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Bayer Leverkusen 2-4 Bayern Munich: Lewandowski strikes twice to help secure DFB-Pokal

3 months ago
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Lukas Hradecky's error helped Bayern Munich retain their DFB-Pokal crown as the Bundesliga champions saw off Bayer Leverkusen.

Bayern Munich defeated Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 to retain their DFB-Pokal crown and wrap up a domestic double for a second successive season. 

Having missed out on Champions League qualification, Leverkusen were aiming to cause an upset and clinch their first trophy since 1993 in the process, but Kai Havertz and company failed to step up in Berlin. 

David Alaba and Serge Gnabry put Bayern in cruise control by the interval, with a 20th DFB-Pokal triumph all but wrapped up when Lukas Hradecky fumbled Robert Lewandowski's effort over the line moments after a glaring miss by Kevin Volland. 

Sven Bender headed in four minutes later to make things interesting, but Hansi Flick's side held firm before adding a fourth in an eventful finish, Lewandowski on target again before Leverkusen scored from the penalty spot.

Bayern cut through Leverkusen's press with an exceptional move in the 10th minute but Kingsley Coman failed to beat Hradecky. Yet Bayern only had to wait another six minutes for their opener, Alaba sending an exquisite free-kick into the right-hand corner. 

Hradecky pulled off an outstanding stop to deny Thomas Muller, playing in his eighth DFB-Pokal final, though he was beaten again when Gnabry drilled home after being released by Joshua Kimmich. 

Volland was introduced as Leverkusen searched for a way back into the contest, though the substitute completely missed his attempted shot with just Manuel Neuer to beat. 

Leverkusen's misery was compounded before the hour as Hradecky let Lewandowski's long-range strike slip through his grasp.

Bender took advantage of slack marking to swiftly pull one back, though it never looked likely to be enough to spark a comeback. After missing from point-blank range in the 73rd minute, Lewandowski added his second of the contest in the closing stages, lifting a delicate finish over Hradecky.

There was time for more drama, though, with Havertz hammering home from the penalty spot after Alaba's handball was spotted by VAR.

 

What does it mean? Two down, one to go for Bayern...

Bayern's development under Flick has been outstanding and with a domestic double once again wrapped up, this feels like a team with the confidence and quality to go all the way when the Champions League resumes in August. 

Kimmich in control as Thiago exit nears 

If reports are to be believed, Thiago Alcantara will soon be swapping Bayern for Premier League champions Liverpool. Yet in Kimmich, the Bundesliga giants are in excellent hands. He was typically composed as he dictated proceedings, topping off his display with a fine assist for Gnabry. 

Havertz's blushes spared by Hradecky 

Havertz failed to impress in what could well be his final outing for Leverkusen, but it was a calamitous error from team-mate Hradecky which will take the glare off his subdued display. The in-demand youngster did at least make an impact with a superbly taken penalty.

What's next? 

Bayern's players now face a month-long break before they take on Chelsea in the Champions League, leading 3-0 from the first leg. Leverkusen, meanwhile, will hope to retain their key players ahead of next season. 

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