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FOOTBALL

Bayern thumps Juventus to reach knock-outs

Bayern Munich qualified for the Champions League second round after dominating Juventus for 90 minutes in Turin, Italy, thumping their hosts 4-1 to knock them out of the competition.

Bayern thumps Juventus to reach knock-outs
Photo: DPA

In a winner takes all clash to take second spot in Group A behind confirmed winners Bordeaux, Bayern went for the jugular and deservedly earned their place in the last 16.

Juve, who only needed a draw to progress, were a shadow of the team that beat Inter Milan on Saturday and will join Liverpool in the Europa League at the turn of the year.

Playmaker Diego claimed the Italians lacked the right character to win and said he understood fans who jeered at the final whistle.

“The jeers were justified given that we didn’t do well, the fans should react like this,” he said. “Our attitude wasn’t right, things were different against Inter. Bayern understood what they had to do on the pitch.”

Bayern, who started the match a point behind their hosts, came into the game knowing they had to win and played with an almost reckless but magnificent attacking verve.

Coach Louis Van Gaal, much maligned in Germany this season as his team sit fourth in the Bundesliga, said there were two ways of looking at this game.

“You could say that Juventus played terribly but you could also say that we played brilliantly,” he said. “We were well organised in the middle, we held onto the ball well and we always tried to go forward with conviction and maybe this was simply too much for Juve.”

They should have been ahead on five minutes but Bastian Schweinsteiger lost his head and his range after Philipp Lahm pulled the ball back to him on the edge of the area, firing hopelessly into row Z.

Seven minutes later the Germans hit the woodwork as Ivica Olic’s header from captain Mark Van Bommel’s cross bounced up onto the post.

But disaster struck for the visitors on 19 minutes as Martin Demichelis’s ill-advised foray out from the back saw him disposseed by Diego, who passed to Claudio Marchisio and his first time cross to the back post was dispatched with aplomb on the volley by David Trezeguet, who rolled back the years with a sensational finish.

Bayern were straight back on the attack and Gianluigi Buffon tipped a Schweinsteiger shot over before Olic headed too high from Danijel Pranjic’s cross.

The equaliser came on the half hour as Olic went down – willingly enough – from a rash challenge by Martin Caceres, and goalkeeper Hans-Jorg Butt stepped up to send Buffon the wrong way from the spot.

Moments later Felipe Melo’s backheel gave the ball away in the Juve box and Schweinsteiger’s shot was deflected over Buffon and the bar.

When the half-time whistle came Juve were relieved having been totally dominated for 45 minutes in which Schweinsteiger alone had almost a half dozen shots from midfield, far more than the Juve team put together.

Such was Juve coach Ciro Ferrara’s concern that at the break he hauled off striker Alessandro Del Piero for defensive midfielder Christian Poulsen.

But they paid for their negativity on 52 minutes as Bayern came out ahead. Van Bommel crossed from the right and although Buffon parried Daniel Van Buyten’s header, Olic swept home the loose ball.

That injected a bit of urgency into Juve’s play and Poulsen headed Diego’s free-kick over the bar on 59 minutes.

On 66 minutes Caceres got to the byline and pulled the ball back for Trezeguet, but on the turn the Frenchman blazed over.

But Juve could not put any more pressure than that on their visitors and Bayern was soon back on the attack, given a boost by the entry of substitute Arjen Robben.

On 83 minutes Bayern secured a much deserved victory as Holger Badstuber’s corner was inadvertently flicked goalwards by Nicola Legrottaglie. Although Buffon kept the ball out with his legs, Mario Gomez poked home the rebound.

Substitute Anatoliy Tymoshchuk drilled home the final nail in Juve’s coffin in injury time.

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FOOTBALL

British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.

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