Robert Lewandowski scored a brace as Bayern Munich booked their place in the DFB Cup final against RB Leipzig next month, although they were made to sweat after Werder Bremen fought back from two goals down before Niko Kovac's side ultimately secured a 3-2 victory.
Werder Bremen 2-3 Bayern Munich
Goals: 0-1 Lewandowski (36'), 0-2 Müller (63'), 2-1 Osako (74'), 2-2 Rashica (75'), 2-3 Lewandowski (pen. 80')
Bremen may have lost to Bayern in the Bundesliga at the weekend but they were by no means intimidated here and matched league leaders stride for stride in the opening 30 minutes. The visitors did eke out the better chances, though, with Thomas Müller and the outstanding Kingsley Coman going close before Lewandowski broke the deadlock, the Polish striker in the right place at the right time to tap over the line after Müller's header came back off the post. Müller had an effort disallowed for offside shortly afterwards, leaving Bayern with a slender lead at half-time.
The sides continued to trade blows in the second period, Serge Gnabry and Kevin Möhwald going close at either end before Bayern seemingly killed the game off when Müller fired in from 10 yards out. Bremen had other ideas, however, and pulled a goal back through Yuya Osako to spark a frenetic final 15 minutes. Milot Rashica stunned the visitors when he equalised within seconds of Bayern kicking off again, but Kovac's side were simply not to be beaten. The writing was on the wall when the irrepressible Coman was felled in the box by Theodor Gebre Selassie, allowing Lewandowski to calmly fire his side into the final from the penalty spot.
- Werder hadn’t lost a DFB Cup game at home since 1988, progressing in their previous 37 matches at the Weserstadion – a competition record.
- Claudio Pizarro is the eighth-best goalscorer in DFB Cup history (32 goals). He was part of the Werder team that last lifted the trophy in 2009, while he also won it five times as a Bayern player.
- Bremen are the second most successful club in DFB Cup history, having lifted the trophy six times. Bayern hold the record with 18 titles.
- Bayern have been behind for a total of only 18 minutes in this year’s competition.
- The Munich club have now won their last 20 competitive matches against Werder.
- Lewandowski now has 34 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions for Bayern this season
Bremen: Pavlenka – Gebre Selassie, Veljkovic, Moisander, Augustinsson (Harnik 81') – Möhwald (Pizarro 65'), M. Eggestein, Klaassen (J. Eggestein 89') – Osako, Kruse (c), Rashica
Unused subs: Kapino, Beijmo, Langkamp, Friedl
Out: Bartels (thigh), Sahin (suspended)
Doubtful: Kruse (thigh)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt
Bayern: Ulreich – Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba – Martinez, Thiago (James 76') – Gnabry (Goretzka 58'), Müller (c) (Rafinha 89'), Coman - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Hoffmann, Davies, Tolisso, Sanches
Out: Früchtl (elbow), Neuer (calf), Ribery (neuromuscular), Robben (calf), Süle (suspended)
Coach: Niko Kovac
AS IT HAPPENED!
It's all over, but what a game that was. Bayern looked to be cruising into the final until Bremen's quickfire double got them right back into the mix. They couldn't stay level for long though, with Lewandowski's late penalty enough to put Bayern into the DFB Cup final against RB Leipzig next month.
90+3' LEWANDOWSKI OFF THE POST!
Lewandowski latches onto Kimmich's pass forward. He's wide on the right but shows tremendous pace to sprint away from Veljkovic. He gets to the six-yard box but the angle's too tight to shoot, so he goes around Pavlenka and has an open goal to shoot at. But he stumbles and has to delay his shot, eventually hitting the back post as he falls over!
90+1' PIZARRO HEADS OVER
Osaka floats a ball to the back post from right to left and finds Pizarro, but the Peruvian can't direct his header on target! This is the first of five minutes of added time.
89' SUBS ON EACH SIDE
Rafinha replaces Müller for Bayern, while Johannes Eggestein comes on for Klaassen for the hosts.
88' JAMES MUST MAKE IT FOUR!
...but doesn't. Coman is brilliant again, drawing two or three defenders to him before clipping a ball to the unmarked James at the back post. He cuts inside and shoots, but shanks the ball well over the bar.
84' BREMEN THROWING EVERYTHING FORWARD
The hosts can't be faulted for effort, but Bayern are holding firm at the back.
81' BREMEN BRING ON HARNIK
Needing another goal, Bremen make another attacking change as striker Martin Harnik takes the place of left-back Augustinsson.
James Rodriguez is now also on for Bayern.
80' GOAL! BREMEN 2-3 BAYERN (Lewandowski)
VAR confirmed the penalty decision and Lewandowski coolly steps up to convert the spot-kick!
