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FOOTBALL

Bayern on the brink after Barca defeat

Barcelona beat Bayern Munich 3-0 in the Nou Camp on Wednesday evening to put the Bundesliga Champions on the edge of a second successive exit at the semi-final stage of the Champions League.

Bayern on the brink after Barca defeat
Bastian Schweinsteiger reacts against Luis Suarez. Photo:DPA

Two goals from Lionel Messi and one from Neymar, all coming late in the second half ensured that Bayern Munich have a mountain to climb in the return leg of the fixture next Tuesday.

The match had been closely fought up until the 77th minute when Messi fired in a shot from the edge of the penalty area. This seemed to be the beating of the Bavarians. The diminutive Argentinian followed up with a superb shimmy and chip a few minutes later before Neymar scored on the counter attack in the dying moments.

“I'm sad, not about the result, but because of how the game went,” said Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge after the match. “The team fought and battled for 77 minutes.”

Pep Guardiola, who was returning to the ground where he had had so much success as a player and a manager said “With all my heart I want to congratulate Barcelona.”

“I am very proud of my team. They deserve praise,” he added.

The challenge now facing Bayern, of overturning a three goals deficit has only once before been achieved in the 23 year history of the competition – by Deportivo La Coruna in 2004. They countered a 4-1 away loss to AC Milan with a 4-0 home victory to progress.

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UKRAINE

German football club ends partnership with Russia’s Gazprom

German football club Schalke 04 announced Monday it had prematurely ended its partnership with Russian gas giant Gazprom following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

German football club ends partnership with Russia's Gazprom

The deal between the second-tier German club and Gazprom had been due to run until 2025 with Schalke receiving around €9 million ($10 million) per year in sponsorship.

Had the Gelsenkirchen-based club won promotion back to the Bundesliga at the end of this season, the sponsorship figure would have risen to €15 million annually.

Schalke had already removed the Gazprom logo from their shirts for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Karlsruhe.

In a statement, Schalke said their finances were “unaffected by this decision”.

“The club’s management is confident that it will be able to present a new partner in the near future.”

READ ALSO: OPINION: Germany has scuppered Nord Stream 2 but there are questions left to answer

Gazprom representative Matthias Warnig resigned from the club’s supervisory board last Thursday.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, interim president of the German Football Association (DFB), had already hinted there could be financial aid for Schalke if they split from Gazprom.

“If this requires the solidarity of other clubs in Germany to get them out of this situation, then we have to discuss how we can manage that,” Watzke told ZDF.

READ ALSO: Germany set to shut airspace to Russian planes on Sunday

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