Alphonso Davies has become the latest Bayern Munich player to test positive for coronavirus.

Bayern revealed on Wednesday that Canada left-back Davies had contracted COVID-19

It comes a day after Leroy Sane and Dayot Upamecano tested positive as the Bundesliga leaders prepare to face Borussia Monchengladbach in their first game after the winter break on Friday.

Lucas Hernandez and Tanguy Nianzou also returned positive tests this week.

Manuel Neuer, Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso and Omar Richards were also unable to report for training after they tested positive. 

Bayern's assistant coach Dino Toppmoller is another absent due to coronavirus.

The Bavarian giants won seven consecutive games prior to the break and hold a nine-point lead over Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga.

Lucas Hernandez and Tanguy Nianzou have tested positive for COVID-19, Bayern Munich have confirmed.

The club said in a statement that the pair have entered isolation and are "both well".

They will miss Bayern's Bundesliga clash with Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday – the champions' first match after the mid-season break.

France international Hernandez has made 19 appearances across all competitions this season, while teenager Nianzou has featured in 13 games, although just four of those have been starts.

Bayern also revealed that Leroy Sane, Dayot Upamecano and Josip Stanisic returned inconclusive results.

Julian Nagelsmann's side resume Bundesliga action with a nine-point advantage over Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table.

Thomas Muller starred on a milestone appearance and Robert Lewandowski broke a long-standing Gerd Muller record as Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich cruised to a 4-0 victory over Wolfsburg on Friday.

Muller marked his 400th top-flight outing for Bayern with the opening goal after seven minutes at the Allianz Arena, before the Germany international teed up Dayot Upamecano for a second after the interval.

Leroy Sane added a third for Julian Nagelsmann's side and Lewandowski was able to find a record 43rd league goal in 2021 to surpass Bayern legend's Gerd Muller's long-standing Bundesliga calendar-year scoring record as the hosts cruised to victory.
 
Leaders Bayern hold a nine-point advantage at the summit, with Dortmund – who play Hertha Berlin on Saturday – sat in second heading into the mid-season break.

Bayern were soon ahead when Muller poked home from close range after Koen Casteels had parried Serge Gnabry's strike, before Manuel Neuer thwarted Wout Weghorst at the other end.

Jamal Musiala almost doubled Bayern's lead but dragged wide, while Casteels denied Lewandowski's header from point-blank range.

Muller delicately chipped for Upamecano to head into the bottom-left corner after the interval, with Sane expertly curling in via the left post just two minutes later.

Lewandowski then had two opportunities to break Gerd Muller's benchmark, but wastefully prodded over with the first before an excellent Casteels save denied him from the second.

The Poland striker eventually managed his landmark finish when Musiala selflessly headed across goal for the Poland striker to volley in as Bayern eased to victory.


What does it mean? Bayern title favourites again heading into mid-season break

Bayern, who have not lost any of their last 25 home league matches against Wolfsburg, once again head into the mid-season break top of the Bundesliga – this time leading by at least six points, with Dortmund set to play their game in hand against Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

In the three points-per-win era, the Bavarians have won the title in 14 of the 15 seasons when they have been at the summit at the halfway point. By contrast, Wolfsburg have now lost seven consecutive competitive matches.

Gnabry the Great

Muller and Lewandowski seemingly steal the plaudits most weeks, but Gnabry's dominant performance should not go under the radar.

The Germany winger not only provided an assist but also laid on a team-leading three chances – along with full-back Alphonso Davies and Musiala – as he ensured a torrid game for Yannick Gerhardt at left wing-back.

Woeful Weghorst

Weghorst wasted a glorious opportunity to equalise immediately after Muller's opener and that set the tone for a frustrating performance from the striker.

The Netherlands international cut an isolated figure up top, winning just over a third of his 14 duels, while relinquishing possession a team-high 18 times.

What's next?

The Bundesliga now takes a break until 2022. Bayern return to action at home to Borussia Monchengladbach on January 7, while Wolfsburg visit Bochum two days later. 

Barcelona have been eliminated from the Champions League following a 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

Xavi's side drop into the Europa League and will not appear in the knockout stages of Europe's premier club competition for the first time since the 2003-04 season.

