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Daily Schmankerl: Bernd Leno to replace Manuel Neuer, Rummenigge to clear things up with Wenger, Thomas Müller sets records, and more!

It was a thrilling Bundesliga day, and Germany’s Frauen also got a massive result in Wembley Stadium. That and more in the “Schmankerl am Sonntag.”

Leicester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Bernd Leno on his way to another match that Arsenal lost.
Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City via Getty Images

Bayern Munich to sign Bernd Leno to replace Manuel Neuer (The Sun)

The most trusted paper in the United Kingdom published a stunning “exclusive” yesterday:

MONEY TO BERN Arsenal No 1 Bernd Leno being lined up by Bayern Munich to replace Manuel Neuer

Obviously, the pressure of competing with Don Balon has gotten to the tabloid. Hence, the editorial staff also upped their bad-pun game, albeit somewhat confusingly, since lots of people send money to the capital of Switzerland...

Anyway, here are two sentences that someone who (I hope — or do I?) is paid to write about soccer by a big British tabloid actually wrote:

German shotstopper Leno, 27, has become a name on the lips of the Bundesliga giants who are worried about Manuel Neuer’s form.

Leno has become established with the Gunners after coming from Bayern [sic] Leverkusen and his Premier League experience has increased his reputation.

That’s quality journalism.

Bayern crushes Dortmund

If you missed the Klassiker yesterday, you missed an incredible statement game by Bayern Munich. In the second match of the post-Kovac era, Hansi Flick benched both Thiago and Coutinho, started Alphonso Davies at left-back (since David Alaba was playing center-back alongside Javi Martinez), and Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka in the midfield. And of course, Thomas Müller was back behind Robert Lewandowski.

And they crushed Dortmund.

The Yellow and Blacks did not record a single shot on target and just two shots total. Lewandowski scored twice, extending his streak to 11 consecutive games since the season began, Müller got two assists, and Davies played Jadon Sancho right out of the game and kept Achraf Hakimi at bay. Check out our match observations and player awards for more:

Big Bundesliga matchday

Bayern vs Dortmund was the matinee of an exciting morning of matches. One of the most exciting took place in Berlin, as RB Leipzig played Hertha. Hertha struck first but Leipzig equalized and took a 2-1 lead just before halftime. The next three goals fell all late in the game: Kevin Kampl and Timo Werner added two more for Leipzig, while Davie Selke got one back for the home team.

Union Berlin advanced higher on the table than Hertha by beating Mainz 3-2. Augsburg beat lowly Paderborn 1-0. Paderborn’s Klaus Gjasula missed a penalty in the 7th minute of the game... But the best game was a Ruhr derby:

Schalke 04 took a 1-0 lead over Fortuna Düsseldorf into halftime, but all hell broke loose in the second half, which saw five goals and seven yellow cards — including one for Düsseldorf coach Friedhelm Funkel. Düsseldorf walked away with a point and a 3-3 draw.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to clear up misunderstanding with Wenger (SZ)

After Bayern issued a statement declaring that former Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger was “not an option for Bayern Munich,” and Wenger himself took to his home network beIN to give his side of the events — “ruling himself out” and wishing Bayern luck — Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told the press after yesterday’s game that the contradictory reports must be the product of a misunderstanding:

I think we both misunderstood each other; I’m sorry about that. We will definitely talk on the phone in the not-so-distant future and clear things up. I have no interest in having a problem with him.

Given that Rummenigge and Wenger apparently spoke while Rummenigge was driving to the Allianz Arena for the game against Olympiacos, a misunderstanding of some sort is not entirely implausible.

FC Köln clears house, firing both sporting director and coach (SZ)

Another coaching casualty after Niko Kovac: FC Köln has “hit the reset button,” in SZ’s words. Köln lost to TSG Hoffenheim on Friday after conceding a penalty in the 97th minute (!). The club responded by immediately dismissing sporting director Armin Veh. Coach Achim Beierlorzer was fired on Saturday. His assistants André Pawlak and Manfred Schmid will steer the ship in the interim.

After winning promotion back to the top flight, Köln has been disastrous. The cult club has scrounged together a measly 7 points and is now in 17th place, sandwiched in the relegation zone between Mainz (9 points) and hapless Paderborn (4 points).

A Klassiker to remember — by the numbers:

The latest Klassiker between Bayern and Dortmund coincidentally witnessed two goal-scoring milestones for each club. The 3-0 goal was simultaneously both the 2,500th home goal for FC Bayern Munich and the 2,500 Bundesliga goal conceded by BVB. “Duplicity,” to quote OptaFranz — or maybe he meant to say “symmetry.”

Thomas Müller’s big day!

Thomas Müller had an outstanding game. Prior to kickoff, the club celebrated Müller 500th game for Bayern by presenting him with a giant gingerbread heart. Müller posed with the price in inimitable fashion after the match:

Müller also set a personal record with his two assists in the match:

German Mädels get massive result in sold-out Wembley!

At the very same time that Bayern was playing Dortmund, the DFB women’s team was taking on their rivals England at Wembley Stadium. 77,768 people filled the stadium to see the match.

Alexandra Popp scored early (9’) to give Germany a 1-0 lead, and goalkeeper Merle Frohms saved a penalty kick by Nikita Parris to preserve Germany’s lead. Ellen White equalized just before halftime (44’). The match went back and forth throughout the second half, but then 18-year-old super-talent Klara Bühl gave Germany the lead with a decisive goal in the 90th minute.

Franck Evina scores a stunner for Ghana’s U-23

English boy building Lego Bundesliga stadiums!

The DFL featured young Joe Bryant in its latest magazine, and Bryant’s Twitter feed is well worth checking out. He is a massive Bundesliga fan and has been building replicas of all the stadiums out of Lego bricks. Here’s one of his most recent creation, the Weser Stadion, which Werder Bremen brought to the real stadium, where it will now permanently reside:

I can’t wait to see his Allianz Arena. It’s unique exterior will be a serious Lego challenge.

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