Bayern Munich were left shocked after a last-gasp goal from Saarbrücken's Marcel Gaus dumped the Bundesliga side out of this season's DFB Cup.
Saarbrücken 2-1 Bayern Munich
Goals: 0-1 Müller 16' (assist: Krätzig), 1-1 Sontheimer 45'+1 (assist: Boeder), 2-1 Gaus 90'+5 (assist: Civeja)
With one eye on Saturday's Der Klassiker meeting against Borussia Dortmund, visiting coach Thomas Tuchel rang the changes to his starting XI at the Ludwigsparkstadion. Twenty-year-old Frans Krätzig was offered a first-ever senior start and the versatile youngster was involved in his team's opener. When Krätzig teed up his teammate Müller, the Bayern legend spun and connected with a sweetly struck shot from distance that flew low past goalkeeper Tim Schreiber. The hosts - who have been struggling on the domestic front of late - didn't despair and after creating several openings, were finally on terms before the break. Bayern's attempt to play out from the back was scuppered when Lukas Boeder pounced to win back possession. Moments later, the defender was there again inside the Bayern box, feeding Patrick Sontheimer, who finished with glee from close range.
Among Saarbrücken's fondest memories from their Bundesliga days is the fact that they never lost to Bayern in four encounters in the German top flight. Rüdiger Ziehl's 2023/24 side were proving just as stubborn opponents as their predecessors, with the prestigious visitors being kept at bay as the second half progressed. When Schreiber twice denied Leroy Sané, a frustrated Tuchel rang the changes. Jamal Musiala, Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry were introduced but - buoyed by a passionate home support - Saarbrücken held firm. Schreiber twice frustrated Coman either side of a Müller header that dropped inches wide. In a frantic finale, Müller almost nabbed a winner but, incredibly, the action then swung the other way. Running free down the right, Tim Civeja pulled a cross into the box that Gaus smashed past Manuel Neuer to lift the stadium from its foundations.
- Record 20-time winners Bayern have been knocked out in the second round in three of the last four seasons.
- Müller scored his 34th DFB Cup goal.
- The 34-year-old was making his 677th senior appearance for Bayern.
- Saarbrücken lost their previous four DFB Cup encounters with Bayern, most recently at this stage in 1985/86.
- The current 3. Liga club never lost a Bundesliga home game against the record champions (W2, D2). There is no other team Bayern have visited so often in the top flight without ever winning.
- Saarbrücken have beaten teams in a higher division six times in the DFB Cup since the start of 2019/20, which is the most of any club in that time.
Saarbrücken: Schreiber – Uaferro (Civeja 71'), Zeitz (c), Di Michele Sanchez (Kerber 67'), Rizzuto, Gaus – Boeder, Sontheimer (Brünker 83'), Rabihic (Günther-Schmidt 71') – Naifi, Stehle
Unused subs: Kotryrba, Paterok, Recktenwald, Biada, Sahin
Out: Jacobs (ankle), Neudecker (adductor), Schmidt (broken leg)
Coach: Rüdiger Ziehl
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Sarr (Gnabry 61'), De Ligt (Laimer 24'), Kim, Davies - Kimmich, Krätzig (Musiala 61') - Sané (Coman 61'), Müller, Tel - Choupo-Moting
Unused subs: Peretz, Kane, Zvonarek, Pavlović, Taichi
Out: Buchmann (thigh), Goretzka (hand), Guerreiro (thigh), Upamecano (hamstring)
Coach: Thomas Tuchel
As it happened!
Saarbrücken knock out Bayern!
A ball into the box. Gnabry takes a swipe, but it's blocked and hoofed clear. And that's it! Third-tier Saarbrücken come from behind to reach the last 16 at the expense of record DFB Cup winners Bayern...
Civeja races away up the right and sends in a peach of a cross, emphatically converted by the on-rushing Gaus. Bayern are going out of the DFB Cup...
Six additional minutes to find a winner; otherwise we're in for extra-time...
Gaus and Schreiber prevent Müller turning in Gnabry's low cross, the Saarbrücken goalkeeper taking a foot to the groin region in the process. Heroic stuff!
Kim to the rescue!
The Bayern defender uses all his strength to prevent Brünker from running clean through on Neuer's goal. This really is on a knife-edge...
Saarbrücken have everyone behind the ball as Coman pings in another distance drive - this one blocked.
Bayern with a quick free-kick off the training ground. Kimmich goes to cross, but instead cuts the ball back to Coman for a first-time shot that's beaten away by Schreiber.
A whisker away!
Coman bends in a cross from the right. Müller meets it, heading narrowly wide of the far post with Schreiber rooted to the spot.
Arm's length - for now
Bayern are being restricted to efforts from outside the area, but the shot count is rising fast. Backs against the walls for the hosts...
The Frenchman winds up on his left foot this time, his rising strike meeting the fingertips of Schreiber. The ensuing corner comes to nothing.
Musiala stays on his feet after being caught by Sontheimer. Coman takes on the shot, fizzing an effort wide.
Bayern are upping the ante as Gnabry cuts in and hits a daisy-cutter at the goalkeeper. Saarbrücken changes incoming...
Musiala tries to thread a pass into the feet of Tel in the box, but it's straight through to Schreiber.
Di Michele Sanchez limps off for Saarbrücken. He, like every player in white, has worked his socks off. Kerber is on.
Musiala tries to find top bins with a curled effort from outside the box, but Schreiber watches it all the way and is able to make a routine catch.
Tuchel with a big show of respect for Saarbrücken by introducing Coman, Musiala and Gnabry. Bayern will switch to three at the back, with Kimmich reverting to his preferred role as midfield conductor, and something that could be interpreted as a six-man attack.
Sané chance!Choupo-Moting plays a superb through ball into the box for the run of Sané. He gets it onto his left foot, but the angle's tight and Schreiber is out quickly to block.
The Bundesliga champions have a real game on their hands. How long before Tuchel turns to the likes of Kane, Musiala, Coman and Gnabry?
Saarbrücken back off as Sané skates in off the right-hand side, before forcing a diving save out of Schreiber with a dipping strike from 20 yards. Consider that a warning shot.
Here we go again!
No changes at the break. Are we going to witness one of the DFB Cup's great upsets?
Half-time: Saarbrücken 1-1 Bayern
This wasn't in the script. Bayern got the early goal through Müller, but Saarbrücken did not wilt and go in at the break deservedly level.
Wow! Third-tier Saarbrücken have pegged back the record champions. The high press catches Krätzig out, but there's still a lot to do. This time, the home side show great composure, with Boeder getting the ball in the box and, instead of going for goal, squaring for Sontheimer to stroke past Neuer from close range.
The fourth official's board indicates three minutes of added time. Good spell for Saarbrücken - they won't want the half to end.
Saarbrücken with another chance as Naifi turns Davies in the box, but he takes too long in getting off his shot, and Laimer is able to knock the ball back to Neuer.
Rabihic runs at the Bayern defence. He shapes to shoot in the box but Kimmich - who had already gone to ground - takes advantage of the Saarbrücken No.10's heavy touch and clears.
Kimmich has slotted into the back four, but who - assuming De Ligt is unavailable - will join Kim at centre-back in Der Klassiker?
Inclement weather put the game in doubt, and the wet pitch - though not water logged - is proving problematic. It's not exactly conducive to quick footwork from Sané and Co., and we've already seen De Ligt go off injured.
Saarbrücken swarm as Davies is caught in possession. They move it really quickly, eventually setting up Rabihic, who sends a first-time effort miles off target from 18 yards. He had time to take a touch and space to run into!
Laimer's on for the injured De Ligt. That'd be a blow at the best of times, but Bayern - already without Upamecano - go to Dortmund on Saturday. Kimmich is suspended for that one, too.
Sané works an opening, but Müller had just strayed offside. Just as well because Choupo-Moting was ready to pounce on the penalty spot.
Davies spins away in midfield and drives goalwards. The ball gets caught under his feet, though, and his eventual pass is a touch behind Müller, who can't do anything with it. Let-off for the hosts.
De Ligt concern
The Bayern defender stays down in some pain, after pulling something in his right leg on the stretch. Tuchel has his hands on his head - this is a worry.
Brilliant goal from Müller. He collects Krätzig's inside pass on the edge of the box, spins to face goal and lashes into the bottom corner. The Bayern legend runs straight over to shake the hand of his coach - such a character!
