Arjen Robben takes Bayern Munich through to the semi-finals of the German Cup
Bayern Munich beat the holders Borussia Dortmund 1-0 courtesy of a spectacular Arjen Robben goal to move into the German Cup semi-finals and reclaim domestic dominance after failing to defeat their rivals in the past six encounters. The Bundesliga leaders 3-1 victory at Arsenal in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie last week – remain on course for a treble.
Robben, unhappy about his substitute role this season, only made the starting line-up for the hosts due to the absence of the suspended Franck Ribéry but capped a sparkling performance with his 43rd-minute curled shot.
Wednesday’s victory was sweet for Bayern, looking for their first silverware in three years, as they took revenge for their 5-2 German Cup final loss to Dortmund last season. The Bavarians, who had lost five of their past six games against their rivals but hold a 17-point lead over the champions at the top of the Bundesliga, were the better side throughout.
Robben shot out of the blocks and twice came close in the opening stages in front of a 71,000 crowd which included the Uefa president, Michel Platini, and Wolfgang Niersbach, the Frenchman’s counterpart at the German football federation.
Robben finally managed to beat the goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller, who made a dozen stunning saves to keep Dortmund in the game, with a fine 20-yard effort from the right. Dortmund, badly missing the central defender Mats Hummels, was left exposed at the back far too often while they also failed to find ways to punch through a solid Bayern back line with the striker Robert Lewandowski – a reported Bayern transfer target – having a bad day.
Earlier on Wednesday VfB Stuttgart edged past the second division side Bochum 2-0 to book a spot in the last four, while on Tuesday Freiburg came from two goals down to beat Mainz 3-2 in extra time while Wolfsburg edged past Kickers Offenbach of the third tier 2-1.