Bayern Munich win German Cup to complete double
Bayern Munich win German Cup to complete double
Robert Lewandowski passed the 50-goal mark this season as Bayern Munich completed the double with a 4-2 victory over Bayer Leverkusen behind closed doors to win a 20th German Cup on Saturday.
Bundesliga champions Bayern dominated at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium as David Alaba smashed home an early free-kick before Serge Gnabry added the second goal in the first-half.
Lewandowski has 51 goals in total this season after scoring twice in the second-half either side of a Sven Bender header for Leverkusen.
Kai Havertz converted a penalty deep into added time for Leverkusen.
“In the second half we showed that we are the better team and wanted to be cup winners,” said man-of-the-match Lewandowski.
Bayern, crowned Bundesliga champions for the eighth straight year last Saturday, have won all of their 11 games since the season resumed in mid-May after a two-months hiatus due to the coronavirus.
They could finish the season winning the treble as they are among the favourites for the Champions League finals in Lisbon next month.
This was the 13th time in the club’s history they have won the double.
Lewandowski, crowned Bundesliga top-scorer for the fifth time last weekend, netted six times in the cup, has 34 league goals and 11 more in the Champions League this season.
Leverkusen completed a hat-trick of defeats after also losing the 2002 and 2009 cup finals in Berlin.
When Lewandowski was clattered by defender Edmond Tapsoba on 16 minutes, it was Alaba who swung the resulting free kick inside the post to give Bayern the opening goal.
They doubled their lead after Joshua Kimmich won the ball in midfield eight minutes later.
His pass split the defence, Gnabry sprinted onto the ball and fired past Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky to make it 2-0 at the break.
“We are so happy that we got the double. In the first half we had the game completely under control,” said Gnabry.
With players’ calls echoing around the near-empty terraces of the cavernous stadium, where Germany head coach Joachim Loew was one of a handful of guests, the game was played in an eerie atmosphere.
“It’s a bit of a sad moment,” admitted Bayern forward Thomas Mueller, who lamented the lack of fans, after winning the German Cup for the sixth time in his career.
“If the fans are missing at such a cup final, it’s not the same.
“We’ve done well this season over long stretches, but it also hurts a bit.”
Having skied a shot at goal moments earlier, Lewandowski made it 3-0 when he controlled a clearance kick by goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and tried a long-range speculative shot at Hradecky.
The Leverkusen keeper parried the shot, but watched in horror as it rolled behind him and over the goal line on 59 minutes.
“I noticed that the goalkeeper was a bit off his line, so I thought I’d just give it a try,” revealed Lewandowski.
“It was a little surprise it went in, but you always have to try.”
It fired life into Leverkusen, whose centre-back Sven Bender slipped his marker Leon Goretzka and headed home on 64 minutes.
Leverkusen nearly got a second moments later when Kevin Volland and Havertz both failed to connect with a cross.
Lewandowski claimed his second when he fired home Ivan Perisic’s pass on 89 minutes.
Bayern defender Alphonso Davies conceded the penalty in the fourth minute of added time which Havertz converted just before the whistle.
Bayern Munich have signed German international winger Leroy Sane from Manchester City for at least five years, the German club said Friday.
“The 24-year-old has put his name to a five-year contract until 30 June 2025 and will start preparing for the upcoming season in Munich next week,” Bayern Munich said in a statement.
The multiple Bundesliga winners did not give a transfer price.
Bayern Munich secured their eighth straight Bundesliga title on Tuesday as Robert Lewandowski’s first-half volley saw them claim a 1-0 win at Werder Bremen.
The Bavarian giants were confirmed German champions for the 30th time in the club’s proud history to maintain their iron-grip on the Bundesliga shield in recent years.
Lewandowski struck two minutes before the break with a brilliant chest and low strike, but Bayern had to endure a nervy final 11 minutes after teenage left-back Alphonso Davies was sent off for a second yellow card.
