the part of both men, the marriage of superstar coach and star signing never truly clicked. The prospect of Gotze becoming Bayern's Messi in the false nine role vanished when Lewandowski arrived to provide his more traditional and prolific take on centre-forward duties.

There was another Klassiker goal in a 5-1 thumping of Dortmund in 2015 but, tellingly, Gotze did not start any of the six Champions League semi-final matches that came to define Guardiola's Bayern reign. In each leg of the 2016 aggregate loss to Atletico Madrid, he was an unused substitute.

Dortmund welcomed back their prodigal son with open arms, although the injury problems that dogged him at Bayern would not go away.

 

INJURY, ILLNESS AND FALSE DAWNS

The last of Gotze's 16 appearances in 2016-17 came in January. A month later he was withdrawn from training indefinitely due to a metabolic disorder.

It explained his persistent injuries and struggles with weight gain, making fools of those suspecting foul play at Wembley back in 2013. With the problem identified, there was optimism over rehabilitation and redemption.

Only, when Gotze returned, he did so to a Dortmund team in disarray.

The trauma of the nail bomb attack on their team bus before a Champions League quarter-final showdown with Monaco in 2017 preceded Thomas Tuchel's messy exit as head coach.

Peter Bosz followed as form collapsed midway through 2017-18 and Gotze endured an uneasy relationship with interim boss Peter Stoger.

"We took issue with Mario because he didn't do any of the things he was told to do," the coach said after substituting the forward at half-time as Dortmund crashed out of the Europa League.

Lucien Favre succeeded Stoger and has overseen a rejuvenation that places Dortmund, once more, with a shot at ending Bayern's supremacy heading into Tuesday's Klassiker.

But this is a team fired by the youthful brilliance of Achraf Hakimi, Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland. A team that looks like the future Gotze once was. A team he last started for in December and who he will leave on a free transfer at the end of this season.

"Right now, we are playing in 3-4-3 formation. So, I have been talking to Mario Gotze, and unfortunately, this is not the right system for him," Favre said before he duly served as an unused substitute during Saturday's 2-0 win at Wolfsburg.

The explanation does not really stand up to scrutiny when considering Julian Brandt's dazzling playmaking display in the recent 4-0 demolition of Schalke, nominally on the right of a front three but wreaking havoc all over the place through intelligent movement and silky touches.

At his best, Gotze could do likewise to the sturdiest defences. But he is a long way from those heights, or the fearless youngster who dribbled with pace and menace. Joachim Low has bemoaned the passing of that version and of a player he has capped once since 2016.

Therein lies the sadness in Gotze's forlorn exit from Der Klassiker, a fixture he once threatened to dominate. He seemingly had it all and at 27, soon to be without a club, you ruefully wonder how much he has left.

It is 55 years since Muhammad Ali controversially won his rematch with Sonny Liston, while Liverpool sensationally floored Milan on this day in 2005.

Ali retained his heavyweight title with a first-round knockout but there were doubts over whether Liston should have been counted out.

Liverpool picked themselves up off the canvas to pull off a stunning comeback and beat Milan to win a dramatic Champions League final a decade and a half ago.

LeBron James broke one of Michael Jordan's records more recently on May 25 and Bayern Munich were crowned champions of Europe at German rivals Borussia Dortmund's expense in 2013.

1965 - Liston contentiously counted out

Liston was on a revenge mission after Ali, or Cassius Clay as he was then known when they fought for the first time, defied the odds to dethrone him in Miami Beach in February 1964.

Yet the rematch was over soon after it started, proving to be a massive anti-climax for a small crowd at the unlikely venue of Central Maine Civic Center, Lewiston, Maine.

Liston went down when he was caught by a right hand from the champion in the opening round and referee Jersey Joe Walcott attempted to get Ali back into his corner as the challenger lay on the deck.

Although Liston rose to continue fighting, Walcott quickly stopped the fight after consulting the timekeeper, with the verdict that the former champion had not got back to his feet in time.

 

2005 - The 'Miracle of Istanbul'

Liverpool hauled themselves off the ropes to conjure up the most unlikely of victories at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul 15 years ago.