78' PENALTY TO BAYERN!
Coman skips past Gebre Selassie and goes to ground. The referee points to the spot... but it's being checked by VAR...
75' GOAL! BREMEN 2-2 BAYERN (Rashica)
WHAT IS GOING ON?!?! BREMEN ARE LEVEL! Bayern lose possession in midfield soon after kicking off the match again and from there it goes lighting fast. The ball is played forward to Rashica, who squeezes it into the far corner past Ulreich and a despairing lunge from Boateng.
74' GOAL! BREMEN 1-2 BAYERN (Osako)
Bremen are back in it! Rashica wriggles his way past Hummels into the right-hand side of the box and squares the ball inside to the unmarked Osako, who smashes the ball in from 10 yards out!
68' OFF THE BAR!
Kimmich's right-wing cross is deflected onto the bar by a Bremen defender. The ball bounces back into play and comes to Thiago, who heads over from 12 yards out.
65' ON COMES PIZARRO
Bremen react to Bayern's goal by making an attacking change, bringing on 40-year-old striker Claudio Pizarro for defensive midfielder Möhwald.
63' GOAL! BREMEN 0-2 BAYERN (Müller)
Bayern get a second and Müller finally gets on the scoresheet. Goretzka's scuffed shot from just outside the area falls at the feet of Müller, who buries the ball high into the net from 10 yards out. It's hard to see Bremen coming back from this one now.
58' MÜLLER FIRES OVER
Coman is involved again, skipping forward down the left before cutting inside and laying the ball off to Müller on the edge of the box. The 29-year-old catches the ball well but it flies narrowly over.
57' FIRST SUB FOR BAYERN
Leon Goretzka comes on in midfield for Gnabry.
52' BAYERN GOING FOR THE KILL
The visitors are looking for a second goal here to deal a knockout blow to Bremen, but they're leaving themselves exposed at the back and the home team are finding space in the final third. Risky stuff from Bayern.
49' MÖHWALD CLOSE
Klaassen finds plenty of room down Bremen's left and clips a ball to the back post where Möhwald is arriving. He heads it downwards and back across goal, but Ulreich has anticipated it and makes a routine save.
48' PAVLENKA TO THE RESCUE!
A cross from the right comes to Gnabry at the back post and he instantly volleys at goal, but Pavlenka brilliantly gets down to his right to save.
Bremen get the action up and running again.
A minute of additional time is played before the whistle is blown. Bayern go into the break with their noses in front, but this game's still a long way from over. Bremen have competed well and threatened Ulreich's goal a couple of times.
43' JUST OVER FROM GNABRY
Gnabry collects the ball wide on the right and plays a swift one-two with Lewandowski. He jinks past a defender on the edge of the box and smashes a left-footed shot at goal, but it whizzes just over the bar.
41' MÜLLER GOAL DISALLOWED
Müller crosses from the left, looking for Lewandowski in the middle. The Polish striker doesn't appear to touch the ball before it flies into the bottom corner, but it's chalked off as Lewandowski was in an offside position and interfering in play.
36' GOAL! BREMEN 0-1 BAYERN (Lewandowski)
Boateng floats a long ball to the back post, Müller heads towards goal from a tight angle, his effort shaving the post and bouncing back into play. It falls kindly to Lewandowski, who doesn't miss those kind of close-range tap-ins.
35' COMAN JUST WIDE
The Bayern winger, who's been excellent, rasps a shot from distance just wide of the post, almost taking off Gnabry's head in the process.
34' FINAL PASS MISSING
Bremen and Bayern have both had promising moves in the last couple of minutes, only to be down by overhit passes from Kruse and Lewandowski.
29' MONSTER TACKLE FROM GEBRE SELASSIE!
Bremen have a couple of corners before Bayern are finally able to clear. Coman picks up possession on the edge of his own box and sprints forward - evading Kruse's clutches as he tries to stop him. He gets to the edge of the Bremen penalty area within a matter of seconds and plays it to the right to Alaba. He could shoot, but it's on his weaker right foot, so cuts back inside, allowing Bremen to get men back to cover.
Just when it looks like the attack's over, though, Kimmich pings a pass to the left to Gnabry, who's completely unmarked inside the box. He takes a touch and shapes to shoot, only to be charged down with a brilliant tackle by Gebre Selassie to clear the danger.
26' HUMMELS BOOKED
Hummels is the next name in the referee's notebook after an overzealous, studs-up challenge on Rashica on the edge of the Bayern area. Kruse lines up to take it, but Martinez clears for a corner.
25' KLAASSEN BOOKED
The Bremen midfielder is the first player to be cautioned after a late lunge on Kimmich. Perhaps that's his frustration boiling over from his missed chance.
