Bayer Leverkusen

Bayern Munich wins German Cup
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Bayern Munich wins record 20th German Cup (video)

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Bayern Munich was hardly bothered in securing a record 20th German Cup via a 4-2 defeat of Bayer Leverkusen in Berlin on Saturday.

The team with the second-most German Cups is Werder Bremen, who has won six times. Bayern has won 10 times this century including the last two.

The Bundesliga champions scored twice in the first half-hour and twice held three-goal leads in what was Bayer’s first German Cup final since a 2009 loss to Bremen.

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David Alaba and Serge Gnabry scored the early goals and Robert Lewandowski scored twice to round out the victor’s scoring.

The first goal of the Polish star’s brace came from a long pass from Manuel Neuer and a shot flubbed by Bayer keeper Lucas Hradecky.

Sven Bender and Kai Havertz scored for Bayer, the latter goal coming deep in stoppage time.

Here’s Alaba’s terrific quickly-taken free kick goal to open the scoring.

Rolfes, Bayer Leverkusen set to meet Bayern in German Cup Final

German Cup Final preview
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Simon Rolfes’ decorated playing career saw him earn 26 caps with Germany, play 288 times in the Bundesliga, and finish runner-up in both Germany top flight and the German Cup.

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Now the sporting director at Bayer Leverkusen, the club he led to the 2009 German Cup Final, Rolfes will hope he’s put together a championship side when Kai Havertz, Leon Bailey, and Bayer meet Bayern Munich in Saturday’s final (2 p.m. ET).

ProSoccerTalk caught up with the former Bayer and Werder Bremen playmaker before the final.

PST: What would a first German Cup in 27 years mean for Leverkusen and also to you as a former player?

Simon Rolfes
Rolfes celebrates after scoring in the 2009 German Cup semi final v. FSV Mainz, on April 21, 2009 (JUERGEN SCHWARZ/DDP/AFP via Getty Images).

Simon Rolfes: It would mean a lot to us. People here in Leverkusen have been waiting for a trophy for a long time. I feel that the organization is ready for a title. We have been working a lot to improve and develop this outstanding club, and the tradition is there. Right now we have a team that has shown its skills on the highest level several times.

PST: What are your top memories of the 2009 German Cup run? Beating Bayern? Scoring in the semifinal? The atmosphere of the final against your former club?

SR: That semifinal against Bayern was very emotional. And then the final in the huge stadium with the crowds was very impressive. I really felt the intensity and the importance of that game. I said to myself that I want to get back to a final soon again. It took some time in the end, and I am in a different role, but here we are now, reaching out for that cup.

PST: That (2009) team was crazy and had some very young talent in Toni Kroos and Arturo Vidal. Are there similarities between that team and the one from today?

SR: I am not one who likes to make comparisons. Each team is unique and has its own personality. But as we did in 2009, we now have a brilliant and talented squad, capable of creating big moments at any time. We’ve showed that throughout the season.

PST: Do you think this Cup final experience can help the club in its pursuit of the Europa League next month?

SR: That’s really hard to predict. It might also depend on the outcome of this game. Anyway, though, all teams will need to adapt to totally new situations in these unprecedented times. We’ll have a full month between the German Cup and the Europa League.

You need to adjust plans for rest as well as for preparation due to earlier or later endings of your domestic season. Whoever hits the right planning will be in a good position to win that Europa League trophy next month.

PST: What’s next for Bayer? What should we be on the look out for?

SR: We don’t see this final berth as a historic moment, at least not in a way of it being a unique and one-off situation. We are ambitious and eager to create more of those title chances in the future. We will continue building up a highly talented and hungry squad for these kind of opportunities. And we are ready to be judged based on the outcome of the games.

How to watch Bayer Leverkusen v. Bayern Munich

What: German Cup Final – Bayer Leverkusen v. Bayern Munich
When: 2 p.m. ET Saturday
TV Channel: ESPN2
Stream: ESPN.com

What’s at stake on the final day of Bundesliga 2019-20?

Bundesliga final day preview
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There are precious few things to play for on the final day of the Bundesliga season, though places in the Champions League and the relegation playoff are still available.

[ RELATED: Liverpool win title – everything to know ]

Bayern’s finishing first and Dortmund second, there won’t be a gate crasher to the Europa League, Robert Lewandowski will claim another Golden Boot unless he’s held scoreless and impending-Chelsea man Timo Werner scores eight, and no one can move from relegated to safe on the final day.

As for Americans abroad, one is guaranteed to be relegated, one will go to the relegation playoff, and another is either headed for the Europa League group stage of the qualifying rounds.

