European Football: Matthaus motivates Munich: Bayern find form to Challenge Norwich

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BAYERN MUNICH, who take on Norwich City in the Uefa Cup in Bavaria tomorrow, are the form team in the German Bundesliga at present. They claimed their third win in a row on Saturday, climbing to third place in the table after a 3-1 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach in the Olympic stadium, writes Rupert Metcalf.

Bayern are four points behind the leaders, Eintracht Frankfurt, who suffered their first defeat of the season at MSV Duisburg on Friday. Second-placed Werder Bremen, the current champions, were held to a 0-0 draw at Freiburg.

Bayern have won the title 12 times - a record - but have not been champions since 1990. They are making a strong challenge this term, though, winning 4-0 at Cologne last week and thrashing Hamburg 4-0 the previous weekend. Against Monchengladbach, all three goals came before the break. Lothar Matthaus started the spree with an early penalty, Martin Schneider put one past his own goalkeeper, and Christian Nerlinger, who was playing amateur football last season, added the third.

Galatasaray, Manchester United's opponents in the European Cup on Wednesday, were involved in a nine-goal thriller in Istanbul. They beat Kocaelispor 5-4 and lie third in the Turkish league, one point adrift of their opponents and Fenerbahce, after eight matches.

Standard Liege did not enjoy a successful weekend ahead of their encounter with Arsenal in the Uefa Cup at Highbury, also on Wednesday. They went down 1-0 at Lommel and languish in 10th place in the Belgian standings, nine points behind the leaders, Anderlecht.

Bobby Robson's Sporting Lisbon, due in Glasgow this week for a Uefa Cup tie against Celtic, had their lead at the top of the Portuguese league cut to one point, after dropping their first point of the campaign in a goalless draw at Gil Vicente.