Bayern racks up perfect 10 at Hoffenheim

Updated 04 March 2013
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Bayern racks up perfect 10 at Hoffenheim

BERLIN: Germany striker Mario Gomez’s first half goal gave Bayern Munich a 1-0 win at strugglers Hoffenheim yesterday to claim their 10th successive victory and 20th Bundesliga win from 24 games this season.
Although 47 points separate the two teams in the table, Hoffenheim, second from bottom, worked hard to contain the league leaders before succumbing to their 16th league defeat of the season.
They have won now only one of their last 14 games, including two draws and suffered 11 defeats.
Defeat at Greuther Fuerth next Saturday will put Hoffenheim bottom of the Bundesliga and in pole position to be relegated.
In contrast, Bayern have had a week to remember after knocking holders Borussia Dortmund out of the German Cup last Wednesday and they remain 17 points clear at the top of the table.
Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes made five changes from the team, which beat Dortmund 1-0 in Munich’s cup quarterfinal.
Reserve goalkeeper Tom Stark starting for Manuel Neuer, Germany striker Mario Gomez started for Mario Mandzukic and Swiss star Xherdan Shaqiri took Toni Kroos’ place in the middle of midfield.
Germany’s Jerome Boateng started at center back for Belgium’s Daniel van Buyten, while France star Franck Ribery took his place on the left wing from Arjen Robben, left out of the match day squad despite scoring Wednesday’s winner.
Despite the gulf separating the teams in the league, Hoffenheim made a bright start and contained Bayern’s attack until the 38th minute.
Igor de Camargo’s mistimed pass was snapped up by Bayern’s Boateng, who fired in a cross for Ribery to headed back across goal to Gomez, who rolled his shot past Hoffenheim goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.
Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger clattered the crossbar twice with shots as Bayern pushed for the goal which would have put the game beyond doubt.
On Saturday, hosts Borussia Dortmund warmed up for Tuesday’s Champions League clash at home to Shakhtar Donetsk with a 3-1 win over Hanover 96 to stay second.
Poland striker Robert Lewandowski netted twice having only been allowed to play on Friday after the German Football Association (DFB) reduced his three-match ban.
Bayer Leverkusen remain third, just a point behind Dortmund, after scoring twice in the last eight minutes to come from behind for a 2-1 win at home to VfB Stuttgart.
Schalke, who host Dortmund in next Saturday’s Ruhr derby, are up to sixth after they beat Wolfsburg 4-1 with 19-year-old man-of-the-match Julian Draxler scoring two and setting up one.
The Royal Blues are still in Champions League contention after their last 16, first leg 2-2 draw at Galatasaray with the return in Gelsenkirchen on March 12.
Bremen suffered their third straight defeat, dropping to 13th, after they suffered a 1-0 win at home to Augsburg, who remain third from bottom, while Nuremberg moved up to 12th with a 1-1 draw at home against Freiburg.
Hamburg drop to seventh after their 1-1 draw at home against bottom side Fuerth.
On Friday, Moechengladbach went eighth after picking up their first win in seven games thanks to Dutch striker Luuk de Jong’s goal with a 1-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt, who remain fourth despite having now gone five games without scoring.


Liverpool's Andrew Robertson ready for Roma Champions League test

Updated 23 April 2018
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Liverpool's Andrew Robertson ready for Roma Champions League test

  • Young Scottish star was very impressive during Liverpool's 5-1 aggregate destruction of Man City in last-eight clash.
  • Robertson refuses to take Roma lightly after their shock victory over Barcelona in the last round.

