USMNT and Chelsea center back Matt Miazga lifted the lid on a tumultuous season which had little do with the on-field part of soccer.
Speaking with Goal.com, Miazga opened up on his truncated loan at Ligue 1 side Nantes, current run at Reading, and the key figures as he tries to earn more Premier League playing time.
[ MORE: Analyzing the UCL draw ]
But he also spoke about the tragic plane accident that claimed the lives of two including his former teammate Emiliano Sala.
Miazga said he prays for Sala and his family, in reflecting on the striker with Goal.com’s Nizaar Kinsella:
“I knew him for six months, we lined up together in the same shirt, fought together, travelled together, ate together, trying to win football matches,” Miazga said. “We spoke French, and he let me practice my French. It is very, very sad. Rest in peace. No one wants to see it happen, especially to someone you know. You would never think it could happen in 2019. A good guy, a good player which was shown by his big-money Premier League transfer.”
It’s tough to read. Losing a co-worker is one thing, but the bonds of sport seem to stitch themselves together a little tighter.
Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.
[ MORE: Man City tops Watford amid controversy ]
Bayern Munich hung six goals on its visitors Saturday to make sure its goal differential problem against title rivals Borussia Dortmund became a thing of the past.
It could’ve been worse for BVB had American winger Christian Pulisic not come off the bench to save Lucien Favre’s men from more dropped points.
Bayern Munich 6-0 Wolfsburg
Bayern retook the Bundesliga lead and its talisman moved in front of the pack in the race to win the Golden Boot as the Bavarians walloped Wolfsburg at the Allianz Arena.
Maybe Joachim Low’s decision to drop a trio of Bayern players from German national team duty was just a tonic.
Robert Lewandowski scored his 16th and 17th goals of the season, while Serge Gnabry stayed hot in notching the match-winner for Bayern. James Rodriguez, Thomas Muller, and Joshua Kimmich also scored as Bayern moved two goals ahead of BVB in goal differential.
Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Stuttgart
Pulisic was the definition of an impact sub as he assisted Paco Alcacer’s match-winner before joining Alcacer and Marco Reus on the score sheet in a nerve-settling home win.
Mainz 0-1 Borussia Monchengladbach
Swiss defender Nico Elvedi’s fourth goal in two seasons sends ‘Gladbach level on points with RB Leipzig.
RB Leipzig 0-0 Augsburg
RBL stayed ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach on goal differential in the race for third place.
American midfielder Tyler Adams went 73 minutes in the draw, but still made the third-most intensive runs of the match. He won nine tackles and completed 57 of 66 passes.
Werder Bremen 4-2 Schalke — Friday
Freiburg 2-1 Hertha Berlin
Hoffenheim v. Nurnberg — 10:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Hannover 96 v. Bayer Leverkusen — 1 p.m. ET Sunday
USMNT fullback DeAndre Yedlin is hoping Newcastle United’s hierarchy can meet Rafa Benitez‘s demands and keep the Spaniard around St. James’ Park for a long time.
[ MORE: Pochettino on touch line ban ]
Yedlin, 25, has become a Premier League regular after helping Newcastle to promotion, and Benitez has turned the flier into a much-improved defender.
But owner Mike Ashley’s general reluctance to improve the team has Benitez questioning whether to consider a new contract with the Magpies despite a clear appreciation for the city and club.
Yedlin could hardly have better words for his boss. From The Chronicle:
“I think everyone has seen how he has brought the city together,” Yedlin said. “Even though we may not have started the season the best, we’ve ended it very well so I think, yeah, it’s very important. As we all know, all the fans love him, the players love him and it would be great if he stayed.”
Yedlin has appeared 91 times for Newcastle since arriving from Spurs, and counts 83 Premier League experiences between the Magpies, rivals Sunderland, and Tottenham Hotspur.
He’s struggling this season, mostly in defense, but has become more positionally responsible. That should help the USMNT, even if it…. hasn’t been translating to recent appearances.
Well, look out Lucien.
Borussia Dortmund manager Lucien Favre and his men have company atop the Bundesliga table, at least for a day, after Bayern Munich collected a 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
[ MORE: Almiron stars for Newcastle ]
That puts the six-time defending Bundesliga champions level on points with BVB, who plays Sunday.
Bayern Munich 1-0 Hertha Berlin
Having played at midweek, a grind of a 0-0 draw at Liverpool, Bayern had most of the ball but failed to generate too much danger.
So it’s fitting that an unorthodox scorer pushed the Bavarians through, with Javi Martinez scoring his first goal of the season and just fourth in as many years.
His 62nd minute winner was aided in producing the win by an 84th minute Hertha red card.
Borussia Monchengladbach 0-3 Wolfsburg
American center back John Brooks will be plenty happy with his performance under the eye of new USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter, who was in attendance as Wolfsburg closed the gap on its third-place hosts to five points.
Brooks won 8 tackles and took a team-high 81 touches in the match, completing 53 of 59 passes.
Yannick Gerhardt scored before Admir Mehmedi added a brace for the visitors.
Werder Bremen 1-1 Stuttgart — Friday; Sargent gets 1st start
Fortuna Dusseldorf 2-1 Nurnberg
Freiburg 5-1 Augsburg
Mainz 3-0 Schalke
Hannover 96 v. Eintracht Frankfurt — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Borussia Dortmund v. Bayer Leverkusen — Noon ET Sunday
BREMEN, Germany (AP) Werder Bremen’s European hopes were damaged by a 1-1 home draw with Stuttgart in the Bundesliga Friday.
Bremen had been hoping to get closer to Wolfsburg, which occupies the last Europa League qualifying position in sixth spot, but had to be content with a move up to ninth.
Steven Zuber fired Stuttgart ahead after 61 seconds. The former Hoffenheim striker stayed cool after he was sent through by Mario Gomez to shoot beyond Bremen keeper Jiri Pavlenka and inside the far post.
Despite more possession for the hosts, it was Stuttgart which had the better chances – Gomez spurning two good opportunities – and the visitors were left to rue the misses when Max Kruse set up Dutch midfielder Davy Klaassen to equalize with a powerful strike before the break.
“I’m sorry for the team,” Gomez said.
Bremen brought on Claudio Pizarro, who became the oldest ever goalscorer when he grabbed a late equalizer against Hertha Berlin last weekend, for the last half-hour but the 40-year-old Peruvian could not find the winner.
American forward Josh Sargent made his first league start for Bremen.
Stuttgart remained in the relegation zone with 16 points from 23 games.
On Saturday, second-place Bayern Munich hosts Hertha. Leader Borussia Dortmund takes on Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.
More AP German soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/Bundesliga and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports