Monday, August 3, 2020

German Cup: Bayern and their Blues wandered into the final

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They were the grand favorites of this final and they did not fail. Bayern Munich players streaked against their Bayer Leverkusen opponents in Berlin on Saturday, adding another title this season to their Bundesliga victory in mid-June. Mission accomplished. They can now dream of a hat-trick, as in 2013, with the final phase of the Champions League looming in August.

Half an hour was enough for Hansi Flick’s eleven to kill any suspense and secure the 20th Cup in their history after the 30th champion title. An unstoppable free kick by David Alaba at the entrance to the penalty area after the first quarter of an hour, then a perfect cross stroke by Serge Gnabry ten minutes later and the fate of the match seemed sealed.

Opposite, Kevin Volland, entered on the return from the locker room, got a big opportunity shortly before the hour, suggesting that Leverkusen was slightly better. This is the moment that Robert Lewandowski chose to worsen the score, on a dry strike, taking advantage of a huge error from the doorman Hradecky. The 50th goal of the season for the Pole, all competitions combined.

Lewandowski double

As in the semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt (2-1 victory), the Munich residents then saw their adversaries worry them. They reduced the score by Sven Bender, before being close to reviving. Unfortunately for them, Volland and Kai Havertz were too short to take over the center of Moussa Diaby. Not enough to shake the Munich, who completed their success by Lewandowki in the 89th minute, his 51st goal this season, the best total in Europe.

“We played really well, both in attack and in defense. We showed in the second half that we were the best team and that we wanted to win the Cup. After my first goal, I noticed that the goalkeeper was a bit advanced. I said to myself that I should simply try, ”commented the center-forward at the microphone of Sky after the meeting.

The match was played behind closed doors due to a health crisis / REUTERS

We were very far from the victory of Leverkusen (2-1) obtained in Munich at the end of November 2019. Since then, Niko Kovac has been dismissed and replaced by Flick and the big Bayern is risen. Manuel Neuer’s teammates have not lost since December 7, winning 25 of their last 26 official matches (a friendly loss in January). The two-month interruption due to the Covid-19 crisis did nothing to stop the mechanics.

Munich is now the favorite to win the queen of European football competition. A first stage awaits the Munich residents in early August with the Champions League 8th final return match against Chelsea, after a 3-0 first leg match over London in early March. In its current form, Lewandowski asks only one thing to succeed in the legend of Bayern to the duo “Robbery” – Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry – from 2013…

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