Mon, May 14, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Dortmund spank Bayern in Cup final

YELLOW HEAVEN:Robert Lewandowski hit a hat-trick as Borussia Dortmund completed a league and cup double with a 5-2 win over Champions League finalists Bayern Munich

Reuters, BERLIN

Borussia Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski, left, scores past Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng, center, as Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer looks on in the German Cup final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund further challenged Bayern Munich’s hold over German soccer on Saturday by crushing their rivals 5-2, with a treble by Poland’s Robert Lewandowski, to lift the German Cup and land their first double.

It was Dortmund’s fifth straight win over Bayern, who were at full strength ahead of next Saturday’s Champions League final against Chelsea, as they staked an even bigger claim to take over from the Bavarians as Germany’s dominant domestic force.

Shinji Kagawa fired Dortmund into a third-minute lead after a double defensive blunder by Luiz Gustavo, before Dutchman Arjen Robben leveled from the penalty spot in front of more than 75,000 fans at Berlin’s Olympiastadion.

Mats Hummels’ penalty in the 41st minute restored Dortmund’s lead and their top scorer Lewandowski struck either side of the break, then again after Bayern winger Franck Ribery briefly cut the deficit with a sensational low drive in the 75th minute.

“We at Dortmund could not have imagined a better final,” beaming coach Juergen Klopp told reporters.

Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl lifted the trophy to mark his side’s first German Cup triumph since 1989 as his teammates cheered wildly, with German President Joachim Gauck sucked into the celebrations.

“We were ice cold in our execution, scored great goals. It’s difficult to put into words what we’re feeling at this moment,” said Klopp, after his first German Cup victory as a coach.

Dortmund, who have now won the Cup three times, also beat Bayern in the race for the Bundesliga title, earning a record 81 points as they clinched their second successive league crown earlier this month.

“We should not be complaining, as our overall defensive behavior was catastrophic,” Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes told reporters. “We have to accept that we did not deserve to win, but now we have a different target in our sights and until the Champions League final we will recover from the shock.”

“That will be a completely different game,” Heynckes said.

It took Dortmund only three minutes to send their fans into a frenzy when Jakub Blaszczykowski pounced after Gustavo twice gave away possession and he cut the ball back to Kagawa, who scored in what could be his last game for Dortmund.

The hugely gifted 23-year-old Japan international, who said he would decide whether to move to the English Premier League after the final, tapped home from close range, with Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson watching from the stands.

Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller brought down Mario Gomez in the 24th minute and Robben converted from the spot, but any hopes of a confidence-boosting result ahead of the Champions League final in Munich were undermined when Bayern reject Hummels scored from the penalty spot in the 41st minute after defender Jerome Boateng brought down Marcel Schmelzer.

Lewandowski then struck in first-half stoppage-time, picking up a Kagawa pass to beat goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

The Poland forward, who notched 22 league goals this season, was again on target in the 58th minute as Dortmund ripped through an error-prone Bayern defense almost at will.

Ribery struck 15 minutes from time after Mario Gomez earlier hit the bar, but yet another Bayern mistake, with Neuer dropping the ball in the box, led to Lewandowski’s third goal from an easy header for a memorable end to Dortmund’s successful season.

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