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Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Bayern Munich vs. Benfica; Xavi’s wish list for FC Barcelona includes Erling Haaland, Paul Pogba, Dani Olmo, and others; Jude Bellingham laughs at Liverpool rumors, and MORE!

Bayern Munich looks like it is full back on track.

FC Bayern München v SL Benfica: Group E - UEFA Champions League Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Die Folgen: Bayern’s 5-2 victory over Benfica (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich held court on its home field during a 5-2 victory over Benfica in the Champions League. Here are some quick hitters on the match:

  • Julian Nagelsmann’s lineup was kind of crazy. With Lucas Hernandez and Niklas Süle injured, Tanguy Nianzou got the surprise start and the manager opted to start Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry, and Leroy Sane together. Moreover, Thomas Müller did not start — and Jamal Musiala still could not get in the XI. Also, Michel Cuisance was included in the match day squad.
  • Clearly, Nagelsmann is not afraid to shake things up, but he still started Joshua Kimmich. Kimmich should absolutely take a blow at some point soon for an entire match. Nagelsmann did pull Kimmich in the 72nd minute in favor of Marcel Sabitzer, but I want to see the kid’s batteries fully charged.
  • Benfica came out guns blazing, but it was a stunted effort. After that, the Portuguese side looked tired.
  • Coman did really well to put his defender on skates, then cross over a nice ball to Robert Lewandowski, who is just always in the right spot (it’s an art, really). Lewandowski headed it home and Bayern Munich seemed like it was never going to have to look back.
  • The formation really played like a 3-1-5-1 on offense. Bayern Munich was suffocating the Benfica defense and while it looked congested at times, it wore down the Benfica backline.
  • Bayern Munich’s second goal was really sweet as Kimmich sent a nice ball forward to Lewandowski, who slid a pass to Gnabry for the score.
  • Everything looked so good at that point...Bayern was dominant, Benfica was slow and tired, and it seemed like it was just a matter if time until the Bavarians put their opposition away.
  • Benfica’s Morato had other ideas, though. On a free kick attempt he out-muscled and out-leaped Dayot Upamecano, who didn’t get any support from Leon Goretzka and Benjamin Pavard on the play. That gave the Portuguese side some life as they cut the score to 2-1.
  • Still, Bayern caught a break with a handball in the box when Goretzka tried to rip off a shot. Somehow, though, Lewandowski fluffed it. I’m still stunned at Lewndowski’s penalty attempt. I cannot remember him hitting a weak groundball so centrally on a PK.
  • Leroy Sane had a fantastic finish off of a header assist from Alphonso Davies. That gave Bayern Munich a 3-1 lead early in the second half and the Bavarians, once again, felt firmly in control.
  • Upamecano picked up another yellow, so he is out for the next Champions League game.
  • Lewandowski’s second goal was really sweet. He was so calm and collected and just finished it off with a little chip.
  • Benfica’s second goal was the result of a complete defensive breakdown by Nianzou, Upamecano, Pavard, and Richards It should be noted that Benjamin Pavard’s positioning kept Darwin Nunez onside for the goal.
  • Lewandowski’s third goal was just so smooth as well. Aside of his missed penalty, Lewandowski was fantastic. He is the best player on the planet...period.
  • Overall, it was just another terrific effort for Bayern Munich...now if they could just give Joshua Kimmich a full day off.

If you missed our Initial Analysis, Match Awards, Observations, or Postgame Podcast, give them a look or a listen:

Bellingham squashes LFC rumor (Sport1)

Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham was amused when he saw the rumors saying he would be transferring to Liverpool this summer:

Has Jude Bellingham’s move from Borussia Dortmund to Liverpool FC already been decided? At least that’s what the long-time English professional footballer and Liverpool-born Craig Hignett claimed - and referred to allegedly waterproof information.

“I think I got it from a reliable source. I can’t say where I heard it from, but obviously he has already said he will be drawn to Liverpool,” said Hignett, who played for the Reds himself in the late 1980s, on the BBC.

