05/25 15:40 CDT Bayern beats Leipzig 3-0 in German Cup final to seal double
Bayern beats Leipzig 3-0 in German Cup final to seal double
By CIARAN FAHEY
BERLIN (AP) --- Captain Manuel Neuer returned from six weeks out injured to
help Bayern Munich complete a domestic double after beating Leipzig 3-0 in the
German Cup final on Saturday.
Robert Lewandowski scored twice and Kingsley Coman grabbed the other as Bayern
claimed a record-extending 19th cup win to make up for the disappointment of
losing last year's final to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Bayern coach Niko Kovac, who was in charge of Frankfurt at the time, boosted
his chances of keeping his job in Munich after bringing a successful end to
what had been a testing season.
Neuer, who missed Bayern's Bundesliga triumph the week before due to a calf
injury, produced two stunning saves in either half when a goal for Leipzig
might have been decisive.
Neuer somehow denied Yussuf Poulsen's header from close range in the 11th
minute, when the ball crashed back off the crossbar, and got the better of Emil
Forsberg in a one-on-one after the break, when the Swedish midfielder should
"You couldn't write a better script," Neuer said.
Lewandowski opened the scoring with a header in the 29th, Coman doubled the
lead in the 78th after Forsberg's miss, and Lewandowski wrapped it up with a
chip over the goalkeeper in the 85th.
Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery went on late to make their last appearances for
Bayern after 10 and 12 seasons respectively. Ribery became the only player to
play in eight German Cup finals.
"They delivered a lot for the team and the club," Lewandowski said. "We have to
Leipzig was appearing in its first, and had been hoping to celebrate the 10th
anniversary of its founding date with a win. Thousands of fans made the
relatively short journey from Saxony to cheer their side, though they found
themselves outnumbered by Bayern fans at Berlin's Olympic Stadium, which hosts
German soccer's showpiece every year.
"It's a huge disappointment," Leipzig chairman Oliver Mintzlaff said. "When you
come here, you want to win."
The supporters had been warming up for hours before the encounter, downing
beers and singing songs at various locations in the city before making their
way to the game. Fans who arrived on chartered buses lit barbeques and shared
crates of beer by the side of the road.
Leipzig coach Ralf Rangnick, the sporting director who took charge of the team
on an interim basis before Julian Nagelsmann arrives from Hoffenheim, started
with his strongest team, with American Tyler Adams lining up beside Kevin Kampl
Leipzig looked sharper, fresher and quicker at the start, but one lapse was all
Lewandowski needed to open the scoring. David Alaba whipped the ball in toward
the penalty spot, where Lewandowski had too much space to head inside the left
Coman displayed a fantastic first touch to control the ball past the helpless
Peter Gulacsi for Bayern's second, and Lewandowski ensured the result was
emphatic when he claimed his competition-leading seventh goal. Lewandowski was
booked for removing his shirt in the celebrations, but he accepted the yellow
card with a smile.
"We worked hard for the whole season. In the end you could say it was a good
season for us," the Polish striker said.
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Ciarn Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP