Robert Lewandowski, Kingsley Coman and Leon Goretzka all wrote their names on the scoresheet as Bayern Munich overcame fourth-tier Energie Cottbus 3-1 in the DFB Cup first round on Monday evening.
Energie Cottbus 1-3 Bayern Munich
Goals: 0-1 Lewandowski (32'), 0-2 Coman (65'), 0-3 Goretzka (85'), 1-3 Taz (pen. 90+3')
The match began as widely anticipated, with Bayern hogging possession - they averaged 80 per cent throughout the game - and their hosts sitting deep to protect their penalty area. Niko Kovac's men were forced to work hard to create any kind of opening against a well-organised defence, although Lewandowski and Coman both hit the crossbar before the deadlock was finally broken. Inevitably, it was Lewandowski who scored it, his striker's instinct putting him in the right place at the right time to volley in the rebound from close range after Coman's header was saved. Buoyed by going in front, Bayern continued to push for another to kill the game off before the break, but Cottbus held firm to retain a glimmer of hope for the second half.
Much to their disappointment, Bayern were in an unforgiving mood and the pattern of the game remained the same after the interval. Lewandowski almost grabbed his second within moments of the restart, only to see his near-post flick go wide, before David Alaba's free-kick sailed just the wrong side of the post. Coman eventually added to the scoreline, rifling in a fierce drive from distance to effectively seal the deal, while Leon Goretzka's late third ensured there would be no nervy finale. Berkan Taz scored a consolation penalty for the hosts with the last kick of the game as Bayern stamped their ticket into the next round.
- Bayern have won the DFB Cup a record 19 times. The have reached at least the semi-finals in each of the past 10 seasons, and only ever lost twice in the opening round (vs. Vestenbergsgreuth, 1994/95; vs. Weinheim, 1990/91).
- Kovac has won 18 of his 19 cup matches as a coach, only losing the 2017 final to Dortmund. A Pokal winner with Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayern, he is the first coach since Felix Magath in 2005 and 2006 to lift back-to-back DFB Cups.
- Lewandowski netted a brace in last season's 3-0 final win over RB Leipzig, and is the competition's fourth-highest scorer of all time with 34 goals in 44 appearances.
- Lewandowski has now found the net in each of his last four DFB Cup outings.
- Cottbus captain Dimitar Rangelov scored one goal in 14 appearances for Dortmund between 2009 and 2011.
- Cottbus have won two and lost 11 of their 13 competitive meetings with Bayern to date.
Cottbus: Moser - Hasse, Gehrmann, Koch, Hoppe - N. Geisler (Raak 58'), Eisenhuth, Brügmann, F. Geisler (Beyazit 64') - Taz, Rangelov (c) (Broschinski 74')
Unused subs: Simon, Zickert, Meyer
Out: Stawecki (ligaments), Müller (match fitness)
Coach: Claus-Dieter Wollitz
Bayern: Neuer (c) – Kimmich, Pavard, Süle (Hernandez 89'), Alaba – Thiago, Sanches (Goretzka 63') – Müller, Tolisso, Coman (Gnabry 70') - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Ulreich, Boateng, Davies, Mai, Wriedt, Singh
Out: Martinez (knee)
Coach: Niko Kovac
As it happened!
The penalty is the last kick of the game and it's a deserved win for the visitors. Cottbus held their own initially and battled well for the first half hour, but ultimately Bayern's quality took its toll and the outcome was never in any doubt.
90+3' GOAL! TAZ PULLS ONE BACK
The Cottbus attacker sends Neuer the wrong way, netting a late consolation for the hosts.
90+2' PENALTY TO COTTBUS!
Awarded for a foul against Leon Goretzka.
89' HERNANDEZ MAKES COMPETITIVE BAYERN DEBUT
The Frenchman, who played in a Bayern shirt for the first time last week in a friendly against Rottach-Egern, replaces Süle for the final few minutes.
85' GOAL! GORETZKA MAKES IT THREE!
There appears to be little danger for Cottbus when a Bayern attack breaks down, but Gnabry's pressure wins the ball back almost instantly. He crosses to Goretzka just inside the penalty area and the Germany midfielder strokes him his side's third.
