Leverkusen Dominate German Cup Final

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Saturday 01 June:

Bayer Leverkusen cruised to a 3-1 win in the German Cup Final over Greuther-Fürth this afternoon with a goals from man-of-the-match Junior Fernandes either side of the interval proving the difference between the two sides. The two sides came in to today’s match looking balanced on paper, but in truth, Leverkusen’s attacking fluidity blew apart the Fürth game plan who conceded foul after foul and couldn’t deal with penetrating balls into the area.

Preview: The last domestic trophy across the top European footballing nations is contested today, with Bayer Leverkusen and Greuther Fürth meeting in the DFB-Pokal Final in Berlin’s Olympiastadion. It’s already a successful first season in the Bundesliga for Fürth, whose 7th placed finish will see them play Europa League football next season regardless of the result today. Leverkusen finished two places and 7 points better off than their opponents today, also sealing another season of European football next year.

It went one-apiece in the league this season, both sides wining their home matches: Leverkusen with a 4-0 win back in September, with Fürth winning 2-0 in February. Fürth are one of the few clubs who took 4 points from domestic and continental champions Bayern Munich, beating them 1-0 at home after a 2-2 draw in Munich. En route to today’s final, Fürth knocked out holders Bayern Munich on penalties at the quarter-final stage, while Leverkusen exacted some revenge over Stuttgart in the semi-finals a month after their countrymen knocked them out of the Europa League.

Leverkusen have a fully fit squad to select from, including the in-form Stefan Kießling who’ll win the competition golden boot award if he scores today. Fürth aren’t so fortunate going into the match. Felix Kraus will face a late fitness test afetr a recent ankle knock, but they’ll definitely be without the defensive services of Milorad Pekovic and Bernd Nehrig. Not good news for a team yet to keep a clean sheet in the competition so far.

Route to the Final:

Bayer Leverkusen
SpVgg Greuther Fürth
R1 A v. Heidenheim 4-0 A v. Karlsruhe 2-0
R2 A v. Ingolstadt 3-2 A v. Bochum 3-3e, 4-3p
R3 H v. Braunschweig 3-1 H v. Hoffenheim 3-2
QF A v.Hamburg 3-1 H v. B.Munich 1-1e, 5-4p
SF H v. Stuttgart 1-0 A v. Hannover 2-1

Bayer Leverkusen v. SpVgg Greuther Fürth
Saturday 1 June 2013, Olympiastadion, Berlin
DFB-Pokal Final | Weather: Drizzle 7°C

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European Football Express: “I fancy Leverkusen to win this one. They should have enough quality to see off the threat of Fürth. Milorad Pekovic will be a big absence for them.”

Livetweets from @realtimeFM:

0′ We’re live in Berlin’s Olympiastadion for the 2013 DFB-Pokal Final, Leverkusen v. Fürth. Referee Stark gets us underway!

3′ One shot apiece in the opening exchanges. Fürth won a corner after 30 seconds after a smart save. Rolfes just fizzed one wide for Bayer.

5′ Early yellow card for Fürth’s central midfielder Vladimir Darida for a cynical bodycheck on Rolfes.

6′ From the free-kick, Mergim Mavraj clatters through Junior Fernandes right on the edge of the area and also sees yellow.

10′ We’ve played ten minutes and Leverkusen have had EIGHT shots at the Fürth goal so far, three on target. One-way traffic.

15′ GOAL! Mavraj’s evening gets worse when under-pressure from Schürrle he heads Rolfes’s cross past his own ‘keeper. Leverkusen lead 1-0!

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21′ Fürth forced into a change as Edgar Pribb limps off. He’s replaced by Gerald Asamoah.

24′ Schürrle plays a neat one-two with Kießling before striking from 20 yards. It clips the top of the crossbar and goes over.

31′ Fürth win a freekick 25 yards out and Darida forces a smart save from Leno to palm the ball wide of his right-hand post.

37′ First half just petering out somewhat. A succession of fouls in the middle is halting any progress, though Bayer dominating possession.

43′ GOAL! A Bayer second has been coming and arrives just before the break. Kießling holds the ball up on the edge of the area before playing in Junior Fernandes to slot past Grun for 2-0.

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HT’ There’s the half-time whistle, and Leverkusen comfortably 2-0 to the good. The stats speak for themselves:

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46′ Leverkusen kick-off the second-half.

48′ GOAL! Just two minutes after the break and it’s surely all over now. Junior Fernandes picks up the ball in the centre circle and sets off on a 30 yard run, darting past three men before finishing cooly for 3-0.

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55′ Sub for Fürth: Geis replaces Darida. Leverkusen happily passing the ball around in midfield without much pressure.

57′ GOAL! Geis makes an immediate impact, his cross picks out Sarerer who square for Sven Schipplock to score, 3-1:

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61′ Tanos Petsos joins two teammates in Mr Stark’s notebook after he trips Leverkusen’s Kadlec on the left wing.

70′ Third change for Fürth, Sobiech on for Mavraj. Leverkusen unchanged so far.

75′ Fifteen to go and since their goal, Fürth haven’t been given any chance to see the ball. Bayer more likely to grab a fourth.

79′ First change for Leverkusen: Hegeler replaces Schürrle.

90′ As the fourth official’s board goes up (2 mins), Gerald Asamoah clatters man of the match Junior Fernandes and becomes the fourth in the book.

90′ Leverkusen make a double sub to eat up some time: Reinartz and Renato Augusto replaced by Ömer Toprak and Castro.

90+2′ Sven Schipplock barges Lars Bender off the ball and becomes the fifth player (all Fürth) in the book. Time almost up here.

90+3′ There’s the final whistle and Leverkusen have won the DFB-Pokal German Cup with a dominating 3-1 victory here today.

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Full Time: Bayer Leverkusen 3 – 1 SpVgg Greuther Fürth
(Mavraj og 14′, Junior Fernandes 43′ and 48′ — Schipplock 57′)

DFB Cup Final VfB Stuttgart v 1.FC Nuremberg

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