Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 September 2020

51 goals for Robert Lewandowski and another double for Bayern Munich - in pictures

Cup final win secures another trophy for German giants - who are now aiming for the treble

Robert Lewandowski struck twice and Bayern Munich celebrated in front of empty stands after completing a successive domestic double with a 4-2 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the German Cup final.

“(It’s) a bit sad when the fans are missing for such a cup final in such a great stadium,” Bayern forward Thomas Muller said. “I was thinking about it during the award ceremony. It hurts a bit.”

Bayern, who had already won their eighth straight Bundesliga title, retained the cup with goals from David Alaba, Serge Gnabry and two from Lewandowski as he passed the 50-goal mark for this season.

It was Bayern’s second straight league and cup double, and their 13th overall. Now Bayern are targeting the reorganised Champions League in August as they bid to repeat the treble-winning season under Jupp Heynckes in 2013.

Leverkusen were chasing their first title of any sort since 1993, when they last won the cup. Since then they have finished runner-up on nine occasions in different competitions, triggering taunts of “Vicekusen” from rivals.

Supporters were excluded from Berlin’s 75,000-capacity Olympiastadion. Only 691 people were allowed, including Germany coach Joachim Low, who watched while wearing a black face mask and suit.

Hygiene measures were strict. Normally noisy roads would be teeming with traffic and fans ahead of the German showpiece, but the area was eerily quiet before kickoff.

“I am so incredibly sorry that you didn’t have any spectators today. It’s something I sorely miss and you do too,” German soccer federation president Fritz Keller said during Bayern’s trophy presentation. “That we’re standing here at all is down to a lot of busy people.”

Bayern dominated from the start and could have been leading by more than two goals at the break.

Alaba broke the deadlock with a brilliant free kick into the top right corner in the 16th minute and Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky blocked Muller from close range shortly afterward.

Bayern maintained their pressure and Gnabry fired in the second goal in the 24th minute.

Substitute Kevin Volland should have scored for Leverkusen in the 57th minute, but he missed the ball while attempting to shoot, two minutes before Hradecky allowed Lewandowski’s shot to slip through at the other end.

Leverkusen midfielder Sven Bender pulled a goal back in the 64th minute, prompting some pressure in which the underdogs missed more chances.

But Lewandowski killed off any slim hopes of a comeback with his second goal in the 89th minute, his 51st goal across all competitions this season.

Leverkusen star Kai Havertz scored a penalty with the last touch of the game. He didn’t celebrate.

It was an 11th successive victory for Bayern since German football resumed following the coronavirus outbreak.

Updated: July 5, 2020 10:51 AM

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