Bayer Leverkusen reach DFB-Pokal final by thrashing Fortuna Dusseldorf

By Sports Desk April 03, 2024

Bayer Leverkusen stayed on course for a German league and cup double by thumping Fortuna Dusseldorf 4-0 to reach the DFB-Pokal final.

Jeremie Frimpong, Amine Adli and Florian Wirtz scored first-half goals as runaway Bundesliga leaders Leverkusen made light work of second-tier opponents at the BayArena.

Wirtz added a fourth from the penalty spot as Xabi Alonso’s side – who are also in the quarter-finals of the Europa League – made it 40 games unbeaten in all competitions this season.

Dusseldorf’s away form in Bundesliga – seven wins and four draws from 14 games – had given them semi-final hope, but this was a much tougher challenge than they were accustomed to.

The size of their task was laid bare within four minutes when Emmanuel Iyoha’s last-ditch tackle prevented Frimpong from opening the scoring.

Marlon Mustapha instantly managed a weak shot at the other end, but the unmarked Frimpong rifled Leverkusen ahead after seven minutes with a ferocious shot into the roof of the net.

Leverkusen doubled their lead after 20 minutes from a lightning counter-attack launched from deep inside their own penalty area.

Wirtz released Adli and his unerring low finish into the corner of the net gave goalkeeper Florian Kastenmeier no chance.

There was a massive chasm between the sides and Leverkusen rammed home their superiority after 35 minutes.

Dusseldorf were caught out playing from the back and Adli repaid the compliment as Wirtz finished in style.

Wirtz saw another effort tipped over by Kastenmeier before Andre Hoffmann and Christos Tzolis threatened for Dusseldorf.

But Matej Kovar stood firm in the home goal and Leverkusen added a fourth on the hour mark.

Patrik Schick’s header was going wide, but the ball clipped the hand of Matthias Zimmermann to be diverted on to the post.

It was definitely not an intentional intervention from Zimmerman, but the referee was sent to the monitor for a VAR review and a penalty awarded.

Wirtz, fresh from scoring after six seconds for Germany against France, sent his devastating spot-kick in to the corner.

Dusseldorf wanted their own penalty after 74 minutes when Tzolis tangled with Frimpong in the box.

On first glance it looked as if Tzolis had got there first, but on closer examination Frimpong’s challenge was shown to be legitimate.

Leverkusen welcomed back Victor Boniface for the final 15 minutes, the 16-goal Nigeria striker having not played since December 20 because of a muscle injury.

Substitute Nathan Tella was denied a late fifth, but the party had already started with flares lighting up the BayArena.

Leverkusen – 13 points clear of Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga – will play second-tier Kaiserslautern in the DFB-Pokal final in Berlin on May 25.

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