Bayern Munich booked their place in the final of the DFB-Pokal by crushing Kaiserlautern in a 5-1 victory. Pep Guardiola’s men remained on track to emulate their achievements of last season, after a difficult time suffering a couple of losses recently.
After securing the Bundesliga title in March, Bayern Munich played five games but won only on one occasion, against Manchester United in their Champions League quarter finals second-leg. A couple of questions did arise about the strength of Bayern to deliver a consecutive Champions League title after being drawn against Real Madrid in the semis, but their confidence have been boosted with the 5-1 victory over second-tier Kaiserlautern on Wednesday.
Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger put Bayern in front midway through the first half of the match, with a fine headed effort. Toni Kroos netted shortly after to put Bayern in complete command before Thomas Muller’s second-half penalty eased all the nerves.
Simon Koller did pull one back for Kaiserlautern, but that proved to be just a consolation as Bayern cruised to victory with two further goals from Mario Mandzukic and Mario Gotze for a place against Borussia Dortmund in the final at Berlin next month.
Muller, who replaced Gotze in the Bayern starting XI following a hefty 3-0 defeat to rivals Borussia Dortmund, came close to opening the scoring with his header after eight minutes of the game play, when Schweinsteiger’s clever cross saw Muller jumping and heading it but got deflected against the crossbar.
The hosts had to labor for much of the opening period against a determined Kaiserlautern defense, but Bayern made the breakthrough in the 23rd minute when Schweinsteiger powered home a wonderful downward header from Arjen Robben’s corner. And the lead was doubled nine minutes after their first goal as Kroos met Robben’s lay-off on the edge of the area with an exquisite finish that curled past Kaiserlautern goalkeeper Tobias Sippel and into the bottom corner.
All the hopes of Kaiserlautern’s revival were extinguished just five minutes into the second half as Muller rolled the ball into the net with a penalty after Robben was tripped inside the box by Chris Lowe. Bayern Munich might have added another goal a few minutes after the penalty when Frank Ribery missed that target against an empty net.
The visitors tried reducing the goal deficit on the hour mark, with striker Zollar glancing Florian Dick’s right-winged cross beyond Bayern goalkeeper Lukas Reader. But Bayern were far from finished and re-emphasized their dominance by punishing Kaiserlautern 13 minutes from time, when Mandzukic confidently netted home after latching on to substitute Mario Gotze’s throughball. Gotze then rounded of the day with another great goal in the injury time, combining effortlessly with Ribery, making it 5-1.
Bayern Munich were the treble holders last season and this season have successfully secured the Bundesliga title, are into semi-final of Champions League and with the 5-1 win over Kaiserlautern, they book their place in the final of DFB-Pokal.
This brings out a question: Can Bayern win the treble again this year or not? Have your say in the comments section.