Already assured of top spot in Group E, first-half goals from Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane put Bayern well on the way to progressing with a 100 per cent record.

Jamal Musiala ensured that Julian Nagelsmann's side did just that when he sealed the victory just after the hour mark in another routine victory for the hosts in this fixture.

To avoid elimination, Barca needed to win or hope that Benfica failed to beat Dynamo Kiev elsewhere in the final round of group fixtures.

Jordi Alba tested Manuel Neuer from distance, while Ousmane Dembele swept a shot over from Memphis Depay's square ball.

But Barca fell behind in the 34th minute; Robert Lewandowski cleverly twisting and turning before crossing for Muller, whose looping header crossed the line before Ronald Araujo could volley clear.

Bayern doubled their lead just before the break with Sane's powerful 30-yard strike completely perplexing Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Sane squandered a golden opportunity for his second goal shortly after the restart when somehow failing to turn the ball home from inside the six-yard box after Kingsley Coman cushioned Alphonso Davies' cross into his path.

Bayern's third goal did arrive in the 62nd minute as Musiala sealed the deal by slotting home following a strong run and cross by Davies.

Julian Nagelsmann believes Bayern Munich are ready for Der Klassiker after digging deep for a 1-0 home win over Arminia Bielefeld.

Bayern's clash with Bundesliga title rivals Borussia Dortmund is coming up next Saturday, with the great rivals sitting first and second in the German top flight.

Dortmund briefly occupied top spot on Saturday after a 3-1 win over Wolfsburg, in which Erling Haaland returned from injury with a goal.

But they were nudged off the summit later in the day when Leroy Sane's 71st-minute strike earned a depleted Bayern three valuable points. Eight days previously, Bayern were beaten by Augsburg, so a league win of any sort this time was to be welcomed.

Nagelsmann's squad has been hit hard by COVID-19 cases, but the head coach saw enough from the team he fielded against Arminia to be optimistic about the tussle with Dortmund.

The Bayern boss said: "I am very satisfied. It was a step forward after the Augsburg game.

"We had enough chances to win the game. We gave away a few chances in the second half. Dortmund won, so we were under a bit of pressure. It's a deserved victory. We don't always have to score three, four or five goals. One is enough.

"Overall, we defended well. Such games are important. If you lose those games, then it's not enough to just win games like next week.

"We are now heading to Dortmund as championship leaders and full of anticipation."

 

Sane's goal was Bayern's 102nd in the league this calendar year – a Bundesliga record, beating Cologne's mark from 1977.

Thomas Muller made his 396th Bundesliga appearance for Bayern, matching the great Franz Beckenbauer's total and going sixth on the club's all-time list, led by Sepp Maier (473).

Asked how many more games he could play, midfielder Muller told Sky Deutschland: "We'll see. If I stay fresh and fit, and well enough, then something is still possible. That is just a nice statistic, it simply shows the path I have already taken.

"But I am looking forward more to the road still ahead of me, which is certainly a bit shorter in comparison."

Leroy Sane broke Arminia Bielefeld's resolve as Bayern Munich battled to a 1-0 win at Allianz Arena to reclaim top spot from Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.

Dortmund's earlier 3-1 win at Wolfsburg saw them climb to the summit, but Bayern responded in Saturday's late kick-off to move a point clear ahead of next week's Klassiker. 

After failing to forge a breakthrough in the first half of a league game for just the second time this term, Sane finally found the net for Bayern with 71 minutes played.

That was Bayern's 102nd league goal this calendar year – a Bundesliga record – and proved enough to help the hosts bounce back from last week's 2-1 loss at Augsburg.

Reigning champions Bayern had 11 attempts in the first half, six of those on target, without finding a way past inspired Arminia goalkeeper Stefan Ortega.

The visiting keeper did well to keep out a couple of Alphonso Davies efforts and a volley from Thomas Muller, who earlier had a header cleared off the line by Andres Andrade.

Sane continued Bayern's wastefulness by missing two big chances early in the second half, but the Germany international eventually provided the opener.

Collecting a pass from Muller outside the box, Sane whipped a shot past Ortega to give Bayern the goal they craved.

