Bayern Munich have won the DFB Pokal after defeating RB Leipzig 3-0 in the cup final in Berlin. This is the club’s 19th Pokal title and the twelfth double in the history of the team. This is the third double in six years for the Bavarians.
Striker Robert Lewandowski made the first contribution to the scoresheet with a header in the 29th minute after a cross from David Alaba. Then, in the 78th minute Kingsley Coman deftly brought down a deflected ball from Joshua Kimmich and slammed home an insurance goal as time winded down. In garbage time, Kimmich played a clearance ball perfectly in front of Lewandowski, who caught Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano sleeping to make it 3-0.
This was the first appearance for goalkeeper Manuel Neuer after missing the last six games with a torn muscle. He made amazing contributions right off the bat with a phenomenal save against Yussuf Poulsen early in the game. Later saves against Emil Forsberg and Timo Werner solidified the clean sheet.
This was also the last game for Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, and Rafinha in a Bayern jersey. Robben came on for Serge Gnabry in the 73rd minute. With the crowd chanting his name, Ribery came on for Coman in the 86th and played his last minutes in red as a champion. The duo went on the attack, but a deflated Leipzig managed to save some face and deny them their parting shots.
A long road to Berlin
There were no easy games on Bayern Munich’s road to the final. After an unconvincing win against SV Drochtersen/Assel, Bayern eked out close wins over SV Rodinghausen and Hertha Berlin to reach the quarterfinals. There, in one of the most dramatic fixtures of the season, despite being a man down, Bayern ultimately defeat 1. FC Heidenheim in a 5-4 heart-stopper. They reached the final after a Lewandowski penalty saw the German Champions defeat Werder Bremen 3-2.
Leipzig had an easier time in their journey to Berlin. A 3-1 win against Viktoria Köln and a 2-0 win against Hoffenheim led to a 1-0 win against Wolfsburg and a spot in the quarterfinals. The Red Bulls needed extra time to dispatch Augsburg, but had an easier time against Hamburger SV, defeating them 3-1 and reaching the final.
RB Leipzig was the first team from East Germany to reach the final of the Pokal since FC Energie Cottbus in 1997. The last East German team to win the Deutscher Pokal was Dresdener SC, who defeated Nürnberg and Schalke in back to back titles in 1940 and 1941. The last team from Leipzig to win a Pokal was VfB Leipzig (now 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig) back in 1936.
Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac has now won the DFB Pokal back to back, having won his first title by defeating Bayern itself in his final season with Eintracht Frankfurt. He is the first man to win the double both as a player and as a coach.