- November 30, 2015
Week five of the UEFA Champions League 2015/16 began to bring the next phase of the competition into clear focus, as 10 of the round of 16 slots are now confirmed. Week six of the group stage, which the UEFA has scheduled for December 8th and 9th, will see several on-the-fringe clubs battling for last-minute advancement. For the most part, though, the big title contenders have already secured their round of 16 spots.
The First Qualifiers
When we last checked in with the Champions League, following week four of competition in early November, three teams-Real Madrid, Manchester City, and Zenit St. Petersburg-had already guaranteed themselves advancement into the next round. Zenit St. Petersburg continues to carry the
- November 24, 2015
Wolfsburg scored a massive victory, Borussia Dortmund snapped their seven-game winning streak, and Bayern Munich continued to avoid defeats in the 13th week of the Bundesliga title race 2015/16. The Bavarians are widening their lead over the rest of the table, with Dortmund's loss allowing the defending league champions to move from a five-point advantage to an eight-point lead. With 12 wins and only one draw on their record this season,
Munich already seem like a foregone conclusion to clinch yet another German football championship next spring.
Bayern were in-form in their away fixture against Schalke 04, winning 3-1 to improve both their point total and their goal difference. Even with their star striker, Robert Lewandowski, going scoreless, the Bavarians still racked up three goals, including a last-minute contribution from Thomas Muller. Anyone waiting for the wearers of the Bayern Munich home jersey 2015/16 to show signs of weakness is going to keep waiting,
- November 11, 2015
If anyone still had any doubts about Manuel Neuer's talents as a goalkeeper, they need look no further than the 2015 - 2016 German Bundesliga standings table to put those doubts to rest. Twelve weeks into the new season, Neuer has kept clean sheets in eight of Bayern's Bundesliga matches and has only allowed four goals across the remaining four matches.
That impressive "goals against" tally is singlehandedly keeping Bayern Munich in the frontrunner slot for the 2015 2016 season-even as Thomas Tuchel's impressive new Borussia Dortmund squad has kept within five points of the defending champions. No other football club is even close to catching either of these outstanding teams.
Bayern Munich are shooting for a fourth straight Bundesliga title this season. So far, they've certainly looked like champions. More than a third of the way into the new season, the Bavarians are still undefeated in league play.
- November 01, 2015
It's a shame that Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg had to meet one another so early in the 2015 2016 DFB Pokal. Wolfsburg won their first title in the German Cup just this past spring, beating Borussia Dortmund in the final to clinch the trophy. Bayern Munich, meanwhile, are the frontrunners to win this year, thanks to their continued domination in the German Bundesliga. This match-up could have very easily made for an exciting final in May of next year. It's rather baffling that it is instead taking place in October, making it disappointing that Bayern Munich eliminate Wolfsburg at such an early stage.
Regardless, it's cool to see the DFB Pokal competition heating up so quickly. Both Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg easily won their round one fixtures, topping the Stuttgarter Kickers and FC Nottingen, respectively. The rest of the first round more or less followed that rubric, too, with major top-flight football clubs beating lesser, lower-tier teams without issue.
- October 30, 2015
Douglas Costa joined Bayern Munich in the summer as one of their two major signings, along with Arturo Vidal, and the Brazilian attacker has made a huge impact on the team with his fast-paced offensive displays and incredible production rate in the final third.
Under Pep Guardiola, Bayern's attack has been varied both in its approach and its layout. Whether the boss opts to go with a standard front three supported by three midfielders or bring a far more eclectic mix of positional rotation into the game, domination of possession and breaking down teams by moving the ball quickly and looking to make use of movement off the ball has always been key.
To that mix, Costa has been able to add dynamism, outstanding penetration down the channels and a consistently impressive end product, which has already seen him clock up six assists in league play alone. Bayern's perfect
- October 24, 2015
It was a do-or-die moment for Arsenal, as the English football club prepared to face off against Bayern Munich in the Champions League group stage on Tuesday afternoon. The Gunners lost their first two matches in Group F, beaten by Greece's Olympiacos and Croatia's Dinamo Zagreb in fixtures they should have won. The losses left the team in a rough place, as they prepared to face their group's most fearsome opponent. They had two choices: win the game and stay in the mix for a possible round of 16 advancement or lose and fall irretrievably behind in Group F. Ultimately, and against all odds, Arsenal chose the former as Bayern Munich suffer surprise loss after a flawless season so far.
A Defensive Battle
By most measures, Bayern Munich had the better game. Arsenal
- October 08, 2015
Two games into the Champions League group stage, Bayern Munich are potential tournament frontrunners. That's not just because they've performed well, either, though they certainly have. The Bavarians clinched their second UCL win of the fall on Tuesday, September 29th, crushing Dinamo Zagreb in a peerless 5-0 master class. In addition to their strong play in Champions League 2015 - 2016 Group F, Bayern Munich could benefit from the fact that Barcelona, the reigning UCL champs, will be playing without Lionel Messi for the next two months.
Assessing the Other Prospects
Four of the last five Champions League titles were won by either FC Barcelona (2015 and 2011), Real Madrid (2014), or Bayern Munich (2013). The fifth belongs to Chelsea, who won the UEFA tournament back in 2010.
Of those four clubs, both Chelsea
- October 06, 2015
What's going on at Borussia Dortmund? When the 2015 2016 Bundesliga campaign got underway, it looked as if the Black and Yellows might have had what it took to take on Bayern Munich this year. Sure, the Bavarians might be shooting for their fourth straight top-flight title this season-something that no German team has ever done before. However, Dortmund kicked off their season in such strong fashion that some Munich fans had to be worrying about their football club's frontrunner status. After all, in the first month or so of Bundesliga competition, BVB weren't just winning all of their games, but they were also scoring more decisive victories than Bayern Munich. But this past weekend, the outlook changed in dramatic fashion as Bayern Munich annihilate Borussia Dortmund in what could be a key fixture of the 2015 - 2016 Bundesliga campaign.
That all seems to be over now. After two back-to-back draws in
- October 05, 2015
Polish soccer sensation Robert Lewandowski excels at the start of 2015 - 2016 league play, he has always been a very good player but has truly dominated headlines so far this season. In 2013 2014, he was the top scorer in the Bundesliga with 20 goals. He's been a part of three Bundesliga titles, including two with Borussia Dortmund and one with Bayern Munich. And he's been named the "Polish Footballer of the Year" for four years running. After a massive start to the 2015 2016 season, though, it looks as though the 27-year-old striker could ascend to Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo levels of greatness this year. Could a Ballon d'Or nomination be in his future?
The 2015 2016 Season so Far
Consider this: in 2014 2015, Robert Lewandowski, along with Arjen Robben, led Bayern Munich to the
Bundesliga title. The two players tied for second on the list of the league's most prolific scorers, both with 17 points. Lewandowski
- September 17, 2015
The opening month of the 2015 2016 association football season has brought a long list of talking points for soccer fans throughout Europe. Perhaps the "biggest" stories so far have been the complete and utter collapses of clubs like Chelsea FC and Juventus-clubs that were, as recently as last spring, complete powerhouses. The best rivalry of the new season, though, has undoubtedly been playing out in month one of 2015 - 2016 Bundesliga play, between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.
The Rise of Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund experienced their own collapse last season, not unlike what Chelsea and Juventus are going through right now. After finishing second in the 2013 2014 Bundesliga, the Black and Yellows hit a wall in the autumn of 2014. They lost two of their first four matches and had tumbled to 10th place at the end of month one.
That was just the tip of the iceberg for BVB's disastrous season.