Julian Nagelsmann believes Bayern Munich must improve their attitude if they are to get back to winning ways in the Bundesliga.

Joshua Kimmich's 90th-minute equaliser was enough to earn a late point at home to Koln on Tuesday, but the result was Bayern's second consecutive 1-1 draw after they failed to beat RB Leipzig the previous week.

Their shaky form since returning from the extended Bundesliga mid-season break has given hope to title challengers such as Union Berlin and Leipzig, the former of whom sit second and just three points behind Nagelsmann's men at the summit.

With Bayern aiming to win their 11th straight title, Nagelsmann pointed to his team's need for an improved mindset heading into the rest of the season.

When asked whether he had any questions over Bayern's mentality, Nagelsmann told reporters: "I often talk to our team psychologist about it. That's always a big word.

"The atmosphere is like it always is at Bayern when you don't win. Not restless, but not super happy either.

"Each of our players is a great talent and a great footballer. They also have a lot of desire and a great will. You just have to get back to those things.

"Then we have more quality than other teams in the Bundesliga and in Europe.

"But for me it's not about mentality, it's about attitude, and better attitude."

Nagelsmann revealed Serge Gnabry will not start against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday after the winger was hooked at half-time of the draw with Koln.

The former Arsenal man already caused a stir when he used a day off to attend Paris Fashion Week prior to Tuesday's poor performance, with his replacement Kingsley Coman recording four key passes after his introduction, tied for the game high.

Nagelsmann says it will be the France international who gets to start against Frankfurt, saying: "Gnabry had the chance to show himself against Koln. I don't want to hold tabloid issues so high. He didn't take his chance in Cologne.

"We had a good conversation and I explained to him that his substitution was only for sporting reasons.

"We had a good man on the bench in Kingsley Coman against Koln, who will start tomorrow."

Leon Goretzka was also taken off at half-time against Koln, though his removal was because of injury concerns, and Nagelsmann confirmed the midfielder will play no part on Saturday after having to leave training early on Thursday.

"Leon will be out," Nagelsmann stated. "He has nerve problems on the inside of his thighs. He can probably play again on Wednesday [against Mainz in the DFB-Pokal].

"Unfortunately, Leon keeps having aches and pains, and that won't change anymore. He invests a lot. I support him and we communicate frequently."

Leon Goretzka says Robert Lewandowski "was spoiled" at Bayern Munich as he taunted his former team-mate over Barcelona's Champions League struggles.

Barca face being eliminated from the competition in the group stage in successive campaigns for only the second time heading into Wednesday's tie with Bayern at Camp Nou.

The Catalan giants will be unable to advance to the last 16 should they lose or if Inter beat Viktoria Plzen, while they will also be eliminated should both games be drawn.

While Barca have struggled in Europe of late, Bayern have reached at least the quarter-finals in all but one of the past 11 seasons, which Goretzka says can be taken for granted.

"Lewy was very spoiled at Bayern, always being at least in the round of 16 and progressing," Goretzka told reporters. "But now we can no longer take that into account."

Bayern beat Barca 2-0 in last month's reverse fixture, in which Lewandowski missed two presentable opportunities, and are already assured of a place in the knockout stages.

The German side have defeated Barcelona in nine of their 12 Champions League encounters, including the past five in a row.

Only Bayern themselves against Real Madrid (10) have lost more games against a single side in the competition's history, and Goretzka is targeting another victory next week.

"If we play against Barcelona at the Camp Nou, it can be a preparatory game or a Champions League final, it doesn't matter," the Germany international added. 

"It's going to be a super cool game that we're looking forward to. And we will also do everything to win it."

 

Lewandowski has scored five Champions League goals for Barca, each of those coming at Camp Nou – the most ever by a Barca player after their first two matches.

The prolific striker lifted the famous trophy with Bayern in 2020, but he will have to settle for Europa League football – at best – if results go against his side.

"It's their last chance," Bayern striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting said. "I'm definitely looking forward to the game and to seeing Lewy. 

"He's a world-class player and a great guy. Playing against Barcelona is always something special."

Oliver Kahn says Bayern Munich "absolutely have to stop" allowing opposing teams back into games after they nearly squandered another lead in the 4-2 Champions League win at Viktoria Plzen.

Goals from Sadio Mane and Thomas Muller, as well as a Leon Goretzka double had Bayern four goals up and cruising at half-time against the Czech champions.

But two second-half strikes from Plzen led to worries Bayern would let another advantage slip, after conceding a 95th-minute Anthony Modeste equaliser in the 2-2 Bundesliga draw with Borussia Dortmund at the weekend having led 2-0.

Julian Nagelsmann's side held on this time for three points to secure their place in the knockout stages, but Bayern CEO Kahn remains worried over their ability to see out games.

"Four games, four wins and into the round of 16," Kahn posted on Twitter. "A compliment to the team, in this group that was not a matter of course.

"After a furious first half, we let the opponent come back into the game.

"We absolutely have to stop this!"

Julian Nagelsmann wants his Bayern Munich players to ensure they top Group C after a 4-2 win over Viktoria Plzen sealed their Champions League progress.

Sadio Mane, Thomas Muller and Leon Goretzka had Bayern 4-0 up by the 35th minute on Wednesday. It is the second-quickest time in Champions League history a side has taken to register four goals away from home, beaten only by their own 7-1 victory over Roma in 2014.

Though Adam Vlkanova and Jan Kliment reduced the arrears in the second half, Bayern held on to record their 11th straight group stage victory, a new competition record.

The win means Bayern are now on 12 points, five above Inter in second and out of reach of third-placed Barcelona, as they qualified for the knockout stages for the 15th consecutive season.

Now, the target is securing top spot, with Nagelsmann telling DAZN: "It's always nice to win away from home.

"We've got 12 points from four games in the toughest group and we're into the round of 16. Now we want to top the group.

"This win gives us the necessary calm ahead of Freiburg [in the Bundesliga] on Sunday. That was our goal and we achieved it."

Muller's cool 14th-minute finish for Bayern's second means he has now scored more than twice as many goals as any other German player in Champions League history, with Mario Gomez scoring the second most with 26.

However, he made way soon after his strike and headed straight down the tunnel, though Nagelsmann explained there was nothing to worry about, adding: "Things tightened up a little in his back, a nerve.

"It's nothing major or serious, but we didn't want to take risks for the weekend."

Bayern Munich beat Viktoria Plzen 4-2 to make it a record 11 straight Champions League group stage victories and seal their place in the last 16.

Julian Nagelsmann's side – who are struggling to hit their best form domestically – went into half-time four up after goals from Sadio Mane, Thomas Muller and a Leon Goretzka double had Wednesday's contest at Doosan Arena settled by the break.

Adam Vlkanova and Jan Kliment reduced the deficit in the second half, but Bayern were never in any real danger of succumbing to a comeback.

Bayern moved onto 12 points in Group C, out of reach of third-placed Barcelona, ensuring progression to the knockout stage.

The Bundesliga champions were ahead within 10 minutes, Mane playing a clever one-two with Goretzka before coolly poking past Jindrich Stanek.

They doubled their lead four minutes later through Muller, who slotted home after connecting with Kingsley Coman's low cross.

With Plzen's defending leaving much to be desired, Bayern made sure to capitalise – Goretzka curling in to add a goal to his earlier assist in the 25th minute.

An injury to Muller threatened to sour a rampant first half, though Goretzka soon had his second when he dinked over Stanek from Leroy Sane's neat pass.

Erik Jirka nearly got a goal back for Plzen after the restart, but he could only hit the side netting with a powerful drive, before Sven Ulreich parried a Ludek Pernica header onto the bar.

Ulreich was beaten in the 62nd minute – Vlkanova finding the bottom-left corner with a wonderful strike from outside of the area.

Kilment's excellent finish gave the hosts a slither of hope, but Bayern saw out the remaining minutes with ease.

Julian Nagelsmann feels Bayern Munich's resounding 5-0 win over Viktoria Plzen was "another step in the right direction" for his side ahead of facing Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern followed up Friday's 4-0 Bundesliga thrashing of Bayer Leverkusen with an even more emphatic victory in Tuesday's Champions League tie with Czech champions Plzen.

It marks the first time the Bavarians have won back-to-back matches in all competitions since August, having gone four league games without a win prior to the international break.

