Bayer Leverkusen are through to the DFB Cup semi-final after an extra-time victory over Werder Bremen despite falling two goals down inside seven minutes.
Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 Werder Bremen (a.e.t.)
Goals: 0-1 Max Kruse (pen, 4’), 0-2 Aron Johannsson (7’), 1-2 Julian Brandt (31’), 2-2 Julian Brandt (55’), 3-2 Karim Bellarabi (111’), 4-2 Kai Havertz (118’)
The game got off to a furious start as Jonathan Tah was penalised for a foul on Max Kruse inside the box just two minutes into the game. The Germany forward picked himself up to convert the spot-kick himself and give Bremen the lead. The visitors in fact doubled that advantage only five minutes later as Kruse turned provider to set up Aron Johannsson. The USA international lobbed the on-rushing Bernd Leno for his first goal since September 2016. The hosts found themselves a lifeline shortly before the break when Julian Brandt tapped home Kai Havertz’s square ball.
It wasn’t long into the second 45 minutes before Leverkusen were back level as Brandt netted his first brace in senior football with a cracking effort into the top corner from the edge of the box. Both sides pushed forward at stages throughout the second half, but neither found find that golden goal they needed to secure their place in the semi-finals and the game went to extra-time.
The first half of the additional 30 minutes brought little action, but the introduction of Lucas Alario and Karim Bellarabi in the second made the difference for the hosts. The former headed on a Leon Bailey free-kick for the latter to put Leverkusen ahead for the first time in the game with just under 10 minutes remaining. Bellarabi then turned provider for Kai Havertz to slot home and ensure Die Werkself’s place in the last four alongside Bayern Munich after their 6-0 victory at Paderborn.
- Leverkusen had been knocked out of the DFB Cup at the last-eight stage in four of the last five seasons.Bremen had won all six prior DFB Cup ties against Die Werkself.The seven DFB Cup meetings between the two teams have produced 24 goals.Julian Brandt scored his first brace in senior football.Karim Bellarabi scored with only his second touch of the game.The Green-Whites beat Leverkusen 1-0 in the 2008/09 final, Mesut Özil scoring the only goal of the game.
Leverkusen: Leno - L. Bender (c) (Henrichs 79'), Tah, S. Bender, Wendell (Retsos 113') - Kohr (Bellarabi 108'), Aranguiz - Brandt (Alario 101'), Havertz, Bailey - Volland
Unused subs: Özcan, Kies, Jedvaj
Coach: Heiko Herrlich
Bremen: Pavlenka – Gebre Selassie, Veljkovic, Moisander, Augustinsson – Eggestein (Langkamp 113'), Kainz (Belfodil 91') – Johansson (Rashica 46'), Junuzovic (c), Delaney - Kruse
Unused subs: Drobny – Bauer, Gondorf, Friedl
Absentees: Zetterer (hand), Bartels (Achilles tendon)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt