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FOOTBALL

Bayern Munich downplays Inter Milan win before Dortmund match

Bayern Munich have brushed aside the merit of a valuable Champions League victory at Inter Milan in midweek as they turn their attention to what is arguably their most important match of the season Saturday.

Bayern Munich downplays Inter Milan win before Dortmund match
Photo: DPA

Bayern are third in the German Bundesliga but a victory for Borussia Dortmund at Munich’s Allianz Arena would give the defending champions a massive 16-point deficit to close with 10 games remaining.

It’s not too early to talk about a possible title-decider in February, and Bayern admit they need three points to stay in the race.

“We absolutely must win on Saturday to fulfil our goal of finishing at least second this season,” admitted Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

A late goal from Mario Gomez on Wednesday sealed Bayern’s 1-0 first-leg victory in Milan with the return leg for the Round of 16 clash set to take place in a fortnight in Munich.

Despite their impressive win, Bayern’s players were in no mood to celebrate at the San Siro as they prepare for Saturday’s showdown with Dortmund.

“There were few celebrations, we need to remain concentrated,” said Rummenigge.

Dortmund are heading for their first league win since 2002 and a win on Bayern’s turf will prove their title credentials.

The game pits Bayern’s superstars against a hard-working and youthful Dortmund side.

Bayern are packed with big names like Gomez, who has scored 28 goals in 32 games this season, plus Dutch winger Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery – a tandem the German media have dubbed “Robbery.”

The German giants are loved and loathed in equal measure in Germany and Dortmund’s Kevin Grosskreutz, a life-long Dortmund supporter, summed up the attitude of his team’s fans to their Munich rivals.

“Bayern has many – as I always call them – ‘fair-weather fans’,” said Grosskreutz. “The Dortmund fans always stand behind their club through thick or thin.”

Dortmund are sweating over goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller ahead of the Munich clash as the 30-year-old was injured in a training clash and a scan on Wednesday revealed he has over-extended knee ligaments.

If he misses out, Dortmund’s reserve, ex-Melbourne Victory shot-stopper Mitchell Langerak, 22, will make his first appearance for Borussia at the sold-out Allianz Arena.

Both Bayern midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and Luiz Gustavo face a one-match ban if they pick up a fifth yellow card in the match.

Second-placed Leverkusen play host to strugglers Werder Bremen, who are just one point from the relegation zone, on Sunday.

Bremen are looking for their first win from six games and need to bounce back from last week’s disastrous 4-0 hammering at Hamburg.

Fourth-placed Hannover are at mid-table St Pauli on Saturday and wait on the fitness of Ivory Coast striker Didier Ya Konan, who has scored 11 goals in 21 league games this season, as he struggled with a knee injury.

Bottom side Borussia Mönchengladbach are at fellow relegation battlers Wolfsburg on Friday, while second-from-bottom VfB Stuttgart are at mid-table Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.

AFP/ka

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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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