Nagelsmann is pleased with what he saw from his side against Plzen, with Bayern returning to form at just the right time ahead of Saturday's Klassiker showdown with fierce rivals Dortmund.

"The boys did well today," Nagelsmann told DAZN. "That's how you have to approach a game. We decided it quickly then controlled it. 

"With a view to Saturday, that was important, serious and well deserved. It was another game that shows we are taking steps in the right direction."

 

The hosts were three goals up inside 21 minutes, with Serge Gnabry and Sadio Mane netting after Leroy Sane had opened the scoring at the Allianz Arena.

Sane doubled his tally early in the second half before substitute Eric Choupo-Moting rounded off the scoring for the leaders in a one-sided Group C contest.

It is the 26th time Bayern have scored five or more goals in a Champions League match, which is five more than next-best Barcelona.

Mane wasted some promising chances to add to the scoring, netting from just one of his six attempts, but the forward was happy with his side's performance.

"The team played a great game, with a lot of chances created," he said. "We deserved to win. 

"The past few weeks have been tough. It was important we reacted. We reacted well after the international break. Hopefully we can continue like this until the end of the season.

"We have nine points from three Champions League games and a good goal difference. We are in a good place. 

"We were disciplined today. We were well prepared for the opponent and that's where most of the goals came from."

Bayern have now gone 31 games without defeat in the group stage of the Champions League, overtaking the record of 30 set by Real Madrid in 2017.

"We rightly received criticism during the international break," said Leon Goretzka, who set up two of the goals against Plzen.

"We used the time well and focused on our game again. Our aim is to perform on a regular basis. We're still extremely upset about the games before that."

Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka are back in training with Bayern Munich after the pair were forced to withdraw from Germany duty with COVID-19.

The duo were named in Hansi Flick's squad for the final two Nations League group games against Hungary and England, but were ruled out after testing positive for coronavirus.

However, Bayern goalkeeper Neuer and midfielder Goretzka were back on the training field on Tuesday. 

Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano, Matthijs de Ligt, Ryan Gravenberch, Marcel Sabitzer and Josip Stanisic have all also returned to the fold for Julian Nagelsmann's side.

In Neuer and Goretzka's absence, Germany slipped to their first defeat since Flick took charge with a 1-0 loss to Hungary, before playing out a 3-3 draw with England at Wembley on Monday.

Champions Bayern will go in pursuit of a first Bundesliga win in five games when they resume domestic action against Bayer Leverkusen on Friday.

Germany boss Hansi Flick has told his players to be cautious about socialising ahead of the World Cup to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19 and missing games.

Midfielder Leon Goretzka and captain Manuel Neuer have been ruled out of the Nations League games against Hungary and England after testing positive.

Those results followed their visit, as members of the Bayern Munich squad, to Oktoberfest celebrations last weekend.

It is unclear whether that was where the players caught the coronavirus, but social occasions give Flick cause for concern, albeit he is adamant that "life should also go on".

The Qatar 2022 World Cup is coming up in November and December, and Flick wants everyone available.

"This can also affect us in Qatar," said Flick. "We have to react to it and deal with the situation as best we can.

"It's not quite as easy as [saying] you should behave. We in the coaching team are also on the road a lot. Such cases are always annoying, but it's also become a normal situation.

"With a normal flu you also miss out. Covid is of course a bit more aggressive. Of course you have to reduce your contacts a little before the World Cup and consider, should I go there or not.

"You're on the road a lot. Life should also go on. We have to see that we keep it under control. But a certain normality with common sense, I think, is the right way."

Germany play Hungary on Friday and England on Monday, and Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen will get a chance to impress in the Hungary game in the absence of Neuer.

"I don't need to keep a secret about the goalkeeper position, Marc will be in goal," Flick said in Thursday's press conference.

Both Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka have been withdrawn from the Germany squad ahead of their two upcoming Nations League fixtures.

The Bayern Munich duo tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and have since been in isolation and left the team hotel.

The German Football Association (DFB) stated: "Due to a positive coronavirus test within one of the players' private circles, the medical team conducted a rapid antigen test on the whole nation team.

"All members of the coaching staff and the team are required to test negative before travelling. Confirmed contact of both players will be tested daily."

