Berlin, Germany (Weltxpress). Sold-out! At the Berlin Olympic Stadium and in the Hofbräu Berlin Fans queued to get into it. Both venues where packed with spectators. Three journalists from WELTEXPRESS followed the DFB Cup Final not in the press box at the Berlin Olympic Stadium but instead with Hax’n and Hofbräu (first Original, then dark, black white and finally Maibock) in the Hofbräu Berlin.
Full glasses, full benches and full tables already before the game got going were the setting for a boisterous mood. Although a few dozen clad in black and yellow managed to take their seats in the second floor of the “Hax’n Heaven” close to Alexanderplatz the cheerers-on of Bayern Munich dominated the scene. All of them saw a goalless 90 minutes and on top of that a goalless extension. Borussia coach Thomas Tuchel obviously told his players not to get involved in the “possession football” of his counterpart Pep Guardiola. Thus, Bayern Munich did not even make their mark with two dozens of goal shots in Berlin. Out of the 17 kicks only three reached the goal well guarded by keeper Roman Bürki of Borussia. Before Bürki acted mainly Mats Hummels, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Sven Bender had their part in the attack.
On the other side the defence stood firm with and around Jérome Boateng in front of Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer as usual. Xabi Alonso stayed benched. Although Air Vidal grabbed hold of the game or rather the ball, his teammates did not manage to open up any gaps in the Dortmund defence. On the wings, once the domain of FC Bayern, hardly anything happened. Franck Ribery was like so often only a shadow of glorious days – and Douglas Costa is not an adequate substitute for Arjen Robben.
But the fast counterattacks of Borussia remained unsuccessful as well. Not always long balls reached Marco Reus or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and if so, the players did not get through the line of defence of their opponents this Saturday night.
FC Bayern München demonstrated, viewed by 74,322 spectators in the stadium, their ability with a lot of short passes, Borussia Dortmund gave it a try with a number of long balls, but neither “possession football” nor counter-football – after all, Aubameyang in regular time (85) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the extension (103) could have scored – won the day.
Ribery and Hummels both had to be replaced because of cramps. Ribery should actually have left the field much earlier, but the referee seemed to be a member of his team. Fritz did not give red for the assault of Ribery against Gonzalo Castro (39). Who knows if Tuchel would then have changed the tactics for the second half and defeat the decimated old and new German champion.
With no goals scored as the game went on and on the fan crowd at Hofbräu were getting nasty and noisier. The Hofbräu was now not only brimming over in the glass but also during the penalty shoot-out to come. Neuer parried a ball by Bender of Borussia and after that Socrates shot from the penalty spot only to hit the goal post. Because of all the “Bavarian” players only young Joshua Kimmich did not resolve a penalty goal, Bayern won at the end of a good German Cup Final with 4:3.