Whether the change will take place in winter or not until the end of the season has not yet been finally clarified, explained Hignett, but the transfer is “as good as certain”.

At Bellingham himself, however, the rumor apparently caused more amusement on Monday: A post was briefly seen on the BVB professional’s Twitter account in the evening in which reference was made to a tweet about the Liverpool speculation - garnished with a GIF which featured a laughing Bellingham.

A little later the post disappeared again.

According to SPORT1 information, a change is practically impossible, at least in winter, especially since the 18-year-old Englishman feels extremely comfortable in Dortmund.

Bavarian Podcast Works S4E13 (Bavarian Football Works)

Welcome to a spooky edition of the Bavarian Podcast Works Flagship Show, which was recorded on Halloween.

Our staffers had a full schedule, so you were stuck with me to guide you through what happened this weekend with Bayern Munich and the Bundesliga overall. Here is what we had on tap for this episode:

  • A look at what was really important for fans to see from Bayern Munich when they squared off against Union Berlin.
  • The results in the Bundesliga this weekend and who at teams are surprising us.
  • Just a few guesses at what some Bayern Munich players might dress up as for Halloween. I had to check myself before I wrecked myself and only name a few so I did not have anyone hunting me down.
  • My list of Halloween candy favorites (Hint: There is a strong Hershey/Reese’s presence) and why I think Mallow Cups, Mounds, and Almond Joy are underrated.

Newcastle talking to Ramsey (Transfer Market Web)

Newcastle United’s spending spree could start with Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey:

In full search of reinforcements for the winter transfer window, Newcastle, currently sitting 19th in the Premier League, would be in discussions to enlist Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey according to Tuttosport.

Under contract with Juventus Turin until 2023, the former Arsenal is not in the plans of Massimilano Allegri, who has only started him once in five games played, preceded by McKennie, Bentancur , Locatelli and Rabiot in the midfield.

If the international with 69 caps (18 goals) would be ready to leave Serie A to find the Premier League he has known for 11 seasons, his salary demands would not scare the Saudi Public Investment Fund, owner of the Magpies since a few weeks. A signature of choice with an experienced player, which could allow the NUFC to be better equipped for the rest of this season.

Xavi’s wish list for Barca seems...unrealistic (Sport1)

Xavi is not yet the coach for FC Barcelona, but many are expecting him to take over next season (including Marc Roca). The Spanish legend, however, has a lofty wish list:

FC Barcelona are working on signing club legend Xavi as their new coach. According to Mundo Deportivo, the club bosses are heading to Qatar after the premier class game against Dynamo Kiev to negotiate the move with Al Sadd.

The former top performer of the Catalans is said to have already deposited a wish list with Barca, according to El Nacional . Xavi is said to wish for a free transfer from Paul Pogba from Manchester United next summer. BVB striker Erling Haaland is also on the list and, according to SPORT1 information, can change for a fixed fee of 75 million euros in the summer. Dani Olmo from RB Leipzig and central defender Jules Koundé from Sevilla FC would also like to have Xavi on his team. However, given the financial situation of the Catalans, these transfers are hardly realistic.

It’s crazy to consider — if true — that Xavi thinks Barca can afford all of those players given the club’s financial issues.

Pepi dreams of Madrid (Transfer Market Web)

Rumored Bayern Munich target and current FC Dallas striker Ricardo Pepi says he wants to play for Real Madrid at some point:

Interviewed by 90min.com, U.S. American international striker Ricardo Pepi, turning 19 next January 9, disclosed his dream to join Real Madrid, someday:

“As I’ve been telling both my parents and my agent from the start, my biggest dream is to play for Real Madrid. Before I quit playing football, I want to be part of Blancos team, three or four years long at least. That would be the absolute best”.

Currently on a deal with Dallas FC until December 2026, Major League Soccer side star hitman, already inquired about by Atalanta, Fiorentina, and Wolfsburg, has recently been linked to either AC Milan or Juventus as well.