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Smooth progress

FCB happy with quarter-final berth

FC Bayern’s overwhelmingly successful history in the DFB Cup has also included some bitter defeats against lower league clubs. The Reds were last involved in a major cup upset in February 2004 away to second division Alemannia Aachen. DFB Cup exits before that included ties against Magdeburg (November 2001), Vestenbergsgreuth (August 1995) and Weinheim (August 1990), but there was no sign of any shock in Wednesday night’s match against second division Eintracht Braunschweig. The Bundesliga leaders mastered the third of five hurdles en route to Berlin to qualify for the quarter-final stage of the DFB Cup for the 33rd time.

“We’re happy. It was a regulation win and we’re through to the next round,” said Thomas Müller after 90 minutes of one-way traffic at the Allianz Arena. “Braunschweig spent the whole game in their own half. It was a completely comfortable win and not an all-out attacking display but you can’t expect that in every game.” Manuel Neuer said: “The most important thing is we’re through to the next round. It wasn’t easy but we were better in every area of the pitch.”

Braunschweig did all they could to give Bayern a game. The second division side put in the running, tackled hard and defended well. “We wanted to put on a better display than some top-flight sides. I think we succeeded in that aim,” said coach Torsten Lieberknecht. “These cup games aren’t easy,” repeated Pep Guardiola, “lower league teams aren’t as strong in terms of individual players but they have great determination and are very strong physically. They work very hard.”

'Human beings, not machines'

FC Bayern experienced that against Braunschweig. “We upped our game after a strong start,” said Müller. Bayern dominated proceedings with 80 percent possession but struggled to convert that superiority into goals. The long-awaited opener finally came from a brilliant David Alaba free kick in first-half added time. “A great, great, great goal! A very important goal,” said Robert Lewandowski. “And at just the right time,” added Müller.

Bayern could have stretched the lead after the restart before Mario Götze made it 2-0 on 57 minutes. In contrast to the recent 4-1 win against FC Köln, and the 6-0 victory over SC Paderborn there were no more goals. “We’re human beings, not machines,” said Franck Ribéry. And Jérôme Boateng concluded: “It definitely wasn’t our best game, but at the end of the day it’s the result that counts. We’ll talk about it again tomorrow but that will be it before we concentrate on Hannover.”