Created on 02-03-2011 at 00:00 AM
There will be no end-of-season trip to Berlin for Bayern this year after the DFB German Cup holders were knocked out at the semi-final stage by Schalke on Wednesday, a first-half Raul strike separating the sides on a night when FCB simply lacked the inspiration to unpick the disciplined visiting defence.
The 69,000 full house at the Allianz Arena saw Spain legend Raul head Felix Magath’s side into an early lead, and it was to prove a frustrating first period for the holders, who failed to muster a single shot on target before half-time. Louis van Gaal’s men dramatically upped the tempo in the second half and laid siege to the away goal, but the ball refused to cross the Schalke line on the night, as the gods of fortune deserted Munich just when it mattered.
Schalke now travel to the famous Olympic stadium in Berlin on 21 May, where they will be favourites to claim the knockout trophy and the place in Europe that goes with it against second division Duisburg, 2-1 conquerors of Energie Cottbus the previous evening. Despite the shattering cup blow, the Bavarians have no time to draw breath, as their Bundesliga programme continues on Saturday with a crunch trip to third-placed Hannover.