Milan were favourites to be crowned champions of Europe for a seventh time and lived up to that billing when they cruised into a 3-0 lead in a one-sided first half, Hernan Crespo scoring twice after Paolo Maldini's early opener.

Liverpool roared back after the break, though, with Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso on target in the space of six minutes to bring them level.

Milan did not know what had hit them and they endured the agony of losing on penalties, Jerzy Dudek saving from Andriy Shevchenko to give Liverpool a 3-2 shoot-out victory after looking down and out at half-time.

 

2013 - Robben downs Dortmund

There was also drama at Wembley when Bayern beat Dortmund in the first all-German Champions League final.

Bayern stunned their Bundesliga rivals by snatching a 2-1 victory with just over a minute of normal time remaining, Arjen Robben the hero.

Mario Mandzukic put the Bavarian giants in front on the hour-mark, but Ilkay Gundogan levelled from the penalty spot eight minutes later.

Winger Robben settled it with extra time looming, though, nipping in with a sharp turn of foot and slotting past Roman Weidenfeller to end Bayern's 12-year wait for European glory. 

 

2017 - LeBron moves past Jordan's playoff record

James has been the man for the big occasion so many times during his illustrious career and he made history on this day three years ago.

The superstar became the all-time leading scorer in the NBA playoffs as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics 135-102 in the Eastern Conference finals.

That victory moved the Cavaliers into the NBA Finals for a third consecutive year, with James also able to celebrate moving past Jordan's playoff points tally of 5,987.

James surpassed that mark in his 212th post-season game, 11 years after his first.

Nothing about the Bundesliga's bio-secure return will ever entirely lose its capacity to jar the senses.

From socially distanced substitutes to masked staff and elbow-knocking celebrations, incongruous distractions from the 90 minutes at hand are never far away.

But the action so far has also demonstrated fleeting moments can briefly melt away the discomfort, when football's beauty floods the senses.

The first such instance came during in the 29th minute of Borussia Dortmund's deserted Revierderby showdown with Schalke. All it took was a nonchalant flick of Julian Brandt's right boot.

Brandt's first-time lay off into the space behind him gave Thorgan Hazard time to spot Erling Haaland sprinting towards the Schalke area. Both players needed just a touch apiece for a picturebook goal.

Haaland and Jadon Sancho are the headline-hogging sensations for Dortmund who, once again, stand a better chance than all the rest when it comes to ending Bayern Munich's Bundesliga hegemony.

A Bundesliga debutant at 17, a full Germany international in the same month he turned 20 and with a century of top-flight appearances to his name at 21, Brandt knows plenty when it comes to being labelled the next big thing.

Still only 24 and as Bayern lie in wait on Tuesday with the title on the line, there are indications Brandt is taking his game to new heights.

SHELLACKING SCHALKE

Following that wonderful contribution to Haaland's opener, Brandt continued to torment Schalke and orchestrated a thumping 4-0 win.

He supplied two assists and his three chances created were more than any other player on the pitch, as were 29 passes attempted in the opposition half and 19 duels contested – showing Brandt's thirst for both aspects of the game.

There were also five tackles – a level best alongside marauding two-goal hero Raphael Guerreiro – and Opta's touchmap showed a player stamping his influence all over the field.

A tearaway teen winger when Leverkusen snatched him from Wolfsburg and launched his top-flight career, Brandt's wide attacking qualities were rated so highly by Germany boss Joachim Low that he infamously made the 2018 World Cup squad at Leroy Sane's expense.

But since Peter Bosz started to use him in-field last season at the BayArena, Brandt has started to display several more irresistible strings to his bow.

"In the end I am the last person to be complaining about [where I play] because it is always down to how you interpret the position," Brandt said last week, having roved nominally from the right of a front three against Schalke. 

"If you have someone like Thomas Delaney, who is strong on the defensive side, next to you, then you can take certain liberties in terms of how far forward you can go. The centre is my favourite."

HERR REUS' HEIR?

