Finally Dusseldorf has come good for visiting dignitaries Bayer Leverkusen. After a poor run of form in the league at the LTU, the Werkself took apart Bayern Munich 4-2 in their temporary home to gain passage to the final four of the DFB Pokal.
Klinsmann tinkered with his lineup a bit as congestion is building up for the Bavarian giants. He pulled Ze Roberto into the left back position to try and shore up a weak position and used Ottl as his replacement in the double six. He then went with a 4-2-3-1 with Klose giving Toni a rest. Overall a pretty strong starting XI, especially as Bayern have long been better suited to this formation, rather than the 4-4-2.
With this in mind, Bayer made easy work of Bayern, slicing through the holders to a 3-0 lead off goals by Helmes, Arturo Vidal and Barnetta. After the third goal, Bayer took their foot off the gas, and almost paid the price as Klinsmann’s substitutions worked wonders and they pulled two goals back in two minutes. The first came when Adler flopped at a cross that Lucio put away and the second came when Klose was left unmarked in the area to finish a perfect Ribery cross.
The final 15 minutes was tense for the home side, with Adler making a couple of superb saves and the defense rediscovering their focus, but a fourth goal from the tireless Kiessling secured passage for Bayer. Bruno Labbadia joins Martin Jol and Thomas Schaaf in the semis.
Hamburg beat Wehen 2-1 at home. But a strong lead was almost squandered in this game, just as it had been in the headline game, when Frank Rost mishandled an easy Schwartz shot to pull the visitors within one with 3 minutes to go. As it stands, a first half goal by Petric and an own goal by Wehen’s Kopilas was enough to see the Dinosaurs through.
Meanwhile, Werder seems to have risen from the ashes after their come back against A.C. Milan and found their scoring touch. They put five past a hot Wolfsburg side at the VW. The game saw braces by Dzeko, Diego and Pizarro in a 7 goal thriller with Werder booking their place in the semis by a score of 5-2.
They are joined by Mainz who upset Schalke last night.