Arminia held Bayern 3-3 in their previous meeting in February, but the strugglers could not find a response this time and were fortunate not to concede a second when Serge Gnabry's shot came back out off the crossbar late on.

Hansi Flick became the first Germany head coach to win his first six matches in charge after his side crushed Liechtenstein 9-0 in World Cup qualifying Group J on Thursday. 

The former Bayern Munich boss kicked off his reign with a 2-0 win over these opponents in September and always looked like taking the outright record from Joachim Low following Ilkay Gundogan's early penalty, given for a foul which saw a red card issued to Jens Hofer.

Die Mannschaft, whose progress to next year's World Cup in Qatar had already been secured before the game in Wolfsburg, took full advantage of their numerical superiority, racing into a 4-0 half-time lead thanks to a Daniel Kaufmann own goal and strikes from Leroy Sane and Marco Reus. 

Sane added a fifth early in the second period, while a brace from Thomas Muller, a fine Ridle Baku strike and an own goal from Maximilian Goppel sealed a resounding win late on.

Gundogan stroked home from the penalty spot in the 11th minute after Hofer had kicked Leon Goretzka in the throat – an eye-watering challenge that resulted in the defender's dismissal.

Kaufmann prodded into his own net from Christian Gunter's low cross nine minutes later to double Germany's advantage, before Sane coolly slid past Benjamin Buchel after being played in by Goretzka.

Reus then scored a third goal in the space of just three minutes and 31 seconds, the Borussia Dortmund man slotting in after Buchel had made a mess of a deep cross.

Germany picked up where they left off at the start of the second period, Sane claiming his second with a scuffed shot from 10 yards in the 49th minute.

Muller scored with two close-range finishes either side of a superb Baku effort, while the unfortunate Goppel headed into his own net to wrap up the scoring in the 89th minute.

 

Robert Lewandowski scored a double as Bayern Munich defeated Union Berlin 5-2 to keep the reigning champions top of the Bundesliga.

Julian Nagelsmann's side were thrashed 5-0 by Borussia Monchengladbach in Wednesday's DFB Pokal clash but Lewandowski's first-half brace settled any early nerves on Saturday.

Leroy Sane put Bayern three ahead away from home, although Niko Giesselmann hit back for Union – as did Julian Ryerson after Kingsley Coman had made it four.

Thomas Muller sealed the victory with just over 10 minutes remaining, netting Bayern's 38th goal after just 10 matches of the league season in a new Bundesliga record.

The scoring started from the penalty spot after Paul Jaeckel was adjudged to have handled the ball and Lewandowksi slotted into the bottom-left corner.

The Poland forward soon added a second as he rifled into the top-right corner following a short free-kick routine.

Sane was denied from close range by Andreas Luthe shortly after, but the Bayern winger made amends, tapping in Muller's cross, before Giesselmann pulled one back for Union, who also saw Taiwo Awoniyi's strike ruled out for offside.

Manuel Neuer was twice required to parry away from Sheraldo Becker after the interval, and those saves provided a platform for Coman to extend the visitors' lead again as he blasted into the top-right corner.

Ryerson turned in from Kevin Behren's cutback after 65 minutes, but Union's 21-match unbeaten run at home in the Bundesliga would not be prolonged as Muller finished high into the net.

Dino Toppmoller hailed the way Bayern Munich's players overcame the absence of Julian Nagelsmann to clinch a 4-0 win over Benfica.

Bayern head coach Nagelsmann pulled out of the Champions League Group E game three hours beforehand with flu-like symptoms and handed the reins to assistant Toppmoller.

Two goals from Leroy Sane, one from Robert Lewandowski and an own goal from Benfica's Everton wrapped up a comfortable victory in Lisbon on Wednesday for the six-time winners.

It ensured Bayern have earned nine points from their first three games and are sitting pretty at the top of Group E, five points clear of second-placed Benfica with Barcelona further point behind.

Bayern have scored 12 goals and conceded none to give them their best start to a Champions League season and the joint-best overall in the competition.

"The boys were sensational, especially in the second half," Toppmoller told DAZN.

"Huge compliments to the team. It's not easy for the boys when the head coach pulls out at the last moment."

