Euro 2020 Special

DFB-Pokal: Bayern Munich Survive a Nail-Biter

Bayern Munich 4-3 TSG Hoffenheim

The DFB Pokal match between Bayern Munich and Hoffenheim didn’t disappoint as it provided a lot of drama, suspense, and everything in between last night at the Allianz Arena.

The game looked to be over when Robert Lewandowski scored the home team’s fourth goal at the final 10 minutes. However, Munas Dabbur gave the Bavarians quite a scare when he made his own personal run to which he scored a brace.

In our SBOTOP preview, I was leaning towards an easy win for Bayern Munich since they were heavily favoured in our DFB Pokal 2020 predictions, but big kudos to Hoffenheim boss Alfred Schreuder for guiding his players to a possible upset.

Hoffenheim’s superb run in the DFB Pokal may have come to an abrupt end, but they shouldn’t feel too bad about themselves especially when they gave football fans a healthy serving of DFB Pokal 2020 highlights.

As for Bayern, they may have to watch a lot of film especially for their next game in order to extend their dominance in the tourney.


Highlights of the game

Hoffenheim fielded in a depleted front since Sargis Adamyan was ruled out due to an ankle injury. His presence was sorely needed especially since he was the main reason that they defeated Bayern few months ago.

The home team went to their big guns right away as Philippe Coutinho and Robert Lewandowski had great chances within the first five minutes.

Coutinho tried his luck by launching his shot from outside the box but it went too wide, while Lewandowski drew cheers from the crowd when he netted what should’ve been his first goal of the evening.

However, upon further review through the VAR, the referees waved off the goal since Lewandowski was offside.

Hoffenheim drew first blood when Jerome Boateng gave the road team the first official goal of the match at the eighth minute. His attempt of deflecting Ihlas Bebou’s shot bounced off his foot the wrong way.

Another own goal occurred four minutes later when Benjamin Hubner tried to kick the ball away from Thomas Muller’s sliding strike. Davies found a cutting Muller inside the penalty area and the ball fortuitously bounced inside the net despite Hubner’s challenge.

Thomas Muller also contributes to Bayern Munich's win over Hoffenheim in DFB Pokal
                               Bayern’s Thomas Muller in action against Hoffenheim’s Havard Nordtveit during a DFB Pokal match

Bayern Munich continued to hit the woodwork by pushing the pace on the attack. Thomas Muller in particular looked to be very energetic as he zigzagged through the Hoffenheim backline.

He would score Bayern’s second goal in the 20th minute by doing just that as his deft first touch found its way to the back of the net after a volley by David Alaba.

Lewandowski almost scored another one two minutes later when he was left wide open inside the box through a porous Hoffenheim defence, but Philipp Pentke was there to clean it up.

Serge Gnabry also had a great chance when he blazed right past a Hoffenheim defender, but his shot attempt went too wide to the right side.

Robert Lewandowski would finally get into the tally by using his aerial prowess to head the ball into the net at the 36th minute when Hoffenheim defenders looked confused. It was a perfect way to end the first half for Bayern.

The second half was lethargic for the most part as both clubs struggled in generating opportunities to attack, but suspense started creeping in within the final 10 minutes.

Benjamin Hubner tried making amends from his own goal previously as he scored off of a lovely first touch at the 72nd minute. However, it didn’t count since the referees called a handball upon further review.

Robert Lewandowski put the final nail in the coffin for his brace when he scored off of a corner. The game looked to be over at that point.

Super sub Munas Dabbur made immediate impact when he scored at the 82nd minute. The 27-year-old held great position near the goal and his deft first touch led to a sublime finish.

Few minutes later, Dabbur scored his second goal of the evening when Bayern failed to clear the ball out. Benjamin Pavard tried to kick the ball away and almost scored an own goal, then the ball miraculously found a dashing Dabbur for an easy score.

A few plays here and there could’ve tilted the match in Hoffenheim’s favour, but they simply ran out of time in the end.


Key statistics

The Bavarians were seemingly unstoppable at the attack as they had more shots on target (9) and possession (61-per cent) compared to Hoffenheim. However, the home team was sometimes a bit to antsy on defence leading to three more fouls and two more yellows compared to the visitors.

Bundesliga’s top scorer in Robert Lewandowski climbed up to the DFB Pokal all-time scoring list surpassing Claudio Pizarro. The Polish striker now has 36 goals in the tournament.


What’s next?

Bayern Munich will get to host RB Leipzig in their next Bundesliga fixture on Monday in what will be a high-scoring showdown before facing Koln and Paderborn. They are slated to go up against Schalke 04 in the next round of the DFB Pokal.

Hoffenheim, meanwhile, continue their Bundesliga journey as they face SC Freiburg this Saturday.

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