At the end of a first 45 minutes dominated by Bremen’s dogged defending and pouring rain, Bayern broke through when centre-back Jerome Boateng chipped over the top for Lewandowski to score.
It was the Poland striker’s 31st league goal of the season, a career best, keeping him on course to be named the league’s top scorer for the fifth time.
Head coach Hansi Flick landed the Bundesliga title in his first season in charge having stepped in when Niko Kovac was sacked last November.
Even the coronavirus lockdown could not stop Bayern’s momentum, with the champions winning eight consecutive games in all competitions since the resumption of German football last month.
Flick, an assistant coach when Germany won the 2014 World Cup, could land the treble as Bayern face Bayer Leverkusen in the German Cup final on July 4 and hold a 3-0 first-leg lead over Chelsea in the Champions League last 16.
The home defeat means Bremen, who are three points from guaranteed safety with two games left, badly need a result at fellow strugglers Mainz this Saturday or against Cologne at home on the final day of the season.
This was Bayern’s 13th straight win in Bremen, but Florian Kohfeldt’s hosts worked tirelessly.
Having given Bayern the lead, Lewandowski went chasing a second and had the ball in the net in the 54th minute but was flagged offside.
Canada left-back Davies showed a lightning pair of heels by clocking 36.51km/h, which will be a Bundesliga record if the speed is confirmed, before his late dismissal.
Having been shown a first-half yellow card for a foul on Leonardo Bittencourt, Davies was booked again for blocking the run of Milos Veljkovic.
Bremen piled on the pressure in the final 10 minutes, with Boateng doing excellently to prevent a late cross from reaching Josh Sargent.
Kohfeldt threw on strikers Niclas Fuellkrug and 41-year-old Claudio Pizarro, against his former club.
Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer pulled off a stunning finger-tip save in the 90th minute to deny Japan forward Yuya Osako, with Pizarro sliding in searching for a tap-in, as Bayern held on.
The result means club stalwart Thomas Mueller now equals the league record of former Bayern great Franck Ribery with his ninth Bundesliga title.
Erling Braut Haaland came off the bench to score a spectacular 95th-minute winner for Borussia Dortmund in their 1-0 victory at Fortuna Duesseldorf on Saturday that kept Bayern Munich waiting for an eighth straight Bundesliga title.
Dortmund were heading towards a frustrating draw at relegation-threatened Fortuna when Haaland headed home Manuel Akanji’s cross seconds from time to score his 11th goal in 12 league games.
The result leaves second-placed Dortmund four points behind leaders Bayern, who host fourth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach later Saturday.
Haaland, 19, came on with half an hour left and was involved in the build-up when Raphael Guerreiro had a 65th-minute goal disallowed after the VAR spotted the Portuguese international had played the ball with his upper arm.
However, with time almost up, Haaland leapt to flick his header into the Fortuna net for his 14th goal for Dortmund in 15 games since joining from Red Bull Salzburg in January.
Dortmund had endured a nervous final 10 minutes before Haaland struck as Duesseldorf substitute Steven Skrzybski twice hit the post and fired wide.
Duesseldorf’s defeat boosted second-from-bottom Werder Bremen, who are now level with Fortuna on 28 points following their 5-1 thumping of bottom side Paderborn.
With Bundesliga matches played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, home advantage again counted for little with four victories going to the away team in the afternoon’s five games.
Bremen responded to back-to-back home defeats with an emphatic away victory in pouring rain as Davy Klaassen netted either side of a goal by Japanese forward Yuya Osako to make it 3-0 at half-time.
It could have been 4-0 as Bremen forward Milot Rashica had a penalty saved.
Midfielder Maximilian Eggestein made it 4-0 with an hour gone before Paderborn’s Moroccan-born substitute Abdelhamid Sabiri scored their consolation goal.
Just 15 minutes after coming on for his first appearance for nine months after tearing knee ligaments, Bremen striker Niclas Fuellkrug capped a fairytale return when he slotted home the fifth goal on 90 minutes.