Benfica have never beaten Bayern in any of their 11 European meetings (drawn three, lost eight). 

But despite the scoreline, Bayern did not have it all their own way and were indebted to two fine saves from goalkeeper Manuel Neuer when it was 0-0.

The Germany international managed a clean sheet on his 100th appearance in the Champions League as he became only the fourth player to reach a century of appearances for the club in the competition, and only the second goalkeeper after Oliver Kahn (103).

"It's gigantic, I never would have believed it," Neuer said of the milestone.

"If someone had said that to me at the start of my career, I never would have thought it was possible. It's a great time and we had a great crowd today.

"I think the second half was incredible. We gave very little away and had the control, but we couldn't really break through. When the first goal went in, things became easier for us. It was a great evening for us."

Bayern Munich’s nine unbeaten matches against Benfica in the European Cup/Champions League (won six, drawn three) is the most by a team against an opponent since the tournament began in 1955.

Sane opened the scoring with a 70th-minute free-kick then rounded it off six minutes from time and acknowledged Bayern could have won by an even greater margin.

"I think we played a really, really good game," Sane said.

"Even in the first half. In attack, we could have finished off our chances a little better. But I am really happy with the performance. We had just had to play our game and be patient; in the end it worked out."

Bayern Munich tightened their grip on Champions League Group E with a 4-0 win over Benfica thanks to two goals from Leroy Sane 

Julian Nagelsmann's side dominated the game at the Estadio da Luz on Wednesday but had to wait until the 70th minute to open the scoring when Sane curled in a free-kick. 

Benfica's Everton increased their lead with an own goal before Robert Lewandowski tapped in and Sane put the gloss on the win with a side-footed finish from inside the box. 

Bayern are top of Group E on nine points and have a five-point cushion on second-placed Benfica, while Barcelona are a further point behind in third. 

Bayern began with a swagger and almost took an early lead when Thomas Muller's ball over the top picked out Sane but he shot wide. 

Odisseas Vlachodimos kept out a close-range Lewandowski header moments later as Benfica's defence were put on the back foot by an intense spell of Bayern pressure. 

Benfica's best chance of the first half came when Darwin Nunez brought a fine diving save out of Manuel Neuer, making his 100th appearance in the competition, with a curling effort. 

Lewandowski had the ball in the net on the stroke of half-time when he got on the end of Kingsley Coman's cross, only for VAR to deny Bayern with the Polish striker deemed to have bundled it in with his arm. 

A crisp half-volley from Benjamin Pavard was deflected onto the post by Vlachodimos just after the interval, while Muller's tap in was chalked off by VAR for offside. 

Neuer's reflexes were tested again by a curling Diogo Goncalves effort that the Germany goalkeeper somehow kept out of the top corner. 

Lewandowski headed over and Roman Yaremchuk shot wide in an end-to-end contest before Bayern finally seized the lead from a free-kick. 

Sane was able to get his left-footed effort up and over the wall, although Vlachodimos was slow to react and almost appeared to dive over the ball. 

Bayern had a second goal when Everton turned a Serge Gnabry cross into his own net before Lewandowski finished from a matter of inches out after good play from Sane. 

Sane notched his second of the game with six minutes left, stroking the ball beyond Vlachodimos after a fine passing move from the Bundesliga leaders. 

Julian Nagelsmann hailed Bayern Munich's greediness as they crushed Dynamo Kiev 5-0 in Wednesday's Champions League clash.

Bayern cruised past embattled Barcelona in the Bundesliga champions' European opener before consolidating their perfect start in Group E with their fifth win in as many European home games against Dynamo.

Robert Lewandowski fired in a brace – his second goal representing his 119th strike in just 100 games for Bayern – before Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting completed the rout midweek.

Nagelsmann has now won nine of his first 10 games in all competitions – the best start by a Bayern head coach – but the highly rated German boss still wants improvements from his side.

"For a long time I'm already satisfied," Nagelsmann told DAZN post-match. "It's never easy to keep your concentration high if you lead early. There are still things that can be done better.

"It was symptomatic that the players always wanted to keep going. It's about this greed. To have it in both directions, and we showed this greed today. In the phases in which it might have tipped, the concentration was there."

