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Gladbach 0 Bayern 0 (aet, FCB win 4-2 on penalties)

Reds make cup final in shoot-out thriller

Bayern held their nerve when it mattered and booked an appointment with Borussia Dortmund in Berlin on May 12th with a 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach in Wednesday’s DFB Cup semi-final. The goalless stalemate in normal and extra time lacked incident at times, but was always a dramatic affair, with the Reds enjoying the better of the chances throughout.

The 54,049 full house packed into Borussia Park saw Toni Kroos rattle the woodwork early on as Jupp Heynckes’ side started briskly, and although caution set in for a long spell after that, FCB finished the first half strongly with Arjen Robben blasting over the bar when scoring looked a formality.

Both sides upped the pace in an exciting phase after the restart, before Munich camped out in the final third on the hour and applied increasingly heavy pressure. The decisive goal refused to come in normal time, and Bayern were indebted to Manuel Neuer for a terrific save to prevent Marco Reus settling it late on.

The visitors clearly possessed more drive and energy in extra-time but were unable to break the deadlock, leaving the outcome to be settled in the lottery of the penalty shoot-out, where Dante missed his kick and Neuer saved from Havard Nordtveit to settle the outcome.

The hard-earned but ultimately merited victory means Bayern, already way ahead of the rest with 15 DFB Cup triumphs so far, can extend their lead in the competition in the final at Berlin Olympic stadium, where the opposition are the current Bundesliga leaders. The Bavarians are next in Bundesliga action on Saturday 24 March at home to Europa League quarter-finalists Hannover.