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Date with Gladbach

FCB beat HSV and reach Telekom Cup final

Bayern are through to the final of the Telekom Cup 2013 after a clear-cut 4-0 victory over Hamburg in Saturday’s second semi-final. In Sunday’s final, to be played like the semis as a 60-minute match with two 30-minute halves, Germany’s biggest club now meet hosts Borussia Mönchengladbach, who beat Borussia Dortmund 1-0 in the first semi thanks to a last-minute Filip Daems penalty.

A crowd of some 50,000 in Mönchengladbach’s Borussia Park saw Jérôme Boateng hand FCB a 12th-minute lead. Mario Mandzukic (41) and Toni Kroos (44) effectively settled the outcome midway through the second period, before sub Thomas Müller made it an emphatic victory eight minutes from the end.

In the first pre-season friendly against top-flight opposition, Pep Guardiola sent out a line-up comprising Tom Starke in goal, Philipp Lahm, Boateng, Daniel van Buyten and David Alaba in defence, new signing Thiago in the holding role behind an attacking midfield line of Kroos, Claudio Pizarro, Franck Ribéry and Xherdan Shaqiri, and Mandzukic at centre-forward.

Despite the sweltering midsummer temperatures, FCB looked lively and dominant from the off, passing crisply, clearly enjoying their football, and soon creating chances. HSV keeper Jaroslav Drobny beat out Pizarro’s 11th-minute header, and the shot-stopper denied the Peruvian twice more from close range in the very next minute. However, Boateng made it three times lucky with the opening goal after 12 minutes.

Munich controlled the play for the rest of the first half without fashioning clear-cut openings in front of the HSV goal. The best chance before the break again fell to Pizarro as he ran on to a sublime Thiago through ball, but although Pizza lobbed Drobny, his effort also cleared the bar.

Both coaches sent out unchanged teams for the second half, and there was no real change in the pattern of the match either. Hamburg now upped the pace and sought to put Bayern under pressure, but Starke was never called upon to make a serious save. At the other end, Bayern doubled their lead after 41 minutes when Mandzukic applied the perfect finish following a fine interchange of passes between Thiago and Ribéry.

Kroos made it three in the 44th minute with a low drive from the left edge of the penalty area, before sub Müller headed home Lahm’s 52nd-minute cross to round off the scoring. "We played well and we're through to the final. We're satisfied," Guardiola commented afterwards..

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