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Robert Lewandowksi scored two second half goals as Bayern Munich added the German Cup to their league title with a scintilating display against Bayer Leverkusen. Hansi Flick's side remain on course for the treble.
Bayer Leverkusen 2-4 Bayern Munich, Olympiastadion Berlin
(S. Bender 64', Havertz pen 90'+3— Alaba 17', Gnabry 25', Lewandowski 59', 89')
A week after sealing their eight straight Bundesliga title, Bayern eased past Leverkusen in the German Cup final to seal a domestic double. Just nine months after Hansi Flick arrived as head coach, Bayern Munich look as formidable as ever.
Bayern's performance, marred only by a mini loss of control midway through the second half, was full of relentless pressing, ruthless attacking and moments of individual brilliance — despite leading by two goals inside the opening 25 minutes. It was both unsurprising and equally impressive at the same time. Leverkusen, like every team in Germany at the moment, never stood a chance.
Misses and mistakes
Perhaps if Edmond Tapsoba hadn't unnecessarily felled Robert Lewandowski on the edge of the box Leverkusen might have made it a bit easier for themselves. Perhaps they might have got back into the game had an unmarked Kevin Volland not missed the ball in the box, and had Lukas Hradecky not spilled an innocuous long-range effort from Lewandowski.
In truth though, if David Alaba's deftly flighted free kick only dented Leverkusen's hopes then Manuel Neuer assisting Lewandowski for Bayern's third ended them.
A resurgence midway through the second half, ignited by Sven Bender's header, was little more than a brief change in momentum. Kai Havertz arrived too late to the game to make his mark, although an injury-time penalty with the result long decided would be a sad way to end his Leverkusen career. In short, an hour and three goals is too high an advantage to give Bayern.
Lewandowski scoring a delicious goal with time almost up, his record eighth in German Cup finals, was little more than a reminder of what this Bayern team does. Will this season be a treble-winning one for Flick's Bayern? Bayern and their fans will be wishing they didn't have to wait over a month to find out.
As it happened:
Bayern win the double!
Bayern Munich turned on the style in Berlin to retain the German Cup.
David Alaba's immaculate freekick and Serge Gnabry's pinpoint finish put Bundesliga champions in control. Leverkusen improved after the break but wasted big chances and made big mistakes.
Kai Havertz, who looks set to depart Leverkusen, scored the last kick of the game on a night when Bayern sealed back-to-back domestic doubles and, with the Champions League still to be completed, took a step closer to the treble.
90'+4 Full time — It's all over! Havertz's penalty is the last kick of the final. It's another runner's up medal for Leverkusen, who were far too wasteful in attacking areas. No such trouble for Bayern, who are simply too good again. A wonderful Alaba freekick, a laser finish from Gnabry and two second half goals by Lewandowski seals the trophy for Hansi Flick's hugely impressive side. German cup winners once again.
90'+3 GOAL! Bayer Leverkusen 2-4 Bayern Munich — Havertz beats Neuer with consumate ease to make the scoreline a little more respectable.
90'+2 Leverkusen penalty! Davies handles it in the box during an aerial duel with Bender, and after a VAR check, Havertz has a chance from the spot...
90' We're into stoppage time, but the referee might as well call it now. Leverkusen are beaten, Bayern are triumphant.
89' GOAL! Bayer Leverkusen 1-4 Bayern Munich — Lewandowski makes it four with an outrageous finish that seals it for Bayern. Perisic bursts forward and eventually cuts back for the Pole, who somehow chips Hradecky from six meters out. It's another unbelievable finish from the world's best striker.
88' Thiago and Coutinho coming on for what could be their final games in the red of Bayern. Both heavily linked with moves away from Munich.
87' Bayern sub: Thiago and Coutinho on, Müller and Gnabry off.
85' It's kitchen sink time for Leverkusen as Diaby over hits a cross from the left and Bellarabi is apoplectic that he didn't pick him out. Diaby has been impresisve, but had to pick out his teammate there.
83' Bayern looking increasingly comfortable as Goretzka has a chance to put Perisic through, but Bender makes the interception. That would have settled it.
81' Leverkusen sub: Weiser on, L. Bender off.
80' Gnabry has a chance to finish it off, but the angle is too tight to shoot and he has no one in support, and in the end he puts in a tame cross that Hradecky gathers.
78' Bayern being forced into plenty of defensuve work right now, but crucially they are keeping Leverkusen out. Although that's more to do with Leverkusen's inability to be clinical in front of goal.
76' Leverkusen sub: Bellarabi on, Bailey off.
74' Chances at both ends as both sides know the next goal is crucial.
