Category Archives: Bundesliga

Vincent Koziello stands tall to lead Köln's fight for Bundesliga survival | Andy Brassell

The midfielder has added simplicity to Effzeh’s squad since arriving from Nice and has a nickname that might stick

One start and two substitute appearances in, and he is already being lauded as Der Zauberzwerg – the magic dwarf – for FC Köln. Vincent Koziello was one of the most wrong-footing signings of the Bundesliga’s winter window, a player heavily linked with Arsenal and even Barcelona in the past, a mini-Xavi cutting a swathe on the Côte d’Azur before arriving at the bottom club.

He has, however, had to bide his time. “Vincent arrived just after we won against Gladbach,” coach Stefan Ruthenbeck recalled last week. “He hadn’t been playing much in Nice. We didn’t have any friendlies to integrate him. That’s why I said right away that we’ll bring him in when the time is right. That could be against Leipzig at the weekend.”

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European roundup: Barcelona rout Girona as Bayern Munich held by Hertha

• Messi double, Coutinho screamer and Suárez hat-trick in 6-1 win
• Bayern’s winning run halted by Hertha in goalless Bundesliga draw

Lionel Messi, Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suárez combined to devastating effect to help Barcelona hammer Girona 6-1 and take the club 10 points clear at the top of La Liga, as well as set a club record of 32 league games unbeaten.

Portu gave Girona a shock lead in the third minute but Suárez quickly levelled, before two goals from Messi and another from the Uruguayan saw Barça march into a 4-1 half-time lead. Coutinho, who had set up Suárez’s second, then struck for the first time in La Liga with a spectacular long-range shot. Suárez completed a hat-trick when he tapped in a cutback from Ousmane Dembélé.

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Schalke's Leon Goretzka gives Bayern Munich a glimpse of their future | Andy Brassell

Schalke midfielder will join Bayern in the summer and his display against them will have pleased home fans in Munich

At least he ended up with an assist from it. It was a whisker from being one of the goals of the season, as Leon Goretzka threw a bicycle kick at Breel Embolo’s cross, and Sven Ulreich looked beaten. Unfortunately, the ball didn’t connect with his laces but flicked off the outside of his boot – falling to Franco Di Santo at the back post, who applied a measured finish.

No matter. It was, Goretzka told Sky afterwards without the smallest hint of bashfulness, something he’d managed before. “It wasn’t as it should have been today,” he shrugged, “but it ended in a goal, which is the most important thing.” No matter either that Di Santo’s strike offered Schalke only brief parity at the Allianz Arena, with Thomas Müller slotting home a winner later in the first half after Robert Lewandowski had got things started.

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Nuri Sahin: ‘I want to give back after football and my children to be proud’

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder talks about Jürgen Klopp, the excitement surrounding Jadon Sancho and how he hopes to bring the Champions League trophy back to his current club

We are back to where it started for Nuri Sahin – spiritually at least. As we settle into the common room at the top of the youth scholars’ boarding house at Borussia Dortmund’s training ground, on Big Brother-style soft furnishings between table football and a games console, the club’s press officer points out this sort of dedicated facility did not exist when the midfielder was a teenage aspirant. Sahin, from the age of 12, and the other scholars lived in a boarding house in the city centre.

Related: Ademola Lookman slips and slides from Everton into Leipzig’s affections | Andy Brassell

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Source: gad

European roundup: Robin Koch sinks Leipzig to bolster Bayern

• Freiburg shock Leipzig with two goals in four minutes
• Girona peg back Atlético Madrid with second-half equaliser

Lowly Freiburg stunned RB Leipzig 2-1, coming from a goal down and scoring twice in four minutes to spoil their opponents’ chance of cutting Bayern Munich’s advantage at the top.

Leipzig’s Timo Werner broke the deadlock when he dribbled past two defenders and fired in a left-footed shot that went in off the post in the 65th minute. But their joy was short-lived as Freiburg struck twice in four minutes for an unexpected win. Janik Haberer drilled in from 12 metres in the 72nd minute and before Leipzig could recover, they struck again through Robin Koch, whose first Bundesliga goal last week earned a point at Eintracht Frankfurt.

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Source: gad