Champions League places

Bayern Munich is going back to the UCL as Bundesliga champions, where it will be joined by Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig unless the latter suffers a historic blowout loss and sees a rival score a historic blowout win.

That leaves one more spot (unless Bayern wins the UCL or Bayer Leverkusen wins the UEL).

Borussia Monchengladbach’s 62 points and superior goal differential have it in the catbird seat ahead of a visit from much-improved Hertha Berlin. Bayer shouldn’t have an issue with in-form but likely sated Mainz, but its 60 points means it likely needs a Gladbach loss.

Europa League places

This is pretty much settled aside from the team that finishes fifth, though there is some drama. Bayer or Gladbach will go to the UEL group stage.

One of either Wolfsburg or Hoffenheim will go to group stage and the other to the qualifying rounds. Both have 49 points and both face clinched but powerful sides. Wolfsburg hosts Bayern Munich while Hoffenheim travels to Dortmund.

Wolfsburg has a 10-goal pad in the goal differential tiebreaker.

Eighth place could be a UEL spot if Bayer wins the Europa League or Bayern wins the UCL, making fifth a UCL position.

If that happens, Freiburg (45 points, minus-3 goal differential) or Eintracht Frankfurt (42 points, minus-2 goal differential) is in luck. Freiburg hosts Schalke while Eintracht entertains Paderborn.

Relegation

Paderborn is going down. The only suspense is whether Fortuna Dusseldorf or Werder Bremen will go to 2.Bundesliga or have to meet the third-place team from the second-tier in the promotion/relegation playoff.

Fortuna has 30 points to Bremen’s 28, but is away to Union Berlin while Bremen is home to Koln. Bremen has not been relegated in nearly 40 years.

Who is coming up from 2.Bundesliga?

Arminia Bielefeld has run away with the league to return to the Bundesliga for the first time since being relegated after the 2008-09 season.

Stuttgart, relegated after 2016-17, is well-positioned to join them with a 3-point lead on third-place Heidenheim and a healthy advantage in goal differential.

Heidenheim is in third by a point over faltering Hamburg. The final day is far kinder to the fourth-place side, who boasts an eight-goal advantage in goal differential and hosts 12th-place Sandhausen. Heidenheim is away to Arminia. The hosts might’ve won the league but they aren’t a pushover.

Heidenheim is 173 years old and has never been in the top flight, while Hamburg had not been in the second-tier until 2018-19.

Americans Abroad

One USMNT player, Alfredo Morales (Fortuna) or Josh Sargent (Bremen), will be automatically relegated after Saturday’s matches.

John Brooks (Wolfsburg) will either go to the Europa League group stage or qualifying rounds.

Bundesliga wrap: Dortmund, Leipzig both drop points as Bayer wins

Bundesliga recaps
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Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga-clinching Tuesday might’ve cast a pall over its two closest competitors.

Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig dropped points on Wednesday, the former in shocking fashion days before a meeting with the latter.

[ MORE: Man City drops Arsenal | Pep reacts ]

Bayer Leverkusen has renewed hope of finishing in the top three after becoming the lone top-four contender to win on Wednesday.

The early match saw USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie bag another goal in another loss, as Schalke fell 2-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Borussia Dortmund 0-2 Mainz

Jonathan Burkardt and Jean-Philippe Mateta scored as Mainz stunned second-place BVB at the Westalenstadion on Wednesday.

The visitors now are incredibly unlikely to finish in an automatic relegation place and the playoff spot isn’t looking probable either. Mainz is five points clear of 16th-place Fortuna and six ahead of Werder Bremen.

Dortmund had 70 percent of the ball and took 16 of the match’s 25 shots.

Americans Abroad: Giovanni Reyna missed out on the lineup card for the first time in a long time with a bacterial infection. Bild reported that the American 17-year-old tested negative for COVID-19.

Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 Koln

Kai Havertz had a goal and an assist as Bayer Leverkusen moved fourth with a nice home win.

Sven Bender and Moussa Diaby scored the other goals for Bayer, who is back ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach and three back of third-place Leipzig.

Koln remains 13th with 35 points.

RB Leipzig 2-2 Fortuna Dusseldorf

Leipzig has renewed hope of second place but did not take complete advantage of Dortmund’s stumble.

The hosts struck twice after the hour mark including a terrific Kevin Kampl goal and yet another marker from Timo Werner.

But Fortuna kept fighting and found a point thanks to an 87th-minute goal from Steven Skrzybski and a stoppage-time equalizer from Andre Hoffman.

Fortuna’s 29 points are one better than 17th-place Werder Bremen but Mainz is now five points clear of the visitors with only six points left for Fortuna to win.

