Bayern Munich have knocked holders Borussia Dortmund out of the DFB-Pokal, but die Schwarzgelben came close to forcing extra time despite being thoroughly out-played in the opening hour.
Set up overly-defensively, Dortmund were picked apart by Bayern, with Jérôme Boateng and Thomas Müller putting them two up at half-time.
Bayern were guilty of sitting back though and Dortmund played much more like their usual selves later on, with Andriy Yarmolenko pulling one back and Alexander Isak closest to an equaliser, however the Bundesliga leaders hung on to move into the quarter-finals.
Bayern play Dortmund off the park in first half
These two were meeting in the competition for the seventh consecutive season, albeit this was the earliest stage they had encountered each other. Bayern shuffled their pack with four changes from the win at VfB Stuttgart at the weekend. Müller, who scored from the bench, returned alongside Niklas Süle, David Alaba and Franck Ribéry. Peter Stöger has won both games in charge of Dortmund so far but was without the injured Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, a major blow. Marc Bartra came into a defensively set up side.
That approach was exposed by Bayern from the off. The first warning came when Müller’s cross was headed into the bar by Arturo Vidal, who then set up Lewandowski with a low volley, with the Pole’s shot pushed away well by Roman Bürki. The Dortmund goalkeeper came to the rescue again to keep out a Ribéry shot, with Lewandowksi flicking the ball over his head and wide.
With a sense of inevitably Bayern naturally went on to score. It came from a James Rodríguez free-kick whipped in from the left, which Süle headed onto the bar. Boateng, in space, was able to connect powerfully with the rebound to draw first blood for the hosts.
Bayern eased off after that, allowing Dortmund to attack although they looked completely inept going forward. Stöger saw the error of his ways tactically and withdrew Bartra for Mahmoud Dahoud – who would go on to impress in the middle of the park – and consequently or not their first chance followed moments after. Christian Pulisic’s cross from the left should be been intercepted by Alaba but he let it slip by. Yarmolenko capitalised and struck on target, only for the Austrian to recover and clear it off the line.
It took just one more attack before the break though for Bayern to add to their lead. Müller and Lewandowski combined on the Bayern right, with Marcel Schmelzer doing little to resist them. Lewandowksi played it back to Müller in the box, and although the angle was tight, he chipped over Bürki for his second goal in four days.
Bayern survive late Dortmund insurgence
Bayern were on the prowl from the off in the second half. Bürki was the only one standing between them and a third goal, saving a shot from Rodríguez before magnificently denying Müller. He headed Alaba’s cross towards goal, with Bürki just keeping it out with his feet on the line.
Dortmund responded with a couple of bright moments. André Schürrle, moments after coming on, supplied Shinji Kagawa but he fired wide. Schürrle should have done better with a Yarmolenko cross though, failing to control it and standing in an offside position in any case. Schmelzer came closer though, with his shot having to be put over the bar by Sven Ulreich.
By this stage Dortmund’s play was beginning to look more positive, although their performance was still far from perfect. Nevertheless they found their on to the scoreboard. Receiving the ball from Schmelzer, Kagawa drifted the ball into the box. He found Yarmolenko, who headed in. Ulreich could have done a lot better in trying to save it, the touch he did get not enough to stop the momentum of the ball.
Dortmund had Bayern, who had been punished for sitting back, rattled. Attempts came in from Jeremy Toljan and Schürrle, both going wide, and even at the back they were showing a lot more passion and intensity. Late substitute Isak came close in stoppage time, with a shot only going wide off Boateng, with Sokratis heading the resulting corner wide.
It wasn’t to be though, and they were left to wonder what might have been if they had played like this from the off. Bayern progress to the quarter-finals.
Wednesday’s other DFB-Pokal results
Werder Bremen 3-2 SC Freiburg (1-0, Belfodil 3’; 2-0, Kainz 20’; 2-1, Petersen 28’ (P); 3-1, Bargfrede 69’; 3-2, Ravet 87’)
Borussia Mönchengladbach 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen (0-1, Bailey 70‘)
1. FC Heidenheim 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt AET (0-1, Gacinovic 95‘; 1-1, Schnatterer 96‘; 1-2, Haller 109‘)