Germany play Hungary on Friday and England on Monday, and coach Hansi Flick will no doubt feel the strain of missing such vital players from his squad.

Goalkeeper and captain Neuer has been replaced by Hoffenheim's Oliver Baumann, with Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Eintracht Frankfurt's Kevin Trapp counted among Flick's other options in goal.

The DFB was yet to confirm the identity of any additions in Goretzka's place, although Flick still has the likes of Joshua Kimmich, Ilkay Gundogan and Thomas Muller at his disposal.

Leon Goretzka says he is "annoyed" by reports about unrest within the Bayern Munich squad which he claims are not true.

Bayern and head coach Julian Nagelsmann have come under pressure following three straight Bundesliga draws, but they maintained their winning start in the Champions League with a 2-0 victory over Barcelona on Tuesday.

There have been reports of friction within the Bayern squad towards Nagelsmann, with issues including rotation and game time.

Goretzka came off the bench at half-time and played a key role in Bayern's win over Barcelona, with both goals coming in the second half. The appearance was only the 27-year-old midfielder's fifth of the season in all competitions after missing six weeks late in pre-season following knee surgery.

Bild claimed this week that the Germany international, along with new Dutch addition Ryan Gravenberch, were unhappy with their playing time this season, with the former specifically irritated when he learned he was not starting against the Blaugrana.

The report claimed that Goretzka felt his training performances warranted a starting position but Nagelsmann preferred Marcel Sabitzer in midfield to offer defensive stability to allow Joshua Kimmich to be more offensive minded.

"I promised myself that I'd not say anything about it because my words might be interpreted in a different way," Goretzka told reporters after Tuesday's win. "I have no problem with the coach not starting me today.

"I was out for six weeks and it was clear that I wouldn't play from the start. Sabi did a great job.

"These alleged problems in the dressing room are conveyed in a way that really annoys me. We get along really well in the team."

Leroy Sane, who netted Bayern's second goal in the 54th minute, threw a bottle in frustration after being substituted off in the 80th minute.

Sane embraced Nagelsmann along with teammates on the bench before throwing the bottle and going down the tunnel.

"I wasn't angry about my substitution," Sane explained.

"The bottle had to suffer a bit because I didn't play a good game. The goal was nice, but I wasn't entirely happy with my performance today."

Julian Nagelsmann expressed his desire to see Robert Lewandowski receive a warm welcome on his Bayern Munich return, as he backed the striker to continue his fine start to life at Barcelona.

Lewandowski, who scored 238 Bundesliga goals during an eight-year spell with the Bavarian giants before heading to Camp Nou in July, has made a scintillating start to his Barcelona career. 

The Poland international has scored six goals in his first five outings in LaLiga, and turned on the style with a hat-trick in Barca's 5-1 Champions League thrashing of Viktoria Plzen last week.

Lewandowski will make a swift return to Munich with his new club for Tuesday's huge Champions League fixture, and despite the less-than-amicable nature of his departure, Nagelsmann believes he should be received warmly.

"If I see him before [the game] then I'm certainly going to give him my hand. I'm not sure if I'll see him beforehand, usually I don't," Nagelsmann said.

"I'm looking forward to our fans welcoming him back. When a player has been so strong for the team over the years, I think it's important. 

"He was an important part of the Bayern family. We had a personal exchange a couple of weeks back, not regarding football. I am looking forward to seeing him again."

Asked about Lewandowski's start to life in Spain, Nagelsmann added: "I think he can still continue to play at that level for a couple of years, I'm not sure how many goals he can score this season, I'm no genie. 

"I think it will be plenty. He has scored 40 plus usually, so I think he can do that in the Spanish league as well.

"I'm not sure if he's the most dangerous, but he's certainly one of their most dangerous players, the one that can score the most goals. They have great solutions there.

"Lewandowski always has great runs and positions inside the box. He's the most dangerous in front of goal, but if he doesn't get a lot of balls, it's difficult [for him]."

Having coached Lewandowski when he brought up a half-century of goals in all competitions last term, Nagelsmann is acutely aware of his talents, and believes Dayot Upamecano's past experiences of facing him could aid Bayern. 

