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 By Robbie Dunne

Real Madrid's transformation in the Champions League is no magic trick

While there are subplots for both Bayern and Real Madrid, the entire FC panel is picking Madrid to go through to the UCL final.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid scored some dazzling goals on their way to the Champions League semifinals for the eighth straight year.
Jupp Heynckes speaks of his admiration for Zinedine Zidane ahead of Bayern Munich's Champions League semifinal clash with Real Madrid.
Jupp Heynckes refused to be entertained by the possibility of swapping striker Robert Lewandowski for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Real Madrid have us spellbound. So much so that they are starting to believe the stories about their special ability in the Champions League. "This competition is the hardest to win," Toni Kroos says. "Maybe that unleashes special powers in us."

For people watching a mediocre Los Blancos side show up week in and week out for a lost La Liga campaign, their form in that competition and their form in Europe are hard to correlate. They stand in stark juxtaposition, and that helps to compound the myth...

Borussia Dortmund's tough season will end with hope for the future

Dortmund boss Peter Stoger discusses Jadon Sancho's potential and why the England starlet has benefitted from being away from the Premier League.

It began with the Yellow Wall denouncing their team as "failures" and fakes -- "No one epitomises Borussia Dortmund as little you do," a giant banner alleged -- and finished with the hard-core fans on the south stand serenading a player from opponents Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

In between those two remarkable bookends was a thrilling 4-0 win by the Black and Yellows over the in-form Werkself, a result that all but guarantees Peter Stoger's side a spot in the Champions League next year. Still, it wasn't...

Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus 9/10 as Dortmund rout Leverkusen

Dortmund boss Peter Stoger discusses Jadon Sancho's potential and why the England starlet has benefitted from being away from the Premier League.

DORTMUND, Germany -- Borussia Dortmund landed a big victory on the path to securing a top-four finish on Saturday night, dismantling Bayer Leverkusen 4-0 and reclaiming third place in the Bundesliga. It was a vital and necessary response after last week's bitter loss away to Schalke, extending the cushion to five points over fifth place.

Before the game, the exclusion of team captain Marcel Schmelzer from the matchday squad grabbed the headlines. Peter Stoger explained the decision ahead of...

 By Mark Lovell

Muller, Mai, Lewandowski 8/10 as Bayern thrash Hannover 3-0

Robert Lewandowski's 150th career goal in all comps for Bayern punctuated a straightforward 3-0 victory over Hannover at the HDI-Arena.

German Champions Bayern Munich cruised past hapless Hannover 3-0, courtesy of goals from Sebastian Rudy and second-half substitutes Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski.

Positives

Resting key players and fielding an under-strength side with Real Madrid in mind, Treble-seeking Bayern enjoyed a nice leisurely warm-up for the visit of Champions League holders Real Madrid.

Negatives

None... unless Arjen Robben is injured.

Manager rating out of 10

9 -- Heynckes showed absolutely no mercy to his...

Borussia Dortmund must lick wounds after derby defeat, prepare for Leverkusen visit

Marco Reus looks on during Borussia Dortmund's derby defeat to Schalke.
Marco Reus' Borussia Dortmund were tactically exposed in the derby defeat to Schalke last weekend.

DORTMUND, Germany -- When Borussia Dortmund captain Marcel Schmelzer was asked on Sunday if he couldn't wait for the season to be over. He froze for a few seconds to ponder on his answer. "If we reach the Champions League, then yes," he ultimately said.

The left-back was standing in the mixed zone of the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, talking to reporters after what had been a bitter 2-0 defeat in the Revierderby against second-placed Schalke and had apologised moments before for his mistake...

Bayern Munich continue to rule Germany as Bundesliga's brain drain stifles progress

Thomas Muller scores three as Bayern Munich hit Leverkusen for six in the DFB Pokal semifinals.
Eintracht Frankfurt beat Schalke in a match not without controversy and will meet Bayern Munich in the DFB Pokal final.

If Bayern Munich's 6-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen was "an advert for German football," as Thomas Muller put it, the second DFB Pokal semifinal between Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt (0-1) was perhaps the opposite: an attritional game, low on skill, high on VAR controversy and off-the-pitch talking points.

Both matches couldn't have been more different. But in their totality, they were also neatly emblematic of the state of the play in Germany's top flight.

Bayer Leverkusen 2-6 Bayern Munich

There...