Bayern Munich will be without star duo Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller for Saturday's clash with Borussia Monchengladbach, but the latter's coach Marco Rose is adamant the champions have plenty of depth to compensate.

Lewandowski and Muller have been leading lights for a rampant Bayern this season, with the Poland striker adding his 45th goal across all competitions in the DFB-Pokal semi-final win over Eintracht Frankfurt, while the German forward took his assists tally to 23.

But, after earning yellow cards in the 4-2 weekend win at Bayer Leverkusen – a match in which they were both influential – neither will be able to feature as another of the top-four hopefuls visits the Allianz Arena.

Gladbach travel to Munich in search of a response to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Freiburg last Friday, but Rose is not expecting Bayern to be a significantly easier obstacle to overcome just because Lewandowski and Muller will be missing.

"Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski are major players in the Bayern team. They will be suspended against us, but the club has a group capable of compensating for these absences," Rose said in his pre-match news conference.

"Hansi Flick and Bayern have developed a game idea with which they are very successful. I think they will stick to it and will not change too much. We have also prepared for this.

"To bring back a result from Munich, you have to play courageously, with and without the ball. Although Bayern played yesterday [Wednesday] in the DFB-Pokal, and the players may be accumulating fatigue, they will be able to mobilise their forces on Saturday.

"You need absolute clarity without the ball and you also have to keep the Munich team busy."

Gladbach will be without a key player themselves in Alassane Plea, as the Frenchman was shown a red card in Freiburg following two bookable offences but Rose thinks he was unlucky.

"I interact with my players every day, telling them to accept referee decisions," he said. "But I think that Alassane was put in the wrong light after his red card in Freiburg. I think the card was over the top."

Club sporting director Max Eberl held a similar view during the match and his protestations earned him a red card, meaning he too will have to watch from the stands – rather than the bench – this weekend.

He accepts he probably got a little carried away with his reaction, however.

"I accept the penalty for the red card," Eberl said. "I was too emotional on Friday after the red card. I'm sorry for my choice of words, and I will now watch the game in the stands on Saturday."

While Bayern are sitting pretty at the summit with a seven-point gap heading into the final four matches, Gladbach – holders of the fourth and final Champions League spot – are only ahead of Leverkusen on goal difference.

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said the Bundesliga champions are adopting a careful approach in the transfer market following the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2019-20 Bundesliga season resumed last month after the campaign was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 crisis.

While football has returned in Germany, albeit behind closed doors, the coronavirus outbreak is set to impact clubs financially.

Bayern have been heavily linked to Manchester City star Leroy Sane as well as Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz but Rummenigge tried to curb expectations midweek.

"We have to wait and see how this curious transfer market after coronavirus develops," Rummenigge told ARD prior to Bayern's 2-1 DFB-Pokal semi-final victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday.

"We all do well to do our job and also take into account that the next season may be more financially challenging than the current one.

"The longer we have to play without a spectator, the more difficult it will be financially."

"We work on the transfer market - like all our colleagues in Germany and Europe," added Rummenigge, who did not want to discuss Sane.

Defending champions Bayern will contest their third consecutive DFB-Pokal final against Leverkusen in Berlin on July 4.

Bayern are seven points clear atop the Bundesliga table with four matches remaining this season.

The titleholders will welcome fourth-placed Borussia Monchengladbach to the Allianz Arena on Saturday.

Bayern Munch equalled a record after defeating Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 to reach the DFB-Pokal final on Wednesday.

DFB-Pokal holders and Bundesliga champions Bayern scored their 128th and 129th goals of the 2019-20 season from just 43 matches in all competitions.

Ivan Perisic and Robert Lewandowski were on target as Bayern reached a third successive DFB-Pokal final, while matching their own goals record set in 1972-73.

Of their 129 goals this term, 90 of them have come in the Bundesliga after just 30 rounds – Lewandowski contributing a league-high 30.

Bayern will face Bayer Leverkusen in the competition decider in Berlin on July 4.

