LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — When Liverpool was last making a charge at the Champions League title, its midfield had legitimate claims at being among the best in the world.
It was 2008 and Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano made up an engine room that had a bit of everything: Energy, vision, work rate, goals.
Fast forward a decade and Liverpool is back among Europe's elite with a rather more unfashionable and functional central midfield that is proving to be just as effective.
Bayern wins Bundesliga opener with new players and video ref
BERLIN (AP) — It was out with the old and in with the new but Bayern Munich still started the 55th Bundesliga in familiar fashion on Friday, with a 3-1 home win over Bayer Leverkusen.
Bayern was playing its first league game without the retired Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso, but two new signings - Niklas Suele and Corentin Tolisso - got the five-time champions underway.
BUNDESLIGA 2017-18: Bayern eyes record 6th straight title
BERLIN (AP) — With the Bundesliga set to resume this weekend, it's unlikely that any team will challenge Bayern Munich's dominance and prevent the side from extending its league record to six straight titles.
BUNDESLIGA 2017-18: 5 key players signed in the offseason
BERLIN (AP) — Here's a look at five offseason signings to watch in the upcoming Bundesliga season:
Tolisso was virtually unknown to German football fans when Bayern Munich announced his transfer for a Bundesliga-record 41.5 million euros ($49 million) in June.
Bayern moved early to secure the French midfielder's services at coach Carlo Ancelotti's behest. The Italian had a vacancy in the center of the pitch following Xabi Alonso's retirement.
MUNICH (AP) — Bayern Munich bid farewell to the retiring Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso as part of its Bundesliga title celebrations on Saturday, dousing both in beer to get the party underway.
Lahm, who won the World Cup with Germany, and Alonso, who did likewise with Spain, played their last competitive game in a 4-1 Bundesliga victory at home over Freiburg.
MUNICH (AP) — Already owning just about every championship medal in the game, Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso has decided this season will be his last.
The 35-year-old Alonso, who won the World Cup with Spain in 2010 and the European Championship in 2008 and 2012, joined Bayern from Real Madrid in 2014 and won two Bundesliga titles and the German Cup.
Bayern winger Ribery loses bid to be fit to face Arsenal
MUNICH (AP) — Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery has lost his race to be back in time from a thigh injury to face Arsenal in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Bayern says Ribery took part only in running exercises on Monday is too soon after he strained a muscle at the back of his right thigh in training on Jan. 31.
Defender Jerome Boateng is also out of the round-of-16 first leg in Munich as he recovers from a chest injury.
Bayern thrashes Bremen 6-0 in Bundesliga opener
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Bayern Munich kicked off the Bundesliga season in spectacular fashion on Friday, thrashing Werder Bremen 6-0 with three goals from Robert Lewandowski.
Carlo Ancelotti's first game in charge saw Bayern dominate from the opening whistle as it bids for an unprecedented fifth straight title.