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Mueller shines as Bayern squeeze into German Cup quarter-finals

Berlin (AFP) – Thomas Mueller weighed in with a goal and an assist as holders Bayern Munich squeezed past Hoffenheim 4-3 on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals of the German Cup.

Mueller’s golden run continued at the Allianz Arena to leave him with seven goals and nine assists in the 14 games since Hansi Flick replaced Niko Kovac as coach last November.

Not to be outdone, Mueller’s forward partner Robert Lewandowski claimed two goals in the third round tie.

However, Hoffenheim’s Israeli forward Munas Dabbur caused Bayern a few nervous moments with two late goals as the visitors came back from 4-1 down.

It was Mueller who had calmed Bayern’s early nerves, forcing an own goal from Benjamin Huebner to equalise after Bayern defender Jerome Boateng had turned the ball into his own net.

Mueller then gave Bayern a 2-1 lead before Lewandowski netted either side of half-time to extend their lead before Hoffenheim’s late fight back.

Bayern are the biggest name into the last eight after RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund both crashed out on Tuesday to Eintracht Frankfurt and Werder Bremen respectively.

After Lewandowski had an early goal disallowed for offside, Hoffenheim threatened an upset when Boateng turned a shot by Hoffenheim winger Ihlas Bebou into his own net on eight minutes.

However, the lead lasted just five minutes.

Canadian winger Alphonso Davies crossed to Mueller in the middle, but the ball clipped the knee of Huebner and looped into the net.

Bayern were 2-1 up on 20 minutes when David Alaba’s cross found Mueller and the Germany star fired home from close range.

Lewandowski then pounced when Hoffenheim goalkeeper Philipp Pentke failed to claim a high ball under pressure from Mueller.

The Poland striker was on hand to head the stray ball into an empty net on 36 minutes and settled the matter with a well-taken fourth goal after the break.

Lewandowski has scored in all four of Bayern’s matches so far in 2020 and leaves him with a season tally of 35 goals in 29 games in all competitions.

Union Berlin are also through after seeing off minnows Verl from Germany’s four tier with a 1-0 win thanks to a late goal by midfielder Robert Andrich.

A goal by Argentinian striker Lucas Alario helped Bayer Leverkusen to a 2-1 win at second division side VfB Stuttgart.

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