Mainz were hit with an €8,000 beer bill on Tuesday after their fans showered Union Berlin forward Max Kruse during a recent Bundesliga game.

Former Germany international Kruse was targeted after he was substituted in the 83rd minute of Union's 2-1 win at Mainz in early October.

He had beer cups thrown over him as he walked behind the goal on his way off the pitch, resulting in a soaking for the 33-year-old.

Kruse kept his cool and said in a post-match interview with DAZN: "Why should something like that provoke me? What should I say to such nonsense heads?"

Mainz were charged over the behaviour of their fans and German Football Association (DFB) chiefs have now passed judgement.

"The sports court of the DFB fined the Bundesliga club Mainz 8,000 euros in single judge proceedings after the DFB control committee brought charges for unsportsmanlike conduct on the part of its supporters," the DFB said in a statement.

"In the 83rd minute of the Bundesliga game against Union Berlin on October 3, 2021, the Berlin player Max Kruse was showered with beer by spectators from Mainz after his substitution. The association has agreed to the ruling, the ruling is now final."

Thomas Muller hailed Bayern Munich's efforts after the Bundesliga leaders responded to a 5-0 thrashing by Borussia Monchengladbach with victory over Union Berlin.

Gladbach handed the Bavarian giants a shock demolition in the DFB-Pokal on Wednesday, the first time Bayern had lost by a five-goal margin since December 1978.

However, Julian Nagelsmann's side responded well with a 5-2 win against Union, who had gone 21 home league games without defeat before facing the reigning champions.

Leroy Sane added to Robert Lewandowski's first-half brace to put Bayern three ahead before Niko Giesselmann and Julian Ryerson struck either side of Kingsley Coman's finish.

Muller, who has scored against all the other 17 current Bundesliga teams bar Bayern, then netted to seal victory while adding Union to his list – the 26th side he has scored a top-flight goal against.

The 32-year-old was one of the more vocal figures after the Gladbach thrashing and he once again defended his team-mates and club after Saturday's game.

"You don't have to work on every little detail now," Muller told reporters post-match.

"If FC Bayern crashes out of the cup with a 5-0 loss, you have to be able to learn something, we're not made of sugar.

"Sometimes there is criticism that is a little below the belt. But we are not standing here comfortably.

"We are still out of the cup, the competition was very important to us. It's certainly not all great now."

Muller also explained how Bayern were expecting a tough task, given Union's impressive home form and the fact they had taken 16 points after nine games – their best return, joint with last season, in a top-flight season.

"We had to show a reaction," he continued. "Here in this stadium you never know what's going to happen.

"We had to accept the duels and take responsibility that everyone wanted the ball.

"We played a very dominant game, we should have scored a few more goals.

"Then came the Union response, they fought back and showed even more aggressiveness, played long balls but we gave the right answers with the goals."

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.

Julian Nagelsmann conceded Bayern Munich's 5-0 thrashing by Borussia Monchengladbach will take a while to heal.

Nagelsmann – who was absent again from the touchline for a fourth game due to a positive COVID-19 test – saw his side miss out on the DFB-Pokal last-16 stage after a crushing loss at the hands of Gladbach.

Wednesday's demolition was the first time since December 1978 that Bayern had lost by a five-goal margin as the Bavarian giants look to bounce back against Union Berlin in Saturday's Bundesliga clash.

However, Nagelsmann warned that a defeat of that magnitude will take a while to heal from as they look for a fourth consecutive victory on the road in the German top flight.

"We didn't cry to ourselves on the phone about how bad everything is," said Nagelsmann on Friday.

"It was important to me that the players not only look for mistakes in themselves but also in me. At the end of the conversation, I had the feeling with everyone that we could get this out of their heads – but also that it would take a while.

"Our aim is to solve it playfully, but it is easier on a good day. We need solutions that we will use again and again in the future in order to survive such moments.

"That was one new experience for us. With that we can close the Wednesday book."

 

Nagelsmann will be hoping for improvements against Union Berlin, who have not won any of their first four matches against Bayern in the Bundesliga.

The former RB Leipzig head coach also revealed he held important conversations with some of his key players after the Gladbach game as they quickly looked to resolve issues.

"The conversations were yesterday," he continued. "I won't tell you which players I spoke to. That remains a trade secret. I have tried to send messages that can also be passed on [to other players].

"I try to have the best possible influence. As a head coach, being able to hand over responsibilities is a great asset.

"There was a lot received, but that stays between us. Everyone has different issues. In the end we all agreed that this shouldn't happen to us again. Simply because it hurts. It doesn't work about what other people write about us.

"It's not about making amends. Experiences are shaped by uniqueness, you can no longer eradicate something like that in life. The stone from Wednesday will lie there forever."

 

Nagelsmann, who confirmed he will return to the touchline for the Champions League clash on Tuesday against Benfica, also insisted he can handle the pressure of the Bayern role.

"I always feel pressure, it hasn't changed much," he added. "I know how Bayern Munich works. I've prepared myself for it.