"I have plenty of positions that I'm already pretty clear on," Nagelsmann added. "Upamecano has memories of playing against Lewandowski, back when he was at RB Leipzig. He knows him from our practice as well."

While Upamecano is set to start at the Allianz Arena, Leon Goretzka will not, as Nagelsmann looks to ease the midfielder in following his injury lay-off.

"The position next to Joshua [Kimmich] is going to be [Marcel] Sabitzer," Nagelsmann said. 

"I've had a chat with Leon, it was my decision to keep him on [against Stuttgart on Saturday]. We decided to keep him on for 94 minutes, that was a long time for him after the injury. He reacted well to it and is feeling good. 

"Him having to play from the start is not going to happen, we need him for the whole season and don't want to give him too many minutes at the start."

Meanwhile, Barcelona have suffered eight Champions League defeats to Bayern – twice as many as they have lost against any other opponent (4 vs Milan, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain).

Bayern also boast a 100 per cent record against the Blaugrana in the group stages and beat them twice in the competition last term, but Nagelsmann is keen to draw a line under those past meetings.

"We know Barcelona. They have a completely new mindset. You can delete the last few games against Barca from your memory, it's a whole different team, very aggressive," he said. "It reminds us of when Xavi still used to play himself. 

"In Gavi and Pedri they have great number eights that have great pressing actions as well. There's a great development there for the team, Xavi did a few things really well in the last weeks and months.

"They want to attack in a new way, and they're going to be very difficult opponents tomorrow."

Ryan Gravenberch and Mathys Tel scored their first Bayern Munich goals as Julian Nagelsmann's side cruised past Viktoria Koln 5-0 in their DFB-Pokal first-round tie.

Signed from Ajax in June, Gravenberch opened his Bayern account 10 minutes before half-time, while 17-year-old Tel – an arrival from Rennes – added a superb second.

Sadio Mane made it 3-0 shortly after the restart with a simple tap-in, before substitute Jamal Musiala added a fourth. 

Leon Goretzka then marked his first appearance of the season with a goal eight minutes from full-time as Bayern swept aside their third-tier opponents with little fuss. 

Viktoria goalkeeper Ben Voll made a string of impressive saves in the opening half-an-hour but he was powerless to prevent Bayern from going ahead in the 35th minute.

The ball fell kindly to Gravenberch just inside the penalty area and he coolly slotted into Voll's bottom-right corner.

Bayern cemented their dominance on the stroke of half-time – Tel cutting in from the left and unleashing a fizzing strike into the far corner.

Mane extended Bayern's advantage in the 53rd minute with a close-range finish after he had been picked out by Serge Gnabry, before Voll made smart stops to deny the former Liverpool man and Musiala. 

The latter was not to be frustrated again in the 67th minute, though, as he slid home after an incisive move involving Thomas Muller. 

Goretzka, on as a substitute, then wrapped up the scoring late on with a crisp finish into the bottom-left corner after a surging run from midfield. 

Robert Lewandowski deserves to receive a positive reception when he returns to Bayern Munich as a Barcelona player, according to Julian Nagelsmann.

Lewandowski is set for a swift visit to his former club after Barca were drawn to face the Bundesliga champions in Group C of the Champions League, alongside Inter and Viktoria Plzen.

The Poland international, who scored his first competitive goals for Barca in a 4-1 thrashing of Real Sociedad last week, left Bayern in somewhat acrimonious fashion after declaring that something had "died" within him in Germany.

But Nagelsmann believes Bayern's fans will give Lewandowski a warm welcome on his Allianz Arena return, declaring: "I think there will be applause.

"I never like it when someone gets whistled. I don't know all of the processes [leading to his exit], the fan in the stadium are even further away.

"There is always a second truth, that things are exaggerated, mistranslated."

On Bayern's tough-looking European draw, Nagelsmann added: "It's a challenging group, but we can and want to come through it."

 

Before Bayern turn their attentions to the Champions League, they will look to maintain a scintillating start to the Bundesliga campaign when they host Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.

With nine points and a goal difference of +14 (15 goals scored, one conceded) after three games of the new season, Bayern have made the best start in the competition's history at this stage.

