presented by
Hamburg 0 Bayern 5

Majestic Bayern ease into cup semi-finals

Mario Mandzukic blasted a hat-trick as DFB Cup holders Bayern effortlessly booked their place in this season’s last four with a thumping 5-0 quarter-final victory away to crisis club Hamburg on Wednesday night. The gulf in class between the sides was apparent from start to finish as the favourites barely broke sweat in brushing aside their troubled opponents.

The 57,000 full house at the Imtech Arena saw the visitors camp out in the home half from the off and take the lead midway through the first period courtesy of Croat hitman Mandzukic. Dante added the second a short time later, with Arjen Robben and a Mandzukic double completing the rout in the second half, although the biggest cheer from the travelling support was for 65th-minute sub Bastian Schweinsteiger, making his first appearance since mid-November last year.

Only the semi-final in mid-April now stands between sixteen-time cup winners FCB and a trip to the final in Berlin on 17 May. The Bavarians are back in action on Saturday at home to SC Freiburg in the Bundesliga, before the excitement rises to fever pitch in the midweek Champions League trip to English Premier League giants Arsenal.

Bastian on the bench

With Franck Ribery still sidelined after surgery, Guardiola made a single change to the team from the hard-fought 2-0 victory away to Bavarian rivals Nürnberg last weekend, Toni Kroos returning from a two-match absence in place of Thomas Müller. The big news of the evening was the return of Schweinsteiger to squad duty as the midfielder took a seat on the bench for the first time since last autumn.

The holders lined up with Manuel Neuer in goal behind an unchanged defence of Rafinha, Jerome Boateng, Dante and David Alaba. Captain Philipp Lahm assumed the holding role, Thiago, Mario Götze, Kroos and Arjen Robben formed the midfield, and Mandzukic played at centre-forward.

Under-fire HSV coach Bert van Marwijk, tasked with somehow lifting his team against the backdrop of six league defeats on the bounce, fan protests and a bitter power struggle between the club’s advisory committee, board and sporting director, named a side including ex-FCB man Marcel Jansen and captained by Dutch star Rafael van der Vaart.

One-way traffic and two goals

After referee Felix Zwayer blew for kick-off on a breezy evening in the Baltic port city the runaway Bundesliga leaders, who annihilated Hamburg 9-2 in the league meeting at the Allianz Arena last season, immediately slipped into the groove and pinned the home team back into their final third. Less than a quarter-hour into the match FCB had 85 percent of the possession and 100 passes in their stats, but van Marwijk’s men had managed a mere 16.

It was only a matter of time before the opening goal and it came on 21 minutes when Götze artfully skipped past Zhi-Gin Lam on the left and squared for Mandzukic to guide the ball into the empty net. It was two after 26 minutes when Dante rose unchallenged to meet a Kroos corner and flick a header past Rene Adler as the keeper and Milan Badelj impeded each other on the line.

With the lead under their belts and HSV already demoralised, Munich were content to keep the ball and let their opponents do the chasing. Robben fired straight at Adler and Thiago lofted one into the crowd before the sides turned round with the outcome all but certain.

Basti’s comeback and Mandzu’s triple

Guardiola made a first change four minutes into the second half when the limping Boateng gave way to Javi Martinez, the Spaniard slotting in at centre-back in a like-for-like swap. Mandzukic spooned the first chance over the bar but it was three in the 54th minute when Robben showed huge skill to chest down a delicious Kroos pass and crash a left-footed drive past Adler.

Ivo Ilicevic fired a very rare HSV shot straight at Neuer before the away support erupted on 65 minutes when Schweinsteiger replaced Lahm, taking over the armband at the same time, with Xherdan Shaqiri also on for Thiago.

The heat was out of the match now but Kroos, Robben and Mandzukic all fired goalwards, before Götze produced a moment of sublime skill after 74 minutes to tee up Mandzukic for his second and his team’s fourth. The Croat completed his hat-trick from close range two minutes later as Hamburg made a hash of clearing a corner, with the visitors then content to run down the clock on a comfortable win.

Live match report for by Chris Hamley