Leverkusen keep Champions League hopes alive
Bayer Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz can continue to dream of Champions League football next season after his side cruised to a 4-1 win over Bundesliga strugglers Augsburg on Friday.
Bosz spoke of his desire to finish in the top four ahead of the game, and the win puts Leverkusen within two points of that target, having played a game more than the teams around them.
Leverkusen had two goals disallowed by VAR, but eased past Augsburg nonetheless, notching up their third straight win to go sixth overnight.
Kevin Danso headed Augsburg in front on 12 minutes. Leverkusen quickly hit back, Kevin Volland rifling an equaliser into the top corner.
Lucas Alario had a goal disallowed by VAR, but Kai Havertz gave the visitors the lead just after half-time with an artful finish.
The visitors then had another goal chalked off after half-time, before Jonathan Tah fired in a loose ball at a free-kick to make it 3-1.
Julian Brandt added a fourth a few minutes from time to seal the win.
Bayern friendly against China postponed
Bayern Munich’s friendly against the Chinese national team in Beijing at the end of next month has been postponed, the Bundesliga club announced on Friday.
German champions Bayern had been scheduled to play in the Chinese capital on May 29, but in a statement on Friday, the club said that a new date would be “announced in due course” after organisers in China asked for the game to be postponed.
“The Chinese Ministry of Sport requested the postponement of the Allianz China Cup for organisational reasons,” read the statement on Bayern’s website.
German football magazine kicker reported earlier this month that there were question marks over where the game would be held, after Beijing’s Bird’s Nest stadium was closed for renovation.
‘Teams will need 100 points to beat City next season’
Manchester City have raised Premier League standards and any team looking to beat them to the title next season will have to target 100 points, manager Pep Guardiola has said.
City were the first team to win the Premier League title with a record 100 points last season and would finish with 98 this season if they win their three remaining games.
Title contenders Liverpool will finish with 97 if they win their two remaining matches, a tally that would have been enough to win the title in any other Premier League season apart from the 2017-18 campaign.
“The standards we created last year at Manchester City, people know that you have to be close to 100 (to win the league),” Guardiola told reporters. “Before it was 90.
“This standard was last season, we helped Liverpool to achieve it and Liverpool helped us to keep going (this season). It is thanks to Liverpool that we are competing.”
“Liverpool know that to win you have to make a lot of points. That’s what we communicate to anyone.”
Guardiola never reached 100 points with former teams Barcelona or Bayern Munich. Last season, City suffered only two defeats to win the league title by 19 points over second-placed Manchester United.
Namibia, PNG clinch ODI status
Namibia and Papua New Guinea claimed the final two places in the coming CWC League 2 and secured ODI status for the coming three years in the final group round of World Cricket League Division 2 at Windhoek on Friday.
Hosts Namibia secured their place with a colossal 151-run win over Hong Kong after racking up the second-highest total in the WCL’s 12-year history, twin centuries from Stephen Baard and a resurgent JP Kotze providing the bulk of runs as they posted their best-ever List A score of 396 in the first innings, enough to send Hong Kong tumbling from 4th place to the bottom of the table and Namibia vaulting into the final.
Papua New Guinea had earlier turned the tables on previously-undefeated Oman, coming back from 32 for 5 to put 221 on the board before skittling the Omanis for just 76.