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Bundesliga wrap: Bayern stumbles, Top Four looks set

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Bayern Munich had a rare stumble, and its three nearest competitors scooped three points each. Fifth place Hertha Berlin lost its match to leave the Bundesliga with its likely top four sides.

[ PL ROUNDUP: Spurs, Man City, Everton roll ]


Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Eintracht Frankfurt

Marco Reus feasted on a Christian Pulisic assists just two minutes into the game, but Mexico’s Marco Fabian scored to make sure Pulisic wasn’t the only CONCACAF star on the sheet. Sokratis Papastathopolous buried a beauty before Pierre-Emerick again found the scoreboard in an easy-enough win.

RB Leipzig 4-0 Freiburg

Naby Keita, Timo Werner… the usual suspects were on the score sheet for the top flight’s new power as Leipzig climbed to within eight points of leaders Bayern Munich.

Hoffenheim 5-3 Borussia Monchengladbach

Turkey’s Kerem Demirbay and Hungary’s Adam Szalai each recorded braces as Hoffenheim has a double-digit advantage in its race for a Top Four spot. ‘Gladbach didn’t make it easy, coming back from 2-0 to make it 2-2 and 4-2 to make it 4-3 before Demirbay scored his second.

Mainz 1-0 Hertha Berlin

This one stings: Hertha is now 10 points off the Top Four after an own goal from U.S. international John Anthony Brooks.

Elsewhere

Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 Bayern Munich
Augsburg 2-1 Koln
Wolfsburg 3-0 Ingolstadt
Werder Bremen vs. Hamburg — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Darmstadt vs. Schalke — 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday

Standings

 

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 29 21 6 2 71 15 56 11-3-0 10-3-2 69
 RB Leipzig 29 19 4 6 55 30 25 12-1-2 7-3-4 61
 1899 Hoffenheim 29 14 12 3 56 31 25 10-5-0 4-7-3 54
 Borussia Dortmund 29 15 8 6 62 33 29 11-3-0 4-5-6 53
 Hertha BSC Berlin 29 13 4 12 37 35 2 11-1-2 2-3-10 43
 SC Freiburg 29 12 5 12 36 51 -15 8-1-5 4-4-7 41
 1. FC Köln 29 10 10 9 42 36 6 7-5-2 3-5-7 40
 Mönchengladbach 29 11 6 12 37 41 -4 7-3-4 4-3-8 39
 Eintracht Frankfurt 29 10 8 11 29 33 -4 6-6-2 4-2-9 38
 FC Schalke 04 28 10 7 11 37 32 5 8-3-4 2-4-7 37
 Bayer Leverkusen 29 10 6 13 42 44 -2 5-5-5 5-1-8 36
 Werder Bremen 28 10 6 12 44 48 -4 6-1-7 4-5-5 36
 VfL Wolfsburg 29 9 6 14 30 42 -12 5-2-8 4-4-6 33
 Hamburger SV 28 9 6 13 28 51 -23 7-3-4 2-3-9 33
 FSV Mainz 05 29 9 5 15 37 47 -10 6-4-5 3-1-10 32
 FC Augsburg 29 8 8 13 28 46 -18 4-5-6 4-3-7 32
 FC Ingolstadt 04 29 8 4 17 31 50 -19 4-3-7 4-1-10 28
 Darmstadt 28 4 3 21 19 56 -37 4-3-7 0-0-14 15

Mourinho: Van Gaal left good team, but I brought belief

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Jose Mourinho and Manchester United are bringing happiness to the Liberty Stadium on Sunday, or at least more of it.

The United boss says the club’s turnaround is emotionally-based, and that the cupboard certainly wasn’t bare when he took over the Red Devils last summer.

[ MORE: Fellaini red  had “a bit of acting” ]

United finished fifth in the Premier League last season, tied for fourth with Man City and 15 points back of Arsenal. Mourinho’s men sit in the same spot this year, but are in the semifinals of the Europa League, have won the League Cup, and have the door open to the Top Four.

So what’s different? Here’s the boss, from the BBC:

“I think Mr. Van Gaal left a good group of boys with very good relations between them.