Saarbrücken are playing with a high line and pressing Bayern hard. It's a bold approach against Germany's record champions - but it's doing the trick.
The home team's captain is shown the first booking after a tug on Choupo-Moting.
Bayern's in-form No.10 controls a chipped ball into the box. He tries to pull it back, but a white shirt slides in ahead of Choupo-Moting. Superb defending!
As expected, Bayern are hogging the ball in the early stages. Saarbrücken are winning the battle of the pipes in the stands, though.
The ball's rolling in the DFB Cup second round. Can Bayern join Dortmund in the last 16?
Saarbrücken are in white, with Bayern in black and purple. Kick-off is imminent...
Teams in the tunnel
The Saarbrücken fans are making a real noise as the two teams prepare to enter the field of play.
Who is Frans Krätzig?Krätzig introduced himself to Bayern fans with a stunning goal in a summer friendly against Liverpool. The 20-year-old has since made four first-team appearances, including in the first-round win over Münster in which he opened his senior goals account. A left-back by trade, he can also play in midfield as it looks like he will today, on his first competitive start for the pros.
More on those teams
Kane's DFB Cup debut will have to wait. He's one of five changes to the team that beat Darmstadt 8-0. Noussair Mazraoui, Konrad Laimer, Kingsley Coman and Jamal Musiala drop out. Bouna Sarr, Franz Krätzig, Thomas Müller, Mathys Tel and Eric Choupo-Moting come in. Manuel Neuer retains his place after making his long-awaited comeback at the weekend. Serge Gnabry is back among the substitutes following a fractured arm. As for the hosts, top scorer Kai Brünker is relegated to the bench.
Saarbrücken starting line-up
Schreiber – Uaferro, Zeitz (c), Di Michele Sanchez, Rizzuto, Gaus – Boeder, Sontheimer, Rabihic – Naifi, Stehle
Kotryrba, Paterok, Recktenwald, Biada, Civeja, Günther-Schmidt, Kerber, Sahin, Brünker
Bayern starting line-up
Neuer (c) - Sarr, De Ligt, Kim, Davies - Kimmich, Krätzig - Sané, Müller, Tel - Choupo-Moting
Peretz, Gnabry, Kane, Coman, Laimer, Zvonarek, Musiala, Pavlović, Taichi
Form guide Bayern are on a five-game winning run in all competitions and as well as sitting in second spot behind Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, the Bavarians are top of their Champions League section after three wins from three. Saarbrücken, meanwhile, are in 15th spot in Germany's third tier and have won just three of their 11 games played in the division thus far.
© IMAGO/Sven Simon
"It's a final"
Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel was forthright in his views on tonight's second-round tie against third-tier Saarbrücken when saying, "If we want to get to [the final in] Berlin, we have to perform [in this game]." The 50 year old added, "[It's] a very important match, a knockout match [and for us], it's a final."
Ziehl calls for courage Saarbrücken coach Rüdiger Ziehl informed that his side, "... want to remain [without conceding] for a long time and look to set traps," against the record Bundesliga champions tonight. "We want to be courageous and to take advantage of any opportunity to push forward," the tactician added.
© IMAGO/Markus Endberg
Since the start of the 2019/20 season, Saarbücken have beaten teams in a higher division five times, the most of any club during that time. During the 19/20 term, they became the first fourth-tier outfit to reach the semi-finals of the Cup, ultimately losing to Bayer Leverkusen.
Saarbrücken have spent five seasons in the Bundesliga, including the inaugural campaign in which Bayern did not participate. As such, the two sides have faced off eight times in the top flight, with Bayern winning four and Saarbrücken. In the Cup, the Bavarians have a 100% record, winning all four of the ties between the two thus far.
Bayern team news
Kingsley Coman will be unavailable for this clash, but otherwise, Thomas Tuchel has a full squad to choose from. The tie may come too soon for Leon Goretzka and Dayot Upamecano, but the duo are both back in training and could be in contention to feature at some point.
Watch: Bayern 8-0 DarmstadtHarry Kane scored a hat-trick as Bayern hammered Darmstadt in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
You can follow all of the build-up and live action from Bayern Munich's second-round DFB Cup encounter with Saarbrücken!