"I've seen a lot of games involving Julian," Bosz told the Bundesliga's official website last season. "Back then he was playing on the wing, but I saw him as a midfielder."

The switch proved inspired as, in tandem with the similarly lavishly gifted Kai Havertz, Brandt wrought havoc during the second half of the campaign.

He finished 2018-19 with seven Bundesliga goals and 11 assists – the latter figure only behind Sancho and Bayern's Joshua Kimmich in the overall standings. Dortmund duly came calling for a player who has spent his career inhabiting football's gossip columns.

Brandt was initially deployed out wide once more, in and out of Lucien Favre's starting line-up, before the BVB boss followed Bosz's lead in making a tactical tweak that comes with some heavy symbolism.

When Favre was in charge of Borussia Monchengladbach almost a decade ago, he brought a young Marco Reus in from the flanks to cause maximum damage.

Reus is now the symbol of Dortmund's Yellow Wall of resistance, the club captain and the superstar who would not be tempted when Bayern batted their eyelashes.

Unfortunately, injuries also take up a hefty chunk of Reus' story and his absence from this latest edition of Der Klassiker feels wearyingly inevitable.

It would once have felt almost sacrilegious to suggest as much, but with Brandt in his current mood pulling the strings behind Sancho and Haaland, maybe Reus will not be missed.

"It was on a trip with the national team that he came to me the first time and told me that he absolutely wanted me to come to Dortmund," Brandt told Bundesliga.com, reflecting on how Reus did what he could to lay the groundwork for his move to Signal Iduna Park. "It triggers something in you when a player like Marco says something like that to you."

Perhaps Reus has seen the future and is ready to pass the baton. Regardless, Bayern must keep their sharpest focus on the present and the threat a buoyant Brandt represents this week.

Franz Beckenbauer has detected no drop-off in player performance levels despite the absence of supporters amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bundesliga reached its second weekend of action since resuming behind closed doors after a two-month hiatus.

Bayern Munich honorary president Beckenbauer attended Saturday's entertaining 5-2 home win over Eintracht Frankfurt after joining the club's delegation at the invitation of chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

And while accepting having no fans present is not perfect, the former World Cup winning player and coach does not feel the level of play on the pitch has been particularly affected.

"It is not entirely satisfactory for the football fan because they are not allowed to go to the stadium, but there is no difference in the performance of the players," Beckenbauer said to sport1.

"I think that you can [play during the pandemic] if everyone adheres to the rules.

"In these circumstances, without fans and atmosphere, it was an excellent football game. Compliments to both teams, it was really, really good football.

"Bayern are in a very strong condition, but the Frankfurt players also played very well.

"They were 3-0 behind and then came back to 3-2. Then Bayern got dressed again and suddenly it was 5-2. It was a very interesting game."

Jerome Boateng is planning for his future at Bayern Munich rather than scoping out the possible next stops in his career - and he gives Hansi Flick all the credit. 

The defender had been toying with a move away from the Allianz Arena before Flick stepped in to replace previous head coach Niko Kovac in November. 

His contract runs to the end of the 2020-21 season, and the 31-year-old feels reassured about his Bayern career after being a mainstay of Flick's team. 

That was not always the case under Kovac, but the change has not only lit a flame under Bayern but sent confidence surging through Boateng. 

"Before Hansi Flick, I was already thinking about my future. At the moment, I feel good and can imagine that I will stay," Boateng told Welt am Sonntag. 

Boateng has been at Bayern since arriving from Manchester City in 2011. 

He added: "I need the trust of the coach and his coaching team. I have it again. 

"Even before the time with Hansi Flick, I trained well and hard, but was not allowed to play and never had the chance to get into my rhythm. 

"It is difficult for every player. Hansi Flick told me right from the start that he was planning with me and appreciated my qualities. Now I'm really enjoying football again." 

Bayern Munich are planning an inquest into the two goals they conceded against Eintracht Frankfurt, with Hansi Flick calling for a clean sheet against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

Thanks to goals from Leon Goretzka, Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski, Bundesliga leaders Bayern looked comfortable with a 3-0 lead after 50 minutes at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.

