Bayern target next round of Champions League

Bayern Munich hope to win a place in the knock-out phase of the Champions League on Tuesday with a home victory over Villarreal, although a draw would also be enough.

Bayern target next round of Champions League
Photo: DPA

Bayern are three points clear of Manchester City at the top of Group A, with Villarreal bottom of the table after four defeats. The best the Spaniards can now hope for is to finish third and qualify for the Europa League.

Victory on Tuesday will put Bayern in the last 16, and if City fail to beat Napoli, the Germans will be sure to finish as group winners.

But Bayern’s form has dropped recently. Despite having won 13 games consecutively up until the end of October, Bayern have struggled since losing star midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger to a broken collarbone at the start of November.

They then laboured to a 2-1 victory over the Bundesliga’s bottom side Augsburg, thanks mainly to fantastic performance from goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. They then lost 1-0 at home to defending champions Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

“We really miss Bastian, that is beyond question,” admitted Bayern captain Philipp Lahm. “We miss his experience, his passing game and his presence.”

After seven weeks out with a groin strain at the start of October, Dutch winger Arjen Robben was rushed back to face Dortmund. He managed just over 70 minutes, and could well find himself involved against Villarreal, either off the bench or starting.

“There is no reason to panic,” said Robben after the Dortmund defeat.

Villarreal warmed up for Tuesday’s clash with a 1-0 win at home to Real Betis on Saturday which leaves them 10th in the Spanish league.

Coach Juan Carlos Garrido had six players missing for the win over Betis and captain Gonzalo Rodriguez says his team are coming to Munich to try to upset their hosts with the aim of finishing third in the table.

“So far, we have been able to recover from the setbacks we have suffered, but the truth is there have been many,” said the defender.

“Now we have to think of Munich and cling to the hope of continuing in the Europa League, but it will not be easy and we have to work hard.”


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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.