And they have been handed a further boost after midfielder Leon Goretzka returned to full training for the first time since undergoing knee surgery in July, although he will not play any part in Bayern's next outing.

"[Eric Maxim] Choupo-Moting was training again but had a few problems today," the Bayern boss added at a pre-match press conference on Friday. 

"Leon was also back today and completed parts of team training. Neither of them are options to play tomorrow."

Bayern's tally of 15 goals in their first three games of the Bundesliga season is also unmatched in the competition's history, and Jamal Musiala has played a key role, matching new arrival Sadio Mane with three league goals this campaign.

Bayern and Germany great Lothar Matthaus recently declared the 19-year-old could become the best player in the world within the next few years, but Nagelsmann is keen to keep the youngster grounded.

"He doesn't have a starting eleven guarantee," Nagelsmann said of Musiala. 

"Lothar's comparison is an honour. Lionel [Messi] has played at a high level for many years and he has yet to prove that. I trust him. But he's not quite at 100 per cent yet. 

"I'll be spoiled for choice tomorrow. He has no guarantee that he will play, like everybody else."

Julian Nagelsmann has revealed Leroy Sane is unhappy with his lack of game time at Bayern Munich, but the coach sees no reason to change his team following a flying start to the Bundesliga season.

Nagelsmann's side have begun his second season at the helm in stunning fashion, beating RB Leipzig 5-3 in a thrilling DFL-Supercup before racing to a 6-1 win at Eintracht Frankfurt in their Bundesliga opener last week.

Bayern were 5-0 up before half-time as they tore the Europa League winners apart last Friday, the biggest half-time lead a team have ever had in their opening Bundesliga game, while only one side have ever netted more than their six goals on matchday one – also Bayern in an 8-0 thrashing of Schalke in 2020. 

The Bundesliga champions' terrific start was made all the more impressive by the strength of their bench, with Sane and Matthijs de Ligt restricted to roles as second-half substitutes.

Sane, who went on to assist Bayern's sixth goal, has been linked with a move to Manchester United as Serge Gnabry and Sadio Mane start in Nagelsmann's attack, yet the coach is not concerned.

"I don't see any reason to change anything. We're still in the kind phase of the season, so you don't have to make big changes," he told a news conference ahead of Sunday's clash with Wolfsburg.

On Sane, he added: "He is not satisfied that he does not start. Others are doing better, like Jamal Musiala recently. 

"He needs to impose himself in training. He handles it well."

Mane has quickly made his mark, scoring 29 minutes into his Bundesliga debut and finishing the first weekend with the joint-most sprints (39) across the division, showing his seamless adaptation to Bayern's high-energy approach.

"He's very humble, an extreme team player who lets others shine," Nagelsmann said of the former Liverpool forward. "When dealing with him, you don't realise that he's a superstar. That makes it comfortable with him."

Meanwhile, Leon Goretzka has missed out entirely for Bayern so far this season, having undergone knee surgery ahead of a pre-season tour of the United States in July.

The Germany midfielder only made 19 Bundesliga appearances during a troubled 2021-22 campaign, but Nagelsmann revealed his recovery is progressing nicely.

"He's done some running but will need a bit longer before he can join team training," Nagelsmann said. 

"I will give him all the time he needs. The knee hasn't reacted badly at all, and the healing process is going better than we'd expected."

Leon Goretzka will miss Bayern Munich's pre-season tour of the United States after undergoing surgery on his troublesome knee injury.

The Germany international only managed 19 Bundesliga appearances in the 2021-22 season after battling an issue with his left knee.

Goretzka has subsequently gone under the knife on Monday, ruling him out of clashes with D.C. United and Manchester City before the DFL-Supercup final against RB Leipzig on July 30.

Reports suggest the 27-year-old could be out for up to two months, leaving Julian Nagelsmann short of midfield options for the early part of the 2022-23 Bundesliga season.

Goretzka would likely have partnered Joshua Kimmich in midfield, with Marcel Sabitzer or new arrival from Ajax Ryan Gravenberch among the potential replacements for the Bundesliga champions.

Bayern may look to push through on their reported interest for Leipzig's Konrad Laimer as another option in midfield, as they prepare for the campaign without Robert Lewandowski, who is set to join Barcelona.

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