Bayern's journey to the DFB Cup final against Bayer Leverkusen

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FC Bayern are looking to defend their DFB Cup title in the 2020 final at Berlin's Olympiastadion. It would be the club's 20th cup victory. fcbayern.com looks back at the journey made by the record champions to this year's final:

First round: Energie Cottbus 1--3 FC Bayern

Bayern's cup journey began in August at fourth-tier Energie Cottbus, but the holders showed they meant business in the Stadion der Freundschaft. Robert Lewandowski(32') put the Reds ahead before Kingsley Coman (65') and Leon Goretzka (85') increased the lead after the break to ensure progress into the second round. Energie fought well and were rewarded with a consolation goal from the penalty spot by Berkan Taz (90'+3). "It was a tough job," said captain Manuel Neuerin tribute to the performance of the underdogs.

Second round: VfL Bochum 1-2 FC Bayern

Bochum-born Goretzka was especially looking forward to the second round away at his youth club VfL Bochum. However, he and his teammates did not expect a fun trip home, and Bayern had to work hard to advance to the next round. After an own goal by Alphonso Davies(36'), the Munich club trailed until the closing minutes and were only redeemed by two late strikes from Serge Gnabry (83') and Thomas Müller(89'). "We got away with it," said Neuer. However, Gnabry was pragmatic: "In the end, it doesn't matter. We are through."

Round of 16: FC Bayern 4--3 TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

Bayern wanted the round of 16 to be less stressful than the previous - and they were successful to some extent. After a strange opening phase with two own goals from Jérôme Boateng(8') and Hoffenheim's Benjamin Hübner (12'), the hosts took control with further strikes from Müller (20') and a Lewandowski brace (36', 80') to make the score 4-1. But Hoffenheim wouldn't give up and reduced the deficit through substitute Munas Dabbur (82', 90'+2) for a 4-3 final score. "The cup has its own laws and there are always a lot of goals," said Müller after the unnecessarily exciting final phase.

Quarter-final: Schalke 0--1 FC Bayern

However, the quarter-final was not as filled with goals. Hosts Schalke used defensive tactics and counter-attacks, making it difficult for Bayern to score goals. After some chances for the hosts in the early stages, a long-range shot by Joshua Kimmich(40') made the difference shortly before the break. "At that moment, you just hit it and hope it goes in," the goalscorer revealed afterwards. After the break, Philippe Coutinho(62') and Goretzka (72') both hit the woodwork, which ultimately justified the Munich victory. "We deserved to go through," concluded Neuer.

Semi-final: FC Bayern 2-1 Eintracht Frankfurt

The final step on the road to Berlin was delayed until mid-June due to the coronavirus interruption. The hosts in the Allianz Arena controlled the events against Eintracht Frankfurt for a long time and took the lead with a diving header from Ivan Perišićbut then missed the final attempt to wrap up the game. This took its toll, as Danny da Costa (69') scored a surprise equaliser but Lewandowski (74') fired Hansi Flick's team into the final. "It was crucial that we made it through in a match like this," said the Bayern head coach afterwards. "This is the step we wanted to take: the final in Berlin."

Leverkusen's journey to the final

Opponents Bayer Leverkusen are in the final of the DFB Cup for the fourth time in the club's history and the first time since 2009. "You don't get many chances to be in the final in football," said the *Werkself*coach Peter Bosz after his team's 3-0 win over surprise semi-finalists Saarbrücken. Earlier in the competition, Leverkusen eliminated fourth-tier side Alemannia Aachen 4-1 in the first round, Bundesliga club Paderborn 1-0 in the second round and Bundesliga 2 club VfB Stuttgart 2-1 in the round of 16 before a 3-1 win in the quarter-finals against fellow top-flight side Union Berlin.


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