81' NEUER CALLED INTO ACTION
The Bayern custodian has to make an important save for the first time in the game, diving low to his left to keep out a fierce shot from Broschinski.
79' MÜLLER HEADS WIDE
The 29-year-old meets Kimmich's cross from the right, but gets too much on his glancing header and it rolls well wide of the post.
77' BEYAZIT GOES DOWN...
...under a challenge from Süle in the Bayern box, but the referee is quick to signal no penalty will be given.
74' SUB FOR COTTBUS
Rangelov is taken off and is replaced up front by Broschinski.
70' GNABRY REPLACES COMAN
Gnabry gets a chance to stretch his legs, while Coman gets a rest.
65' GOAL! BELTER FROM COMAN!
Goretzka leads a Bayern break down the middle and plays the ball out to the left to Coman. He cuts inside onto his right foot and smacks an unstoppable shot into the far corner to put Bayern 2-0 up!
63' SANCHES GOES OFF
Sanches has a shot from deep that Moser gets down well to save. It's Sanches' last involvement in the game, with Leon Goretzka coming on in his place.
61' SANCHES AGAIN!
Another brilliant, surging run from Sanches. He starts deep in midfield and his changes of pace and momentum take him to the byline on the left. He pulls the ball into the middle for Müller, who pokes it just wide.
57' FREE-KICK FOR BAYERN
Tolisso is down again, clutching the same ankle that he hurt earlier, following an overzealous challenge. Bayern are awarded a free-kick about 30 yards out, slightly to the right. It's the perfect distance and angle for Alaba, who bends the ball over the wall but just wide of the post.
53' SANCHES DRIVES FORWARD
The Portuguese midfielder does well to shrug off a couple of challenges in midfield as he strides down the left. He gets to the edge of the Cottbus area and finds Lewandowski, who has his back to goal. The frontman rolls his marker, but just as he's about to shoot another defender appears and nicks the ball off his toe.
50' COMAN GOES DOWN IN THE BOX...
...under a challenge from Cottbus defender Hasse. The Frenchman appeals for the penalty and the referee takes a long, hard look at it before deciding to wave play on.
47' JUST WIDE FROM LEWANDOWSKI
The Bayern striker gets in front of his marker to meet Alaba's pull-back from the left, but his flick with the outside of his right boot spins wide of the near post.
The home team get the action under way again. No changes from either team at half-time.
No they can't. Still, it's been a dominant display from the defending DFB Cup holders and they'll fancy their chances of killing the game off in the second period as Cottbus legs begin to tire.
45' ONE MINUTE OF ADDED TIME
Can Bayern get another goal to go into the break with a more comfortable lead?
42' SPACE FOR COTTBUS
The home teams get forward in numbers on a rare counter and suddenly have plenty of space to work in. Eisenhuth has the ball in the centre and he spies the run of Taz wide on the right. He's completely unmarked, but Eisenhuth overhits his pass and it goes out for a throw-in. He holds his head in anguish; that would have been a decent opening.
38' MÜLLER FIRES OVER
Bayern have been pushing forward with greater intensity since their goal as they look to put the game to bed before half-time. Müller has the best chance, finding himself in acres of space in the right-hand side of the box, but he blazes well over with his weaker left foot.
32' GOAL! LEWANDOWSKI BREAKS THE DEADLOCK!
Bayern finally break through and it is very much deserved. Kimmich's cross from the right is met by Coman in the middle. His header is blocked by the sprawling Moser but the rebound falls at the feet of Lewandowski, who is left with a simple tap-in from close range.
29' COTTBUS BOTTLENECK
Bayern are still enjoying the lion's share of possession and trying to get forward at pace, but they're being channeled into areas where the hosts have men back in numbers. Moves are invariably breaking down in and around the edge of the Cottbus box.
25' COTTBUS UNFAZED
A slide tackle on Lewandowski? Yup! Shoulder barge on Thiago? You bet! The hosts are showing they're not intimidated by names or reputations here and are certainly making their presence felt in the 50-50 duels. Manuel Neuer is still to be seriously tested, though.
