Philippe Coutinho

Sancho Borussia Dortmund
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Bundesliga wrap: Leipzig, BVB, Bayern all win in routs

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Bundesliga has a new leader, at least for a day.

[ MORE: Bundesliga schedule  ]

RB Leipzig cruised to a win on the road and will now wait to see how Borussia Monchengladbach responds to bombing out of Europe.

Bayern and Borussia Dortmund also ran up the score lines on a busy day in Germany.

Fortuna Dusseldorf 0-3 RB Leipzig

Nordi Mukiele scored twice as Julian Nagelsmann’s men moved top of the table for at least a day. Patrik Schick also scored for Leipzig.

USMNT backstop Zack Steffen was under fire all day, making four saves, two high claims, and a clearance, but was at fault for one of the goals.

And ICYMI: Leipzig’s American midfielder, Tyler Adams, should return by the end of the month.

Bayern Munich 6-1 Werder Bremen

Milot Rashica supplied a surprise lead for the visitors, but it was all Bayern from the 24th minute onward. Philippe Coutinho scored the first goal of his hat trick in the 45th and Robert Lewandowski started his brace in stoppage time. Thomas Muller added a 75th minute goal as Bayern rose fourth, six points of Leipzig.

Mainz 0-4 Borussia Dortmund

Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho both had a goal and an assist for BVB, who pulls into third on the table. Nico Schultz and Thorgan Hazard also scored in the 0-save clean sheet for Roman Burki.

Hertha Berlin 1-0 Freiburg

Czech midfielder Vladimir Darida scored in the 53rd minute to help Jurgen Klinsmann to his first win as Hertha manager. Hertha is now three points clear of the relegation playoff spot, and the win comes over a Freiburg side flirting with the European places.

Elsewhere
Hoffenheim 2-4 Augsburg — Friday
Paderborn 1-1 Union Berlin — Rare point for the hosts
Koln 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen — Visitors finish with 9 men
Wolfsburg v. Borussia Monchengladbach — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Schalke v. Eintracht Frankfurt — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 RB Leipzig 15 10 3 2 42 16 26 4-2-1 6-1-1 33
 Mönchengladbach 14 10 1 3 30 16 14 6-1-1 4-0-2 31
 Borussia Dortmund 15 8 5 2 37 19 18 5-2-0 3-3-2 29
 Bayern Munich 15 8 3 4 41 21 20 5-1-2 3-2-2 27
 FC Schalke 04 14 7 4 3 25 18 7 3-3-1 4-1-2 25
 SC Freiburg 15 7 4 4 24 18 6 4-2-1 3-2-3 25
 Bayer Leverkusen 15 7 4 4 22 20 2 3-4-1 4-0-3 25
 1899 Hoffenheim 15 6 3 6 21 27 -6 3-1-4 3-2-2 21
 VfL Wolfsburg 14 5 5 4 15 14 1 2-3-2 3-2-2 20
 1. FC Union Berlin 15 6 2 7 19 20 -1 5-0-3 1-2-4 20
 FC Augsburg 15 5 5 5 24 28 -4 3-2-2 2-3-3 20
 Eintracht Frankfurt 14 5 3 6 24 22 2 4-3-1 1-0-5 18
 Hertha BSC Berlin 15 4 3 8 21 29 -8 3-0-4 1-3-4 15
 FSV Mainz 05 15 5 0 10 20 38 -18 3-0-4 2-0-6 15
 Werder Bremen 15 3 5 7 23 35 -12 1-2-4 2-3-3 14
¬†Fortuna D√ľsseldorf 15 3 3 9 16 32 -16 2-1-4 1-2-5 12
 1. FC Köln 15 3 2 10 14 30 -16 2-1-4 1-1-6 11
 SC Paderborn 15 2 3 10 18 33 -15 1-1-6 1-2-4 9

Bayern Munich tops Spurs 3-1 behind Davies, Coutinho

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Ryan Sessegnon scored his first Spurs and Champions League goals as Tottenham Hotspur rested many of its top players in a 3-1 loss to Bayern Munich in a group stage dead rubber on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Kingsley Coman, Philippe Coutinho, and Thomas Muller scored for group-winning Bayern, who got an absolute star show out of 19-year-old Canadian left back Alphonso Davies.


Three things we learned

1.¬†Spurs depth gets valuable time: Being a dead rubber, both teams left key components out of the fray or at least the Starting XI. Jose Mourinho left Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Jan Vertonghen out of the 18 and both Heung-Min Son and Davinson Sanchez on the bench. That didn’t stop his men from a strong showing in a very difficult venue, though Bayern rested David Alaba and put Robert Lewandowski and Leon Goretzka on the bench to start the match.

