Bayern fans "in heaven"
"We're off to Berlin" was the chant from the travelling Bayern supporters after the Munich club had booked their place in the DFB Cup final in emphatic style with a 6-2 semi-final win over Bayer Leverkusen. "It goes without saying we're pleased to be in the final," enthused Jupp Heynckes, whose final season in charge of Bayern has now been extended by at least a week for the trip to the German capital. With the Bavarians into the final for the 22nd time in their history, Bayern are within touching distance of securing the double at the Olympiastadion on 19 May. It also means the dream of a treble lives on. "Being a Bayern fan is like being in heaven," said FCB chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
„"That was an advert for German football"”
Heynckes and his team had just experienced a thrilling 90 minutes of football at the BayArena where the Bundesliga champions constantly exchanged blows with the side sitting third in the league. "That was an advert for German football," praised Thomas Müller. That is because Bayern were in fact not as dominant as the scoreline may suggest. "I think we put in a top performance today, and not just against a quality side but a team that is tightly knit and plays really good football. That's why the result and the fact we're in the final is even better," said Heynckes in his analysis of the match.
A brace from Robert Lewandowski had Bayern two up inside 10 minutes before the hosts got a goal back through Lars Bender. After that, Leverkusen continued to apply pressure on the Bayern defence with quick attacks, but wasted a number of chances against an inspired Sven Ulreich. "The game itself was tight despite our great start," Müller noted. After Thiago had increased the lead to 3-1, the Germany international netted himself a second-half hat-trick to secure the result. While Heiko Herrlich's side failed to take their chances, the Munich club did. Leon Bailey did score a free-kick later in the piece, but it was too late for the hosts.
Herrlich's respect for Bayern's performance
Despite the intensity of the game, the Reds stepped it up a notch in the second half and again showed they are capable of playing to their full potential in the key weeks still to come this season. Even defeated Leverkusen coach Herrlich paid respect to FCB's performance and found "the dominance, efficiency and desire in such a game" impressive. "It was a demonstration of the quality we have in the team right now. The team deserves to be going to Berlin," said an enthusiastic Rummenigge, who is already looking ahead to the Champions League semi-final. "We'll now try to progress on Wednesday. We'll go all the way."
According to Ulreich, the cup win was well earnt following recent games against Leipzig, Dortmund and now Leverkusen. However, it's about taking things one game at a time. Before the first leg against Real Madrid, it's about analysing mistakes and fixing them "That'll be a different game," Arjen Robben said, but Rummenigge was convinced the day after the win in Leverkusen: "If anyone can beat them, then it's Bayern Munich."