22' LEWANDOWSKI EDGED OUT
Müller sends an inviting cross from the right towards the near post. It looks like Lewandowski will manage to get there ahead of Gehrmann, but the defender recovers well and gets a foot on the ball just ahead of the Bayern forward to clear the danger.
19' TOLISSO TESTS MOSER
Alaba curls in a high free-kick from the left that reaches Tolisso at the back post. It appears to hit his hip and bounce goalwards, but Moser is alive to the danger and makes the save.
Cottbus have barely had a touch over the past few minutes - Bayern have had 80 per cent of possession overall - but they're closing down the spaces very well and denying their visitors room to operate around their penalty area.
14' LEWY HITS THE CROSSBAR!
Coman scampers down the left and gets to the byline before pulling a cross back into the middle, where Lewandowski is waiting. The ball is slightly behind him but he still gets good power on a left-footed strike that goalkeeper Lennart Moser tips onto the crossbar!
11' TOO LONG FROM KIMMICH
The Bayern right-back intercepts a pass wide on the right and immediately goes into attack mode. He darts forward and sends a looping cross into the middle looking for Lewandowski, but he gets too much on it and the ball evades everyone before rolling harmlessly out of play.
9' NO WAY THROUGH
Bayern are pinging the ball about further up the pitch now as they probe for an opening. There's been some nice interplay, particularly between Coman and Alaba down the left, but Cottbus are holding firm so far.
6' ALABA FROM DISTANCE
Kimmich's corner from the right is cleared, but only as far as David Alaba. He's a good 30 metres out and takes his shot first time. The Austrian catches it well but lacks the necessary accuracy, and his effort goes well wide.
4' TOLISSO DOWN
There's a break in play as Bayern midfielder Corentin Tolisso stays on the ground clutching his ankle following a challenge with Taz. Leon Goretzka is sent to warm up just in case.
3' BAYERN ON TOP
It's been largely as you would expect so far, with Bayern patiently keeping the ball in midfield and the hosts dropping deep to protect their penalty area. The raucous home crowd are cheering every touch and every tackle!
Bayern, playing in their all-white away strip, get the ball rolling in Cottbus!
The teams are out on the pitch doing the pre-match handshakes and coin toss! Not long to go now!
BAD OMEN FOR COTTBUS?
It's exactly 19 years to the day since they played their first-ever Bundesliga match. The bad news? Cottbus lost 3-1 away to Werder Bremen.
DAVID VS. GOLIATH
Cottbus coach Wollitz is well aware his side are underdogs and although he says a cup shock here is "unrealistic", he insists his side won't be beaten before a ball is even kicked:
"We want to make the differences between the teams as small as possible. We'll need to be unbelievably committed and organised, stay compact and have the courage to get forward."
These teams have faced each other 12 times over the years in the Bundesliga - and there has never been a draw. Bayern have won 10 times, but both of their defeats (in 2008 and 2000) have come away from home.
COTTBUS TEAM NEWS
Home coach Claus-Dieter Wollitz, meanwhile, has opted for what is likely to be a defensive 4-4-2 set-up. Their man dangerman is veteran 36-year-old forward Dimitar Rangelov, who scored one goal in 14 appearances for Borussia Dortmund between 2009 and 2012. He has found the net once in three Regionalliga Nordost outings so far this season.
BAYERN TEAM NEWS
No real surprises from Kovac in his team selection. Serge Gnabry is on the bench following his recent struggles with muscular complaints, while Lukas Hernandez could make his competitive debut this evening. Fellow Frenchman Benjamin Pavard is given the nod at centre-back ahead of Jerome Boateng, meanwhile. Another summer signing, Sarpreet Singh, is also on the bench after impressing Kovac in the club's pre-season outings.
PLAIN SAILING FOR BAYERN?
Think again. Two Bundesliga sides - Augsburg and Mainz - have already been knocked out by lower league opposition this round, while Hoffenheim needed penalties to overcome third-tier outfit Würzburger Kickers, and 2018 winners Eintracht Frankfurt were twice forced to come from behind before eventually beating another third division side, Waldhof Mannheim.
HELLO AND WELCOME!
Cottbus and Bayern bring the curtain down on the first round of DFB Cup matches, with Kovac's charges obviously the favourites to reach the next round. Stay with us for a blow-by-blow account of the action!