"It's not about life and death, but about making good games and learning from them. The pressure is no different now than it was before."

Feyenoord have condemned a "totally reprehensible" attack on top officials from Europa Conference League rivals Union Berlin at a Rotterdam restaurant.

According to reports in the Netherlands, Union president Dirk Zingler and director Oskar Kosche were among those sitting outside when a group of men began hurling missiles, including glasses and chairs.

Feyenoord said "minor injuries" were sustained by those under assault, declaring those responsible had no right to consider themselves supporters of the Eredivisie club.

In a statement, Feyenoord confirmed the attack on Wednesday evening occurred in the city centre.

"It was a totally reprehensible event that should not happen to anyone who is a guest in the city for what should be a beautiful European football night," Feyenoord said.

"Feyenoord thinks it is terrible that this has happened to representatives of Union Berlin. The club therefore distances itself in every possible way from the people who have reduced themselves to this cowardly act and believes that no one who portrays Feyenoord and the city in such an insane way in a negative light can and should call themselves a supporter. The club cannot get over the fact that people think it is in any way acceptable to display such behaviour."

Feyenoord and Union go head to head on Thursday evening in Group E of the third-tier competition. The teams meet again in Berlin on October.

The Dutch club added: "Feyenoord is of the opinion that the [sporting] battle between two football clubs, in this case Feyenoord and Union Berlin, takes place on the field at all times for 90 minutes and never in any other way, especially not by threatening or injuring. For people who think otherwise, there is zero place at the club.

"Feyenoord also hopes that the perpetrators are found and punished for this shocking case of public violence and although outside its sphere of influence, Feyenoord apologise to Union Berlin for what has happened."

Union responded by quote-tweeting the statement, adding: "Thanks for the clear words Feyenoord."

Local police confirmed they were investigating the disturbance.

Rotterdam-based newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported a woman needed hospital treatment for a head injury sustained in the attack.

The co-owner of De Huismeester restaurant, Pascal Dijkkamp, described the incident to the newspaper, saying: "They started throwing everything to hand: chairs, glasses, ashtrays. We've already collected a large garbage bag full of shards. A chair is completely written off."

Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels heaped praise on "goalscoring machine" Erling Haaland, who inspired a 4-2 Bundesliga win over Union Berlin.

Haaland maintained his red-hot form with a brace as Dortmund defeated visiting Union Berlin on Sunday – the 21-year-old becoming the youngest player in history to reach 47 Bundesliga goals in just his 48th appearance.

After Dortmund full-back Raphael Guerreiro opened the scoring in stunning fashion, Haaland doubled Dortmund's lead in the 24th minute via a header.

A Marvin Friedrich own goal seven minutes into the second half virtually put the result beyond doubt, though Max Kruse's penalty gave Union Berlin some hope.

After Andreas Voglsmanner netted a second for Union Berlin, Haaland then produced a stunning lob over Andreas Luthe with seven minutes remaining.

"Did he really score a header today?" German star Hummels told DAZN. "He's been practising a lot.

"He's got so many strengths, now he's also working on his weaknesses.

"When he came to Dortmund from Salzburg [in 2020], his aerial game was pretty bad. [Former head coach] Edin [Terzic], Erling and I spent a lot of time practising crosses, over and over again, and now you can see where that gets you.

"He's definitely going to get 10 more goals a season because of the fact he's improved his aerial game. He's just a goalscoring machine."

Haaland has 68 goals in 67 competitive games overall for Dortmund, including 11 in eight this season.

Hummels added: "Whenever he sees a chance to put the ball in the back of the net, his eyes light up. He's going to be one of the best forwards in the world for the next 15 years."

Haaland has already scored two headers in the Bundesliga this season, as many as he managed in all of 2020-21.

"If Erling scores those headers permanently now, then 'Wow!' and 'Congratulations!' to our upcoming opponents," said Dortmund head coach Marco Rose.

Rose's Dortmund scored for a 37th consecutive Bundesliga game, a club record and the third longest such run in the league's history.

Dortmund are third in the standings – a point adrift of champions and leaders Bayern Munich after five rounds.

Europe's top five leagues all conclude this week and there are still plenty of matters to be resolved – not least who will be crowned champions in Spain and France.

Every division has something riding on the final days of the season, whether it be top spot, European qualification, or relegation.

Ahead of what is set to be a dramatic conclusion to the Premier League, LaLiga, Ligue 1, Serie A and the Bundesliga campaigns, we look at the state of play in each league.

 

PREMIER LEAGUE

Manchester City wrapped up the Premier League title with three games to spare, making them the first team in the competition's history to win the title despite being as low as eighth on Christmas Day.

All three relegation places were also decided with three games remaining – a Premier League record – with Fulham joining Sheffield United and West Brom in dropping down a division.

That leaves just the European spots to fight for, and it is shaping up to be an entertaining end to the English top-flight season in that regard. Manchester United are guaranteed a top-four finish, but five other teams – Leicester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and West Ham – are in the mix for the two other Champions League berths with two rounds of games to go.