72' Leverkusen far too wasteful in attacking areas and Volland has been the key culprit.
71' Another chance goes begging for Leverkusen as Havertz threads the ball through to Volland, but the substitute takes a heavy touch and misses the chance to get a shot away.
70' Bayern just need to steady the ship a little. Leverkusen in the acendency but need that second goal to really pile the pressure on.
69' Bayern sub: Hernandez on, Boateng off.
68' Leverkusen starting to dictate the play, with Havertz becoming more influential and Diaby looking very dangerous whenever he gets on the ball.
67' Signs of life for Leverkusen, who could make the final stages very interesting if they can capitalize on the momentum they've built.
66' Oh, what a chance for Leverkusen! Diaby again the provider with a teasing cross from the right that just needed a touch. Volland almost provided it but couldn't, and Havertz couldn't reach it. So, so close.
65' A little bit of hope for Leverkusen, but no more than that. Although the Leverkusen bench are trying to rouse their players.
64' GOAL! Bayer Leverkusen 1-3 Bayern Munich — Bender heads one in for Leverkusen! A wake-up call for Bayern as Bender leaps above Alaba to power home a header from close range.
63' Boateng makes a vital interception with Bailey ready to tap in Havertz's cross from the right. Boateng hasn't had much to do, but that was top quality.
60' Hradecky will have nightmares about that, but Volland could have made it 1-2 moments earlier. Instead it's 0-3 and Bayern are on their way towards a domestic double under Hansi Flick. And the Champions League is still to come.
59' GOAL! Bayer Leverkusen 0-3 Bayern Munich — Lewandowski makes it 3-0! It's a nightmare moment for Hradecky, who makes a complete howler from a powerful but routine effort from Lewandowski. The Finnish keeper seems to have the speculative shot covered but spills it into his own net.
Lewandowski celebrates his goal — a record seventh in German Cup finals — with teammate Serge Gnabry.
57' What a miss! Volland with one of the biggest misses in a cup final! Great pace again by Diaby to get away down the right, he puts it on a plate for Volland, who completely misses the ball with an air kick. It was easier to score!
56' It's a brilliant ball by Goretzka to find Lewandowski, who takes a heavy touch and in the end tries to dig out a cross for Coman, but the chance is gone.
53' Leverkusen just not precise enough with their passing and Coman seizes on the ball and cuts the ball back to Lewandowski, who can't keep his shot down. It hasn't been Lewandowski's night so far.
51' Bayern looking to kill the game off with the third. A real test of Leverkusen's mettle at the moment.
49' Gnabry cuts inside again from the right with pace and power, and his shot deflects off Tapsoba for a corner.
46' Double Leverkusen sub at half-time: Volland & Demirbay on, Amiri & Baumgartlinger off.
46' Second half — We go again at the Olympiastadion. Can Leverkusen mount the mother of all comebacks or will Bayern coast to another trophy?
45' Half time — Bayer Leverkusen 0-2 Bayern Munich. A majestic Alaba free-kick and a fine Gnabry strike has Bayern in the driving seat at the break. A long way back for Leverkusen, but it's not done and dusted yet.
44' Almost half-time and Leverkusen are ending it strongly, but has the damage has already been done for them?
42' Amiri is offside but again the assistant referee delays putting his flag up, making us all think Amiri was onside. In the end, Amiri was unable to pick out Havertz anyway. Bayern were stretched there though, regardless.
40' A third for Bayern would be curtains for Leverkusen, but Leverkusen have to push for a way back. Catch 22.
38' Big chance for Lewadowski, who goes clean through but the ball was bouncing and he couldn't ever bring it under his spell, and Hradecky makes the stop. The flag went up very late against Lewandowski in the end.
35' Leverkusen starting to show something, but it's at a time when they're already two goals down. A goal before the break would change the complexion of this contest though.
33' That's the best we've seen of Leverkusen so far, and the chance was created by Havertz, who found some space before picking out Diaby.
32' Leverkusen chance! Diaby stretches his legs for the first time and delivers an early cross from the right for Bailey, who was steaming in but puts his first-time shot just over the bar.
31' Bailey almost bamboozles Davies in the box, but the Canadian recovers and holds up the Jamaican and doesn't allow the shot.
29' Wendell is in the book, somewhat harshly, for a foul on Goretzka.
28' Just a single goal would have Leverkusen right back in this, but they seem a long way from that right now.
27' Leverkusen looking completely lost out there. Unable to keep the ball, defending like amateurs, and not creating anything of note. It could be a long night.
