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FCB beat BVB with blend of skill and fight

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FCB beat BVB with blend of skill and fight

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:40 pm

You knew something special was on the cards. Unusually, the Allianz Arena was packed to capacity a full half-hour before kick-off. The fans chanted their heroes' names as the players warmed up. And a couple of minutes later than scheduled, shortly after 8.30 pm, the curtain went up: Bayern in red and Dortmund in yellow took to the stage. The South Terrace loyalists mounted an impressive choreographed display. The DFB Cup quarter-final the whole of Germany had been looking forward to was set to go - and from a Bayern point of view, the 90 top-class minutes of football were a real treat. A superb Arjen Robben finish on 43 minutes earned FCB a tight but fully merited 1-0 victory over champions and cup holders Dortmund, sending the Reds through to this season's semi-finals.

"And we could have scored two or three goals more," summarised FCB president Uli Hoeneß, "we played perfect football at times." Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was just as proud: "It's our 113th birthday, so it's very good to win," the chairman said.

The 71,000 crowd at the stadium and millions more watching on TV around the world witnessed a high tempo thriller between what Rummenigge justly called "the two best teams in Germany." However, Bayern underlined their current position as the better of the two this season with another imposing display. "It was an important match for our image," Rummenigge acknowledged.

It is the third time FCB and BVB have crossed swords this term, and the second time Munich have won: a 2-1 Supercup victory was followed by a 1-1 draw in the league. "The media have repeatedly had a go at us about Dortmund," reflected Thomas Müller, "so obviously this has done us good." However, the most important fact is that Bayern are through to the cup semi-finals for the fourth season on the bounce.

Commendable fighting spirit

It was a fine performance too. "My team demonstrated we're not only capable of good, attractive football at the moment, we can scrap too," enthused coach Jupp Heynckes. Toni Kroos was also pleased with that aspect of the evening: "We put in a shift and battled away, we never let Dortmund get going, and our transitions were quick."

Borussia's tactics were to get at Bayern early and compress the play. FCB's response was to deploy plenty of diagonal passing, opening up opportunities to attack down the flanks. The visitors showed more adventure after the break, but Manuel Neuer's goal only once came under serious threat and that was in stoppage time, when sub Julian Shieber headed over from close range, although the home side could easily have been home and dry by then but for a string of missed chances. "We should have wrapped it up," admitted captain Philipp Lahm, "but as it was, it was tight until the end."

Scintillating form since Christmas

The home side deservedly held on for the win, inflicting a first away defeat in 15 games on BVB, and extending their own perfect record since the winter break with an eighth win in eight. Naturally, FCB's eyes are now firmly fixed on the trophy itself: "We're in the semi-finals. We must be regarded as contenders," said Heynckes.

"But [potential opponents] Wolfsburg, Stuttgart and Freiburg are tricky," warned Kroos. The draw for the last four takes place on Sunday evening. "We're determined to win this trophy," declared Lahm. Naturally, a home tie would be very welcome, not least because of the fantastic fans: "It was a sensational atmosphere," said Lahm. And Bayern have now won 27 of their last 28 cup matches on home soil.
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