European football: Müller stars on 400th league start as Bayern run riot

  • Müller double and Kane free-kick secures 5-1 win at Union Berlin
  • Napoli miss out on chance to close in on Serie A European places


Bayern Munich’s Thomas Müller scored twice on his 400th Bundesliga start and Harry Kane bagged his 33rd league goal of the season in a 5-1 victory at Union Berlin. Leon Goretzka and the 18-year-old Mathys Tel were also on target as Thomas Tuchel capped a successful week featuring a Champions League semi-final place and a comfortable win on the road.

Second-placed Bayern ceded the title to Bayer Leverkusen last week but have moved to 66 points from 30 matches, three points clear of VfB Stuttgart, who visit Werder Bremen on Sunday.

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Ndicka’s collapse stirs dark memories but rapid response a sign of progress | Nicky Bandini

Reaction after Roma player’s fall – and fans’ patience in stands – shows Italian football now better equipped for such incidents

It was easy to fear the worst when Evan Ndicka fell. The Roma defender was away from the play, with no opponents in his immediate vicinity, as he doubled over and then collapsed with a hand on his chest. Twelve years to the day after another footballer, Piermario Morosini, died after suffering cardiac arrest during a Serie B match, the dread of a possible repeat was immediate and overwhelming.

Daniele De Rossi was one of the first to see what happened, turning and yelling for the medical team. Roma’s goalkeeper, Mile Svilar, and an opponent, the Udinese striker Lorenzo Lucca, were quickest to reach Ndicka and by their gestures confirmed that urgent treatment was required. Others signalled for quiet from the crowd and fans at the Bluenergy Stadium swiftly acquiesced.

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European football: Roma’s Ndicka ‘in good spirits’ after collapsing

  • Defender taken to hospital after second-half incident
  • Roma’s match at Udinese abandoned; Inter held by Cagliari

The Roma defender Evan Ndicka is recovering in hospital after collapsing on the pitch during Sunday’s Serie A meeting with Udinese. The game at the Bluenergy Stadium was abandoned after 72 minutes with the score at 1-1 after the 24-year-old Ivory Coast international went down off the ball.

Ndicka was carried off on a stretcher after undergoing treatment on the pitch, but Roma later confirmed that the player was “feeling better” and “in good spirits” after being taken to hospital for checks.

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European football: Bayern sink Cologne to delay Leverkusen’s coronation

  • Tuchel’s side win 2-0 but lose Coman for Arsenal game
  • Juventus out of Serie A title race after draw with Torino

Bayern Munich struck twice in the second half to earn a 2-0 win over Cologne and bounce back from two straight league losses, delaying Bayer Leverkusen the title for 24 hours at least. Xabi Alonso’s side are 13 points ahead and poised to wrap up their first championship with a win over Werder Bremen on Sunday.

Bayern’s only hope of silverware this season rests with the Champions League and they host Arsenal on Wednesday in their quarter-final second leg, after the 2-2 draw in London last Tuesday. They suffered a serious injury blow against Cologne, however, with the winger Kingsley Coman taken off in the 50th minute and ruled out for several weeks with an adductor muscle injury.

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Daniele De Rossi’s derby delight brings ‘cinema’ to Roma celebrations | Nicky Bandini

Hired on a caretaker basis to the end of this season, De Rossi’s unique relationship with Roma gives him an obvious appeal

Daniele De Rossi insisted he had not yearned for these moments. Interviewed by Dazn before Saturday’s Rome derby, he gave us a glimpse of vulnerability he might not have allowed in his playing days. “No, this little bit of anxiety you have beforehand, I really didn’t miss that,” he said candidly. “But that’s the beauty of our sport and our city.”

More than 20 years have passed since De Rossi took part in this derby for the first time, coming off the bench in a 2-0 win for Roma. He played 30 more, and it is easy to see why some nervousness may persist. De Rossi endured some of the lowest moments of his career against Lazio, including a red card for punching Stefano Mauri in 2012 and defeat in this fixture’s only-ever major cup final at the end of the same season.

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European football: Ajax’s season hits new low after 6-0 Feyenoord thrashing

  • Fenerbahce concede Turkish Super Cup after walking off
  • Juventus beat Fiorentina to end four-game winless Serie A run

Ajax’s disastrous season hit a new low on Sunday when they suffered a humiliating 6-0 defeat to bitter rivals Feyenoord in Rotterdam, their largest ever loss in De Klassieker and the joint-fifth biggest defeat in the club’s history.

Ajax have been hit by issues on and off the pitch this campaign but while they were depleted by injury, few would have foreseen their capitulation as they managed one shot at goal compared to 30 for their hosts at De Kuip. Igor Paixao and Yankuba Minteh grabbed a brace each for the home side to go with goals for David Hancko and Quinten Timber, who made his Netherlands debut last month.

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European football: Leverkusen close on Bundesliga glory after Bayern crash

  • Florian Wirtz scores only goal for unbeaten Bundesliga leaders
  • German champions slump from 2-0 up to lose at Heidenheim

The Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen battled past Union Berlin 1-0 on Saturday with a Florian Wirtz goal to equal a league record unbeaten run of 28 consecutive matches and all but secure their first league title with a 16-point advantage at the top and six matches remaining.

Xabi Alonso’s team, who have not lost in 41 matches across all competitions this season, can clinch the Bundesliga and their first trophy in 31 years with a victory at home against Werder Bremen next week. They are also set to break an 11-season stranglehold on the league by Bayern Munich, who have won every Bundesliga title since 2013.

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Will modern man Motta do an Alonso and stick with Bologna over Juventus? | Nicky Bandini

Manager once mocked for a throwaway line has his team shooting for the Champions League and admirers on his tail

The calendar showed 1 April, but there was nothing fishy about a league table that showed Bologna in fourth place. Thiago Motta’s side have held that spot for more than a month, even if it was striking to see after Monday’s 3-0 win over Salernitana that they had closed to within two points of Juventus in third. The gap was 20 at the start of February.

April Fools’s Day in Italy is known as Pesce d’Aprile – April Fish. The tradition is for children to stick paper pesci on people’s backs and see how long they go unnoticed, but journalists have been known to mark the occasion with made-up stories, as happens in other countries. Bologna supporters must hope the headlines now linking their manager to Juventus turn out to be fake news.

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European roundup: Atlético climb into top four, Inter close in on Serie A title

  • Saúl Ñíguez’s late winner ends Atlético Madrid’s poor run
  • Inter beat Empoli; Bologna dream of Champions League

Saúl Ñíguez came off the bench to score a late winner, giving Atlético Madrid a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Villarreal, as Diego Simeone’s side climbed back into La Liga’s top four with eight games left.

It was a much-needed win for Atlético after two consecutive losses had left them in danger of missing out on a Champions League spot next season. The visitors started well and were in control when Axel Witsel headed in from a corner to give Atlético the lead in the ninth minute. But Alexander Sørloth took advantage of a mistake by Antoine Griezmann to equalise five minutes after the break. The France forward stepped on the ball and lost possession before Villarreal found Sørloth who fired a tidy finish past Jan Oblak.

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