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Referee apologises for failing to spot Arturo Vidal dive

The referee who awarded Bayern Munich a penalty in their DFB-Pokal semi-final win over Werder Bremen following a dive from Arturo Vidal has apologised.

Muller tucked away the resulting spot kick. Credit: Reuters

The Chilean threw himself to the ground after a challenge from Janek Sternberg which appeared to make no contact with the Bayern midfielder.

Thomas Muller scored the resulting penalty, his second goal of the game in a 2-0 home win on Tuesday night. Vidal has come in for fierce criticism in the German press and on social media for his action.

And referee Tobias Stieler said on www.kicker.de: "It happened so quickly and I was in a good position. I saw a contact, but there wasn't any. I'm sorry."

Bayern boss Pep Guardiola, chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Muller all admitted it was a wrong decision. Guardiola said on www.fcbayern.de: "It wasn't a penalty."

Muller added: "It was close to a foul, but it wasn't a foul."

Bayern goalkeeper Neuer signs new deal

Manuel Neuer is staying put. Credit: PA

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has signed a new five-year contract at Bayern Munich, the club have announced.

The 30-year-old put pen to paper on a new deal on Wednesday that ties him to the Bundesliga champions until 2021.

The Germany international, widely regarded as the best keeper in the world, has been at the Allianz Arena since joining from Schalke in 2011.

The new contract ends any hope incoming Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, currently in charge at Bayern, may have had of luring the World Cup winner to the Etihad Stadium in the summer.

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Bayern defender misses unveiling due to painful injury

Bayern Munich defender Serdar Tasci had a painful introduction to life at the Bundesliga champions, as an injury sustained in his first training session forced him to miss his own press unveiling.

Serdar Tasci injured himself during his first training session. Credit: PA

Tasci, a Germany international and former Bundesliga title winner with Stuttgart, was a deadline-day loan signing from Spartak Moscow, with Bayern facing a defensive crisis of sorts following injuries to Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez.

However, the German giants face another shuffle at the back, after Tasci banged heads with a Bayern colleague in what was his maiden team training session on Wednesday.

It meant Bayern Sporting director Matthias Sammer had to take full charge at the player's unveiling later that day, producing his shirt with number four at the back. More importantly, Tasci could be a doubt for Sunday's away fixture against Bayer Leverkusen.

Sammer, in quotes reported on Bayern's official website, confirmed Tasci's "unfortunate" clash of heads but added of the player: "He can help us with his quality and experience.

"He was incredibly eager and signalled us: I am ready. The rest is up to him. The more often he plays, the better he (will be)."

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Bayern Munich defender ruled out for month

Bayern Munich have confirmed that defender Javi Martinez will miss up to a month after undergoing knee surgery.

The Spaniard was a last-minute exclusion from Bayern's side which beat Hoffenheim 2-0 on Sunday.

Javi Martinez has a knee problem. Credit: PA

Although his club shrugged off the gravity of his injury, tests confirmed he had damaged his meniscus and he will be out for up to four weeks after undergoing surgery in Barcelona on Tuesday morning.

He will therefore miss the first leg of Bayern's Champions League last-16 clash at Juventus on February 23.

Guardiola will improve any team - Lewandowski

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski believes outgoing manager Pep Guardiola will improve any team he chooses to take over in the Premier League.

Last month the Spaniard confirmed he would be standing down as head coach at the end of the campaign after three successful years in the Bundesliga to pursue a career in England.

Pep Guardiola is leaving Bayern. Credit: PA

Manchester City are thought to be leading the chase for his services while Chelsea and Manchester United have also been linked with the Catalan.

"I know Pep can improve a team in England," the Poland international told the Mail on Sunday. "I think he knows where he's going and he knows what he needs to do with the team he's going to, so that they play much better.

"He will focus on technique and perhaps more possession than is the norm in England. But Pep knows the Premier League is different from the Spanish league or the Bundesliga. I'm sure he can do something new in terms of tactics and technique."

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