Franck Ribery will miss Bayern Munich’s ‘Der Klassiker’ clash with Borussia Dortmund

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Bayern Munich have been dealt a huge blow ahead of their top-of-the-table clash with Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, as French international Franck Ribery will be sidelined through injury.

Ribery, 30, was injured whilst playing for France in their incredible 3-0 win over Ukraine in the World Cup playoff second-leg last Tuesday. The winger suffered a cracked rib and will miss the massive clash between German soccer’s biggest rivals.

One of the main contenders for the FIFA Ballon D’or award, handed to the World’s best player each year, Ribery has been in sensational form for Bayern and was pivotal in their domination of German and European soccer last season.

For the 2012-13 season Ribery won the ‘Best Player in Europe award’ from UEFA and his quality is undoubted. He’s already scored 11 goals in 21 games this campaign, getting close to the 13 he bagged in the whole of last season, and the fact that his tricky wing-play won’t be on display will give Dortmund a boost as they aim to close the gap on Bundesliga leaders Bayern to just one point with a win.

Saying that, Dortmund aren’t without injury problems either.

Jurgen Klopp’s men have their entire back four missing and have drafted in Manuel Freidrich on a free transfer, who could make his Dortmund debut at the age of 34. Central defender Mats Hummels and left back Marcel Schmelzer went off injured during Germany’s 1-0 win over England on Tuesday, whilst their other first-choice center back Neven Subotic is ruled out for the season. BVB’s regular right back Lukasz Piszczek has been missing since the end of last season when he was injured in the Champions League final against Bayern.

Needless to say, even without Ribery, Hummels, Schmelzer, Subotic and Piszczek, ‘Der Classiker’ will still be an unmissable game between two of Europe’s best teams at a lively Westfalenstadion.

Does Ribery’s injury swing the match in Dortmund’s favor? Perhaps. But Borussia have had the edge over Bayern in the Bundesliga in recent years anyway, winning four and drawing two of the six games since February 2010.

Plus Dortmund will still be hurting from that last-gasp Champions League Final win by Bayern at Wembley last May… revenge is oh so sweet.

Don’t miss this game, which you can watch in the U.S. on GolTV at 12:30pm ET on Saturday.

Liverpool fan attacked by Roma support outside pub

AP Photo/Dave Thompson
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Ugly scenes surrounded Liverpool’s UEFA Champions League visit from AS Roma, as visiting supporters used the occasion as an excuse for violence.

[ MORE: LFC 2-1 Roma | Klopp reacts ]

Several reports say Roma support — some armed with belts, others with hammers — stormed Liverpool supporters outside a pub near Anfield, with a 53-year-old man requiring treatment after 80 people charged the Albert Pub using a side route.

The Liverpool Echo says Merseyside Police are investigating the incident, and Sunday Times football correspondent Jonathan Northcroft provides some details on the harrowing events.

Comeback kids Roma defiant after loss: “We are not beaten yet”

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AS Roma turned around a three-goal first leg deficit against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, and i Lupi feel prepared to do it against Liverpool, too.

Roma fell 5-2 to the Reds on Tuesday, but again struck late to bring away goals back to Italy. This time, it was Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti ruining a host’s clean sheet.

[ MORE: Match recap | Klopp reacts ]

Manager Eusebio Di Francesco was not thrilled with his side on the night. From ASRoma.com/En:

“We weren’t on their level tonight – we were lacking a bit of strength and physical presence,” he said. “We let them swamp us too easily on occasion.”

A better second leg is almost assured, but can Roma complete another comeback?

“I have total belief,” Di Francesco said. “You can’t just give in during a game, especially in this type of competition. Sometimes you take a few hits, but the team wasn’t able to stay in the game and at times we lost a bit of unity.”

Sporting director Monchi admits that he thought his side was cooked before Dzeko opened Roma’s account.

“Up until the final 10 minutes we were out of the competition,” he said. “Now we still have some hopes, and we must take this small chance and do the same thing we did against Barcelona.”

Former Spurs defender Federico Fazio, now with Roma, thinks it can be done.

“We always focus on the positives,” said Fazio. “We are fighters and we will give absolutely everything until the last second. We are not beaten yet, once again with the strength of our fans behind us we will fight to the last moment to try and turn this tie around.”

Klopp reacts to Liverpool’s 5-2 win, Ox’s “bad news” injury

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Liverpool won Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League semifinal 5-2 against Roma at Anfield, but it’s show-stopping 80-minute isn’t carrying a ton of momentum in the echoes of the final whistle.

[ RECAP: Liverpool 5-2 Roma ]

That’s because of two factors:

  1. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was stretchered off the field with an ugly injury
  2. The two in the score line came in the final 10 minutes, as Liverpool almost inexplicably lost focus.

Before we get to Point No. 2, here’s Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp on “The Ox”:

“Oxlade-Chamberlain is probably a really bad injury,” Klopp said on BT Sport in England. “That is bad news for us. The squad doesn’t get bigger at the moment so we need to be creative in the next few games.”

As for the Roma goals, Klopp was frustrated but ultimately happy to walk away with a three-goal lead.

Edin Dzeko headed home the Roma opener in the 81st minute before Diego Perotti converted a penalty kick after James Milner handled a ball in the box. Roma collected shot attempts in the final 10 minutes to finish the match 21-14 in Liverpool’s favor.

Klopp did not think it should have been a PK.

“Long term perfect performance for pretty much 80 minutes or so,” he said, via the BBC. “We made defensively one mistake. Penalty is not a penalty but that is the situation and now it is 5-2. Of course we would have been more happy with 5-0 or 5-1 but 5-2 is a fantastic result. We go there and try again.”

Liverpool on late let-off: “You can’t do that in the Champions League”

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Count Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson among those let down by the final 10 minutes of their UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg on Tuesday.

The Reds took a 5-0 lead and conceded goals to Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti to give the visitors hope with two away goals heading back to Italy for the May 2 second leg.

[ RECAP: Liverpool 5-2 Roma ]

“It felt as though we were in full control but we basically gave them two goals, you can’t do that in the Champions League,” Henderson said. “At the same time we played well, we will go there with a three goal advantage.”

Reds center back Virgil Van Dijk was visibly frustrated even when discussing the boss-level effort in building a lead which should be very hard to erase in Rome.

“It was a fantastic evening, lot of good goals,” Van Dijk said. “A lot of passion, frustration, but the last minutes stays in my mind right now. … It can’t happen. Obviously we know Roma have a lot of quality but we need to do better. But we have a 5-2 lead to take with us to Rome. It’s going to be very tough, but we’ll be ready.”

So 3-0 or 4-1 would do it for Roma next week in Italy, but that’s far easier said than done. Liverpool fans won’t be booking too many flights for Ukraine yet, but Jurgen Klopp will be scouting Bayern Munich and Real Madrid on Wednesday with an eye toward Kiev.