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FRANKFURT

Schalke gives Magath perfect Liga kick-off

Felix Magath, looking for glory with a fourth Bundesliga club, got off to the perfect start with Schalke as German international Kevin Kuranyi struck twice, kicking off the season with a 2-1 win at Nuremburg.

Schalke gives Magath perfect Liga kick-off
Nuremberg's Issac Boakye and Schalke's Marcelo Jose Bordon (left) Photo: DPA

Kuranyi was on target either side of half-time to give the Royal Blues from the industrial Ruhr valley the points with Slovakian Marek Mintal netting a late consolation for their southern opponents.

But despite the win, Magath was not happy with his side’s performance.

“What we showed late on after the Nuremberg goal was not worthy of the Bundesliga,” he raged after the hosts had threatened to overcome the deficit in the closing stages.

“I don’t know if you were watching the game or playing cards during it,” Magath sniped at a reporter afterwards who unwisely questioned his bad mood.

Magath led unfashionable Wolfsburg to the title last season and then switched to take on a new challenge having already lifted two championships – and German Cups – with Bayern Munich after earlier league cup success with Stuttgart.

Bayern is already two points adrift following a 1-1 draw at Hoffenheim.

The Bavarians, coached by experienced Dutchman Louis Van Gaal, had to soak up ferocious early pressure from a Hoffenheim which spent the first half of last season – their debut year in the top flight – in the title race before falling away.

Missing the unfit quartet of Franck Ribery, Luca Toni, Miroslav Klose and Martin Demichelis, Bayern did not make it a 58th birthday to remember for Van Gaal as they came off worst in the opening stages.

Josip Simunic thought he had headed Hoffenheim in front on ten minutes but the referee ruled his effort had not crossed the line. Instead, against the run of play, Bayern went in front on 25 minutes when Danijel Pranjic fed Ivica Olic for a neat close-range finish.

Hoffenheim got back on terms four minutes before the break when Nigerian Chinedu Obasi fired a sweeping left-footer past keeper Michael Rensing.

Van Gaal said: “We forgot how to play in the first half. We had chances but didn’t bury them,” noting that last year’s title went begging by two points.

Club president Franz Beckenbauer remarked during the encounter that, “we’re missing Ribery”.

Magath’s departure has not affected Wolfsburg, as the club from the home of Volkswagen began their title defence with an impressive 2-0 home win over Stuttgart on Friday, striking an early blow against a team tipped as potential successors to the crown.

Late goals from Bosnian playmaker Zvjezdan Misimovic – who extended his contract earlier this week – and Brazilian striker Grafite secured the points.

Wolfsburg coach Armin Veh, who arrived from Stuttgart in place of Magath, said his side were worthy winners.

“After a very equal first half, where either side could have scored, we then dominated the second half and deserved the victory.”

Elsewhere, Werder Bremen, who has lost last season’s star man Diego to Juventus, slid to a demoralising 3-2 home loss to Eintracht Frankfurt while Bayer Leverkusen had to settle for a 2-2 draw at promoted Mainz.

Former European champions Borussia Dortmund needed an own goal to defeat Cologne 1-0.

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MUNICH

Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.

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