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Author Archive for Andy Brassell

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Riotous final day captures the paradoxes of Bundesliga 2017-18 | Andy Brassell

There has been plenty of entertainment but it has been an unusual and not always satisfying season in GermanyThe clock, since you asked, kept on ticking. As the curtain fell on Hamburger SV’s unbroken presence in top flight since the Bundesliga’s forma…

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Mainz use Klopp masterclass to topple Dortmund and seal survival | Andy Brassell

Sandro Schwarz’s team pulled off one of the shocks of the weekend – and they were inspired by highlights of Liverpool“Und das Reste ist Party,” as ZDF’s Das Aktuelle Sportstudio put it. The best nights out are often spontaneous ones and so it proved fo…

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Hamburg launch their greatest Bundesliga escape attempt of all | Andy Brassell

Just a fortnight ago, HSV were staring squarely down the barrel of a first-ever relegation. Now they’re out to make historyTeetering on the edge of the precipice might be a near-annual occurrence but this time, they’re balancing on one leg, juggling an…

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Hoffenheim hit the heights to make Nagelsmann more desirable than ever | Andy Brassell

Coach’s stock has risen again after managing a heavy workload expertly to bring his club into the Champions League reckoningIt was, according to Julian Nagelsmann, “a strange game”, as he resisted basking in the latest episode of his Hoffenheim side’s …

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Domenico Tedesco’s bravery returns joy and European football to Schalke

The 32-year-old coach has transformed Schalke with a defender three years his senior and victory over Dortmund in the Revierderby left them on the verge of the Champions LeagueIt began with a 31-year-old rookie boss, with just months of head coaching e…

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Brutal Bayern Munich made to wait for their title … but not for long | Andy Brassell

Bayern Munich have one hand on the title but Borussia Dortmund’s display against them called into question their right to be part of Der Klassiker“Die Bundesliga ist für uns vorbei.” Pep Guardiola’s infamous declaration in a 2014 press conference, with…

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Brutal Bayern Munich made to wait for their title … but not for long | Andy Brassell

Bayern Munich have one hand on the title but Borussia Dortmund’s display against them called into question their right to be part of Der Klassiker“Die Bundesliga ist für uns vorbei.” Pep Guardiola’s infamous declaration in a 2014 press conference, with…

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Survival expert Labbadia struggling to keep Wolfsburg from trapdoor | Andy Brassell

Wolfsburg’s continued plummet down the league has led to genuine fears they could finish bottom this seasonWhen Bruno Labbadia arrives in a new post, it’s with a certain label attached– that of relegation battle specialist, and it’s one well-earned in …

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Injury-stricken Gladbach face season crumbling before their eyes | Andy Brassell

Gladbach could have hauled themselves back into the Champions League race with a win against Leverkusen. Instead they fell to a defeat that effectively ends their seasonThe evening began with a show of respect from the visiting Borussia Mönchengladbach…

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Peter Stöger puts stamp on Dortmund to leave board with decision to make | Andy Brassell

The Austrian could not be doing more to remain as manager, with his side now looking as if they have put in a shiftOn other weekends, it would have been a cause for glumness. Yet even in falling a place below bitter rivals Schalke, from second to third…

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Vincent Koziello stands tall to lead Köln’s fight for Bundesliga survival | Andy Brassell

The midfielder has added simplicity to Effzeh’s squad since arriving from Nice and has a nickname that might stickOne start and two substitute appearances in, and he is already being lauded as Der Zauberzwerg – the magic dwarf – for FC Köln. Vincent Ko…

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Tayfun Korkut the unlikely architect of Stuttgart’s revival | Andy Brassell

Less than a month after what seemed a deeply underwhelming appointment, it has begun to seem a brighter future is possibleThe fabled ‘new manager bounce’ is one thing. Stuttgart winning away, though? That’s something else entirely and after a first vic…

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Porto’s Vincent Aboubakar atones for faux pas with scoring streak

Cameroon striker angered Porto fans by joining former team-mates’ celebration but has made amends with 20 goals this season before the Champions League match with LiverpoolIt started as an innocent greeting to some former colleagues and almost ended up…

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Schalke’s Leon Goretzka gives Bayern Munich a glimpse of their future | Andy Brassell

Schalke midfielder will join Bayern in the summer and his display against them will have pleased home fans in MunichAt least he ended up with an assist from it. It was a whisker from being one of the goals of the season, as Leon Goretzka threw a bicycl…

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Nuri Sahin: ‘I want to give back after football and my children to be proud’

The Dortmund midfielder talks about Jürgen Klopp, the excitement surrounding Jadon Sancho and how he hopes to bring the Champions League back to his current clubWe are back to where it started for Nuri Sahin – spiritually at least. As we settle into th…

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Ademola Lookman slips and slides from Everton into Leipzig’s affections | Andy Brassell

Ralph Hasenhüttl has belief in the match-winning debutant who ‘only brought one pair of boots with him from England’It could have been all so different for Diego Forlán. So he thought, at least. Some years back he famously told an interviewer the tale …

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Kevin-Prince Boateng the catalyst for Eintracht Frankfurt’s ‘one-night stand’ | Andy Brassell

Eintracht went second in the Bundesliga for 19 hours after the league’s hardest-working team triumphed againIt was short, but oh so sweet. For 19 hours following their 2-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday, Eintracht Frankfurt were second in …

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Cologne on the trail of greatest escape after forcing Hamburg’s hand | Andy Brassell

Saturday’s win at their fellow strugglers sparked the sacking of Markus Gisdol and raised hopes of an unlikely escapeAlready, it threatens to be the story of the season. FC Köln were dead, buried and we were just waiting for the post-mortem. Following …

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Borussia Dortmund’s plans for new start hit by same old Aubameyang problem | Andy Brassell

Dortmund wanted to return from the winter break with a clean slate but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s exclusion ruined thatA new year, a new Borussia Dortmund. That was the plan after a fractious, difficult and sometimes traumatic 2017, which took in the …

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Bayern Munich top late dramatics as Bundesliga shuts up shop with a bang | Andy Brassell

A swarm of clutch finishes marked out the final round of games before the winter break, including drama for leaders Bayern in their win at StuttgartThe memo, it appeared, was widely received. As the Bundesliga’s Hinrunde – the season’s first half – cam…