Review Bayer Leverkusen – Bayern Munich

first_imgThe first DFB Pokal semi-final wasn’t a contest. Bayer Leverkusen did its best to stay in play, but Bayern Munich was simply too good. Thomas Muller registered a hat-trick in the 6-2 win at the BayArena.Heiko Herrlich made two changes from the weekend 4-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt. Karim Bellarabi was in the starting lineup instead of Leon Bailey. Also Jonathan Tah, who was rested on Saturday, was back at center back with Benjamin Henrichs returning to the bench. Julian Brandt was on the other side of Bellarabi, with Kevin Volland leading the attack. Jupp Heynckes rested more players over the weekend. Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez, Robert Lewandowski, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben are the players who were on the bench in the 5-1 victory versus Borussia Monchengladbach and started this one. Thomas Muller was Bayern’s captain on the night.Bayern was off to a flying start with a goal in the 3rd minute. Boateng sent a great ball in the box that landed straight on the head of Thomas Muller. Bernd Leno managed to save his close-range effort, but couldn’t get his hands on the rebound. After Muller’s header, the ball came to Javi Martinez, who struck it into the angle and the visitors took the lead. Lewandowski was in front of Leno in an offside position when the ball was shot, but didn’t seem to touch it. You could argue that he interfered with the play, since he obstructed Leno’s view. The referee discussed it with the replay crew and kept quiet. By the 10th minute it was already 2-0 for the Bavarians. Ribery dribbled past two defenders and found a wide open Lewandowski. He took it first-time, into the opposite corner and into the net. The game was quickly running away from The Pharmacists.In the 16th minute, Leverkusen reduced the lead with a scrappy goal. Bayern’s players had their arms up in the air waiting for a referee whistle that never came. Following a Bayer set piece cross, a couple of players fell on the ground, two Bayern defenders tried to clear the ball, which ricocheted off Boateng’s head and went high in the air. Lars Bender was its lucky recipient and made the most of the situation by putting one past Ulreich. The home team was a bit rattled following the two early goals, so Bender’s header really helped it recover and gain confidence. Bellarabi fired a phenomenal shot in the 37th minute. Unfortunately for him, Bayern’s goalie was up to the task.Despite the lack of chances, we saw goals and an entertaining first half. Most of Bayern’s attacks were going through the wings, while Leverkusen was anticipating counter attacks and looked dangerous whenever on the ball.Retsos, who was on a yellow card, left the pitch before the second half kicked off and was replaced by Leon Bailey. Rafinha substituted Alaba on the other side. First Volland and then Bellarabi had excellent opportunities to even the scoring in the 5th minute of the second period. Volland’s shot was blocked and Ulreich saved Bellarabi’s attempt. Bayern was quick to punish Leverkusen for their misses. Tah lost sight of Muller. Thiago Alcantara found him with an excellent pass and Bayern’s captain tonight finished clinically as only he can, renewing his team’s 2-goal advantage. Volland scored two thirds into the game, but his goal was rightfully disallowed for a clear offside.Soon after that, Ribery found Robben with a superb pass. The Dutchman slipped and fell inside the penalty area. Thiago Alcantara was first on the ball and scored with a sublime finish that followed an intelligent dummy move. He made it look so easy. It was all over in the 65th minute when Muller scored his second goal of the fixture, even though he didn’t mean to. It was a lightning strike by Munich. Ribery to Rafinha to Robben and into the net off Muller. He tried to jump over the ball in order to avoid contact thinking he was in an offside position. However, he failed to do so. The ball went off his foot and into the net, but he actually wasn’t in an illegal position, as Havertz was standing near the goal line. Heynckes’ men went from the pressure zone to the comfort zone in a matter of minutes.Leon Bailey scored superbly from a free kick in the 73rd minute to make it 5-2. This youngster is a star in the making. Thomas Muller got his hat-trick in the 79th minute, when Thiago Alcantara found him with a fantastic pass from a free kick from around midfield. Number 25 tucked the ball in, shielded it from the defender and executed calmly in typical Muller fashion. It ended 6-2. Bayern’s treble dream remains alive. With 11 goals in 2 matches, it appears to be peaking at just the right time. Real Madrid, beware!last_img

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