After their recent 30th championship title, Bayern Munich faced Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday in Berlin in the German Cup final in an empty Olympiastadion (8:00 p.m.). His goal ? A 20th Cup… and a second milestone towards a possible treble in August, in the Champions League.
In the more than centenary history of the “Rekordmeister”, the 2012-2013 season remains the absolute reference: taken by its duo “ Robbery “(Arjen Robben and Frank Ribéry), Bayern had offered themselves a unique triplet between the Championship flown over (25 points ahead), the Cup and the C1.
At the time, Bayern had won the “Pokal” a week after the European triumph. This season, with the health crisis linked to the Covid-19 pandemic and the postponement of the C1 in August, the “Pokalfinale” is between the Bundesliga (ended June 27) and the final Champions League tournament in Lisbon (August 12-23).
Facing Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, Hansi Flick's players will leave long-time favorites. Untreatable and untouchable since mid-May and the resumption of the championship after the forced break by the Covid-19, the Munich have won their nine games, notably on the road to Dortmund and … Leverkusen.
“The guys are hot and want go get the next title. We will do everything for. We are optimistic enough to emerge victorious, “risked Bayern sports director Hasan Salihamidzic. The demonstration at Leverkusen fueled the optimism of the Bavarian leaders: four goals from four different players in around forty minutes to fold (4-1) a badly started encounter.
Especially since Leverkusen arrives on a much less positive dynamic than Bayern: the Rhenish club lost on the penultimate day of Bundesliga at the Olympiastadion against Hertha Berlin (2-0). Result: the place in the Champions League escaped him in favor of Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The Bayer can however glimpse a few glimmers of hope. First, Peter Bosz can line up his Kai Havertz nugget.
“With him on a good day, Leverkusen can beat almost all the teams”, warned on the television channel Sport1 the honorary president of Bayern, Uli Hoeness, calling on the Bavarian team with the greatest caution.
In addition, “on a Cup final, anything can happen,” emphasizes Bayer 04 sports director Rudi Völler.
Manuel Neuer's teammates will partly be turned to Lisbon and the” Final 8 “Of the Champions League which will start in just over five weeks. Bayern will be part of it, provided it confirms in the round of 16 return against Chelsea its large first leg victory (3-0).
“The title of champion is an intermediate objective, that means that we there are others, ”said Flick, who arrived on the Munich bench in December 2019 and confirmed in his functions until the summer of 2022. Hoeness sees him“ a good chance of winning everything ”, including therefore the C1. From August 12 in Portugal, there will be only eight and only a handful still able to achieve this rare feat.
Remains to understand the strange atmosphere of a final without spectators, Saturday in Berlin.
As since the resumption of the Championship, the Olympic stadium (75,000 seats) will remain empty, or almost, because 700 people will be present inside and around the stadium. The Federation (DFB) had made the request to allow 5,000 spectators per club, but the Land of Berlin rejected it, to the chagrin of the two finalists.
sid-tba / jed / dlo
© Agence France- Press