Bayern Munich reached a third successive DFB-Pokal final thanks to a 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt, with Robert Lewandowski's winner 16 minutes from time setting up a clash with Bayer Leverkusen.

Hansi Flick's men were made to work for the victory in the second half after seeing their standards slip, but their superior individual quality eventually shone through as Lewandowski netted his 45th goal of the season.

Ivan Perisic put Bayern in front with less than a quarter of an hour played by nodding in an inch-perfect pass from the excellent Thomas Muller and they should have been coasting to the win by half-time, with the defending champions spurning several opportunities.

Frankfurt looked to have capitalised with a deserved equaliser but Danny da Costa's strike restored parity for just five minutes – Lewandowski finishing off an incisive move to book Bayern's passage to another final.

Bayern, and Muller in particular, looked in the mood right from the start, and Frankfurt were fortunate with a couple of early escapes.

Muller met a Joshua Kimmich corner with a glancing header that was cleared off the line by Dominik Kohr, before the in-form forward played the ball across the face of goal for Lewandowski and saw it to go straight through the Pole's legs.

But Bayern took the lead in the 14th minute, Perisic meeting Muller's delicate pass with a diving header.

Chances continued to fall to the hosts, but Kingsley Coman spurned two presentable opportunities and Lewandowski missed again just past the half-hour mark.

Bayern failed to raise their game to a similar level after the break, with clear-cut chances drying up and Frankfurt took advantage with 21 minutes left.

Daichi Kamada turned into space in the box and his scuffed pass fell kindly to fellow substitute Da Costa, who slotted home emphatically.

But Bayern were soon in front again – Lewandowski steering in from close range following a well-worked move, after a VAR check for a potential offside in the build-up initially delayed their celebrations.

 

Eintracht Frankfurt will have Black Lives Matter emblazoned across the front of their jerseys during Wednesday's DFB-Pokal semi-final against Bayern Munich in a show of solidarity for the movement.

Protests have swept across the United States and beyond in the aftermath of George Floyd dying in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

Many sports clubs and institutions around the world have shown their support for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) cause in the weeks since.

Bayern wore BLM armbands during their 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen at the weekend, while all 22 players from Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin took a knee in the centre-circle before their fixture.

Frankfurt will make a statement of their own in Wednesday's cup semi at the Allianz Arena, with '#BlackLivesMatter' to take precedence over the usual shirt sponsor, which will be smaller and below the anti-discrimination message.

Board member Axel Hellmann said: "We have to point this out again and again, and also use the power and reach of football to forcefully deliver this important message to the world.

"The history of Eintracht Frankfurt is shaped by cosmopolitanism and international understanding. These attributes are strongly anchored in the Eintracht DNA. Racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and homophobia have no place within the Eintracht family and must not have a place in a liberal society."

Sporting director Fredi Bobic added: "As a team and as Eintracht Frankfurt, we stand together against all forms of racism and want to convey it accordingly."

Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick has heaped praise on in-form full-back Alphonso Davies ahead of Wednesday's DFB-Pokal semi-final.

Signed as a winger from Vancouver Whitecaps in January last year, the Canada star has developed into one of Europe's best left-backs this season and earned a contract extension until 2025.

The 19-year-old's form has helped Bayern to sustain their challenge for the treble in 2019-20, and Flick has no doubt he can get even better.

"Alphonso is doing outstandingly at the moment," Flick said on Tuesday. "In addition to his speed on the pitch, he's very adept defensively. 

"Now, he's setting up goals in attack and has scored some himself. He's on a very good path. He's young - he can and wants to learn.

"Despite his young age, he's currently one of the top performers."

Bayern face Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday, against whom they lost the 2018 final, but their 11-game winning run in all competitions places them as firm favourites to progress.

They beat Frankfurt 5-2 last month in the Bundesliga, too, although Flick is not prepared to underestimate their opponents.

"We approach the game like all the others," he said. "We are analysing Frankfurt for the third time in a season.

