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‘Incredible’ Lewandowski equals Mueller’s 49-year-old record with 40th goal

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Lewandowski equalled Mueller’s tally, scored over 34 games in 1971/72, in just 28 league fixtures this term.

“It’s a huge honour for me and for the modern history of the Bundesliga,” Lewandowski told Sky.

Lewandowski converted a penalty for the champions after 26 minutes to match Mueller’s milestone.

As part of his penalty celebrations, the Poland striker lifted his match shirt to reveal a picture of Gerd Mueller over the text “4ever Gerd”.

“I would never have thought that this would happen. What Gerd Mueller did is incredible. Sharing the record with him makes me very, very proud,” Lewandowski added.

The fixture was briefly halted after Lewandowski scored as his Bayern team-mates formed a guard-of-honour on the side of the pitch which the smiling 32-year-old ran through.

Freiburg drew level almost immediately when Manuel Gulde headed in at the near post from a corner on 29 minutes after slipping his marker.

Bayern, who were crowned German champions last weekend for the ninth season in a row, upped the tempo after the break.

Serge Gnabry had a goal disallowed six minutes into the second-half after the VAR spotted he was offside in tapping home a Leroy Sane cross.

However, the Bavarians kept up the pressure and when David Alaba’s long-range pass found Thomas Mueller in the area just moments later, he squared for Sane who hit home on 53 minutes. 

Freiburg had their chances to equalise as second-half replacements Lucas Hoeler and Janik Haberer both went close before Christian Guenter brought the sides level nine minutes from time.

Lewandowski can still break Mueller’s record as Bayern have one match left of the campaign at home to Augsburg next Saturday.

He squandered a late chance to score “at least one more goal. You don’t break records like that so quickly,” added Lewandowski.

The former Borussia Dortmund forward, who has scored 47 goals in 39 games in all competitions this season, is also set to be crowned the Bundesliga’s top-scorer for the sixth time in eight years.   

“Robert Lewandowski has broken Gerd Müller’s historic mark, but you don’t score goals alone,” said Bayern coach Hansi Flick.

“You need players who serve him passes. That’s why I have to give the team a huge compliment.”

Lewandowski tally this season includes four hat-tricks as well as a four-goal haul in Bayern’s nervy 4-3 home win against Hertha Berlin last October.

“It’s crazy. It’s normal for Lewandowski to score, but this is something else,” said Bayern forward Thomas Mueller. 

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Australia and New Zealand withdraw from Rugby League World Cup over safety concerns

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Australia and New Zealand have officially withdrawn from this year’s Rugby League World Cup, citing player welfare and safety concerns.

They have requested the International Rugby League postpones the tournament until 2022 to “minimize the risk of players contracting COVID-19 and ensure the best outcome for player wellbeing”.

The event is due to be held in England this October and this latest news is a major blow to the tournament’s hopes of going ahead.

The ARL and NZRL made the decision after considering the risk of COVID-19 infection in the United Kingdom, the worsening environment in Australia, and the time a majority of NRL players would have to spend away from home under strict biosecurity conditions prior to the World Cup.

“They would then be required to remain under protocols and away from home for the duration of the tournament before again quarantining on return to Australia. This is too much to ask our players and officials to do.

“We have again requested the IRL and Rugby League World Cup consider postponing the event until 2022 to enable all players to participate.”

Peters said: ”There are stark differences between how the pandemic is being managed in the UK compared to Australasia and recent developments have highlighted how quickly things can change.

“The tournament organizers have moved heaven and earth to make this work, so it is not an easy decision, but the COVID-19 situation in the UK shows no sign of improving, and it’s simply too unsafe to send teams and staff over.

“We understand how disappointing this is for fans and those involved, however, player and staff safety remains paramount.”

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Jordan Henderson contract issue may make sense on paper – but Jurgen Klopp won’t think so

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Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson has come under fire following a report by Alan Nixon in the Guardian which claims that the player has a contract with the club that runs out next summer. This has led to suggestions that Liverpool could face a court case over breach of contract as well as an immigration issue should Henderson choose to move abroad.

This transfer window has presented itself as one of the most challenging in recent memory. Both parties have been in need of a deal; Liverpool in particular has been looking to offload a player’s and/or cash sum in order to bring in new blood into the team. Lo and behold, Daniel Sturridge has been brought in on a free transfer from Chelsea – and it looks as though he will be the one receiving the bulk of the transfer fee along with a hefty chunk of change from his new club. Perhaps most interestingly of all, however, is Klopp’s reported admiration for Jordan Henderson at Anfield.

This transfer window has presented itself as one of the most challenging in recent memory. Both parties have been in need of a deal; Liverpool in particular have been looking to offload a playership and/or cash sum in order to bring in new blood into the team.

Lo and behold, Daniel Sturridge has been brought in on a free transfer from Chelsea – and it looks as though he will be the one receiving the bulk of the transfer fee along with a hefty chunk of change from his new club. Perhaps most interestingly of all, however, is Klopp’s reported admiration for Jordan Henderson at Anfield

The circumstances surrounding the enforced loan are as much about money as it is about reputation. The fine with which Liverpool are engaging with the Football Association over the issue is likely to do little to improve their standing in the minds of their fans, or even increase their reputation at Anfield. They may even do the opposite. More than a decade has passed since the last player to be refused a January move back to his home country went public with his criticism of the then-manager, Sven-Göran Eriksson. Perhaps it is time for someone else to take up the banner.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sends Premier League title message after first Man Utd friendly

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We have to start better than last season. We didn’t get off to a decent start at all,” Solskjaer told MUTV after Sunday’s friendly win over Derby.

“I think the Premier League is more competitive. We had maybe one competitor every season when I was playing, so the first six or seven games, very important.

“You don’t win the league, but you can lose the chance of winning the league in the first six or seven games.”

Solskjaer has pressure on him in the upcoming campaign to win his first title in charge of the club after collecting no trophies since taking over in 2018.

Last season he came close as his team lost on penalties to Villarreal in the Europa League final.

The boss, who used a lot of young players in Sunday’s match, was pleased with his side’s performance against Derby.

He added: “The first game is always difficult, it’s the first test of 45 minutes, big pitch, took a bit of time to get going, loads of young players getting their chance to play with some of the first-team ones.

“Tom [Heaton] was very positive, he’s here to give the other ones a little bit of a challenge as well. He’s conducted himself so well throughout his career. I was just at the end of my career when he was coming up, so I’m so happy to have him.

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