Bayern Munich took another step towards what could be another remarkable treble-winning campaign with a 6-2 win away to Bayer Leverkusen in the DFB Cup semi-finals on Tuesday.
Bayer Leverkusen 2-6 Bayern Munich
Goals: 0-1 Martinez (3'), 0-2 Lewandowski (9'), 1-2 L. Bender (16'), 1-3 Müller (52'), 1-4 Thiago (61'), Müller (64'), 2-5 Bailey (72'), 2-6 Müller (79')
The freshly minted Bundesliga champions stamped their authority on the game early on when Javi Martinez placed a low shot into the corner after Bernd Leno had saved well from Thomas Müller's close-range header. Robert Lewandowski volleyed in a second minutes later as Jupp Heynckes' charges threatened to run away with the game, only for Lars Bender to pull a goal back with a well-placed header.
The hosts spurned two glorious chances to equalise early in the second half and were made to pay for their wastefulness when Müller finished superbly from Thiago's threaded pass. The Spanish midfielder got on the scoresheet himself shortly afterwards to put the outcome beyond all doubt before Müller flicked in Arjen Robben's shot to cap off a rampant 12-minute spell. Leon Bailey reduced the deficit once more with an outrageous long-range free-kick, but Müller was still not done, netting his third of the game after a delightful pirouette to seal Bayern's place in the final in Berlin on 19 May.
- Leverkusen and Bayern were meeting for the sixth time in the DFB Cup, and the second time at the semi-final stage.The last cup encounter was in the 2015 quarter-finals when Bayern progressed on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes at the BayArena.The Bundesliga champions won both league meetings this season 3-1, including a stunning James free-kick in the first match of 2018.A 4-2 win in the 2009 quarter-final is Die Werkself’s only cup triumph over the Bavarians. Arturo Vidal scored that day for Leverkusen.The Munich club have a record 18 DFB Cup titles, last winning it in 2016 on penalties against Borussia Dortmund. Leverkusen have only lifted the cup once in 1993, losing their other two final appearances since then. The DFB Cup was the third and final part of Bayern’s historic treble in 2013 under Heynckes when they beat VfB Stuttgart 3-2. Heynckes also spent two years in charge of Leverkusen.
Leverkusen: Leno – L. Bender (c), S. Bender, Tah, Retsos (Bailey HT) - Aranguiz, Baumgartlinger (Alario 62') - Havertz, Brandt, Bellarabi (Henrichs 67') – Volland
Unused subs: Özcan, Kießling, Jedvaj, Kohr
Absentees: Wendell (ankle)
Coach: Heiko Herrlich
Bayern: Ulreich – Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba (Rafinha HT) – Martinez, Thiago (Süle 85') – Robben, Müller (c) (James 80'), Ribery – Lewandowski
Unused subs: Starke, Wagner, Bernat, Rudy
Absentees: Neuer (foot), Coman (ankle), Vidal (knee)
Coach: Jupp Heynckes