"We have to be very focused over 90 minutes, or longer in the cup. The team know about Frankfurt's strengths but also know about their own."

Another Bayern player to enjoy strong form since German football returned last month is Leon Goretzka, who got a goal and an assist in last Saturday's 4-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen.

Flick thinks the midfielder reflects the positive team spirit within the squad.

"He has a healthy aggression and so wins the ball a lot, and then he can start dangerous attacks," he said.

"But I don't want to single out one man. The whole team is excellent off the ball and also with the ball. Everyone feels a responsibility without the ball, and everyone wants to support each other with it.

"Not having an atmosphere [in behind-closed-doors games] may also help, since we speak a lot with each other. You can tell on the bench how everyone is, too – they also want to support. I like that. It shows the team spirit."

Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick expressed frustration after Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller earned yellow cards in the win over Bayer Leverkusen that will rule them out of their next Bundesliga match.

Despite falling behind early on, Bayern rallied and ultimately ran out comfortable 4-2 winners, with Kingsley Coman, Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry and Lewandowski on target. 

For Lewandowksi, his effort took him on to 44 for the season across all competitions, a personal best, while Muller claimed a pair of assists to move him to 20 for the 2019-20 Bundesliga campaign, tying Kevin De Bruyne's record.

But both of Bayern's key men were booked, meaning they will miss next weekend's visit of Borussia Monchengladbach.

Although Bayern have a commanding lead at the summit, Flick did not hide his irritation at having the pair ruled out.

"It's annoying but we cannot change it and have to accept the situation," he said.

"You are emotional on the pitch, but I spoke to the referee Manuel Grafe. He said that Lewandowski was hitting the opponent and that's why he saw the yellow card. I didn't see it so I cannot really comment.

"Thomas was blocking the ball when they had free-kick, so the yellow card was okay. It is what it is. We accept it.

"We will have two other players. This is also good sometimes, but it's important that both can play 90 minutes against Eintracht Frankfurt [in the DFB-Pokal] on Wednesday. Then we try to prepare ourselves well for the game against Gladbach."

Goretzka was a standout performer once again and that was not lost on Flick, who is desperate for the Germany midfielder to remain injury-free.

"We are knocking on wood [hoping Goretzka remains fit] and hope he continues like that," Flick said.

"Of course, how we fought back was also due to the intensive pressing – we were more aggressive and had good ball possessions.

"Leon was directly involved in those moments and had a big influence on the first two goals.

"He showed exactly what you need as a team when you still have to find your way to the game. He did that great.

"Regarding his physical condition, he has a very strong role on the pitch and this helps us a lot."

Florian Wirtz became the youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history as Bayer Leverkusen lost 4-2 to Bayern Munich on Saturday.

The second-half substitute, who is 17 years and 34 days old, curled a sublime shot past Manuel Neuer to secure his place in the history books of Germany's top flight.

The record was previously held by Nuri Sahin, who scored for Borussia Dortmund against Nurnberg in November 2005 at the age of 17 years and 82 days.

Wirtz was making only his fourth appearance in the Bundesliga, having made his debut in the 4-1 win at Werder Bremen on May 18.

Leverkusen had gone ahead against Bayern through Lucas Alario but goals from Kingsley Coman, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry put the league leaders in control at the break.

Robert Lewandowski's 44th goal of the season in all competitions made it 4-1 before Wirtz expertly fired home a consolation.

Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller reached personal milestones as Bayern Munich broke Bundesliga records in a 4-2 defeat of Bayer Leverkusen.

This was the most difficult remaining game on paper this term for the league leaders, who went into the contest with a seven-point lead over Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table.

It proved as much in the first half when Lucas Alario's clever finish past Manuel Neuer secured a 1-0 lead for Leverkusen, who were without star man Kai Havertz due to injury.

The advantage was short-lived, though, as Hansi Flick's record-breaking side struck three times before the break through Kingsley Coman, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry.

Coman's precise finish was Bayern's 62nd goal in just 20 Bundesliga matches under Flick, a number beyond that of any previous coach in the history of the competition.

Muller teed up Goretzka to make it 2-1 and reach 19 league assists for the season, which became 20 in the second half when he crossed for Lewandowski to head in the fourth.

Muller is the first player to reach that number of assists in Europe's top-five leagues since Kevin De Bruyne for Wolfsburg in 2014-15. One more for the Bayern's number 25 will see him move beyond De Bruyne's division record.

As for Lewandowski, his emphatic header brought up 30 league goals for 2019-20 and took him to a remarkable 44 in 39 games in all competitions. It is the most the Poland striker has ever scored in a single season.

Lewandowski's goal took Bayern's tally for this Bundesliga campaign to 90, a league record for a team after 30 matches, as they stretched their winning run to nine consecutive games.

Bayern Munich's ominous charge towards an eighth successive Bundesliga title continued with a crushing 4-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen, as Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller reached impressive personal milestones.

Hansi Flick's side - wearing 'Black Lives Matter' armbands - looked rusty during the opening exchanges on Saturday yet rallied to overpower their hosts and go 10 points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the summit.

It all began so well for Leverkusen, who opened the scoring early on through Lucas Alario, but they capitulated and conceded three goals in less than 20 minutes – Kingsley Coman, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry all punishing the hosts.

Lewandowski added a fine header to set a new personal best of 44 goals in a single season, turning in a cross from Muller, who equalled the Bundesliga assists record for a solitary campaign.

Despite not being able to call upon Kai Havertz, missing with a muscular issue, Leverkusen began positively and deserved the lead nine minutes in – Alario prodding past Manuel Neuer after being released by Julian Baumgartlinger.

But their confidence soon vanished and Bayern duly restored parity just before the half-hour mark, Coman slotting past Lukas Hradecky after Goretzka robbed Moussa Diaby to set up his team-mate.

Leverkusen then fell apart late in the half. Goretzka rounded off a well-worked move with a left-footed effort than squeezed under Hradecky's hand, while Gnabry lobbed the goalkeeper to make it 3-1 after a punt up the pitch by Joshua Kimmich.

Peter Bosz took the drastic step of making three changes at half-time, and while chances became slightly harder to come by for Flick's team, Leverkusen did not improve a great deal going forward.

Bayern looked the more threatening and eventually got a fourth just past the hour – Lewandowski belatedly getting in on the act with an emphatic header from Muller's pinpoint cross.

Florian Wirtz, who was introduced at the break, opened his Leverkusen account in style with a curling effort late on to become the Bundesliga's youngest ever scorer at 17 years and 43 days, but it was a mere consolation for the hosts.

 

What does it mean? Bayer's remorse

While Bayern's place at the top was secure regardless of the result, this was an opportunity – albeit a difficult one – for Leverkusen to take charge in the race for fourth after Borussia Monchengladbach's 1-0 defeat to Freiburg on Friday.

They could not do so, though, meaning they remain fifth and outside of the Champions League spots. As for Bayern, they strengthened their grip on the title.

Muller delights

It was another wonderful performance from the Bayern maestro. He teed up Goretzka in the first half and then supplied a lovely assist for Lewandowski to take his tally to 20 for the campaign, matching Kevin De Bruyne's Bundesliga record.

Bailey hooked

It was a difficult day for Leverkusen, particularly their attackers. Diaby was woeful, his end product proving continuously frustrating, but at least he was lively. Leon Bailey, in contrast, offered little before he was withdrawn at half-time.

What's next?

Bayern return to the Allianz Arena for their DFB-Pokal semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday, then host Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga three days later. Leverkusen are also in cup action in midweek, against fourth-tier Saarbrucken on Tuesday, and then go to Schalke at the weekend.

Hansi Flick has congratulated Chelsea after they reportedly won the race for Timo Werner and says Bayern Munich respect the RB Leipzig striker's decision.