“[But] I think they missed happiness, they missed trust, belief, this extra bit that brings resilience, brings fight and they have it [now].”

It’s been a bit of a roller coaster with the Bastian Schweinsteiger and Luke Shaw drama, but — like any new manager — Mourinho did have to sort the club. Now we wonder whether he’ll keep it happy or hit a traditional rut by Year Three (assuming he gets there, and United should be very good next season).

Spurs confirm Wembley as 2017-18 home

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May 14 will indeed be the last time Tottenham Hotspur takes the field at White Hart Lane.

Club chairman Daniel Levy has announced that Spurs will play all of its 2017-18 home matches at Wembley Stadium, and that WHL will be demolished in the offseason.

Spurs have a new venue under construction next door to WHL, calling the venue “the heart” of regeneration plans in the region. From TottenhamHotspur.com:

“This marks a momentous day in our Club’s history as it is the day we formally agreed the demolition of our beloved White Hart Lane.

“The Lane means a huge amount to each and every one of us and we needed to gain greater certainty on the delivery of the new stadium before we made the final decision to commence with the decommissioning of our iconic, historic home for some 118 years.

‘We shall ensure that we give the Lane a fitting farewell when we play our last match here on May 14.”

West Ham’s final match at Upton Park was a memorable one last season, thanks not just to the off-field but the on-field as well. The Irons came back to beat Manchester United 3-2 on a Winston Reid goal.

With Manchester United coincidentally (?) serving as the visitor on May 14, with Top Four if not title implications likely still in play, sign us up for a comfortable seat in front of TV.

Pochettino: Derby matters, but this is about title not “Totteringham”

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Mauricio Pochettino is a focused boss, one many of us wouldn’t mind as our manager.

The longtime Espyanol man knows a thing or two about being relegated to second fiddle in town, with Catalan rivals Barcelona enveloping the spotlight 99 times out of 100.

That’s why he’s not even bothering with treating Arsenal and “St. Totteringham’s Day” — the Gunners’ annual celebration of clinching a spot above Spurs in the standings — like anything than a derby date.

“I really don’t think about which position Arsenal are in. My view and focus is to try to win every game and try to win the Premier League.

“For me (finishing above Arsenal) is not a motivation. The motivation for me is to win because it’s a derby and I know what it means to win a derby. My motivation is to try to win some titles with Tottenham, and my players improve every day and show we are better than the opposition.”

Spurs as a club is growing in big ways, and aiming to sit atop the Premier League standings every year. Yes Premier League derbies are important, but aiming to finish above a rival versus above all rivals is short-sighted. Pochettino’s got it right.

Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks – Week 35

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The Premier League games continue to come thick and fast with 10 matches on the slate this weekend.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live ] 

If you, like me, love to dissect all the games and predict what the score will be and which team will win, I encourage you to get involved in the comments section below. Let’s have a bit of fun.

Okay, so I’ve consulted my crystal ball and here’s how we see things panning out.

[ STREAM: Premier League “Goal Rush”

With the first section labelled “basically, free money” for the picks I think are dead certs. The section labelled “don’t touch this” means if you’re betting I advise you to stay clear, while the “so you’re telling me there’s a chance” section are the longshots. If it is better odds you are after, those are the picks to go for.


BASICALLY, FREE MONEY

West Brom 2-0 Leicester City – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, Premier League Extratime) – [STREAM]

Man United 2-0 Swansea City – (Sunday, 7 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

Middlesbrough 1-3 Man City – (Sunday, 9:05 a.m. ET, Premier League Extratime) – [STREAM

Crystal Palace 3-1 Burnley – (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC) – [STREAM

DON’T TOUCH THIS… 

Stoke City 2-2 West Ham – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, Premier League Extratime) – [STREAM]

Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal – (Sunday, 11:30 am. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Sunderland 1-2 Bournemouth – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, CNBC) – [STREAM

Southampton 2-1 Hull City – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

“SO YOU’RE TELLING ME THERE’S A CHANCE…”

Watford 2-1 Liverpool – (Monday, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Everton 2-1 Chelsea – (Sunday, 9:05 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM