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first_img0Shares0000Since Jupp Heynckes replaced Carlo Ancelotti as Bayern Munich’s head coach at the start of October 2017, the team have won 22 of 23 matches © AFP/File / Gunter SCHIFFMANNBERLIN, Germany, Feb 19 – Bayern Munich host Besiktas in the last 16, first leg of the Champions League riding a 13-match winning streak under Jupp Heynckes, the architect behind the revival of his 2013 treble-winning heroes.Since Heynckes replaced Carlo Ancelotti as head coach at the start of October, Bayern have won 22 of 23 matches going into Tuesday’s clash at Munich’s Allianz Arena. Bayern were five points adrift of then-leaders Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga when the 72-year-old Heynckes returned for his fourth stint at the club.A 3-0 thrashing at Paris Saint-Germain in late September was Ancelotti’s final game before Bayern turned to Heynckes to fix the leaks.It was a gamble.Tending the garden and walking his dog Cando had been Heynckes’s main tasks since steering Bayern to a treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup titles five years ago.“My wife and my daughter said I should do it,” said Heynckes when Bayern came calling again.“My dog also barked twice, so that meant I should do it.”Training started an hour earlier, sessions were tougher and discipline was tightened under Heynckes.Thomas Mueller, a player Ancelotti never figured out where best to position, was moved in from the wing and deployed to roam just behind striker Robert Lewandowski.Javi Martinez was pushed forward from centre-back into defensive midfield, where he played in the 2013 campaign, and the impact was instant.– Fine tuning –Bayern won 5-0 at Freiburg in Heynckes’s first game back.“No one could have known what four years away from football had done to Jupp,” said Martinez.“Now I know: he’s stayed the same. He still has his personality – he always knows exactly when to tighten the reins.”Bayern were back in business and won their next nine games on the trot.A 2-1 defeat at Borussia Moenchengladbach in November remains their only reverse following Heynckes’s return.They reached the German Cup semi-finals the hard way after winning at RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund in the early rounds.Then in December, the humiliating defeat in Paris was avenged when Bayern beat PSG 3-1 in Munich – although it wasn’t enough to prevent them finishing second in their Champions League group.The Bavarians have regained their unyielding grip on first place in Germany, with their 2-1 come-from-behind win at Wolfsburg leaving them 19 points clear at the summit © AFP/File / Ronny HartmannThe Bavarians have also regained their unyielding grip on first place in Germany, with Saturday’s 2-1 come-from-behind win at Wolfsburg leaving them 19 points clear at the summit.Resting several stars, Bayern fell behind after eight minutes, but their drive and determination was rewarded as Lewandowski came off the bench to net a last-gasp penalty for his 20th league goal this season.“This will to win matches, even if it’s not so exciting at the top (of the table), just makes it fun,” said Bayern captain Mueller. “This team is simply awesome.”– Feel-good factor –Just like Mueller and Martinez, the other leading protagonists from the great 2012-13 side credit Heynckes for the club’s rejuvenation.Robben helped create both goals at Wolfsburg, whipping in a cross for Sandro Wagner and then winning the penalty which Lewandowski converted.“You could see the turnaround from the first day,” said Robben, who scored the winning goal in the 2013 Champions League final.Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez has blossomed under Heynckes, a fluent Spanish speaker © DPA/AFP/File / Torsten SilzFranck Ribery’s recovery from a knee injury has also helped, with the Frenchman on target in wins over Bayer Leverkusen and Mainz since the turn of the year.“We’re playing as a team again – with Jupp’s return, a good feeling and the faith came flooding back,” Ribery said in January.It’s not just the holdovers from the previous Heynckes era who have profited.Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez has blossomed under Heynckes, a fluent Spanish speaker and the man who led Real Madrid to Champions League glory in 1998.“This team won’t let up, regardless of what competition it is,” Heynckes warned.But whether he is in charge beyond the end of this season remains doubtful, as Heynckes insists he will walk away despite efforts to persuade him to stay.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more


first_imgSHAY Given may not have played in today’s showpiece FA Cup Final at Wembley today, but the big Lifford keeper certainly joined in the celebrations as Man City beat Stoke City 1-0.There was disappointment locally for the Delap family – Rory played for Stoke before being substituted 10 minutes from time.When the final whistle went Shay was one of the first Man City subs onto the pitch to join the celebrations. And when it came to climbing the famous Wembley steps, the Donegal man insisted the rest of the team go first – before he walked up with Man City manager Roberto Mancini.There is no doubt that Given wants first team football and may join Liverpool in the summer transfer window.But for today at least he was a happy and proud member of the Manchester City squad.It was the club’s first trophy in 35 years – thanks to Yaya Toure’s goal in the 74th minute. City manager Mancini said: “I’m happy for the supporters. For a long time they didn’t win. My feeling is good but it is more important that their feeling is good.”City’s Patrick Veira added: “It means a lot to the players but even more to the fans. They have been waiting a long time for this. It is fantastic. There has been a lot of pressure on this team. It’s a really fantastic season for us.”In other football news Man Utd won the league.SHAY-ELEBRATIONS AS GIVEN WINS FA CUP MEDAL was last modified: May 14th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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