Bayern begin Champions League defence in punishing European autumn

European football is reeling with stadiums largely empty and revenues down, but it is business as usual on the field for the continent’s biggest clubs this week as the Champions League group stage gets underway and Bayern Munich begin their defence of the trophy.

Hansi Flick’s all-conquering team have a glamour tie to get things going, at home to Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

It will be a fascinating contest, and as Bayern’s Thomas Mueller admitted after the draw was made, “the…

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