Sep 25, 2012, 6:00 PM EDT
Barcelona isn’t the only perfect team among Europe’s big leagues, though Juventus fell from those ranks with today’s 0-0 in Florence. Germany and France also have perfect teams at the top of their standings, though we’ll have to sing the praises of Marseille’s stinginess another time.
In the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich has gotten off to another torrid start, perfect through five rounds after today’s 3-0 thrashing of Wolfsburg. FCB has scored 17 times while conceding only twice. Thanks to Borussia Dortmund’s draw in Frankfurt, Bayern leads the defending champions by seven points.
Two aspects of Bayern’s hot start are particularly noteworthy:
- FCB already has an impressive road win, defeating Schalke 2-0 this weekend in Gelsenkirchen.
- Mario Gomez, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben have combined for five appearances and no goals.
Instead, the load is being carried by Thomas Müller and Mario Mandzukic, who’ve combined for nine goals (Mandzukic scored twice against his former team on Tuesday). Bastian Schweinsteiger also appears to have shaken some of the health issues that have plagued him though most of 2012, while new acquisitions Javi Martínez, Xherdan Shaqiri, Mandzukic and Dante have already played significant parts. When linked together, the pieces fit like a picture of one of the two or three best teams in Europe.
Last season, however, offers a cautionary tale. Early in the 2011-12 season, the Bavarians also looked like world beaters. After loosing last campaign’s opener to Borussia Moenchengladbach, Bayern won six in a row and went unbeaten in eight, outscoring their opponents 25-0 in that time. Ultimately, Bayern would finish second to Borussia Dortmund, failing to take a point from BVB in the teams’ two meetings.
Bayern and Dortmund’s first meeting is still over two months away (Dec. 1 at the Allianz in Munich), but early returns are encouraging for FCB. Dortmund has dropped five points in the last four days. Worryingly, BVB’s allowed eight goals in their first five matches. Only Stuttgart and Hoffenheim have been worse. Bayern’s addition of Javi Martínez could also help-to-help, the former Athletic Bilbao midfielder/defender allowing Bayern to better control games without having to commit more players forward (and expose themselves to Dortmund’s counterattack).
May 24, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed Chelsea interm manager Rafa Benitez is set to move to Serie A on a 2-year deal with Napoli. The deal is not complete yet, and not officially announced, which De Laurentiis backtracked to after. However, in an interview with Sky Italia earlier today, he said “Benítez is the new…
May 24, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT
Boyd left Dortmund last season, so is a USMNT player destined to never play in a Champions League final?
May 24, 2013, 2:50 PM EDT
Who knew that Jimmy Nielsen’s burst of white hair wasn’t the craziest thing about Sporting Kansas City’s talented goalkeeper?
May 24, 2013, 2:45 PM EDT
A blog post in the New Yorker looks at another side to this week’s huge expansion news:
May 24, 2013, 2:31 PM EDT
Does Hughes deserve another shot at managing an EPL club after past failures?
May 24, 2013, 2:25 PM EDT
Both teams are on streaks of success – even if “success” look so radically different in the two camps:
May 24, 2013, 1:56 PM EDT
See the sights around London, as Wembley Stadium welcomes German fans in abundance.
May 24, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT
When Bayern Munich face Borussia Dortmund tomorrow at 2:45 ET at Wembley, they won’t be playing for a ticket into the elite. They won’t be playing for the right to be recognized as permanent contenders. They’ve already done both of those. The path each of these bitter German rivals took to get to the final…
May 24, 2013, 1:13 PM EDT
Monaco’s Russian oligarch owner is splashing the cash to bring Champions League success, can they do it?
May 24, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT
We have five suggestions as MLS pivots its enhancement efforts away from expansion:
May 24, 2013, 12:32 PM EDT
Looking behind the incredible story of the tiny rock in the Mediterranean, that can now take on the giants of European soccer
May 24, 2013, 11:38 AM EDT
Which individual battles will determine which side lifts the UEFA Champions League trophy at Wembley on Saturday?
May 24, 2013, 11:04 AM EDT
We take a look at which US cities deserve an MLS expansion franchise and how close they are to getting it. Thoughts?
May 24, 2013, 10:07 AM EDT
Would Cole be a good pickup for Major League Soccer sides looking to cement their playoff aspirations?
May 24, 2013, 8:31 AM EDT
The first-ever all-German UEFA Champions League final is one day away, take a look at our infographic to see which side has the edge.
May 24, 2013, 8:01 AM EDT
Christie Rampone and Sky Blue FC try to stay atop the NWSL Saturday in Overland Park.
May 23, 2013, 11:24 PM EDT
Manchester City overcame a 3-goal deficit at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as Edin Dzeko bagged a brace to beat Chelsea 4-3.
May 23, 2013, 11:03 PM EDT
Just days after Jose Mourinho mutually parted ways with Real Madrid, he will be completing a deal to become Chelsea’s next manager, says Martin Rogers of Yahoo! Sports via Twitter.
May 23, 2013, 9:54 PM EDT
Roberto Martinez has given himself more time to decide on his future at Wigan, and also gave them a wish list.
May 23, 2013, 8:44 PM EDT
Asmir Begovic is apparently intending on showing up at the door of another club to start training.
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- Which US cities are next for MLS expansion? 16
- Champions League Final infographic: Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich 0
- NWSL Game of the Week: Sky Blue FC vs. FC Kansas City 0
- Yahoo! reports: Mourinho to sign 4-year deal with Chelsea, will be unveiled June 2 0
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