Borussia Mönchengladbach knocked out of... the Europa League?! (Kicker)
Conqueror of Bayern Munich one day, knocked out of the Europa League by Basaksehir Istanbul the next. Wait, what? Gladbach lost 2-1 to Basaksehir at home and was knocked out of the Europa League, finishing third with 8 points behind group leader Basaksehir with 10 points (thanks to the final result) and AS Roma with 9 points.
Coach Marco Rose made five changes to the lineup that rallied from a goal down to beat Bayern 2-1. The Foals still ostensibly dominated the game, but failed to do so in the one category that mattered most: goals.
“It’s sometimes funny in soccer how things fall into place in a way you actually didn’t imagine,” Rose concluded. All that is left for Gladbach now is the Bundesliga, and in that competition they at least are well situated — for now.
BUNDESLIGA REPRESENTIN, YO! Wolfsburg and Frankfurt through to the Europa League knockout stages
Wolfsburg 1-0 St Etienne
This game was very interesting because both sides seemed evenly matched. Both saw 50% possession, although one side was clearly more clinical. Wolfsburg recorded 13 shots with a whopping 7 on target, while St Etienne’s 10 shots were silenced with only one on target. Wolfsburg pressed actively throughout, limiting the half spaces for the French outlet, with Paulo Otavio scoring the only goal via a great assist by Brekalo, to score at the top corner and take all three points, seeing them qualify for the round of 32.
Eintracht 2-3 Vitoria
This could be called a game of two halves. After an early goal by Vitoria, completely against the run of play courtesy of Rochinha, Eintracht bounced back with a quick 2 goals in the 31st and 38th minute with Danny da Costa and D. Kamada taking Eintracht on top with some great pressing and quick passing. All seemed to be going to plan until the 60th minute, when Eintracht suddenly seemed to lose the plot and Vitoria turned the tide around, upping their press game and pressurizing Eintracht. This eventually gave way, enabling them to score a quick brace in the 85th and 87th minute, taking the match away at the brink. The defense was caught napping, and although they’ve qualified, this cannot continue if they are to make a deep run in the UCL. Overall, a game handed over to Vitoria at the end.
- It should also be noted that 2 late goals from Arsenal in their match against Standard Liege helped Frankfurt secure qualification to the knockout stages, for which their social media account was grateful for (lol):
Thanks @Arsenal, we knew you wouldn't let us down pic.twitter.com/pfgRjimzoM— Eintracht Frankfurt (@eintracht_eng) December 12, 2019
Franck Ribery requires an operation (Calciomercato)
“Brutal news” for Ribery: Fiorentina has confirmed that his 2019 is over and he may miss the beginning of 2020, as well. Ribery has suffered a grade two tear of the MCL ligament of his right ankle. The club’s official press release stated that because of persistent pain, Ribery requires a “surgical stabilization” that Calciomercato speculates will keep him out of action for at least two months.
Gute Besserung as always, King Franck!
Introducing Abiriw Özil FC from Ghana
Mesut Ozil now has a football team named after him pic.twitter.com/DkCiUnEFfx— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 12, 2019
Atalanta fans welcome their team home at 3am
Atalanta fans welcomed their team at 3am at the airport after they reached the Champions League round-of-16 pic.twitter.com/T96kd0hwfL— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 12, 2019
Plenty to celebrate when your team makes the knockout round of the Champions League for the first time in your club’s long history.
Javi Martinez signs a special autograph
We’ve heard of wanting to get an autograph FROM the G.O.A.T, but Javi Martinez took it to a whole new level after Bayern’s main training session on Thursday when he stealthily signed the back of Manuel Neuer’s training jumper. We cannot confirm or deny whether or not Neuer actually wanted an autograph from his Spanish teammate, but he definitely got one. Perhaps this is a bromance forming, or that’s already been formed within the squad that we haven’t really known about until now. Nonetheless, our boys never cease in giving us some good laughs!
Javi signing for a fan! ️ pic.twitter.com/7Ts6jbbWZS— FC Bayern US (@FCBayernUS) December 12, 2019
Malik Tillman ranked the Bundesliga’s top German-American prospect (Bundesliga.com)
The Bundesliga has recently come out with a list ranking the top 10 German-American prospects that are currently playing in Germany that have dual eligibilty to represent either country on the national stage. The list ranked Bayern’s Malik Tillman as number one as he’s been in Bayern’s ranks since the ripe age of 13, following in the footsteps of his older brother, Timothy. At only 16 years of age, he was promoted to Bayern’s U19 system last winter after serving dutifully as the captain of the U17 side.
Malik is currently the top scorer for Bayern’s U19 squad having tallied an impressive 10 goals from 13 matches (12 starts), most of which he played in midfield. His talents haven’t gone unnoticed at the international level. He had a stint with USA’s U15 setup in the past and he’s currently a part of Germany’s U18 system. Hopefully at some point in the future, we see Tillman work his way to the first team squad for Bayern.
The remainder of the top 10 list (2-10):
- Maurice Malone, striker / FC Augsburg
- Jalene Hawkins, winger / Ingolstadt
- Lennard Maloney, center back / Union Berlin
- Max Göggel, center back / VfB Stuttgart
- Pablo Soares, central defensive midfielder / Borussia Monchengladbach
- Ian Hoffman, midfielder / Karlsruher FC
- Maximilian Dietz, central midfielder / Freiburg
- Noah Jones, striker / RB Leipzig
- Leon Flach, defensive midfielder / St. Pauli
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge lauds the development of Alphonso Davies (Bundesliga.com)
Ever since Hansi Flick has taken charge in the wake of Niko Kovac’s departure, Alphonso Davies has been given consistent minutes, and has put in some solid performances. He primarily been deputized as a left back by Flick and has proven that he can continue to be a viable option at the position, especially with the blistering pace he possesses.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has been rather impressed by Davies and recently gave his praise of the Canadian international:
We’re happy with his development. He came to us last January, and he’s made fantastic progress since then. But I think that was to be expected, because he has unbelievable physical ability and he’s extremely quick, perhaps the quickest player in the Bundesliga. He has great acceleration; nobody can get away from him. He also has a healthy amount of physicality without being unsportsmanlike. He could still refine his technique and his tactical awareness, but that’s normal for a 19-year-old. I’m convinced that he will bring us a lot of joy. It was a very successful transfer for Bayern, specifically Hasan Salihamidzic.
Keep it up, Phonzie!
HE’S SO FAST!
WOW. Watch Alphonso Davies speed and recovery run here to catch Son. 20 yards. Been excellent at LB for Bayern the last month and a half. pic.twitter.com/R37KoI38lb— Stu Holden (@stuholden) December 11, 2019