LIVERPOOL: With a desire stoked in the stands of Parkhead, Andrew Robertson is now fired up to fulfil a childhood dream.
While following the fortunes of Celtic, the defender’s first Champions League final memory was when Zinedine Zidane volleyed Real Madrid to success in 2002 as the contest was staged in Robertson’s home city of Glasgow. He was just eight years old.
While Robertson was deemed too small to play for his boyhood idols, released at 15 with a future uncertain, he has grown to prove his worth on Europe’s biggest club stage with Liverpool.
Now, with a semifinal encounter against AS Roma after beating Premier League champions Manchester City in the last eight, he wants to emulate those Reds heroes who lifted the trophy five times before.
“I was a big Celtic fan growing up and my heroes were Henrik Larsson and Co,” Robertson told Arab News ahead of tonight’s first-leg clash 
at Anfield.
“But these heroes who have won the European Cup and Champions League for Liverpool, you have to look up to them — and we want to emulate them and hopefully get a winner’s medal too.
“The club’s won it five times and the history of the club has always been this, the Champions League, where the fans create a special atmosphere and the club challenges for the trophy. It would be unbelievable to be a part of that history.
“This is the highlight for me so far and an incredible feeling, but it just makes you hungry for more. I don’t want it to end.
“As a kid, you sit back and watch how great it would be to play in this competition, let alone in the final.
“I always used to go to Celtic and we didn’t progress very far in the Champions League, but the occasions at Parkhead were always unbelievable.
“The fans at Celtic are incredible, world renowned, but Anfield was unbelievable against Man City and we have another chance for them to create that same atmosphere and hopefully we can put in another great performance.”
Having beaten Pep Guardiola’s City so convincingly, 5-1 over two gripping games, Liverpool will start favorites against Roma.
That is despite the Italians upsetting Barcelona in the previous round with an epic 3-0 win in the second leg after a 4-1 loss at the Nou Camp.
But Robertson will take nothing for granted against a Roma side who last reached the final in 1984 where they were beaten by Liverpool in a penalty shootout at their Stadio Olimpico home.
“Barca are an unbelievable team,” added the Scotland left-back, 24. “But let’s not kid ourselves. For Roma to score three goals against Barcelona, that’s special.
“They’ve been unbelievable this season too in the Champions League and deserve to be in the semifinals. It will definitely not be an easy game.
“But once you get to the semis, the fear of who you are playing has gone because you know how good the teams are.
“It’s like you look forward to the possibility of playing in the final, that’s what drives you forward. We will have fire in our bellies because we are so close to getting there.”
Jurgen Klopp’s men will no doubt be looking to Mohamed Salah to conjure more magic against the club he left in the summer for £36.9 million ($51.5 million).
But Robertson insisted Liverpool are no one-man team and the Egyptian, crowned PFA Player of the Year on Sunday night after scoring 41 goals in an unforgettable campaign, epitomizes a team united and ambitious in their quest for glory.
“He’s just unbelievable,” said Robertson of the frontman.
“In the first half (of the second leg) against Man City we struggled to get him in the game and he wasn’t quite at it. But the second half he was different class and pops up with a goal to help us win it. That’s what he does.
“His goals have been incredible and long may that continue. He’s a great guy, so humble, and for someone who has done so much this season he’s so down to Earth.
“That’s credit to our squad because we don’t let anyone get ahead of themselves.
“Mo is no different, he’s a lovely person and stands for what we are as a team.”

 

HEART OF GOLD

Five years ago Andrew Robertson was playing in the fourth tier of Scottish football with Queen’s Park and earning extra money by selling concert tickets in the corporate offices at Hampden Park.
Last summer he suffered relegation from the Premier League with Hull City before Liverpool signed him for £10 million ($13.9 million).
In a career fraught with setbacks and hardships, he has been grateful, supporting foodbanks that help those in need.
“It’s all about giving something back to the less fortunate,” said Robertson.
“I’m in a fortunate position where I do a job I love and get paid well and it’s nice to give something back, especially in my hometown. I’ll always do that.
“It’s been a great journey for me in my career, and I’ve enjoyed every minute. But I don’t forget where I came from. Maybe it is rare, but a lot more people are doing it now and I hope even more will.”