Bayern were rumoured to be in the running for the Germany international, but it has been reported that Chelsea have triggered his £54million (€60m) release clause.

Werner has played a direct part in 32 Bundesliga goals this term - second only to Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho - and Flick acknowledges the Premier League side have pulled off a big signing.

"He is a very good player, a player who scores goals," Flick said at his pre-match news conference ahead of Saturday's league clash with Bayer Leverkusen.

"This is Timo's decision and you have to respect it. If what's being reported is true, then Chelsea have made a very good signing."

As well as being linked with Werner, Bayern have also been tipped to sign one of Leroy Sane or Kai Havertz when the transfer window opens.

Havertz last week became the first player in Bundesliga history to reach 35 goals before the age of 21 with his strike against Freiburg, and Flick admits he would like to have the "exceptional" forward at Bayern.

"I think there aren't too many coaches who would mind having Kai Havertz in their team. Me included," he said ahead of Bayern's trip to BayArena.

"I've known Kai for a long time, since I accompanied Germany during the Under-17s European Championship in Azerbaijan. Even then he showed how good of a player he was. 

"There were two or three really good players and he is the one who developed the most since then for sure. 

"Kai is player who moves between the lines very intelligently and has got a good speed. He is very calm with the ball and we saw that against Freiburg.

"He's got that goal instinct and is able to put the ball through the smallest gaps at his young age. This is exceptional. Obviously it's nice to have players in your team who score."

Hansi Flick says Bayern Munich are "hungry for goals" as he targets another attacking masterclass against Bayer Leverkusen this weekend.

Bayern thrashed Fortuna Dusseldorf 5-0 last weekend to make it 86 league goals this term - the most of any German top-flight side ever after 29 rounds of matches.

The reigning champions have scored five goals in a game on eight occasions in all competitions, which is more than any other side across Europe's top five leagues.

And Flick, who has won 22 of his first 25 games in charge of Bayern, does not intend to ease up as his side close in on an eighth successive title.

"The way we play is good. We are hungry for goals," he said at Friday's pre-match news conference.

"We want to tackle the game against Leverkusen in the same way. Leverkusen have very, very fast players and are a dangerous team. We have to prevent these things.

"We are active and want to have a certain dynamic to our game, both with and without the ball. When we have the ball, the first thought is offensive. Then everyone is involved."

Bayern have won 14 of their last 15 matches, including four in a row since returning to Bundesliga action last month.

They now have three games in a week to prepare for, with league matches against Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach either side of a DFB-Pokal semi-final with Eintracht Frankfurt.

"The team is very focused," Flick said. "They also did well in today's final training. We always speak of a power season. 

"Now we have the fifth game after the break and want to be successful. There is no excuse for us. We have the power to play three games in one week."

Thiago Alcantara is closing in on a return after recovering from an adductor injury, which could mean Leon Goretzka is given a breather this weekend.

"Thiago is an option. The qualities he has are good for every team. Let's wait and see," Flick added. 

"Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich have done very well at 'six'. I am happy that it went so well, but also that Thiago is back. 

"Leon has had time to work on his body. Overall, the team have been working very well and are in a very good physical condition."

Bayern Munich star Javi Martinez has sounded a warning that players risk injury more than ever because of the coronavirus interruption to the season.

Leagues across much of Europe have resumed or are on the point of doing so after a long suspension caused by the pandemic.

Players have for the large part been hunkered down at home since March, unable to take part in full training sessions until recent weeks and missing the routine of matches.

That concerns Spanish midfielder Martinez, who believes footballers have become increasingly vulnerable to getting hurt.

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi and Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic are among the big-name players who have suffered recent injury setbacks.

"I am a player who needs match rhythm. The dynamics of playing every few days is not ideal. We don't have a run of training sessions to reach peak form," Martinez told Marca.

"It's easier now to get injuries because we've stopped for longer than ever before and we haven't had a normal pre-season.