"The most important scene for me was when [Dayot] Upamecano cleared the ball in the 89th minute and celebrated that we were keeping a clean sheet.

"That was an important step that the guys are so happy about. A zero for the opponent in the result just looks better."

Sane had been whistled off against Cologne by the Bayern supporters in September and Nagelsmann was pleased to see his winger's response as the hosts remained relentless in their thrashing of Mircea Lucescu's Ukrainian outfit.

"It's important for every person, for every footballer, to have a clear head," Nagelsmann continued.

"It's good to just let him [Sane] do his thing. He plays more central with me than last year. That's good for him, he has space there. He is an outstanding player with a very good character."

Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka says the side "just love playing football" after hammering Bochum 7-0 in the German Bundesliga on Saturday.

The German champions turned on the style with a stunning display, with Joshua Kimmich netting a double, while four others scored along with a Vasilios Lampropoulos own goal.

Bayern raced to a 4-0 half-time lead with first-half strikes from Leroy Sane, Kimmich and Serge Gnabry before the Lampropoulos own goal.

Robert Lewandowski added a fifth on the hour, before Kimmich and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting rounded out a comprehensive performance as Bayern dominated with 24-5 shots including 15 on target to Bochum's none.

"We just love playing football," said Goretzka who got the assist for Kimmich's second goal.

"We want to develop more, from game to game, and absorb our new coach's philosophy more and more.

"Today was a lot of fun for us, but not so much for Bochum. Of course, I'm always a bit sorry about that from a personal standpoint.

"We didn't give Bochum any breathing space. The first 10 minutes were a bit hectic. That's when they got into playing the game they wanted to play - long balls, a lot of fighting for the second ball.

"But then we gradually found our structure and defended very well. That's just how we dominated."

Bayern have enjoyed an excellent start to life under new head coach Julian Nagelsmann, who replaced Hansi Flick in the off-season.

The Bavarians are top of the Bundesliga with 13 points from five games, while they have won their past seven games in all competitions.

Nagelsmann said he was happy with the way his side played and offered praise to Sane, who opened the scoring with a fine free-kick.

"I see [Sane] developing very positively," Nagelsmann said. "He was highly committed but he was also a full throttle in the games before the international break.

"He is fully committed in situations which don’t have anything to do with talent. He rewards himself by getting in these situations.

"I remember a situation in which he kept on defending for 30 metres and won the ball before his own box. He showed the same with the national team and scored today. Offensively he is always in a good position.

"Everyone tries to limit him to the wing but he has now played for the fourth time as a bit of an attacking midfielder. He finds spaces where he can use his qualities."

Former Manchester City attacker Sane has scored two goals and provided two assists from five Bundesliga games this term.

Leroy Sane "just wants to keep going" after he continued his impressive form for Bayern Munich with a goal and an assist in a 7-0 rout of Bochum. 

Sane opened the scoring on Saturday with a fine free-kick, with the Germany winger then turning provider for Joshua Kimmich to double Bayern's lead. 

Serge Gnabry, Robert Lewandowski – who scored in a record-setting 13th successive Bundesliga home match – Kimmich and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting all scored again for Bayern, with Vasilios Lampropoulos also turning into his own net. 

Sane hopes to maintain his strong start to the season under Julian Nagelsmann after a difficult campaign last year. 

"I always try to do my best," he told Bayern's official website. 

"At the moment things are going very, very well. I just want to keep going. I played a good game today.  

"Sure, there are still a few things that can be improved. The coach speaks about them and I will try to implement it in the next games." 

Sane had five attempts, level with Gnabry for the most by any player in the game, with three of those ending up on target. 

It was an emphatic triumph for Bayern, who have moved to the top of the Bundesliga table with 13 points from their five matches. 

"I am satisfied with the result, but also with the way it was done," Nagelsmann said. 

"In the first ten minutes we still had a few problems. After that we got along very well. We had a good structure with the ball, we created a lot of opportunities.  

"In the second half there was a point that we didn't get a goal, and we showed the greed as if we had zero. Overall it was a very good performance. We are happy with the result." 