With three games left to stay up, Bremen host Bayern on Tuesday, then Mainz, who are also fighting to survive, and mid-table Cologne.
Ten-man Hertha Berlin were thumped 4-1 at home by Eintracht Frankfurt after their Belgium defender Dedryck Boyata was sent off on the stroke of half-time for bringing down Bas Dost, who was through on goal.
Krzysztof Piatek gave Hertha an early lead at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, but Frankfurt roared back with unanswered goals by Dost, two from Portuguese forward Andre Silva and French defender Evan Ndicka.
Freiburg came from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw at Wolfsburg in a game dominated by VAR.
Wolfsburg raced into a 2-0 lead inside 30 minutes when Dutch striker Wout Weghorst finished off a sweeping move, then converted a penalty.
Weghorst also had his head heavily bandaged after an accidental kick in the face.
Wolfsburg had two goals by Daniel Ginczek ruled out by the VAR and it finished 2-1 at half-time as Freiburg pulled a goal back through midfielder Lucas Hoefler.
Hungarian Roland Sallai equalised just after the break.
After picking up just two points in their previous five games since the Bundesliga restart in mid-May, FC Union got their fist win since February with a 2-1 win at Cologne.
Goals by defender Marvin Friedrich and midfielder Christian Gentner sealed the victory which pulled Union up to 13th, seven points from the bottom three.
Bayern Munich stayed on course for the double this season after the Bundesliga leaders squeezed past Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 in Wednesday’s German Cup semi-final behind closed doors.
Bayern’s early goal by Ivan Perisic was cancelled out by a second-half equaliser from Danny da Costa, who had only been on three minutes, before Lewandowski sealed the home win with his 45th goal this season in all competitions.
Bayern, who are seven points clear in the Bundesliga with four games left, face Bayer Leverkusen, who beat fourth-tier side Saarbruecken 3-0 in Tuesday’s other semi, in the cup final at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium on July 4.
Bayern Munich opened a 10-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga on Saturday with a 5-0 drubbing of relegation-threatened Fortuna Dusseldorf behind closed doors with the league’s top-scorer Robert Lewandowski scoring twice.
Duesseldorf defender Mathias Joergensen scored an early own goal before Benjamin Pavard, Lewandowski (2) and Alphonso Davies hit the target.
With five games left, Bayern, who have won their last eight league games, are comfortably on course for an eighth straight league title.
However, second-placed Borussia Dortmund could trim their lead on Sunday at bottom side Paderborn.
Lewandowski, who had never previously scored in six games against Duesseldorf, made amends with goals either side of half-time.
Fortuna, who were unbeaten in their three games since the league resumed after a two-month coronavirus-enforced hiatus, were humbled at the Allianz Arena where they last poached a 3-3 draw in November 2018.
They fell behind on 15 minutes when Joergensen turned the ball into his own net after Pavard mishit his shot.
Right-back Pavard then grabbed the second with a powerful header on 29 minutes before Lewandowski made it 3-0 just before the break after being presented with a tap-in by Thomas Mueller.
Duesseldorf were floored with two goals in as many minutes as Lewandowski profited again with another poacher’s goal after Serge Gnabry’s good work.
Davies then scored the game’s best goal.
After some high pressing, the Canadian teen won the ball in the Duesseldorf area, barged past a succession of defenders and fired home to make it 5-0 on 52 minutes.
Werder Bremen boosted their survival hopes with a 1-0 win at Schalke, who are winless in 11 games and continue to plummet.
Midfielder Leonardo Bittencourt scored a first-half winner.
“This is a very, very important away win,” said Bremen coach Florian Kohfeldt.
“We have taken seven points from the last three games, but if you look at the table, we are still behind.”
Bremen have spent more seasons in the Bundesliga than any other club, but currently sit second from bottom.