Americans Abroad: Tyler Adams went 90 minutes for RBL, completing 91 percent of his 67 passes and winning five of six duels. He had two tackles, an interception, and a clearance. On the other side was Alfredo Morales, who departed in the 82d minute with Fortuna down 2-0. He had a rough day passing but did register one key pass and a completed cross. Morales won seven of 15 duels and registered one tackle.

Augsburg 1-3 Hoffenheim

Hoffenheim is back in seventh ahead of what will be a frantic finish in the race for sixth and seventh.

Munas Dabbur scored twice and Ihlas Bebou also found the net against Ruben Vargas’ lone goal for the hosts.

Hoffenheim’s 46 points are level with Wolfsburg and one better than Freiburg. Eintracht Frankfurt is not totally out of the picture with 41, but those odds are long.

Augsburg’s still safe barring calamity, six points ahead of the playoff spot.

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 32 24 4 4 93 31 62 12-2-2 12-2-2 76
 Borussia Dortmund 32 20 6 6 82 37 45 11-3-2 9-3-4 66
 RB Leipzig 32 17 12 3 79 34 45 7-8-1 10-4-2 63
 Bayer Leverkusen 32 18 6 8 60 42 18 8-4-4 10-2-4 60
 Mönchengladbach 32 18 5 9 61 38 23 11-2-3 7-3-6 59
 VfL Wolfsburg 32 12 10 10 44 41 3 4-7-5 8-3-5 46
 1899 Hoffenheim 32 13 7 12 45 53 -8 6-1-9 7-6-3 46
 SC Freiburg 32 12 9 11 43 44 -1 8-2-6 4-7-5 45
 Eintracht Frankfurt 32 12 5 15 55 57 -2 7-4-5 5-1-10 41
 FC Schalke 04 32 9 12 11 37 50 -13 5-7-4 4-5-7 39
 Hertha BSC Berlin 32 10 8 14 45 57 -12 5-3-8 5-5-6 38
 1. FC Union Berlin 32 11 5 16 38 54 -16 7-3-6 4-2-10 38
 1. FC Köln 32 10 5 17 49 62 -13 6-3-7 4-2-10 35
 FC Augsburg 32 9 8 15 43 60 -17 5-5-6 4-3-9 35
 FSV Mainz 05 32 10 4 18 41 63 -22 4-2-10 6-2-8 34
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 32 6 11 15 35 63 -28 4-5-7 2-6-8 29
 Werder Bremen 32 7 7 18 35 65 -30 1-3-12 6-4-6 28
 SC Paderborn 32 4 8 20 34 68 -34 2-2-12 2-6-8 20

Bundesliga: Schalke hold Bayer, Augsburg grab big win

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Two Bundesliga games took place on Sunday as Augsburg sealed a big win at Mainz and Schalke battled hard to a draw against Bayer Leverkusen in two tight results.

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With three games of the 2019-20 Bundesliga season to go, there is plenty to play for in the top four battle, European spots and the relegation scrap.

Below we roundup Sunday’s Bundesliga results as Bayer reman in the top four hunt, while Augsburg look all but certain to be in the Bundesliga next season as they left Mainz in the battle against the drop.


Mainz 0-1 Augsburg

With less than 45 seconds on the clock the only goal of the game arrives as Florian Niederlechner lobbed home to put Augsburg 1-0 up. Both teams had plenty of chances in a scrappy encounter but the visitors held on for a huge three points. Mainz have won once of their six games since the restart, as they have 31 points and sit three points above the relegation zone with three games to go, as they face Dortmund, Werder Bremen (wow) and Leverkusen.

Fortuna Dusseldorf have 28 points in the relegation playoff spot, while Werder Bremen in the final relegation place are also on 28 points. Augsburg now have 35 points on the board and are all but safe from relegation as Heiko Herrlich has completed the job he was brought in to do.


Schalke 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen

A tense, tight game saw Schalke work hard in a solid 4-4-2 formation as David Wagner’s side still haven’t won since the restart, but this was a much better outing. Daniel Caliguiri gave them the lead from the penalty spot in the second half but a late own goal from Juan Miranda made it 1-1. Bayer went close to snatching all three points late but with the last effort of the game Michael Gregoritsch saw his header superbly stopped by Lukas Hradecky.

The battling point moved Bayer Leverkusen back into the top four and with three games to go they are one point ahead of fifth-place Borussia Monchengladbach as they go head-to-head for the final UEFA Champions League spot. Bayer have Cologne, Hertha Berlin and Mainz left to play, as well as the German Cup final against Bayern Munich. As for Schalke, they haven’t won in their last 13 outings in the Bundesliga but Wagner will be impressed with this battling display. The German giants are now seven points behind sixth-place Wolfsburg and seem unlikely to be in the Europa League next season.