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Daily Schmankerl: Pokal madness, Athletic Bilbao to swap Nunez for Martinez, no Bundesliga coaches fired yet for first time in 20 years...

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In transfer news, Athletic Bilbao might be willing to part with Unai Nunez in exchange for fellow Basque Javi Martinez. Might Bayern bite to add a center-back?

1. FC Saarbruecken v 1. FC Koeln - DFB Cup
FC Saarbrücken celebrate slaying FC Köln in the DFB Pokal, October 29, 2019.
Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

Pokal madness!

Bayern Munich might have played like hot garbage for the better part of 90 minutes, but the Bavarians still emerged from Bochum victorious. FC Köln was not as lucky. The “palpably different” natives of Cologne were knocked out of the Pokal 3-2 by FC Saarbrücken, which plays in the Regionalliga Südwest, one tier lower than the 3.Liga in which Bayern II plays. Saarbrücken took a 2-0 lead in the second half. Jonas Hector and Simon Terodde equalized, but Tobias Jänicke dealt the death blow.

VfB Stuttgart knocked HSV Hamburger out 2-1 in overtime. Union Berlin stunned SC Freiburg 3-1. Union’s fans chanted, “Wir fahren nach Berlin!” (“We’re traveling to Berlin!”) for the final, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

TSG Hoffenheim beat 3.Liga side Duisburg 2-0, and Bayer Leverkusen scraped by SC Paderborn 1-0 behind a goal by Lucas Alario, who is in incredible form. Schalke 04 also clawed its way into the next round. The Smurfs took a 3-0 lead over Arminia Bielefeld in the opening half hour and then gave up two goals in the 71st and 77th minutes, but held on to the win.

And last and least, Karlsruher SC beat SV Darmstadt 1-0.

If you missed our coverage of Bayern’s almost-debacle in Bochum, check it out:

Don Balon: Kai Havertz is actually AS Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo

Our friend the Don must have drunk a little too much port.

Athletic Bilbao interested in trading Unai Nunez for Javi Martinez? (Marca)

Bayern Munich has been linked already to Athletic Bilbao’s promising young defender Unai Nunez. Now Marca reports that Bilbao could be interested in negotiating a deal with Bayern Munich for Javi Martinez, who has yet to receive a contract extension and may already be in his final season with Bayern.

Bilbao was interested in Martinez last December and deliberated making a serious offer for the defensive midfielder, but he ultimately staid. Nunez, who has not extended his contract with Bilbao, could be a useful negotiating piece.

Bayern II four points ahead of 1860!

FC Saarbrücken ultras vandalize FC Köln’s team bus (Bild)

Insult to injury: not only did Saarbrücken humiliate Köln, knocking them out of the DFB-Pokal, but their ultras also defaced Köln’s team bus.

Nine matchdays and no coach firings for the first time in 20 years!

Well, well, well, who will be the first to go? FC Köln’s Achim Beierlorzer? They’re in the relegation playoff spot and just were knocked out of the Pokal by Saarbrücken (supra). FC Augsburg’s Martin Schmidt (whom I really like)? Augsburg sucks. And probably no coaching change can save Paderborn, dead last with just 4 points. Time will tell, maybe next week!

German Fußball culture is better than your culture

Danke, Basti! From Chicago with love.

Tom Starke visits Bayern’s injured U-19 keeper in the hospital

Manuel Kainz suffered a torn syndesmosis in his left ankle and needed an operation. Gute Besserung, Manuel!