After losing at the Tivoli back in 2004 and 2006, Bayern finally won a DFB cup match in Aachen. But first things first:
Mark van Bommel’s departure meant that there’s gonna be a new captain soon. Would it be assistant captain Philipp Lahm or central midfield maestro Bastian Schweinsteiger? For now, it’s Lahm and I don’t expect that to change for next season. Having been (as just mentioned) assistant captain for some time now and being captain of the German national team, Lahm was the obvious choice. However, a lot of fans were hoping for Schweinsteiger to be the new man representing the club at the pregame coin toss because his ability to lead a team seems to be better than Lahm’s.
The starting lineups featured some surprises. Arjen Robben didn’t start (a mix of a cold and precaution), Anatoliy Tymoshchuk again played alongside Holger Badstuber and, most surprisingly, Danijel Pranjic and Andreas Ottl were the central midfield pair. Needless to say, it was the usual 4-2-3-1 formation, Aachen used a 4-1-3-2 formation.
The difference between Lahm and Luiz Gustavo was noticeable immediately. Lahm, as an offensive-minded right back, participated in most attacks what gave Thomas Müller the opportunity to move to the inside often. Gustavo on the other hand mostly stayed at the back and watched Hamit Altintop do the work offensively. That’s the difference between a true, modern full back and a defensive midfielder who just helps out.
The first 20 minutes were nothing special, except for a Gomez shot that was anticipated nicely by Aachen’s goalkeeper. Bayern tried to make something happen but didn’t take any risk, Aachen didn’t want to concede an early goal. Then, all of a sudden, Aachen’s striker Benjamin Auer had a decent scoring chance but his shot missed the net. Minutes later, Luiz Gustavo finally supported Altintop on the left and delivered a perfect cross. Mario Gomez didn’t have any problem to put it past Hohs this time, 1-0 Bayern. Another Gomez shot and a controversial contact that could’ve led to a penalty kick for Aachen but didn’t were the only other mentionable moments of the first half.
The second half started like the first half ended: A scoring chance for Mario Gomez, saved by David Hohs. The boys in red and white then decided to make the match more interesting by allowing Aachen to attack Thomas Kraft’s goal. A superb, Kahn-like reflex in the 60th minute saved his team’s lead. Aachen kept exerting pressure but that save served as a wake-up call for the Bayern offense.
When Arjen Robben was subbed on for Altintop, the match was pretty much over. Three minutes later, Robben passed the ball to Müller who scored the deciding 2-0. Another five minutes later, it was Müller again who scored his second goal of the evening. Robben also netted the ball from just a few feet away to end the match. A deserved 4-0 victory for Bayern who, except for maybe 5 minutes, were the better team and in full control. Maybe one goal too many but who am I to complain about that?
Goals: 0-1 Gomez (26′), 0-2 Müller (75′), 0-3 Müller (80′), 0-4 Robben (88′)
Bayern: Arjen Robben (Altintop, 72′), Miroslav Klose (Gomez, 82′)
Aachen: Kevin Kratz (Radjabali-Fardi, 54′), Sergiu Radu (Arslan, 73′), Bilal Cubukcu (Stieber, 82′)
Other cup matches:
Schalke v Nuremberg 3-2 a.e.t. (Gavranovic, Rakitic, Draxler; Schieber x2)
Duisburg v Kaiserslautern 2-0 (Bajic, Sukalo)
Cottbus v Hoffenheim 1-0 (Shao)
Next match: Saturday @ Bremen (Bundesliga), 3.30 pm local time