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VfL Wolfsburg 1 Bayern 3

On-fire Reds cruise into DFB Cup last sixteen

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Record DFB Cup winners Bayern convincingly took the next step towards an 18th triumph in the domestic knockout competition with an emphatic and at times breathtaking 3-1 victory away to outclassed holders VfL Wolfsburg in Tuesday night’s second round tie.

The 30,000 capacity crowd at the VW Arena saw the on-fire men from Munich make a blistering start and roar into a two-goal lead after just 20 minutes through the outstanding Douglas Costa and Thomas Müller. The Germany striker blasted a superb third 14 minutes later to all but wrap it up, before the visitors serenely closed out a one-sided match, with the only blemish in an otherwise near-flawless display being Andre Schürrle’s last-minute consolation for the home side.

The result means Pep Guardiola’s men safely book their place in the third round and will learn the identity of their next opponents in the draw on Sunday 1 November, with the last sixteen ties to be played on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 December. The Bavarians return to Bundesliga action just three days from now in the trip to Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday evening.

Spanish trio back in the team

Pep Guardiola made three changes to the team that chalked up a historic 1,000th Bundesliga win at home to Köln on Saturday, with Spanish trio Javi Martinez, Xabi Alonso and Thiago taking over from Rafinha, Arturo Vidal and Arjen Robben. The Brazilian, the Chilean and the Dutchman started on the bench alongside Jan Kirchhoff and Joshua Kimmich, with Mehdi Benatia also fit enough for a place among the subs after a long lay-off.

The visitors began with Manual Neuer in goal behind a back four of David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, Martinez and captain Philipp Lahm, with Alonso directing operations in front of the rearguard. Thiago took up station in attacking midfield with Costa, Kingsley Coman, Müller and Robert Lewandowski up front.

Three top-class goals

After seasoned referee Knut Kircher whistled play underway on a chilly night in Lower Saxony, the men in red signalled their intent from the off with wave after wave of controlled but aggressive attacks against their cowed opponents. Home keeper Diego Benaglio performed miracles to deny Müller from point-blank range with only five minutes gone but Munich’s relentless early pressure paid off after quarter of an hour when Costa accepted Müller’s lay-off, ghosted past ex-FCB man Luiz Gustavo and unleashed an unstoppable 25-yarder into the top corner of the net.

FCB pushed on and Christian Träsch’s desperate lunge prevented Lewandowski making it two, but the second duly arrived in the 20th minute when Alaba swung the loose ball from Costa’s blocked shot over to the right side of the box for Müller to thump home.

The Wolves struggled for a response but Bayern calmly kept the bulk of the possession and moved 3-0 up from a stunning move in the 34th minute, Costa, Coman and Alaba combining to set up Müller for a fizzing volley across Benaglio and over the line. Thiago shot just wide and the home keeper saved from Müller before Mr Kircher brought a superb first half from the visitors to an end.

Serene second half

The first chance of the second half was also the home team’s first of the match, but Daniel Caligiuri aimed too far to the right. Bayern were soon back on the attack with Alaba curling a free-kick just wide and former Munich defender Dante nicking the ball off Lewandowski’s toe, before the excellent Coman gave way to Robben midway through the second period.

The Dutchman was immediately in the thick of it with a glancing header wide of the upright, before Vidal replaced Alonso for the last 20 minutes. Neuer then made his first save of the night, and it was a good one too against Caligiuri, with Rafinha taking over from Müller in the 79th minute.

In late chances, Thiago’s free-kick floated wide and Robben’s fierce volley was blocked, with the Dutchman also hooking an effort from Thiago’s neat chip just over the bar. Wolves sub Schürrle came close with a volley and also added Wolfsburg’s last-minute consolation with a low shot, but it was only a minor flaw in an otherwise excellent FCB display.

Live match report for by Chris Hamley