Bayer Leverkusen are into the DFB Cup third round following a thrilling 4-1 win against high-flying Bundesliga 2 club Union Berlin.
Leverkusen went into the game on the back of an impressive win at local rivals Gladbach, putting five past the Foals in the second half. And the hosts were soon celebrating in this Cup thriller too, Julian Brandt showing superb close control and a magic finish to fire Heiko Herrlich's side ahead.
Union needed extra-time to make it to the second round after their match against fourth-division Saarbrücken ended 1-1 after 90 minutes. And they were level here immediately after the restart, Dennis Daube thumping home with his left. Lucas Alario looped in a header for 2-1 before Damir Kreilach went close to levelling with a free-kick that struck the bar. WIth Union chasing the game, they were eventually undone at the other end when Wendell scored from spot and, following Fürstner's dismissal, Charles Aranguiz powered in a free to make it 4-1.
Leverkusen:Leno - Henrichs, Tah, S. Bender (Retsos 46'), Wendell - Kohr, Aranguiz - Bellarabi (L. Bender 69'), Brandt - Mehmedi, Alario (Havertz 81')
Coach: Heiko Herrlich
Union: Trimmel, Torrejon, Parensen, Pedersen (Kurzweg 42') - Daube (Hartel 62'), Fürstner - Skrzybski, Kreilach, Hedlund - Hosiner (Polter 71')
Coach: Jens Keller
- The only previous meeting between these sides was also in the second round of the DFB Cup in 2003/04.Leverkusen won that one 5-0 in Berlin thanks to goals from Hanno Balitsch, Daniel Bierofka, Robson Ponte and Dimitar Berbatov (2).Union were knocked out at this stage last year, but only on penalties following a 1-1 draw at Borussia Dortmund.Die Werkself also fell at this round last season, losing on penalties at third-tier Sportfreunde Lotte after a 2-2 draw (a.e.t.).Leverkusen have lifted the DFB Cup just once when they beat the reserves of Union’s cross-city rivals Hertha in 1992/93.Union’s best finish in the cup was as runners-up to Schalke in 2000/01.