"I'm doing quite well and if the coach wants me I believe I'll be ready.

"And the hot weather's coming. Tell me how you can play in Seville on July 6 or 7."

That aspect will not directly affect Martinez but shows his sympathy for the LaLiga stars who could face difficult playing conditions during the Spanish summer.

Martinez is poised to win another Bundesliga title with Bayern, with his arrival in 2012 from Athletic Bilbao having coincided with the start of a period of startling dominance.

An eighth straight title is almost within Bayern's grasp, given their seven-point lead over Borussia Dortmund with five games to go, but Martinez is struggling to enjoy putting the finishing touches to a successful campaign behind closed doors.

And when Bayern went to Dortmund for a crucial game in the Bundesliga last week, Martinez was taken aback by the near-total absence of anyone in and around the stadium.

That is the necessity given concerns about the spread of COVID-19, but Martinez said: "I don't like it. I am very passionate. I need to be yelled at, even if it's to tell me everything. To go to the pitches of Betis or the Bernabeu and have a thousand people telling you about everything. That motivates me.

"My soul fell to my feet when I arrived at Dortmund and saw five people there with their bikes. But I understand that it was necessary to continue."

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has admitted defeat in the Bundesliga title race as he acknowledged Bayern Munich will be crowned champions again.

When the Bundesliga resumed last month after a two-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, Dortmund trailed Bayern by four points with nine games remaining.

However, last week's 1-0 win in Der Klassiker at Signal Iduna Park increased Bayern's lead to seven points, an advantage they maintained after the weekend's results when they thumped Fortuna Dusseldorf 5-0.

With five games remaining and Bayern in fine form, Zorc has accepted Dortmund's hopes of preventing their rivals winning an eighth straight Bundesliga title are over.

"I think we said it all during the previous week after the match against Bayern," Zorc told reporters.

"From our point of view, the title has been decided.

"We don't believe Bayern will slip, they are just too good, one has to admit that.

"We are currently second and would very much like to finish there."

Dortmund are two points clear of third-placed RB Leipzig and four above Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen.

Lucien Favre's side still need to visit Leipzig but their next game is against Hertha Berlin on Saturday, when teenager Erling Haaland could potentially be missing from the side once more.

The striker came off in the loss to Bayern with a knee injury and was absent for the 6-1 win at Paderborn on Sunday.

"He started to work out with the team for 40 minutes today," Zorc said of Haaland.

"He will be with us tomorrow and we will see. He did not do much since he was slightly injured. We will see."

On captain Marco Reus, who has not played since February due to a thigh injury, Zorc added: "Marco Reus has not been in training with the team for four months.

"He is slowly getting there. He did a lot of running. He has been starting to work with the ball but only in individual training."

Bayern Munich are considering a joint protest over the death of George Floyd, with Joshua Kimmich keen for players to use their platform to help.

Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis last week after an officer knelt on his neck while he lay handcuffed on the ground, sparking demonstrations and riots over racism and police brutality across the United States and beyond.

Jadon Sancho, Achraf Hakimi, Weston McKennie and Marcus Thuram all made gestures of support at the weekend, which were examined by the German Football Association (DFB).

FIFA urged leagues to use common sense on the issue given the context and on Wednesday the DFB said no players will be sanctioned for showing solidarity with anti-racism messages.

Kimmich revealed Bundesliga leaders Bayern have discussed the possibility of protesting together when they face Bayer Leverkusen at the weekend.

"As a football player you have a big power in this world. My opinion is we should feel this responsibility and say something like Sancho did," said Kimmich.

"It's good that it's not just one player. Maybe it is also an option to say something as a team. "We are one world, one club, one football team. It doesn't matter if you are black or white.

"We as footballers, like with Sancho, have a lot of power to reach other people, to be role models and to say something.

"What we say to people outside gives us a big chance to make a statement.

"We discussed it and maybe we can do something. We maybe have to do something because we cannot give something like this a place."

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