Bayern Munich cruised to the DFB-Pokal title on Saturday, doing the domestic double by beating Bayer Leverkusen, 4-2, while getting a little help despite not needing it. The Bavarians had eight shots in a dominant first half with David Alaba scoring on a free kick 16 minutes in before Serge Gnabry's fine strike eight minutes later put the match on the verge of being out of reach. But in the second half, Robert Lewandowski scored from way out thanks to a blunder by Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky that wrapped this one up before scoring another, reaching 51 goals on the season.
Leverkusen got a goal by Sven Bender 63 minutes in to pull within two and then a Kai Havertz penalty on the lack kick of the game, but the lasting image in attack was the unbelievable miss by Kevin Volland early in the second half, whiffing on a cross from Moussa Diaby.
The title win means Bayern is back-to-back German Cup champs, winning it for the 20th time.
Here are three takeaways from the match:
Bayer Leverkusen 2, Bayern Munich 4 (FT)
⚽ Bayern: David Alaba (16')
⚽ Bayern: Serge Gnabry (24')
⚽ Bayern: Robert Lewandowski (59')
⚽ Leverkusen: Sven Bender (63')
⚽ Bayern: Robert Lewandowski (89'')
⚽ Leverkusen: Kai Havertz - penalty kick (90+5')
The opening goal was as good as it gets
Lewandowski won Bayern a free kick 15 minutes after a silly challenge by Edmond Tapsoba, and David Alaba made it look easy. After a hesitation, he went up from close range and lofted it over the wall with world-class precision. Take a look:
Hard to put that in a better spot. He lofted it, picked out where he wanted and made Leverkusen pick it out from the back of the net. This set the tone.
Kimmich was immense on second goal
Joshua Kimmich is obviously the heart and soul of this midfield, and he showed how he can change a game at both ends, doing it within five seconds. On Gnabry's goal, Kimmich interrupted a pass to recover possession, settled the ball moments later after a pass and needed just one touch after trapping it to play Gnabry through to make it 2-0.
The former RB Leipzig man is as good as they come in the middle of the park in Germany and once again showed it, helping his team to yet another title. What a player.
Wasteful Leverkusen wonders what could have been
You just have to wonder what could have been if just one thing had gone right for the underdogs. Volland's miss early in the second half really should have been scored, which would have made it 2-1 with Leverkusen having the momentum. Take a look at this miss:
And the blunder by the goalkeeper, and it was just a night to forget for Leverkusen. Not that the team would have come back from 2-1, but it would have given them a chance. His whiff effectively ruined any chance of storming back.
Leverkusen had enough chances to keep this closer yet came up empty when it mattered most, leaving the capital without the trophy in hand.