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  • Bayern looking to win second FIFA Club World Cup title
  • 2019/20 an astonishing season for the Bavarians
  • Five titles in six months

A simplified description of Bayern Munich’s 2019/20 season reads as follows: records, records and more records.

The Bavarians set benchmark after benchmark during the 56th Bundesliga campaign and crowned the season with a historic achievement by winning a treble comprised of Bundesliga, DFB Cup and UEFA Champions League trophies for the second time after first doing so 2013. Not only that, they went on to add two more pieces of silverware to their collection with domestic and European Super Cups.

Bayern are aiming to turn that quintuple into a sextuple at the beginning of February at the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020. We take a look back on an unbelievable year for the record German champions.

Hansi Flick takes charge

Bayern’s course was arguably set when they appointed Hans-Dieter ‘Hansi’ Flick as head coach. Prior to that the 55-year-old had been assistant to Niko Kovac, who was dismissed following a 5-1 defeat away to Eintracht Frankfurt at the start of November 2019.







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Bundesliga title

Seven months after Flick took the reins, Bayern lifted the league title for an eighth successive year, sealing the championship with a win away to Werder Bremen on Matchday 32 with two games to spare.

Flick has led his side to victory in 88 per cent of all Bundesliga matches contested since his appointment (21 of 24), giving him the best winning ratio of any coach in the league’s history.

Robert Lewandowski hit 34 goals to finish as Bundesliga top scorer for a fifth time, all in the last seven seasons. Gerd Muller is the only other player ever to have earned the top scorer’s accolade on at least five occasions, doing so seven times.




Robert Lewandowski of FC Bayern Muenchen lifts the trophy to celebrate the championship following the Bundesliga match between VfL Wolfsburg and FC Bayern Muenchen



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DFB-Pokal

The DFB-Pokal came next, with Bayern beating Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 at the start of July to lift the trophy for the 20th time. David Alaba gave Bayern the lead with a direct free-kick before Serge Gnabry doubled their advantage shortly afterwards. Manuel Neuer teed up Lewandowski to make it 3-0 with a long-range strike, and although Sven Bender pulled a goal back for Leverkusen with a header from a corner, Lewandowski put the outcome beyond all doubt with a late fourth.




 (L-R) Michael Cuisance, Lucas Hernandez, Ivan Perisic, Benjamin Pavard and Corentin Tolisso of FC Bayern Muenchen pose with the trophy



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UEFA Champions League

Flick’s side had a flawless record in Europe in 2019/20, winning all 11 of their games and scoring 43 goals while conceding just eight – an unprecedented achievement in the competition’s history. The finals tournament in Lisbon was effectively a victory parade for Bayern, who humiliated Barcelona with a historic 8-2 thrashing in the quarter-finals before defeating Paris Saint-Germain in 1-0 in the final.

Kingsley Coman became known as Bayern’s ‘Mr. Lisbon’ after the Frenchman scored a 59th-minute header from Joshua Kimmich’s cross in a hard-fought title-decider on 23 August 2020. Manuel Neuer subsequently made some spectacular saves to preserve his side’s lead and help seal the club’s sixth European triumph.

“They had an unfair advantage: Manuel was in top form and has elevated goalkeeping to a new level,” said then PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel afterwards of the Bayern captain’s performance. The victory was the German side’s 21st consecutive win in all competitions.




The Bayern Munich players celebrate as Manuel Neuer lifts the UEFA Champions League trophy



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DFL-Supercup

After a short summer break, Bayern won their next title in their first competitive outing of the new season by beating league runners-up Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in Munich to seal their eighth German Supercup triumph. Corentin Tolisso put the hosts ahead early on in a game played behind closed doors, before Thomas Muller extended their lead just after the half-hour mark. However, Julian Brandt pulled a goal back for Dortmund shortly before the interval and Dortmund’s star striker Erling Haaland equalised early in the second half.

Yet Bayern emerged victorious once again thanks to Kimmich’s 82nd-minute winner, the Germany international scoring as he fell to the ground to ensure his side earned their next trophy at the expense of their long-standing rivals.




(L-R) Joshua Zirkzee, Joshua Kimmich and Alphonos Davies of FC Bayern München celebrate with the Supercup trophy 



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European Super Cup

The Champions League holders eventually got the better of their UEFA Europa League counterparts Sevilla in extra time of an intense and hard-fought European Super Cup. Substitute Javi Martinez scored the winner in the first half of extra time to hand Bayern a 2-1 victory.

“I always try to give 100 per cent and give everything I’ve got whenever I play for Bayern ,” said Martinez afterwards. “I showed that today. I always want to help the team, and I did so with a goal today. It’s a dream.” Lucas Ocampos had initially put Sevilla ahead with a 12th-minute penalty, which Leon Goretzka later cancelled out.

Incidentally, Martinez also scored the winning goal in Bayern’s 2-1 victory over Chelsea in the 2013 European Super Cup.




Manuel Neuer of Bayern Munich lifts the UEFA Super Cup trophy as he celebrates victory 



© Getty Images


The Best 2020

The Best FIFA Football Awards™ were also dominated by Bayern – or at least the men’s prizes were. Lewandowski and Neuer respectively picked up The Best Men’s Player and The Best Men’s Goalkeeper honours, while Flick was in the final three for The Best Men’s Coach.

Furthermore, in Lewandowski, Thiago (now of Liverpool), Alphonso Davies and Kimmich, four Bayern players were included in the FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World11.

FIFA Club World Cup

The Club World Cup Qatar 2020 will take place from 1-11 February 2021 in Doha, where Bayern are aiming to take possession of the crown for the first time since 2013. European clubs have had that honour 12 times since the inaugural competition in 2000, while teams from South America have done so on four occasions. Which confederation will win it for the last time in its current format?

The final will be held at the Education City Stadium on 11 February. The complete match schedule is available for download here. The draw to determine the match pairings will take place on 19 January 2021 at 16:00 CET in Zurich.




FIFA Club World Cup trophy.


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India vs Australia Live streaming 4th Test

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How, where and when to watch Australia vs India 4th Test live match at 5:00 AM IST on January 17, 2021

Tim Paine’s half-century, Cameron Green’s 47 and crucial contributions from Australia’s tail took them to 369 on the second day of the fourth Test against India in Brisbane. For the visitors, T Natarajan, Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur grabbed three wickets each to apply the brakes. Once Paine and Green’s 98-run partnership was broken, India made further inroads; but Pat Cummins gave Australia the perfect start by removing Shubman Gill for a low score. Rohit Sharma then fell for 44 to Nathan Lyon, as heading into the third day, India’s hopes rest on Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, who took them to 62 for 2.

Australia vs India 4th Test is available to view in India on Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Six channels.

When does the Aus vs Ind live streaming start?
The Aus vs Ind live streaming will start at 5:00 AM India time on January 17, 2021.

Where is the Aus vs Ind match being played?
The Aus vs Ind match is being played at the Gabba in Brisbane.

On which TV channels will Aus vs Ind live coverage be available?
In India, Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Six will telecast the match live.

Where can one find Aus vs Ind live score and commentary online?
The fastest and most comprehensive live score and details will be available here: Aus vs Ind live

Who are the captains for the Aus vs Ind game?
The captains are Tim Paine (Australia) and Ajinkya Rahane (India).

Who are the umpires for the Aus vs Ind game?
The on-field umpires for tomorrow’s game are Bruce Oxenford and Paul Wilson. The TV umpire will be Paul Reiffel.

Who is the match referee for tomorrow’s Aus vs Ind game?
The match referee for is David Boon.

All telecast and streaming timings are according to information received from the host broadcaster.

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Browns’ Garrett wants to ‘leave an impression’ on Chiefs’ Mahomes

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CLEVELAND — Myles Garrett has only respect for Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, a generational talent on another level from other players in the NFL.

Reverence aside, Garrett hopes to make Mahomes remember meeting him in the playoffs.

Forever.

“I want him to be able to go home when he has his kid or kids and tell them that he went against Myles Garrett,” the Browns‘ star defensive end said Friday after he and his teammates had their last full practice before facing top-seeded Kansas City in Sunday’s divisional playoff game.

”It is not just me versus him — it is the Browns versus the Chiefs,” Garrett said. “But individually, I like to leave an impression on everybody I go against.”

Garrett’s ready to take on the Super Bowl champions, and he believes the Browns (12-5) are as well.

Cleveland’s not being given much of a chance at Arrowhead Stadium, but that was the case a week ago when the Browns went into Heinz Field as underdogs and stunned the Steelers despite missing their coach and two top players because of COVID-19.

The Browns are healthier, and Garrett insists hungrier. Satisfaction hasn’t been attained.

“You have to prove what you are worth day in and day out,” Garett said. “Every time those lights are on and we are on the field, we have to show that we are a great team. Here is another opportunity to show that.”

It’s a monumental task for the Browns, who will be facing an offense with no weaknesses and a quarterback capable of turning the mundane into magical.

There is no one like Mahomes, who has 38 TD passes this season and can lean on playoff experience Garrett and the Browns lack.

“He is kind of regarded as the face of the league right now,” Garrett said.

Since coming back after missing two games with COVID-19, Garrett has played well but isn’t delivering the same game-swinging plays he did earlier this season, when strip-sacks and fumble recoveries were common place for the All-Pro.

Garrett’s been close. He wants to be closer this week against Mahomes.

“I’m due,” Garrett said.

Is now the time?

“Absolutely. This should be the game to do it,” said Garrett. “One of the best teams in the league, if not the best team in the league, but they have to go in there and they have to prove it, and we have to prove that we can battle with anybody.”

Garrett has done plenty of studying on Mahomes, and knows the Browns can’t take a play off. None.

The key to stopping the Chiefs is forcing mistakes, and Mahomes rarely makes any.

“The guy is great with his feet and he is great throwing off of the run,” Garrett said. “He can make plays in any part of the field so we have to be prepared for that. Do not jump for those ball fakes. If you take your shot at him, make it clean and try to take the ball away from him.

“The best place to be on the field with Patrick is with the ball in our hands instead of him because he is great with it.”

The Browns have gone further than anyone outside the team expected.

Garrett wants to keep going.

“We are here. We might as well be great,” he said. “Nobody is excited about just getting a ticket to the dance. Like I said, you want to dance with the pretty girl. You want to shoot your shot, and the worst she can say is no.

“As long as you go out there and you take your best shot, you will be proud of the result, but we are not satisfied until we see how far we can get.”



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Recent Match Report – Stars vs Strikers 40th Match 2020

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Adam Zampa picked up 5 for 17 in a match totally dominated by Melbourne Stars

Melbourne Stars 2 for 179 (Fletcher 89*, Valente 1-36) beat Adelaide Strikers 68 (Zampa 5-17) by 111 runs

Andre Fletcher has repaid Melbourne Stars’ faith in him with a stunning 89 not out before Adam Zampa claimed 5 for 17 to set up a huge 111-run victory over Adelaide Strikers at the MCG.

The Strikers were bowled out for just 68 chasing 180, their lowest total in BBL history, the third-lowest overall, and it was also the fourth-largest defeat by any team.

Fletcher had not passed 18 in the first nine matches in the tournament but he overcame a lack of strike in the first 10 overs to reach his first half-century in T20 cricket in more than 12 months before destroying the Strikers’ quicks in the Power Surge to set up a match-winning total of 2 for 179.

Fletcher revealed he received a phone call of encouragement from West Indies great Brian Lara a few days earlier, which inspired his innings.

He got good support from Glenn Maxwell (37 off 28) and Hilton Cartwright (30 not out off 17), though Cartwright’s innings possibly cost him a century. The Strikers attack lacked penetration without Rashid Khan and Peter Siddle, although Liam O’Connor and Daniel Worrall bowled tidily.

The Strikers then succumbed to the Stars’ spin trio as they raced through the overs with rain looming on the radar. Maxwell and Zahir Khan set it up in the Powerplay and finished with 4 for 31 from eight overs combined. Zampa then finished the job as the rain began to fall claiming his second T20 five-wicket haul.

Stoinis go-slow

It was a bizarre innings from Marcus Stoinis. He admitted to the media on Thursday that he had been struggling with how to build an innings under the new rules, having at times gone too hard in the four-over Powerplay and he even revealed he forgot about the Power Surge in the last game. Fletcher’s lean tournament has no doubt also played a part in his indecision. Stoinis faced 14 dots in total including 10 in Worrall’s first two overs. He has the confidence he can catch up but he never did, holing out to long-off to a borderline waist-high full toss from Danny Briggs for 13 off 26.

Fletcher faced just 15 balls and reached his highest total of the tournament of 22 while Stoinis was at the crease. Maxwell walked out at No.3 and avoided his third consecutive golden duck, but the Stars crawled to 1 for 57 after 10 overs with O’Connor stepping into Rashid’s enormous shoes and bowling and excellent four-over spell. However, he wasn’t able to take any wickets to expose the Stars’ middle order. Maxwell and Fletcher opted not to take the Power Surge despite both men being set at the start of the 15th over and Maxwell holed out to long-on at an inopportune time.

Spiceman runs hot

Fletcher hadn’t reached fifty in his last 30 T20 innings dating back to his century in the Bangladesh Premier League in 2019. Here, he got to his 50 off 36 balls at the end of the 16th and the relief on his face was palpable. The Stars took the Power Surge and Fletcher filled his boots. He torched Wes Agar and Worrall for four fours and two sixes as both quicks got their lengths horribly wrong delivering a mix of full tosses and length balls. Fletcher delivered a contemptuous no-look strike off Worrall over the long-on off the last ball of the Surge.

He was 82 not out with 12 balls left in the innings but only faced two more. Cartwright made 30 not out off 17 balls with two sixes, two fours, and three twos leaving Fletcher to watch at the other end. Fletcher finally got on strike last ball of the innings and deposited Briggs over the sightscreen. He was emotional as he walked off the ground and received a lengthy embrace from his skipper Maxwell. He later revealed that the emotion was for his late uncle.

Rain rush wrecks Strikers

With rain looming on the radar, Maxwell decided to race through three overs of spin in the Powerplay to get through five overs as quickly as possible. The gamble paid huge dividends as the Strikers slumped to 2 for 10. Alex Carey promoted himself to open with Phil Salt and both men fell cheaply. Salt gloved an attempted reverse sweep off Zahir to the keeper while Carey was clean bowled trying to launch Maxwell over long-on. Maxwell kept the spin attack rolling bowling just two overs of pace in the first 10 as the Stars defended just 57 to claim the Bash Boost point. Matt Renshaw and Jon Wells did not score a boundary off the spinners with Renshaw holing out to Zampa in the 10th over.

Zampa shrugs off shoulder concern

Zampa hurt his shoulder diving in the field and had to spend some time sitting on the dug-out when he wasn’t bowling. But it didn’t affect his legspin as he put on another masterclass. The damage had been done by Maxwell and Zahir but Zampa was still needed to close out the 10th over and secure the Bash Boost point. He was far too good for the Strikers tail claiming four of the last five wickets.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne

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