Bayern Munich 3-2 Paderborn: Lewandowski's late show settles thriller

By Sports Desk February 21, 2020

Robert Lewandowski scored a late winner to send Bayern Munich four points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with a 3-2 over bottom side Paderborn.

Hansi Flick's men twice saw a one-goal lead erased by their lowly visitors in an absorbing encounter, with efforts from Serge Gnabry and Lewandowski cancelled out by Dennis Srbeny and Sven Michel.

However, two minutes from the end of normal time Gnabry and Lewandowski combined to seal maximum points for Bayern, albeit in unconvincing fashion.

After avoiding a remarkable slip-up, Bayern can watch the rest of the weekend's action with the pressure firmly on challengers RB Leipzig as they visit Schalke on Saturday looking to reduce the gap back to a point.

 

 

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    Bayern Munich president Herbert Hainer expects a significant decrease in transfer fees following the coronavirus pandemic.

    Deals worth in excess of €100million have been commonplace in the past four years, with Neymar becoming the world's most expensive player when he joined Paris Saint-Germain for €222m in August 2017.

    Bayern have been more conservative but broke their transfer record by splashing out €80m on Lucas Hernandez last year.

    Links to Leroy Sane and Timo Werner led to suggestions the Bavarian giants were willing to break the bank again, but Hainer believes the inflation in the market will have been stemmed by the proliferation of COVID-19.

    Revenues have dried up for clubs across the world, with players at Bayern, Barcelona, Juventus and Atletico Madrid among those to take pay cuts while football is on hiatus.

    Asked about the potential impact of the coronavirus crisis on transfer fees, Hainer told Bayern's 51 magazine: "As I said, although serious predictions are difficult to make, it's obvious there'll be changes. I agree with Uli Hoeness' assumption that transfer fees will decrease. That's just logical.

    "When income decreases, there's less money in circulation. And given the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis on people's everyday lives, outrageous sums in the millions are even less justifiable than they already were.

    "My hope is that more common sense will be applied here as well. I have to take my hat off to Hasan Salihamidzic and our sporting leadership. They're handling the coronavirus situation very well."

    Bayern players agreed to a 20 per cent wage reduction during the Bundesliga suspension, which is scheduled to last until at least April 30.

    Hainer acknowledged the situation has put clubs in precarious financial positions, but he is confident Bayern will be able to get through the crisis without "any major damage".

    "Of course, the situation is very tense. It's about the existence of individual clubs. And even FC Bayern faces a major financial challenge – that's no secret," said Hainer.

    "But our club is in an excellent position. We work day after day to ensure that FC Bayern can navigate through this phase without any major damage.

    "Despite this immense task, we're looking to the future with confidence."

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    The veteran striker, who has scored 172 goals in over 400 appearances for Athletic, announced his intention to retire at the end of this season back in August.

    His final season as a player is set to be marked by an all-Basque Copa del Rey final between Athletic and La Real.

    Originally scheduled to take place on April 18 in Seville, the Copa showpiece - along with the vast majority of sport around the world - has been put on hold.

    It is not clear when the final will be played. However, Aduriz accepts even an occasion as momentous as the clash with La Real has little significance amid a crisis that has killed over 12,000 people in Spain.

    "This coronavirus crisis is forcing us to think twice and consider what matters," Aduriz told Athletic's official website. "And now my retirement, or football in general, or if we will play [the Copa del Rey final] or not doesn't matter.

    "I think there are many other more important things to stop and solve. I'm sure with everyone's help together, with each of us playing our role, we will get ahead of it. That's what I'm focused on at this moment and that's the most important thing."

    Aduriz was born in San Sebastian, where Real Sociedad hail from, but he expects a respectful reception from their fans if and when the final goes ahead.

    He added: "Maybe all of us are keeping in mind the Copa del Rey final, but we're prioritising other things now.

    "We're all going through a tough time where many people are struggling a lot and even passing away…so, the final of the Copa has its importance, but maybe not that much now.

    "There are other things we need to solve together, and if the day [of the final] finally comes, I'm Donostiarra [people originally from San Sebastian]. I've always felt very comfortable in Donostia [the city's Basque name] and that won't change whatever happens in any football game. I'm sure they will treat me in the same way, no doubt."

    Asked about recognition for his achievements from Athletic fans, Aduriz replied: "If we've learned something from this pandemic or virus that we're struggling with, it's that we should think twice about what is important.

    "I sincerely believe the people who really deserve a statue and recognition are clear nowadays, and it's not me or any football player.

    "I would build a statue to those who are battling every day at the very front line against the virus in all the hospitals. They're showing us what really matters.

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    Ben Foster believes Premier League clubs must commit to a blanket policy on pay cuts during the coronavirus pandemic, or else it could "get a bit messy".

    The topic of footballers' salaries is in the spotlight after health secretary Matt Hancock suggested players in the top flight should make a contribution to help during the health crisis.

    The Premier League called for players to take a 30 per cent pay cut in a statement released on Friday, though the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) responded by pointing out such a move would lead to a loss in important revenue via tax contributions.

    Watford goalkeeper Foster revealed there is an "understanding" from players that something needs to be done during these unprecedented times, but said any action - whether through salary cuts or wage deferrals - should come as a united front.

    "Pretty much every footballer I've spoken to... I think it is something we understand, we completely agree that something needs to be done," Foster told talkSPORT.

    "But from a player's point of view, and I’m sure the PFA will be talking about it today. As long as it is done in a structured manner.

    "It is important to cover every team with the same [policy], whether it's a deferral or a cut, so that we are all under the same blanket.

    "Now, more than ever, it is so important that we do this together. When you start getting teams doing their own individual wage cuts or deferrals, that's when it starts to get a bit messy.

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    "Something like this is unprecedented. No one knows where it's going or how hard it's going to be. If we can do something in the meantime, you've got to do it."

    The Premier League season is suspended indefinitely due to the virus, though there remains a commitment to completing the 2019-20 fixtures.

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