With four matches left in the Bundesliga season, Bayern Munich have already set a points record, the three they earned Saturday against Freiburg pushing the new German champions to 84 on the season. Having only dropped points four times in 31 games, Bayern are on pace to finish with 92, 11 better than the previous record (81, set by Borussia Dortmund last season).
On the weekend between Champions League semifinal legs, Jupp Heynckes made major changes. Only one starter, central defender Jerome Boateng, was retained from Tuesday’s rout of Barcelona. Against Freiburg, a club battling for a top four finish, FCB still controlled the game. Their 68 percent of the match’s possession allowed Xherdan Shaqiri’s 35th minute goal to stand up.
Bayern went on to win 1-0, leaving them alone atop the list for most points in a league season.
That’s not the only German record Bayern’s set to topple:
- If they can put one more point between them and Dortmund (who came into today 20 points behind Bayern), they’ll set the mark for greatest margin of victory in a season.
- Win at home in two weeks against Augsburg and Bayern will tie the mark for most home wins in a season. They already have the record for wins on the road.
- If they don’t lose again, they’ll tie the Bundesliga record for fewest defeats (1) and fewest away losses (0).
- Sitting on 90, they’re unlikely to break the record for goals scored in a season (101), but they’ll almost certainly best the mark for fewest goals allowed. They’ve conceded 14 while the Bayern team of 2007-08 conceded the current low: 21.
- The best goal difference in Bundesliga history coming into he year was +64. Bayern’s already at +75.
- With today’s result, they’ve already set a mark for clean sheets: 20.
And there are undoubtedly a number of more granular records Bayern’s going to break over the next three weeks. While their focus will be on Champions League, they’ll be doing major damages to Germany’s record books, setting marks Pep Guardiola will be hard-pressed to improve on next season.
Now that Cristiano Ronaldo has taken to sporting a reasonable hairstyle atop his head, people are talking about the foliage on his face.
[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]
Ronaldo, 33, drew speculation when he stroked his chin following a goal in his hat trick performance against Spain in the World Cup opener. Some said he was demonstrating defiance against Lionel Messi posing with a goat (Greatest Of All Time) in a recent photograph.
Ronaldo scored again on Wednesday, and there was seemingly little doubt his goatee was a wink to the speculators. But what did it mean, CR7? From ESPN:
“This goatee? It’s a joke I had with [Ricardo] Quaresma. “We were in the sauna [before Friday’s match against Spain] and I started to shave and I left the goatee. I said if I score tomorrow, I would leave it for the rest of the tournament. And it gave me luck.
“I scored in that game, I scored in this one, so it stays.”
Personally, I like to imagine Ronaldo starting to get as wild with his facial hair as he did his head hair.
Perhaps a beatnik style, or something like Serj Tankian from System of a Down. Get nuts, C-Ron.
Could Southampton be selling one of its most creative forces?
Dusan Tadic, 29, is in the middle of a World Cup run with dark horse Serbia, but the Saints star is also being talked about as a purchase item for Ajax.
[ MORE: Serbia tops Costa Rica ]
The celebrated Eredivisie has traditionally been a selling club for the Premier League, but could be a $20 million buy for Ajax.
The report says director of players Marc Overmars and financial director Jeroen Slop have flown to Southampton to work out a deal.
Tadic starred for Dutch sides Groningen and Twente between 2010-14 before moving to St. Mary’s for a reported $12 million.
He’s scored 24 goals with 35 assists in 162 appearances for Saints, 21 and 30 of which came in the Premier League.
Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono is going to stay Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono.
[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]
The newly-capped USMNT backstop, 24, has been attracting interest from abroad since breaking past Clint Irwin to win the TFC job and guiding the club to multiple MLS Cup Finals.
Now general manager Tim Bezbatchenko has locked down his young goalkeeper to an undisclosed contract extension. From TorontoFC.com:
“Alex was a big part of our success last season. He set club records for wins and clean sheets and was a critical piece of our championship team,” said Toronto FC Sr. Vice-President, Soccer Operations & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Since joining the club as a first round pick in 2015, Alex’s ability to make key saves in big moments has been critical to our success.”
The Syracuse-born product of Syracuse University has made 64 appearances for the Reds.
France, Denmark, and Croatia can clinch knockout round berths on Thursday in Russia, the last nation also holding the opportunity to help deprive the World Cup of an extended Lionel Messi run.
[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]
Messi’s Argentina drew Iceland in its opener, the megastar infamously missing a penalty, and will look to beat a Croatian side that looked quite good in dispatching Nigeria.
That’s the final match of the day, which begins with Denmark facing Australia and continues with a tasty match-up between France and Peru.
Below is Thursday’s schedule in full.
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2018 World Cup schedule – Wednesday, June 20
Denmark vs. Australia: Samara, 8 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
France vs. Peru: Yekaterinburg, 11 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
Argentina vs. Croatia: Nizhny Novgorod, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE