Bayern set to enter Champions League round of 16

Bayern Munich are on the verge of the Champions League's Round of 16 after Tuesday's 3-2 win over CFR Cluj as striker Mario Gomez scored his fifth goal in three games.

Bayern set to enter Champions League round of 16
Photo: DPA

Having broken his 13-match scoring drought for Bayern with a hat-trick in last Saturday’s 3-0 league win over Hannover, and scored in Germany’s 3-0 win in Kazakhstan last week, Gomez hit Munich’s third against Romanian side Cluj.

The 25-year-old, who last year became the Bundesliga’s most expensive transfer when Bayern bought him from Stuttgartfor €30 million, had an easy late tap in, but Munich were uninspiring despite the victory.

“Today, we can be thankful for all three goals, it was a very strange game,” said Gomez. “That is the way things go in football: for weeks, I have scored no goals and now suddenly the scoring touch is back.”

Last season’s beaten finalists were far from impressive as Cluj scored all-bar-one of the goals and gifted Bayern two own-goals.

“We haven’t had much luck this season, but we had a fair bit of it today,” said Bayern coach Louis van Gaal.

“It is always difficult if the opponent plays with ten-men behind the ball. The midfield played very well and controlled the game well. We shouldn’t have conceded the second goal, but we deserved to win.”

Bayern were missing a host of stars including Arjen Robben, Frank Ribery, Breno, Diego Contento, Mark van Bommel, Miroslav Klose plus David Alaba. The lack of star-quality showed.

They have now won all three of their Group E matches so far, but the first three goals were all scored by Cluj players as Portugal defender Cadu netted for both sides.

The centre-back gave the Romanians a shock lead when he headed home a free-kick from Italian midfielder Roberto de Zerbi on 28 minutes to silence the crowd at Munich’s Allianz Arena.

But the Portuguese defender was left with his head in his hands just four minutes later when a shot from Bayern’s Germany midfielder Toni Kroos deflected off his leg into the back of the net to equalise.

And Bayern took the lead when Cluj’s Romania defender Cristian Panin watched as a shot from Bayern defender Holger Badstuber hit him on the knee and the ball flew into his own net on 37 minutes.

Cluj almost went in all-square at the break as Ivory Coast forward Lacina Traore beat the Bayern defence and goalkeeper Hans-Joerg Butt from 16 metres out, but clipped the post with his shot.

Gomez then netted his fifth goal in three games when he managed to stab his shot past Cluj goalkeeper Eduard Stancioiu on 77 minutes.

The visitors threatened a late fight-back when Argentinian midfielder Juan Culio wrong-footed the home defence and beat Butt with his shot on 86 minutes, but Bayern held on for the win.

This was Bayern’s sixth straight home victory in the Champions League dating back to last season and travel to face the Romanians in the next round of matches on November 3.


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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.