2. Coutinho beats old nemesis again:¬†The longtime Liverpool man was at his very best on Wednesday, and his wonderful second-half goal means he’s now scored against Spurs for Liverpool, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich (also assisting against the North Londoners while with Inter Milan). That’s also because his 14 matches against Spurs are the most he’s played against one club in his senior career.

3. Canadian super show from Davies:¬†Alphonso Davies turned 19 just over a month ago but already looks a man in his prime. He registered an assist and hit the post in addition to making seven successful dribbles and winning five tackles, also completing almost 90 percent of his passes. There are shades of teammate David Alaba in his game. That’s high praise, but Davies potential may be higher than the Austrian.

Man of the Match:¬†Davies was absolutely electric at left back. It’d be too easy to give it to Coutinho, who was just as good, and like Spurs manager we relish the chance to be contrarian.


Early chances were there for both sides, Paulo Gazzaniga the busier of the keepers and making a fine save on Benjamin Pavard.

Serge Gnabry tried to find Philippe Coutinho through a sea of defenders, but his pass bounded off Moussa Sissoko and onto the path of back-post residing Coman for the opener.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Spurs leveled the score in the 20th minute when Sessegnon collected a deflected shot and buried it past Manuel Neuer.

Sissoko led a rush but couldn’t get cross over the fray as Spurs looked better money for a second goal.

Then Joshua Kimmich saw a yellow card for standing firm as Giovani Lo Celso wandered into him.

Bayern had the better of the final 15 minutes of the half, when Muller was in prime position to deposit Alphonso Davies’ rebound off the goal post.

Coutinho tried to put the match to bed in stoppage time, but his blazing shot from distance was touched off the bar by Gazzaniga.

He’d get his goal via another audacious shot, this time zipping a lay-off from Alphonso Davies through traffic and inside the far post.

Heung-min Son had a late breakaway saved by Neuer.

Bundesliga wrap: Tight at the top (again) as Gladbach loses

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Borussia Monchengladbach arrived to the 12th match day of the Bundesliga season with a 4-point table lead and a witty little PR Song about being back on top.

It promptly lost to a newly-promoted team and saw its lead shrink to one.

This is what the Bundesliga does to its top teams this season.

[ MORE: Grading Pulisic’s day at the Etihad ]


Union Berlin 2-0 Borussia Monchengladbach

Anthony Ujah and Sven Andersson delivered the goods, as the hosts rode Ujah’s 15th minute opener deep into stoppage time before his Swedish teammate put the result to bed.

Gladbach had a slim edge in shot attempts and a 63-37 edge in possession, but Union was the more dangerous side and deserved the three points. Freiburg is next for Gladbach before a visit from Bayern on Dec. 7.

Union is now seven points clear of the relegation picture, and five ahead of city rivals Hertha.

Fortuna Dusseldorf 0-4 Bayern Munich

USMNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen was under siege at home, with four different Bayern goal scorers dotting the score sheet. Robert Lewandowski had an assist but saw his insane 11-match league scoring streak snapped in Dusseldorf.

Philippe Coutinho, Serge Gnabry, Corentin Tolisso, and Benjamin Pavard scored, with Gnabry also getting an assist for Bayern, who joins RB Leipzig one point back of first.

Steffen did have a possession error (below), which won’t be enjoyed by loan boss Pep Guardiola, but the other goals were not on him.

Werder Bremen 1-2 Schalke

Benito Raman had a goal and an assist, with Amine Harit also scoring as Schalke moved to within three points of the top of the table. USMNT forward Josh Sargent was an unused sub for Bremen, while Weston McKennie came off the bench for an effective and disruptive 17 minutes for Schalke.

Elsewhere
Borussia Dortmund 3-3 Paderborn — Friday | RECAP
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-2 Wolfsburg
Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 Freiburg
RB Leipzig 4-1 Koln
Augsburg v. Hertha Berlin — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Hoffenheim v. Mainz — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Mönchengladbach 12 8 1 3 24 13 11 4-1-1 4-0-2 25
 RB Leipzig 12 7 3 2 33 13 20 3-2-1 4-1-1 24
 Bayern Munich 12 7 3 2 33 16 17 4-1-1 3-2-1 24
 SC Freiburg 12 6 4 2 21 13 8 3-2-1 3-2-1 22
 FC Schalke 04 12 6 4 2 22 15 7 2-3-1 4-1-1 22
 Borussia Dortmund 12 5 5 2 26 18 8 4-2-0 1-3-2 20
 VfL Wolfsburg 12 5 5 2 13 10 3 2-3-1 3-2-1 20
 1899 Hoffenheim 11 6 2 3 16 14 2 3-0-2 3-2-1 20
 Bayer Leverkusen 12 5 4 3 18 16 2 2-4-1 3-0-2 19
 Eintracht Frankfurt 12 5 2 5 21 18 3 4-2-1 1-0-4 17
 1. FC Union Berlin 12 5 1 6 15 17 -2 4-0-3 1-1-3 16
 Hertha BSC Berlin 11 3 2 6 17 21 -4 2-0-3 1-2-3 11
 Werder Bremen 12 2 5 5 19 26 -7 1-2-3 1-3-2 11
¬†Fortuna D√ľsseldorf 12 3 2 7 15 23 -8 2-1-3 1-1-4 11
 FC Augsburg 11 2 4 5 13 24 -11 1-2-2 1-2-3 10
 FSV Mainz 05 11 3 0 8 12 30 -18 2-0-3 1-0-5 9
 1. FC Köln 12 2 1 9 11 27 -16 1-0-4 1-1-5 7
 SC Paderborn 12 1 2 9 14 29 -15 1-0-5 0-2-4 5

