Manuel Veth –
Everything was on the line at Werder v Bayern as we were going to find out who will follow RB Leipzig and make the final of the DFB Pokal. In the end, Bayern sealed it after a dramatic contest that saw the game go back and forward.
- Bayern rushed out front
- Bremen fought back, but Lewandowski sealed it with a penalty
- Thomas Müller, the man of the match
Werder v Bayern
Goals: 0-1 (Robert Lewandowski, 36’), 0-2 (Thomas Müller, 63’), 1-2 (Yuya Osako, 74′), 2-2 (Milot Rashica, 75′), 2-3 (Robert Lewandowski, 79′)
It was a flying start to the game. Milot Rashica missed the goal in the 5′ minute and on the other side, Thomas Müller’s backheel was just wide of Jiri Pavlenka’s goal.
The tit-for-tat continued. Müller missed the open goal from just 11-yards out in the 16′ minute after a great assist by Kingsley Coman. Then going the other way, Yuya Osako unleashed a shot from 18-yards that just about missed the target.
Werder were not afraid to play attacking football and Davy Klaassen should have taken the lead in the 24′ minute. Rashica played a low ball in the six-yard box where the Dutch midfielder got to much power on the ball skying it in what was a 100% chance.
Remarkably it took until the 36′ minute for either team to open the scoring. Jérôme Boateng sent a wide ball inside the box where Müller sent the ball across the goal line, Pavlenka failed to gain control over the situation and Robert Lewandowski pounced on it and sent it across the line.
The second half continued where the first ended. Both sides were pressing high. Bayern were now looking to exploit the space that Bremen left open in their own pursuit to equalise the score. Müller had the best chance at this stage firing a shot over the bar in the 59′ minute from about 18-yards out.
Müller, in particular, had a great game and in the 63′ minute scored Bayern’s second. A shot by Leon Goretzka from outside the box is redirected to Müller, the striker takes on the ball with his back to the wall turned and hammered into the top corner of Pavlenka’s goal.
Expectations were now that Bayern would sail through. But the story was not going to work out that way. In the 74′ minute Yuya Osako made it 2-1 to get Bremen back in the game. Bremen, however, were not done there yet!
Right from the kickoff, Bremen won the ball, and Rashica overran the entire Bayern defence to send the ball past Sven Ulreich. Within 67 second Werder had equalised the scoreline showing some of Bayern’s defensive weaknesses in the process.
But Werder’s lead would not last long. In the 77′ minute Kingsley Coman was brought down inside Bremen’s box and Robert Lewandowski stepped up and sent the ball across the line.
In the 88′ minute James could have sealed it. The Colombian found himself wide open in the box and only had Pavlenka to beat but to the surprise of everyone in the ground sent the ball over the bar. Then in the 93′ minute, Lewandowski had rounded Pavlenka but hit the post from just a few yards out.
Both those chances should have sealed it for Bayern. Lucky for them Werder did not have enough in the tank to overturn the result a second time as Bayern celebrated reaching the DFB Pokal final for the third year in a row.
Werder v Bayern – Man of the Match
Thomas Müller was the man of the match. The striker assisted Robert Lewandowski’s opening goal and then scored the second himself. Müller has been in great form of late and celebrated the goal in untypical fashion by mixing Diego Simeone’s post-Juventus celebration with his own Bavarian touch. It was a typical Müller celebration in a typical Müller game as the forward used his unorthodox style of play to deadly effect.
Werder v Bayern – Talking Point
RB Leipzig are the club that now stands in Bayern’s way. The Red Bulls from Leipzig, in fact, are Niko Kovac’s biggest hurdle when it comes to securing a double this season. Leipzig face Bayern on matchday 33 of the Bundesliga and now also in the DFB Pokal final.
Werder v Bayern – Match Stats
- For the first time since 1988 Werder Bremen lose a DFB Pokal home match.
- Thomas Müller is the first player to appear in ten semifinal matches of the DFB Pokal.
- Bayern have progressed in each of their last 30 away games in the DFB Pokal – a record in the competition.
Werder v Bayern – Line-ups
Pavlenka – Augustinsson, Moisander, Veljković, Gebre Selassie – Klaassen (J. Eggestein, 90′), M. Eggestein, Möhwald (Pizarro, 65′) – Kruse – Rashica, Osako
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt
Ulreich – Alaba, Hummels, Boateng, Kimmich – Thiago (James, 76′), Javi Martínez – Coman, T. Müller (Rafinha, 90′), Gnabry (Goretzka, 58′) – Lewandowski
Coach: Niko Kovac
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others contributes to Forbes.com and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.