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Reactions to the DFB Cup semifinal: Super Sven gets all the praise

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Dominance pays off.

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - APRIL 17: Thomas Mueller (L) of Bayern celebrate with team mate Robert Lewandowski after he scores the 6th goal during the DFB Cup semi final match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Bayern Munchen at BayArena on April 17, 2018 in Leverkusen, Germany. Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

Reactions to the match

(FCBayern.com and Bild)

Jupp Heynckes took his team a little bit closer to realizing the dreams of winning the treble. The boss, as always, was happy and proud of what his boys have achieved. In addition to sharing his thoughts on the team’s performance as a whole, he did not forget to appreciate the outstanding performance of Sven Ulreich:

It was a demonstration of football for long periods. We turned in an absolutely top performance against strong opponents. We were dominant but again and again there were situations when Sven Ulreich prevented a goal. He’s outstanding if you ask me. We were incredibly motivated and focused on the match. We absolutely wanted to go to Berlin, and we’ve deserved it. We knocked out Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund and, today, a highly talented Leverkusen team. We’re in good form.

Thomas Müller, who played a pivotal role in taking Bayern to the final, said that the team cooperated very well and the victory was really well deserved. He didn’t forget to mention Ulreich’s stunning performance as well:

It was an advertisement for German football. We quickly went two up, then it was 2-1 and Ulle (Sven Ulreich) preserved our lead. We rounded off some of our moves very well, we were very efficient. The team’s performance was superb. The team cooperated very well and really deserved it. Of course we want more. We can feel more is possible.

Karl Heinz Rummenigge also had a bucket full of praise for Sven Ulreich:

He made outstanding saves. But I would not like to give advice to Joachim Löw. He’s been in the business long enough. He will pick the players who will be able to defend the title at the World Cup successfully. But I wish it for Sven; he’s played an outstanding season. Fantastic!

And then the Man spoke. Ulreich poured praise on Leverkusen and said that they gave a great performance but Bayern fought really well. He added that the team, just like everyone else, is looking forward to clinching the title:

We absolutely wanted to make it to the cup final. We’ve had very tough tasks in the cup, and it wasn’t easy today either. The result is a bit decpetive. Leverkusen turned in a very good display but we took our chances, and we’re happy we’ve advanced to the final. Now we want to clinch the cup.

Leverkusen’s manager Heiko Herrlich was annoyed by the defeat. But, he said that both the teams played really well and Bayern have the quality and are very efficient:

Of course it’s unfortunate to be two down after eight minutes. The team still displayed commitment, and we soon created big chances. We tried to keep on fighting and play football. It was a good and evenly-balanced match until half-time. Then we transformed and were a bit more open. Things would have gone differently if we had used out first few chances. Bayern then made it 3-1 and we conceded three goals in succession. They really smashed us today, it hurts, it annoys me. Bayern have the quality, they were very efficient. They became ecstatic, it’s impressive that they don’t ease off. They have this hunger, this greed.

Kevin Volland was devastated about his team’s loss but that did not resist him from praising Bayern Munich:

The result is perhaps a little too harsh. Bayern played well on the wings and ruthlessly took every chance, which made the difference today. We still turned in a decent display. Bayern are the strongest team in Germany and one of the strongest in the world. You saw it today. They use every chance.

Leverkusen’s Jonathan Tah said that the defeat was deserved. Nonetheless, he thinks that Leverkusen can still do better in the Bundesliga as there are still games left in the league:

The loss is deserved, but the result doesn’t completely reflect the game. In the end, we can say that we gave it our all and unfortunately didn’t convert the chance to make it 2-2. Now we have the Bundesliga ahead of us, where we still want to accomplish something. We have to get over it quick. We still have ambitious goals in the championship and want to get back to our level. That I’m sure of.

The Match In Review

It was goals galore at the BayArena as the league champions thrashed an in-form Bayer 04 Leverkusen and booked themselves a spot in the DFB Cup final. Javi Martínez scored an early opener in the third minute by netting the ball past a hasty Bernd Leno. Die Roten was able to stupefy the thirty thousand-capacity crowd as Robert Lewandowski hit the target from Franck Ribéry’s wonderful cross. It took only a little time for the hosts to get back on their feet as Lars Bender headed the ball past Bayern’s perplexed defenders. The score stood unaltered until the end of an entertaining first half. The second half kicked off with Thomas Müller brilliantly sliding the ball past Leno to make it 1-3 in favor of the Bavarians. As the game progressed, Thiago Alcântara saw the target once and Thomas Müller scored twice to complete his hattrick and granted Die Roten a ticket to Berlin. Leon Bailey’s goal at the 72nd minute wasn’t, obviously, enough for Die Werkself to get the better of the champions.

The final match will be held on May 19th in Berlin. Bayern will face either Schalke 04 or Eintracht Frankfurt in the final round.

Notable Numbers

1. The match against Bayer Leverkusen was Ulreich’s 50th match for FC Bayern in all competitions.

2. Die Roten made it to their 22nd DFB Cup final. They’ve lifted the cup 18 times out of the 21 times they’ve played the final.

3. The Bavarians extended their record and won 26 consecutive away matches in the DFB Pokal.

4. Jupp Heynckes has now managed 76 DFB Cup matches, leveling with Udo Lattek.