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Reds edge out bold Bremen

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FC Bayern beat Werder Bremen 3-2 on Wednesday, advancing to the DFB Cup final for the 23rd time. Robert Lewandowski put Bayern in front before half-time, Thomas Müller doubling the lead after the hour mark, but Bremen's Yuya Osako and Milot Rashica levelled the scores within less than two minutes. Lewandowski sealed Bayern's 30th consecutive DFB Cup win on foreign soil when he converted from the spot with ten minutes to go.

The Bavarians started with Sven Ulreich between the sticks and Joshua Kimmich, Jérôme Boateng, Mats Hummels and David Alaba at the back. Javi Martínez and Thiago featured in a twin holding role behind Serge Gnabry, Müller and Kingsley Coman, with Lewandowski as sole striker. Leon Goretzka, James and Rafinha took over from Gnabry, Thiago and Müller in the second half.

Lewy opens

The 42,100 full house in Bremen saw a high-octane encounter with many chances at either end. The first chance fell to the hosts, Max Kruse firing over the bar, but a Müller back-heel soon went inches wide at the other end. The native Bavarian saw another effort blocked before Osako curled wide from 20 yards. Bayern slowly but surely asserted their dominance now, Jiri Pavlenka being the busier of the two keepers. The particularly industrious Coman saw a shot blocked before Thiago blasted over.

Davy Klaassen and Coman miscued efforts, but Bayern took the lead when a Müller header hit the far post, Lewandowski tapping in the rebound. Bayern had the ball in the back of the net for a second time when Lewandowski diverted a Müller cross past Pavlenka, but the linesman had raised his flag for offside. Ulreich saved a deflected Kruse effort before match official Daniel Siebert blew for half-time.

Scorching second half

Proceedings were similar after the restart. Pavlenka proved equal to a Coman volley before Müller skied a shot, but the latter soon doubled Bayern's lead when he got hold of a mishit Goretzka shot and beat Pavlenka from 20 yards. Ulreich saved a Klaassen header before Kimmich directed a header onto the bar, Thiago firing the rebound over.

But Bremen sprang a surprise and levelled the scored within less than two minutes, Osako converting a cut-back before Rashica gained the ball in midfield and crowned a fine solo when he slotted past Ulreich. Coman soon was upended in Werder's Box, Lewandowski burying past Pavlenka from 12 yards. James skied an effort in the frantic closing stages, sub and former FCB man Claudio Pizarro miscuing a header at the other end. Lewandowski soon raced past the rearguard and rounded Pavlenka only to hit the post, but Ulreich's save against Gebre Selassie meant Bayern sealed a berth in Berlin.

The Bavarians will be back in action on Sunday, when they travel to face Nürnberg in the Bundesliga. Bayern take on RB Leipzig in the cup final in Berlin on 25 May.

Live match report for by Greg Salmen

Werder Bremen - FC Bayern 2-3 (HT: 0-1)
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  • Werder Bremen

    Pavlenka - Gebre Selassie, Veljkovic, Moisander, Augustinsson (Harnik 81) - M. Eggestein - Möhwald (Pizarro 65), Klaassen (J. Eggestein 89) - Kruse - Osako, Rashica


    Kapino - Friedl, Langkamp, Beijmo

  • FC Bayern

    Ulreich - Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba - Martínez, Thiago (James 76) - Gnabry (Goretzka 57), Müller (Rafinha 89), Coman - Lewandowski


    Hoffmann - Tolisso, Sanches, Davies

  • Referee

    Daniel Siebert (Berlin)

  • Attendance

    42,100 (capacity)

  • Goals

    0-1 Lewandowski (36), 0-2 Müller (63), 1-2 Osako (74), 2-2 Rashica (75), 2-3 Lewandowski (80, pen)

  • Yellow cards

    Klaassen, Kruse / Hummels, James, Lewandowski