25' GOAL! Bayer Leverkusen 0-2 Bayern Munich — Gnabry makes it two! It's a fine strike by Gnabry, who arrows a quite brilliant shot into the bottom corner. Only 25 minutes gone and Bayern seem to be heading towards a domestic double once again.
22' Havertz very quiet so far. Leverkusen need to get him on the ball if they want to make an impression on this final.
19' Hradecky keeps Leverkusen in this with a crucial save from Müller, who didn't seem to know much about it as Gnabry's shot bounced off him and was heading goalwards. Hradecky didn't know about that though and makes a key reaction save.
17' GOAL! Bayer Leverkusen 0-1 Bayern Munich — Bayern lead and it's a peach from Alaba! The Austrian scores direct from a free-kick, lifting it beuatifully over the wall and clipping it into the top corner. Wonderful execution.
15' Bailey gets into a good position for Leverkusen, but drags his shot across the face of the Bayern goal. Neuer untroubled.
13' Bayern starting to create some chances now, and Wendell has been the busiest of the Leverkusen defenders.
11' Penalty shout from the Bayern staff and players as Gnabry goes down in the box under pressure by Wendell, but it was good defending by Wendell and definitely not a penalty.
10' Coman chance! Bayern get behind Leverkusen again as Goretzka finds space and feeds the Frenchman, but Coman didn#t get enough bend on his shot and Hradecky makes the stop.
9' Nicely worked move by Bayern as Lewandowski, with his back to goal, tees up Kimmich on the edge of the box — but the Bayern midfielder can't keep his shot down.
7' Goretzka chance! The Germany man almost gets a shot away but a last-ditch challenge by Wendell denies him as he was pulling the trigger.
5' Bailey is fouled by Goretzka in a dangerous area and Bailey floats the free-kick towards Tapsoba, who reaches it but can't direct his header towards goal.
3' A confident start by Leverkusen, although both sides struggling to generate any kind of rhythm early on.
1' KICK OFF — Leverkusen get us underway in the German Cup final!
19:58 CET — The national anthem has been sung, the minute's silence for victims of COVID-19 has been observed, so we're just about ready to go.
19:50 CET — The warm-ups are drawing to a close, which can only mean we're approaching showtime.
19:30 CET — A few stats to whet the appetite...
19:15 CET — There's some heart-warming news for Bayern fans, and specifically for fans of Niklas Süle. The center-back has been recovering for nine months from a serious cruciate knee ligament injury. For the first time since October 2019, he's on the bench.
19:05 CET — Bayern line-up as expected, although there is still no space in the starting XI for Thiago Alcantara. He starts on the bench, with the midfield axis of Kimmich and Goretzka preferred by Hansi Flick once again.
19:00 CET — The Bayer Leverkusen team is in. No surprises as Peter Bosz opts for a slightly more defensive XI than the one that lost 2-4 to Bayern in the Bundesliga on June 6 (Matchday 30). Volland, Alario and Bellarabi are all on the bench.
Bayern-Leverkusen in the 2019-20 season
Both Bundesliga matchups between these two sides this season made headlines, as the fixture tends to do. Leverkusen snatched a 2-1 victory in Munich in their first meeting in November, their first win in Allianz Arena in seven years. But Bayern had their revenge in the reverse fixture, a 4-2 triumph in which four different Bayern players scored.
From the coach's mouth: Bayern coach Hansi Flick
"We know [Leverkusen] have enormous speed in their team. We've adapted to that. It worked well a few weeks ago in Leverkusen, so we're positive it'll work again."
Fun fact: Another Bayern double?
Bayern Munich have dominated German football since they were first promoted to the Bundesliga in 1965, but their dominance over the past decade has attained a new level. In June, they secured their eighth consecutive league title, a stretch that includes a treble and three other domestic doubles. If they beat Leverkusen on Saturday, they would achieve back-to-back domestic doubles for the second time in history, the first coming 2004-05 and 2005-06.
Fun fact: 'Neverkusen' history
Leverkusen have a long history of coming in second. That stigma is best exemplified by the 2001-02 season, when they finished second in the Bundesliga and lost the German Cup and Champions League finals. The phenomenon is so prominent that the club trademarked the term "Vizekusen."
Read more: Now or never for Bayer Leverkusen
From the coach's mouth: Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz
"If we show the mentality to really, really win this title, I think we have a good chance to beat [Bayern] ... In November, we showed them that we have a good team and we can beat them."
Bayern lineup prediction: Neuer — Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies — Kimmich — Goretzka, Müller — Coman, Lewandowski, Gnabry
Leverkusen lineup prediction: Hradecky — L. Bender, Tapsoda, S. Bender, Wendell — Aranguiz, Baumgartlinger — Diaby, Havertz, Bailey — Volland