Paul Pogba will be in demand when his contract expires after this season.

While several big clubs are in the mix, one has reportedly taken the lead.

The Santiago Bernabeu could be Pogba's next home.

 

TOP STORY - REAL MADRID WANT POGBA

Real Madrid are confident they can land Paul Pogba on a free transfer after this season, Mundo Deportivo reports. 

The interest apparently is mutual, as the report says Pogba would favour a move to Los Blancos over interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus

The deal might not be so easy to close if Manchester United decide to sell Pogba during the January window, but he remains a top target for Madrid either way.

 

ROUND-UP

- After failing to find a landing spot in Europe following his departure from Arsenal, veteran centre-back David Luiz will join Flamengo through the end of 2022, according to reports by Fabrizio Romano and Goal Brazil. 

- Alexandre Lacazette appears on the way out at Arsenal after the Gunners made a significant effort to sign Tammy Abraham during the transfer window, Romano reports. 

- Chelsea and Bayern Munich could pursue a swap deal that sends Timo Werner back to Germany and brings Leroy Sane back to the Premier League, according to Todo Fichajes.

- Everton will make another attempt to prise Ainsley Maitland-Niles from Arsenal during the January window, ESPN reports.

- Ajax defender Jurrien Timber is drawing interest from Chelsea and Tottenham, according to 90min. 

Germany made it three wins from three under Hansi Flick and tightened their grip on top spot in World Cup qualifying Group J with a routine 4-0 victory over Iceland.

After putting eight unanswered goals past Liechtenstein and Armenia in their opening two games under Flick, Die Mannschaft kept up their positive start in Reykjavik.

Serge Gnabry's tap-in and Antonio Rudiger's header had Germany two goals ahead inside 24 minutes and Leroy Sane killed off the contest early in the second half.

Germany passed up a number of further opportunities before Timo Werner added a late fourth to seal a win that moves his side four points clear of second-place Armenia, who were held to a surprise 1-1 draw by Liechtenstein earlier on Wednesday.

Gnabry opened the scoring after six minutes in the 6-0 win over Armenia three days ago and needed just four minutes to get off the mark against Iceland at Laugardalsvollur.

Joshua Kimmich played in Sane with a pass on the spin and the Bayern Munich winger laid the ball on a plate for club-mate Gnabry to convert from close range.

That goal was allowed to stand after a VAR check for offside and the visitors had a second when Rudiger powerfully headed Kimmich's delivery away from Hannes Halldorsson.

Germany were then given a scare when, moments after Werner missed a one-on-one, Johann Berg Gudmundsson struck the post and Albert Gudmundsson's follow-up was ruled out for offside.

Kai Havertz, brought on for Gnabry at half-time, was next to miss a glorious chance as he slotted wide with just Halldorsson to beat, but Sane thumped a third into the rood of the net to seal the points.

After Leon Goretzka had a goal ruled out for offside it was left to Werner to complete the rout, the Chelsea attacker's shot trickling over the line as he made amends for an earlier horror miss from six yards out.

 

What does it mean? Flick's flying start continues

As far as starts to international coaching go, three wins from three with 12 goals scored and none conceded is just about as good as it gets for Flick.

The calibre of opponent may not have been all that daunting, but Germany have done what was asked of them to overtake Armenia and open up a healthy lead at the top.

Tougher tests lie ahead for Flick, but the transition from the disappointing end to Joachim Low's long tenure has been seamless and Germany's place in Qatar is almost assured.

Kimmich runs the show

Gnabry, Rudiger, Sane and Werner will receive the plaudits for getting their names on the scoresheet, though Kimmich was once again superb for Germany in central midfield.

He was pivotal in the opening goal with his vision, set up the second and played more key passes (four) than any other player on the field.

Wasteful Werner

Werner undoubtedly has his qualities, but he is arguably now better known for his collection of horror misses than world-class goals.

The Chelsea man did manage to score his 19th international goal on his 45th cap, but only after failing to convert a one-on-one and what was effectively an open goal from his four shots in total.

What's next?

Germany host Romania in their next Group J match on October 8, the same day that that Iceland welcome Armenia to Laugardalsvollur.

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