There is also the small matter of the Europa League places for the teams finishing in fifth and sixth, as well as a spot in the inaugural Europa Conference League, which goes to the team in seventh, meaning everyone from 10th-placed Leeds United to Leicester in third have something to play for. That includes Arsenal, who have not missed out on European football of some sort in 25 years.

LALIGA 

The Spanish title race appeared to take a dramatic twist on Sunday as Real Madrid leapfrogged Atletico Madrid at the summit for around 20 minutes. However, Atleti scored two late goals to beat Osasuna, meaning they are two points ahead of their city rivals heading into the final round of games.

Atleti, who have led the way at the top for 29 matchdays, now need to match Madrid's result against Villarreal when they travel to relegation-threatened Real Valladolid on the final day of the season. It is worth noting that Los Blancos have the superior head-to-head record, so a draw would not be enough for Atleti if Madrid win.

Barcelona are officially out of the title race, meanwhile, but they are assured of a top-four finish along with Sevilla. Real Sociedad and Real Betis occupy the Europa League spots, while Villarreal are in a Europa Conference League berth, though just one point separates the three teams so that could all yet change.

To complicate matters, Villarreal could still qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa League final against Manchester United.

At the bottom end of the division, Eibar are already relegated and they will be joined by two of Valladolid, Elche or Huesca. Valladolid must beat Atletico in their final game to have a chance of staying up, while the onus is on Elche to better Huesca's result as they are level on points but have an inferior head-to-head record.

LIGUE 1

The Ligue 1 title battle is also going right down to the wire in a three-way dogfight. After a thrilling race that has lasted the course of the season, underdogs Lille lead heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain by one point with one matchday left.

Monaco have won seven of their previous eight games and are three points off leaders Lille, though they require both Les Dogues and PSG to slip up on the final day, as well as beating Lens. Should it come down to goal difference, PSG hold a big lead over their two title rivals.

Incredibly, PSG are still not yet technically assured of a Champions League place as Lyon in fourth are only three points worse off, although it would take a defeat for the reigning champions and victory for Lyon, plus a goal swing of 16, for them to miss out.

Monaco's opponents Lens, incidentally, also have plenty to play for at the weekend as they are sixth – enough for Europa Conference League qualification – but can still be caught by Rennes in seventh, while they could yet overtake Marseille in fifth if results go their way.

At the opposite end of the table, there may only be one spot left to be settled in the bottom three – Dijon and Nimes are both already down – but six teams are still very much in danger of the drop. Nantes occupy the relegation play-off spot, with Lorient, Brest and Strasbourg just a point better off, and Bordeaux and Reims only two points clear.

SERIE A

With Inter being crowned Scudetto winners for the first time in 11 years at the start of the month, the biggest storyline in Serie A regards Juventus' top-four fate. The dethroned champions, who had finished top nine years running before this season, are currently down in fifth.

Juve are one point behind Napoli and Milan in the two spots directly above them, while Atalanta are three points better off in second and have the better head-to-head record against the Bianconeri.

Andrea Pirlo's side are therefore in need of favours on the final day in what is poised to be a nail-biting finale in terms of those Champions League places. Lazio will finish sixth, so they are assured of Europa League football next term, while Roma hold a two-point advantage over Sassuolo in the Europa Conference League position.

Parma and Crotone are both down already and one of Benevento or Torino will join them, the latter currently three points outside of the relegation zone and with a game in hand to play on Benevento.

BUNDESLIGA

RB Leipzig provided Bayern Munich with some stern competition for a while, but the Bavarian giants' quality eventually told and they are Bundesliga champions for a ninth year running.

It's not only the title race that's done and dusted in Germany, in fact, as RB Leipzig are certain of second place, and both Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg will join them in the Champions League next season.

Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen, meanwhile, will finish in fifth and sixth respectively regardless of events later this week.

However, Union Berlin have work to do if they are to finish seventh for a place in the Europa Conference League play-offs as Borussia Monchengladbach are a point further back, while Stuttgart and Freiburg are two behind with a game to go.

Seven-time German champions Schalke will be competing in the second tier of German football next season, but Cologne and Werder Bremen are hanging on in there, sitting two and one point behind Arminia Bielefeld respectively in 15th place.

Jamal Musiala's goal was not enough for Bayern Munich as they were held 1-1 draw by Union Berlin in a match which was hardly ideal preparation for Tuesday's Champions League showdown with Paris Saint-Germain.

Hansi Flick named a much-changed team for the Bundesliga game sandwiched between the two-legged quarter-final tie with PSG, and it appeared as though one of the fresh faces would prove decisive when Musiala – who later went off injured – slotted in.

Yet Bayern, who also lost Kingsley Coman to injury, were punished for sloppy defending late on when Marcus Ingvartsen bundled in from close range, with help from the unfortunate Josip Stanisic.

While ending a six-match winning run in the Bundesliga, the result also sees Bayern's lead at the top cut to five points, with RB Leipzig defeating Werder Bremen.

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