24' KLAASSEN FIRES OVER
The hosts immediately go up the other end of the pitch and Osako picks out Rashica's run with a clever ball. The midfielder pulls it back into the middle, where Klaassen is arriving, but the Dutchman can't keep his shot down and blazes over the bar. That's a big let-off for Bayern.
22' JUST OVER FROM THIAGO
Coman again has joy down the left - Bremen are struggling to contain him - and gets to the byline to cross. It's deflected out to the edge of the area where Thiago is lurking and the Spaniard smacks at shot at goal, but it goes over the bar.
19' OSAKO FROM RANGE
Bremen attacker Osako collects the ball about 10 yards outside the Bayern penalty area. He turns and doesn't think twice about shooting, but his effort's always just curling wide of the post. Still, he hit it with enough venom to worry Ulreich, who dives full stretch to be on the safe side.
16' MÜLLER GOES CLOSE - AGAIN!
Coman finds space down the left, jinks inside past Gebre Selassie and lays it off to Müller, who's arriving with a late run. He side-foots it towards goal from 10 yards out, but it's blocked by a defender and goes out for a corner. Müller holds his head in anguish - again.
It's been an entertaining game so far, both teams pouring forward in numbers at every opportunity. Bremen are holding their own so far.
10' MÜLLER GOES CLOSE
Lovely link-up play from Bayern down the left as Gnabry feeds Alaba, who balls the ball back into the middle from the byline. It's slightly behind Müller but he manages to get his heel on it and flick the ball towards the back post, where it bobbles just wide. The Germany international holds his head in anguish - that was a close one.
8' FIRST SIGHT OF GOAL FOR BREMEN
Kruse initiates a counter-attack deep inside his own half, releasing Eggestein down the right. He crosses into the box to Rashica, who nods the ball down to the arriving Kruse. The striker gets a shot off, but he catches the ball on the rise and his effort sails over the bar.
5' BOATENG GIVING AS GOOD AS HE GETS
There are some heated exchanges on the touchline as Boateng clatters into Rashica from behind. It's not malicious, just one of those 'letting-him-know-I'm-there' type tackles. Bremen are given a free-kick and the referee has a word with Boateng.
3' BREMEN PRESSING
The hosts have made an energetic start and aren't allowing Bayern any time on the ball, pressing high up the pitch and hounding their opponents in numbers whenever they get the ball. It's been effective for the first couple of minutes, but they won't be able to maintain this pace for long.
Bayern get the ball rolling. Here. We. Go!
The teams are out on the pitch and doing the pre-match handshakes. It won't be long now!
KOVAC EXPECTING A TOUGH MATCH
Bayern boss Niko Kovac is taking nothing for granted, despite his side's impressive record against Bremen. "They'll have a different team compared to the weekend," he said. "They'll be spurred on by their fans, they'll be pushed forward, they'll be absolutely euphoric. It'll definitely be a bit more difficult than on Saturday, which was difficult enough."
KOHFELDT: "WE CAN GO THROUGH"
Bremen head coach Florian Kohfeldt called on the home crowd to get behind his side in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday: "We need the energy that comes from the stands. It's a massive bonus for us and it'll be an advantage. I promise everyone that we'll try to put Bayern under pressure. Obviously it might not work and we might concede a goal. But those are the moments when it'd be amazing for everyone to get behind the team. We can do it [go through to the final]. A lot of things need to happen, but it's possible."
HISTORY ON BAYERN'S SIDE
Bayern have won each of the last 19 (yes, 19!!) meetings between these teams, taking their tally to 60 victories from the 111 encounters over the years. Bremen have 27 wins overall, with 24 draws.
BREMEN TEAM NEWS
Nuri Sahin is suspended for the hosts, so head coach Florian Kohfeldt has gone for a more attacking alternative in Yuya Osako. With Claudio Pizarro, Martin Harnik and Johannes Eggestein on the bench, Bremen have plenty of firepower to come on if necessary. Captain Max Kruse is fit enough to start after bruising his thigh at the weekend.
BAYERN TEAM NEWS
Niklas Süle is suspended for this one after his sending off in the previous round, so fit-again Mats Hummels returns to the defence, partnering Jerome Boateng at centre-back. James Rodriguez has recovered from adductor muscle complaints to take a place on the bench, while Javi Martinez anchors the midfield alongside Thiago.
So, who will join RB Leipzig in the final on 25 May? Despite being the away side, Bayern are favourites to go through, especially having only recently beaten Bremen 1-0 in the Bundesliga on Saturday. But anything can happen in a cup tie, and Florian Kohfeldt's side have already knocked out both Borussia Dortmund and Schalke to get this far, so will fancy their chances of another win.