Bayern are still on course for the treble after two goals from Thomas Müller saw them through to the German Cup final. Yet Tuesday's win over Werder Bremen wasn't without its controversy.
Bayern Munich 2-0 Werder Bremen
(Müller 30', 71' pen)
Bayern Munich made hard work of their 2-0 win over Werder Bremen in the semifinals of the German Cup to keep their treble hopes alive. On paper, it was another comfortable win for Pep Guardiola's side, but in truth it was a match which saw the current German champions overcome their Bundesliga compatriots with a fair dose of controversy.
The Bavarian giants were clear favorites to win the tie given the positions of both clubs in the Bundesliga, yet in the opening 45 minutes there was little to separate the teams apart from a Thomas Müller goal that saw the Bayern forward take advantage of a slip from his marker, Clemens Fritz, and fire home a free header from the corner.
Despite the hosts starting the game with an attacking lineup – which included Robert Lewandowski, Mario Götze, Franck Ribery, Kingsley Coman and Müller – chances for Bayern were few and far between. Coman volleyed wide just before the half hour mark, before Müller bent one off target, which was as close as it got for Guardiola's side after the goal.
Indeed it was this lack of cohesion and a clear gulf in quality between the two teams which gave Werder Bremen the incentive to attack Bayern in the second half. Bayern may have had a one-goal advantage, but they were by no means pulling away from their guests on the night.
Bremen hard done by
Where Bayern should have pushed on for a second goal and a conclusive breakthrough in the match, it was Bremen who continued to venture forward and ask questions of the Bayern defense.
The best chance of the game for Bremen came in the 70th minute when a through ball, over the top of the Bayern defense, caught David Alaba off guard and had the defender running back towards his own goal. With Fin Bartels breathing down his neck, the Austrian international then swiped at the bouncing ball and sliced the clearance over his own goalkeeper and into the Bayern net.
Yet the euphoria was short lived as the referee Tobias Stieler pulled proceedings back for what he deemed to be a foul on the Bayern defender. Replays showed that Bartels had placed his arm on Alaba as the defender tried to clear the ball.
Unfortunately for Viktor Skripnik's side the misfortune wouldn't end there. Ten minutes after the controversial call, late substitute Arturo Vidal broke in to the Bremen box and took advantage of a sloppy slide tackle from Janek Sternberg to hit the floor. The referee then gave a penalty despite replays showing the Bremen defender hadn't made contact with the Chilean international.
Despite protestations from the Bremen team and bench, Müller eventually stepped up to the spot and casually dispatched the penalty to double Bayern's lead and confirm their spot in the German Cup final.
The applause from the home support was quickly replaced by continuous boos from the 8000 travelling Bremen fans, yet Bayern couldn't have cared less when the whistle went for full time. It wasn't the prettiest of victories, but by hook or by crook the German champions had overcome a spirited Bremen side to reach their first final of the season.