However, they were caught napping at two set-pieces in the space of three minutes, with Hinteregger allowed space to bundle a volley past Manuel Neuer before powering a header into the back of the net.

Alphonso Davies quickly put Bayern back in control before a comical own goal from Hinteregger secured a 5-2 triumph for Flick's men.

The Bayern coach hopes to see better defending when his team take on Dortmund, who sit four points back in second, at Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday.

"After 3-0 we switched off. Frankfurt set very good standards, we knew that. We didn't look good there. We have to talk about it," Flick told Sky.

"We want to keep a clean sheet against Dortmund. It will be difficult because Dortmund have a very good team. We all hope for a good game of football."

Muller, who registered his 17th assist and seventh goal of the Bundesliga season, acknowledged Hinteregger is a significant threat from dead balls but felt Bayern should have been more alert.

"You never know how to get into games without fans, but I still expect us to go to the maximum," said Muller.

"Hinteregger is a very good player in set-piece situations, but if the ball comes in and no one feels responsible for it, of course we have to talk about it.

"We have made it our goal to have three victories this week. This is a very crucial week for us. We are marching, Dortmund are marching, we can look forward to Tuesday.

"We want to bring the championship to Munich, where it belongs."

Goretzka added: "I think Hinteregger is one of the strongest players when it comes to set-pieces, but, of course, we have to talk about it. That is not possible. It does not work that way."

Bayern Munich can make a fool of you. Ask Niko Kovac.

How, for instance, did he lead Bayern to a 5-1 defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt back in November?

Kovac, who was head coach of Frankfurt before landing the Bayern job, cleared his desk at Sabener Strasse shortly after that aberration and would have been forgiven for giving Saturday's rematch a swerve.

What he missed in the battle of his former teams was a sometimes confusing 90 minutes, and further proof that Bayern can make one feel a fool.

At the 50-minute mark, they looked an unstoppable force, 3-0 to the good against a Frankfurt side who had lost four Bundesliga games in a row before arriving at the Allianz Arena.

Leon Goretzka, Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski punished increasingly feeble defending, and Bayern were rampant. It would have been easy to lionise them at that point.

Tuesday's Klassiker clash with Borussia Dortmund looked like a fixture they could tackle without any questions asked over their levels since the league resumed.

Enter Frankfurt's Martin Hinteregger, whose most memorable involvement to that point had been landing an accidental blow that caught Lewandowski near the eye.

In the space of three minutes, he twice embarrassed Bayern's defence, first when allowed far too much space on the edge of the six-yard box to bundle beyond Manuel Neuer, and then when he jumped between a gang of red shirts to head home a corner.

Game on? Not really. Order was restored as Alphonso Davies danced through a dithering Frankfurt defence for a gift of a fourth Bayern goal.

And then came another reminder of how Bayern can make even a towering footballer cringe, as Hinteregger made it onto the scoresheet for the third time in the half, albeit this time at the wrong end.

Attempting some clever footwork to fend off another Bayern raid, he contrived to trickle the ball into an empty net with some of the ditsiest defending seen this side of Djimi Traore.

Bayern finished up with five goals and have beaten Frankfurt 11 times in a row at home now, while Eintracht have now lost 10 of 13 away games in the Bundesliga this term.

Their coach, Adi Hutter, had the bragging rights in November but might now be fearing for his job.

Dortmund will analyse Bayern's performance and search for conclusions, noting those moments of vulnerability that Frankfurt exploited. There were weaknesses to be found, but it would not seem prudent to read too much into those.

The logical conclusion is that Bayern switched off, believing the game to be already won, and will be far more wary of Dortmund from the first to the last whistle at Signal Iduna Park.

So four points separate the top two again, with the Hansi Flick revolution at Bayern still sweeping all aside in Germany, regardless of the odd bump in the road.

Dortmund might take some heart from the cracks in Bayern's backline, but equally Muller and Lewandowski looked primed to exploit any weakness in any side, any day of the week. Tuesday? They can do Tuesday.

Five goals and a mid-match nap was not a bad primer for the biggest match of the Bundesliga season.

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