Bayern Munich kept their post-pandemic winning streak alive as they knocked out Adi Hütter’s Eintracht Frankfurt out of the DFB Pokal, thus booking themselves a ticket to Berlin for their 3rd consecutive Pokal final.
Hansi Flick has had a commendable term as the head coach of Bayern and the boss keeps letting us know over and over again that he mustn’t distract himself until he put all the Ws where they belong on the points table regardless of the competition.
While speaking to the press after the match, Flick mentioned how the score could have been a bit different if the hosts had taken their chances (via FCBayern.com): “It was a cup match, our opponents pressed very well, we were reeling at times. But at the end of the day it was a deserved victory. Should we had taken our chances and scored one or two more goals, the second half would have been different then.”
Flick also praised the players for giving top level performances game after game, “I still have to pay my team a huge compliment. We’re on a great run, the players are doing a very, very good job, so we can accept the second half. The important thing was to advance after such a cup fight.”
It’s difficult to speak for the side that just got knocked out of a major competition and that frustration really reflected in Adi Hütter’s post match comments, “We played really well in the second half and deserved to equalise. We can be very proud because many people didn’t think we’d be able to cope. We took Bayern to the brink of defeat. Nevertheless, we’re leaving the pitch as losers, and that hurts. It hurts that we won’t be able to play on the European stage next season. We have to live with a season like that. We’re not quite satisfied.”
Thomas Müller called out the team for not utilizing their chances more effectively, but acknowledged that playing games in consecutive English weeks had taken a toll on the team’s fitness.
“Frankfurt showed a lot of fatigue in the first half. We were fresher, we should have taken a bigger lead. But we too were tired and fatigued after the last few weeks matches, unfortunately it was similar in the second half. We were unusually sloppy. Our pressing wasn’t deserving of our name. Our defenders did a good job. They stifled a lot, but in terms of our play, the final ball, we can be anything but satisfied. We stepped on the gas after the equaliser.”
Bayern’s speedster Alphonso Davies also put down his thoughts, praising Frankfurt’s quality and effort on the pitch - “Frankfurt are very strong opponents, and not only on paper. We had to push ourselves to our limits.”
He was ecstatic at the thought of Bayern making it to the finals, and expressed his desire to give it his all with the team and win the cup. “We’ve worked hard in this competition, and the final is the reward. I absolutely wanted to go to Berlin. It’s a dream come true. We’ll be fully motivated, as always, to come out on top in the final too.”
Former Bayern player Sebastian Rode, who has established himself as a mainstay in Frankfurt’s midfield, was a bright spot for them all game. Nonetheless, he voiced his disappointment at not being able to take the fight to the death: “It’s extremely bitter. The second goal was too easy. That was a small blow to the jugular. But we put up a good fight. The opportunity was there. It’s a shame we didn’t take it.”
Teammate Timothy Chandler echoed Rode’s thoughts, further adding that their first half performance gave the game away - ”We were bold in the second half, we came right out of the blocks, we pressed high and played vertically. Had we played it that way in the first half, the game might have been even tighter. In the first half time we were not so brave. We quickly lost the ball, although we made some good moves.”
In the end however, he showcased his admiration for the team and Eintracht’s remarkable Pokal run, shifting his sights on the Bundesliga. “I’m proud of the team. We gave it everything. Now we have to keep working and pick up points in the Bundesliga.”
With this win, the Bavarians have reached the Pokal final for a third time in a row, and given the rhythm of play they have been demonstrating, they are now a step closer to winning all competitions, meaning the opportunity to achieve a treble is within their grasp.