Key battles for Manchester United v. Liverpool

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The fact that that question is unquestionably valid, the visiting Reds a heavy favorite at the home of their longtime rival, says a lot, doesn’t it?

[ PL PREVIEW: Man Utd v. Liverpool ]

Let’s start with two 1v1 jobs and end with a battle that only involves two men and their bodies.

Can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spring a midfield surprise to level tilted pitch

Make no mistake about it: Whatever midfield Jurgen Klopp trots onto the field at Old Trafford will be far superior to the one on the other side.

Manchester United boss Solskjaer was pretty optimistic when he pointed to this match as the “perfect” one to follow the Red Devils setback against Newcastle United, which seems bonkers but could serve as a proper showcase of why the club continues to back its former star striker.

So how will Solskjaer attempt to outfox the Reds without Paul Pogba as a midfield different maker? It seems likely we’ll see hard men at their hardest and most ornery in the forms of Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic, although Fred has seen plenty of playing time as of late.

Solskjaer might be best served by sitting back and trying to counter, but that doesn’t really vibe with Solskjaer’s overall “We’re Manchester United” mentality. So presuming we won’t see five at the back, it’s paramount that the boss finds a way to outduel (probably) three of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, and Georginio Wijnaldum.

It kinda recalls “The Dark Knight” when the Wayne Enterprises lawyer tries to blackmail the company via its bankrolling of Batman. Picture Morgan Freeman offering a smirking, “Good luck.”

Maguire hopes to defy his history versus Liverpool

Harry Maguire has a quality record against many teams, but Liverpool is not one of them.

The now-Red Devils’ center back managed a goal in Leicester City’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool last season, but that point was the first he’s won against Liverpool dating back to his time with Hull City. Maguire is 1W-1D-4L all-time against the Reds.

Maguire has seen Liverpool score eight goals in its last four matches against him, all while a member of Leicester, and the scorers are familiar: Salah (3), Mane (2),  Firmino (1), Jordan Henderson (1), Philippe Coutinho (1).

With the midfield mismatched in heavy favor of Liverpool, Maguire and Victor Lindelof will need to produce one of their finest displays.

Anthony Martial and Aaron Wan-Bissaka versus their fitness

With Paul Pogba and David De Gea out of the lineup, there’s no question that extra emphasis will be placed on United’s standout players when the ball is kicked on Sunday.

Make no mistake about: Along with Harry Maguire, Martial and Wan-Bissaka have been United’s best players when healthy this season.

Martial scored in United’s first two matches and picked up an assist in the third, where he also picked up a hamstring injury. His ability to make something out of nothing, particularly from distance, is a massive asset against a team as strong defensively as Liverpool. Wan-Bissaka missed his side’s loss at Newcastle United with tonsillitis.

Both would drastically affect which battles we also find key to this match, with their pace and prowess out wide the Red Devils’ most likely avenue to keeping Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson on their toes.

Martial’s return would be especially big. With Marcus Rashford on a terrible run of inconsistency, you don’t know what you’re going to get from the youngster. Martial can only help alleviate the burden.

Neymar injured again as Brazil draws Nigeria

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Neymar is hurt again, limping off the pitch after a dozen minutes of Brazil’s 1-1 friendly with Nigeria on Sunday at Singapore National Stadium.

The Paris Saint-Germain star was holding his hamstring as he exited the pitch and was replaced by Philippe Coutinho.

[ REPORT: Man Utd agrees with Mandzukic ]

Neymar has four goals in five matches for PSG this season after a tumultuous summer saw the star unsuccessful in his bid to force a move to Barcelona or Real Madrid.

Foot and hip injuries as well as a suspension cost him over 20 matches last season, and a broken foot kept him out of just as much action in 2017/18.

PSG faces Nice on Friday before a Champions League trip to Club Brugge.

Nigeria’s Joe Aribo gave the Super Eagles a lead, but Casemiro settled the score before half time.