Bayern Crash out of the DFB Pokal
Serge Gnabry would get the Munich side on the board early putting away a very poorly cleared ball from a weak Thomas Müller shot. Twenty minutes later Fin Bartels would find his way behind the backline following a long ball over the top and blast it into the far corner to tie things up.
The second half started very well for Bayern with Jamal Musiala winning a freekick just outside the box. Leroy Sane stepped up and curled a beautiful freekick into the top corner. From that point on Bayern looked completely disinterested.
It wouldn’t be fair to say Kiel dominated the game from then on, but they certainly looked like the more dangerous of the two sides by a long shot. However, it took till the fifth minute of extra time (of three) for Kiel to get their just reward. A throw in give and go followed by a viciously whipped in cross found the head/shoulder of Hauke Wahl and subsequently the back of the net.
Extra time was a dull affair with very few chances for either side. Bayern had the better of them but the passes, crosses and shots were all lacking in the final touch necessary to win this match, so on to penalties we went.
The first five players on both sides stepped up and scored with no problem what-so-ever. Then Marc Roca stepped up to take the sixth. In truth, it was not a terrible penalty. It was hit hard and towards the post, but the height was not great and the Kiel keeper guessed correctly to save it. Bartels then stepped up and coolly slid it past Neuer to see his side advance 2-2 (6-5).
If we’re being completely honest, Bayern never really looked into this match. From the moment the whistle blew, they looked as though they’d just like to get it over with and get back home. That’s not to say they didn’t want to win. They are professional athletes. Of course they did. But I don’t think they felt as though they needed to give their all in order to win and the first goal probably did nothing to dissuade them of that opinion.
However, it was after the second goal by Sane that they really took their foot off the pedal. You could see it in their body language. They thought the match was over. They probably assumed they would grab another goal or two and waltz out of Kiel with an easy victory. However, as we all know the Pokal likes to play tricks on you and when you take that attitude, you are bound to pay. That is exactly what happened and Holstein Kiel absolutely deserved to move on to the next round.
This loss marks the end of an incredible run from Hansi Flick which saw him win every trophy he had the opportunity to up till this point. It’s always easy to convince ourselves that Bayern will win both domestic trophies, especially after they had done so several years running, but the truth is that this was always likely to happen.
The Pokal is a dangerous competition for teams like Bayern. They end up playing in games that are uncomfortable and tricky that on paper look like sure things. Those games usually come sandwiched between a lot of other matches and so the players are tired and not concentrating the way they should. That is unquestionably what happened tonight.
The simple truth though is that Bayern have too many games in too short a period of time this season. It was unrealistic of anyone to expect a second Treble in such a condensed and odd year. While we obviously all would love that, we have to be realistic and accept that winning one or two trophies this season will still be a massive accomplishment. In fact, it may actually help their chances in the other two now that they have one less competition to focus on. No matter what happens though, The first 14 months of Hansi Flick’s tenure as Bayern coach were nothing short of spectacular!
YOU. That’s right you are the player of the match for sitting through that dismal performance and then coming here to read about it. No one on the field did anything nearly as heroic as that. Sane’s goal may have been great. Gnabry’s was certainly lucky. But you showed more fortitude than anyone by simply sticking with your team for 120 minutes plus penalty kicks while they lost in dramatic style. No time to get complacent though as the team takes on an in form SC Freiburg on Sunday. Let’s hope that one turns out a little better!