However, Saturday’s victory leaves them just three points from guaranteed safety with six games left.
They are two points behind Duesseldorf in 16th, which carries a relegation play-off at the end of the season.
Werder could climb out of the relegation places for the first time since December on Wednesday if they beat Eintracht Frankfurt at home.
Bittencourt hit a stunning strike from just outside the box which beat Schalke’s Bayern-bound goalkeeper Alexander Nuebel on 32 minutes.
Schalke succumbed to their fourth straight defeat, piling pressure on head coach David Wagner.
In the same game, Schalke’s American midfielder Weston McKennie wore a ‘Justice for George’ armband as part of the growing protests over the death of an unarmed black man during a police arrest in the United States.
“To be able to use my platform to bring attention to a problem that has been going on too long feels good!!!,” tweeted 21-year-old McKennie.
“We have to stand up for what we believe in and I believe that it is time that we are heard.”
George Floyd died in Minneapolis in an arrest by a police officer who pinned him to the ground for several minutes by kneeling on his neck.
Hertha remain unbeaten with three wins and a draw since Bruno Labbadia took charge during the lockdown after their 2-0 win at home to Augsburg thanks for goals by Javairo Dilrosun and Krzysztof Piatek.
Having routed Leverkusen 4-1 away on Tuesday, Wolfsburg crashed to a 2-1 defeat at home to 10-man Eintracht Frankfurt.
Japan midfielder Daichi Kamada scored the winner 10 minutes from time while Frankfurt had replacement midfielder Lucas Torro sent off in the dying stages for a second yellow card.
Frankfurt took the lead when striker Andre Silva converted a penalty on 27 minutes, but Wolfsburg equalised when right-back Kevin Mbabu headed home on 58 minutes.
Hoffenheim are seventh after their 1-0 win at Mainz thanks to Ihlas Bebou who darted into the area, swept past two defenders, and fired home on 43 minutes.
On Friday, Leverkusen went third when Germany midfielder Kai Havertz became the first player in Bundesliga history to score 35 goals before his 21st birthday to seal a 1-0 win at Freiburg.
Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan will stage a new competition called the ‘European Solidarity Cup’ in 2021 to raise money for medical facilities in Italy and Spain.
The three clubs will play each other in a round-robin group, with Inter against Bayern held in Milan, Real facing Inter in Madrid and Bayern hosting Real in Munich.
Proceeds from the fixtures will be donated to medical facilities in Italy and Spain, two of the world’s worst-hit countries by the coronavirus pandemic.
The aim is “to send out a message of solidarity and fraternity to the people of Europe”, said a statement from Real Madrid.
Dates for the tournament have not been decided. The timing will “depend on the match calendar and when football can be played in front of fans again”, the clubs said.
Bayern will invite 5,000 nurses, carers and doctors to the Allianz Arena for their match against Real Madrid.
“Nurses, carers and doctors, in particular, are doing an outstanding job for society at the moment,” said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. “We, the three clubs, want to show these heroes our appreciation, respect and gratitude.”
“The great commitment of all healthcare workers has been essential to allow us to look to the future,” said Inter president Steven Zhang.
“With this initiative, we want to thank them and celebrate their work and at the same time send a message of unity and solidarity between nations.”
Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich resumed training Monday for the first time since the German league was suspended due to coronavirus but the players were put through their paces in small groups and maintained social distancing measures.
Keeping at least 1.5 metres from each other, players including captain Manuel Neuer, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Mueller trained together for the first time since the Bundesliga was halted on March 13.
“It was a very unusual feeling to hold a training session in small groups, but it was also nice to see the boys in person again,” said Neuer after Bayern had previously held training sessions online.
After arriving at staggered times to limit contact — with no greeting hugs or handshakes — the 21-man squad was split into five groups, each containing a maximum of five players.
When they changed, the players were kept four metres apart in the changing rooms at the club’s state-of-the-art training complex in southern Germany.
On the pitch, Bayern’s stars were careful to keep their distance from each other and there were no challenges or tackles.
Once training was over, the players left to shower at home, where they ate food provided by the club in lunch boxes.
Bayern asked fans to stay away from the Saebener Strasse complex, where hundreds of supporters usually turn up to see their heroes.
Other clubs also cautiously resumed training Monday, after the league’s ban on doing so until April 5 passed, amid hopes the league will resume in early May.
Bayern are four points clear in the Bundesliga table.
At the training ground of their closest rivals Borussia Dortmund, the players also did not shower or eat on site after a session that focused on running and shooting.
The only clubs in Germany’s top flight not planning group training this week are Freiburg, whose players continue to work individually, and Werder Bremen, where the city’s senate still prevents training in groups.
So far, more than 1,434 people have died in Germany from coronavirus.
Footballers at Germany’s top teams including Bayern Munich have agreed to take pay cuts to help clubs survive the economic impact of the coronavirus, media reports said Tuesday.
Newspaper Bild reports that players and club officials at champions Bayern, top of the Bundesliga when the Bundesliga season was halted on March 13, have accepted a 20 percent cut in their salaries.
Like all top European leagues the German top flight is losing income from broadcasting, sponsorships and ticket sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, with matches in Germany suspended until at least April 2.
Bayern has a massive wage bill which reached 336 million euros (364 million dollars) last year, almost half of club turnover.
Players at Borussia Moenchengladbach were the first in the Bundesliga to propose a pay cut, followed by others at Werder Bremen and Schalke 04. Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen players are in talks over pay cut proposals with management.
At Dortmund — second in the Bundesliga — coach Lucien Favre has made a personal offer to take a pay cut while players are negotiating a 20 percent salary reduction if the season does not restart or a 10 percent cut if play resumes behind closed doors, when clubs will at least earn income from TV rights.
Bayern Munich confirmed on Tuesday that next week’s Champions League game against Chelsea would go ahead without fans over fears of the spread of the coronavirus.
The German club’s decision follows a ban by the regional Bavarian government on any gathering of more than 1,000 people until April 19.
Bayern hold a 3-0 lead over Chelsea going into the last-16 second-leg tie on March 18.
“FC Bayern is … implementing the decree of the Bavarian state government, which was issued to protect the population. The aim is to minimise the risk of coronavirus infection,” the club said in a statement.
“Only persons contracted to work for the operation of the match are permitted to attend. TV coverage is guaranteed,” it added.
Four of the eight second-leg ties in the last 16 will be held behind closed doors. No decision has been made on next week’s game between Juventus and Lyon in Turin.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Monday announced the suspension until April 3 of all sporting events in the country.
Germany’s international friendly against Italy in Nuremberg — the second largest city in Bavaria — on March 31 will also be held behind closed doors.
Wednesday’s Rhine derby between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Cologne will become the first game in Bundesliga history to be played without fans.
Local authorities also ordered the Ruhr derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke taking place on Saturday to go ahead without supporters.
Bayern Munich will host Eintracht Frankfurt in a rematch of 2018 final in the German Cup semi-finals after Sunday’s draw, while Bayer Leverkusen will head to history-making fourth-tier outfit Saarbruecken.
It is the first time in German Cup history that a fourth-division side has made it to the semi-finals.
As a team from a lower division, Saarbruecken won the right to play at home against 1993 winners Bayer Leverkusen.
Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky said before the draw that he wanted his side to avoid playing Munich and Frankfurt.
Saarbruecken goalkeeper Daniel Batz said that his side wanted to “save Bayern for the final”.
Nineteen-time champions Bayern Munich, who have appeared in seven of the last 10 German Cup finals and won five, will face Eintracht at the Allianz Arena.
Frankfurt claimed a surprise 3-1 win over Bayern in the final two years ago.
The ties will take place on April 21 and 22, while the final will be held at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium on May 23.