Borussia Dortmund managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke insists there is no economic need to sell Erling Haaland amid speculation he will remain in Germany until next year.

Haaland netted a double as Dortmund won the DFB-Pokal final 4-1 over RB Leipzig, with Jadon Sancho also chipping in with a brace.

The title is a major boost for Dortmund's hopes of retaining Haaland, who has been linked with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Chelsea this off-season.

Dortmund's uplift in Bundesliga form, which has seen them move into the Champions League spots, has also aided their cause to convince the Norwegian to stay.

"You always have fears in my job," Watzke said after Thursday's DFB-Pokal victory.

"We definitely want to keep Erling with us next season. You can see his value, you saw how committed he is last Saturday against Leipzig, with joy.

"Besides we still have it in our own hands, we just have to win twice more now. We have managed the club solidly for so many years, when we go into the second or third year of the coronavirus, then we have to take out a few loans at some point we will pay them back.

"But there is absolutely no economic need to sell him, regardless of whether it is a Europa League or Champions League."

Watzke also casually revealed that interim head coach Edin Terzic had extended his deal with the club to presumably work as an assistant under Marco Rose.

"Edin Terzic did a great job," he said. "He took over the team in December, it was half dead, and he brought it to life. That is a huge achievement at his first coaching station.

"He's holding the keys in his hand. He extended a long-term contract a few weeks ago.

"He's a Dortmund boy, he lives and breathes the club. If Edin wants to do something different, then we have to work with him. But we won't do that now."

Terzic was delighted with the DFB-Pokal success but remained focused on the bigger picture, with Dortmund determined to confirm a top four league spot with two games to play.

"That was definitely not our best game, but we found the key to success," he said.

"Now we all deserve to enjoy this evening tonight but the season is not over for us yet."

Outgoing Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann, who will finish his time at the club without a trophy, said it was a "painful" loss.

"You can imagine that I'm not doing well but it's not about me, it's about the club," he said.

"It's painful. I know what the headlines are like now… We still have two Bundesliga games that are not that pleasant. I'm not thinking about my move [to Bayern Munich] now.

"I'm proud of the boys. "We weren't the worse team, we just scored fewer goals. Dortmund makes a lot out of a little."

Jadon Sancho signed for Borussia Dortmund three months after they last won the DFB-Pokal in May 2017.

Back then, it was Ousmane Dembele and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who scored to see off Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 in Berlin. Major transfers followed for both: Dembele was quickly on his way to Barcelona, a €105million replacement for Neymar, while Aubameyang left for Arsenal for a reported €60m the following January.

This year, Dortmund returned to the Olympiastadion for their first Pokal final since, with envious eyes from across the continent casting longing looks again at their best attacking talent: Sancho and Erling Haaland. Inevitably, it was they who settled the contest with RB Leipzig, and before the half-time whistle had even blown.

At least, it feels inevitable with these two. Haaland, who scored the second in a 4-1 win after shunting the imposing frame of Bayern Munich-bound Dayot Upamecano to the ground, has hit 55 goals in 57 games in just under 18 months at the club. Sancho has been directly involved in 105 goals (50 scored, 55 assisted) in 135 Dortmund games. These are breathtaking returns for two players who weren't even teenagers when Dortmund last won the Bundesliga in 2012.

Haaland has always seemed an outlier in the expected development of a young footballer; a striker of such prodigious physical and technical gifts that it seems entirely plausible he was grown in a number nine laboratory. Dortmund are convinced they will keep him for another year and they probably will unless a European giant is capable of throwing a pandemic-defying nine-figure transfer bid their way.

Sancho's rise feels different. He is the product of calculated gambles as well as divine gifts. He is the 17-year-old boy who uprooted from Manchester City to speculate on game time in Germany, who made himself undroppable for one of the country's greatest clubs and was in the team of the season before his 20th birthday.

On Thursday, he was the best player on the pitch as Dortmund ruined Julian Nagelsmann's Leipzig farewell tour, as he became the youngest player to score twice in a DFB-Pokal final – at least until Haaland surpassed him. The transformation from brave kid to matchwinning bravura was complete. This was the dawning of a superstar.

His first goal, a curling effort from the kind of area Thierry Henry spent a career exploiting, was a thumping reminder of his finishing skills. His second was impudent footwork, as he collected Marco Reus' cut-back, danced inside the covering defender, and waited for Peter Gulacsi's despairing dive before putting the ball in the net.

Alongside Reus and Haaland, Sancho was a roving, controlled menace. He drifted into space to the side of the Leipzig back three but timed forward runs to perfection. His performance trod that fine line of spontaneity and foresight: unpredictable for defenders, while his team-mates knew where he'd be. Such a display can only come when talent meets application, and lessons are learned. For a 21-year-old to do it is remarkable. He even managed to make a total mess of overplaying a one-on-one chance before another counter-attack saw him set up Haaland for the fourth late on. He's still learning.

We may be in the final weeks of seeing Sancho as a Dortmund player. You can bet Manchester United's interest will only strengthen once Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watches back the highlights of this game, and they won't be alone. With a "gentleman's agreement" in place with Dortmund over his future, this could well be the transfer window where they elect to cash in.

They will do so in the knowledge that Sancho's journey to stardom is complete.

Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland both scored twice as Borussia Dortmund ruthlessly defeated RB Leipzig 4-1 in Thursday's DFB-Pokal final to win the competition for a fifth time.

England winger Sancho netted at the beginning and end of a sensational first 45 minutes for BVB, who added to their advantage through Haaland between those strikes.

This was an impressive display of strength from a Dortmund side with work still to do to secure Champions League qualification, with Haaland's second late on making sure in Berlin after a superb Dani Olmo hit.

The result means Julian Nagelsmann departs Leipzig for Bayern Munich still without the first major trophy of his career and no doubt keen to forget this missed opportunity.

The moves for the first two Dortmund goals started in the same fashion with Leipzig sloppily gifting possession to Marco Reus near halfway.

After five minutes, he took the ball from Kevin Kampl and set in motion a swift attack that passed through Haaland and Mahmoud Dahoud to reach Sancho, who shaped a gorgeous finish into the bottom-right corner.

There was then little by way of goalmouth action until Reus seized on a loose pass on 28 minutes and again fed Haaland to this time go alone, powering beyond Dayot Upamecano and contorting his body to shoot left-footed past Peter Gulacsi.

And an astonishing first half for Reus and Dortmund was complete when he raced clear on the stroke of half-time and squared for Sancho to calmly score again, the goal awarded after a VAR review overturned an incorrect offside call.

The second period was similarly frantic, albeit now with chances at either end. Christopher Nkunku hit the crossbar 19 seconds after his half-time introduction, while fellow substitute Thorgan Hazard toed agonisingly wide from another Reus pass.

Moments after Leipzig struck the woodwork for the second time, with Emil Forsberg somehow stabbing against the post, Olmo rattled in from outside the area.

Sancho should have had a memorable hat-trick but dallied after rounding Gulacsi and allowed the goalkeeper to recover. He picked out Haaland instead the next time Dortmund broke and a fortuitous finish wrongfooted Gulacsi for number four.

Borussia Dortmund are increasingly confident star striker Erling Haaland will be able to play in the DFB-Pokal final on Thursday.

RB Leipzig will be Dortmund's opponents in Berlin as BVB seek a fifth success in Germany's cup competition.

Haaland was forced to miss the emphatic 5-0 DFB-Pokal semi-final win over Holstein Kiel as well as Saturday's dramatic 3-2 Bundesliga triumph over final opponents Leipzig, which secured the title for Bayern Munich.

The Norway international has been out with a thigh injury but, in a major boost, sporting director Michael Zorc confirmed the recent optimism around Haaland's involvement in the cup final is well placed.

Haaland has scored 37 goals in 38 appearances for Dortmund in a remarkable campaign that has led to him being linked with a transfer to almost all major European clubs.

He has netted 25 of those in the Bundesliga, with his 23 non-penalty strikes in that competition impressively outperforming an xG rate of 19.8.

 

"It looks good with Erling," Zorc said to SID on Tuesday when asked about Haaland's status for the final.

"He himself is very confident and so are we – we hope he can play."

It has been reported Haaland was able to complete some light fitness work and warm-up exercises at the training ground on Monday.

Leipzig, meanwhile, are yet to win the competition, having lost to Bayern in the 2019 final.

When he announced his upcoming departure to join Bayern, head coach Julian Nagelsmann pointed to the DFB-Pokal as a key target in his bid to leave the club on a high.

They promptly defeated Werder Bremen 2-1 in the last four and are also on track to finish second in the Bundesliga.

Lukas Klostermann admits it will hurt to see Julian Nagelsmann and Dayot Upamecano leave RB Leipzig for Bayern Munich – but he hopes they can depart after one last "beautiful moment".

Leipzig look set to finish second in the Bundesliga, given they lead Wolfsburg by four points with two rounds to go, and trophy glory could come on Thursday when they tackle Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal final.

A dress rehearsal in the league on Saturday saw Dortmund snatch a 3-2 victory that boosts their hopes of playing in next season's Champions League, but the cup final showdown in Berlin is a tough game to pick.

Coach Nagelsmann and star centre-back Upamecano are both heading for Bayern at the end of the season, so the game represents their final chance of snatching major silverware with Leipzig, a club that was established only 12 years ago and has come a long way since.

Right-back Klostermann, who will hope to be involved for Germany at Euro 2020, is preparing for reluctant farewells to Nagelsmann and Upamecano.

"Of course I am not that happy about it, that’s for sure," Klostermann told Stats Perform News.

"But I think the coach already told from the beginning that on a long-term perspective it would be his greatest wish to become coach of FC Bayern. But still, I would have wished that it happened a bit later than now. But if it's his big goal and dream, then I cannot be angry or annoyed because of him leaving.

"I think we showed in the past already a couple of times that we can compensate losses, just like how it was with Timo Werner. Some people said that we will fall into a deep hole but I think that was not the case."

Werner was a big-money acquisition by Chelsea last June, but Leipzig have pressed on without the Germany forward.

They will doubtless be strong next season too, but to keep losing major talents, whether from the playing or coaching ranks, cannot be conducive to building a team to challenge for the Bundesliga.

"For the club it would be good on a middle-term or long-term perspective to develop more and more, so the players don't need another club in Europe to play for the elite," Klostermann said. "We should achieve that ourselves, to be part of the elite. I know it's a long way to go, but I think this should be the long-term goal."

The 24-year-old Klostermann scored in the weekend loss to Dortmund, grabbing his first goal of the season, but said Leipzig "only played really well in the second half" of that game. It was tight in terms of the xG (expected goals) count, with Dortmund leading that by 1.7 to 1.5, enjoying the better chances despite Leipzig ending the game 8-4 ahead in terms of shots on target.

 

 

"I think that both teams will take the first game as a basis to analyse in order to change a couple of things in the final," he said. "That's why I think that the first game has an influence on the final. It's not that huge, as the game starts at 0-0 again, but the teams will analyse it and change certain things for the final."

Klostermann said it would "be incredibly important and great to finally win a title", adding: "For all of us it would be an extremely beautiful moment.

"Maybe even a bit more special for players and employees that have been part of the club for a longer time. Five, six, or seven years ago nobody believed that we could achieve that. Therefore, it's even nicer to have this chance to win a title. And for that, we better give everything on Thursday."

It remains to be seen whether Erling Haaland is fit to lead the Dortmund attack, after missing the weekend game with a muscle issue.

In the Bundesliga alone, Haaland has scored 25 goals in 26 games this season, with a shot conversion rate of 28.1 percent – among those to have netted more than five this term, only Max Kruse (37 percent) and Robert Lewandowski (32.5 percent) have put away a greater portion of their chances than the 20-year-old.

Should the Norwegian feature, Klostermann has no doubt about his threat, rating him in the top bracket of strikers.

"When you see how he plays right now, then for sure," Klostermann said.

"I think his numbers are showing that. If he plays, it will not be easier for us. But I am still very convinced that we can play better than we did last Saturday. Even if he plays, I give us good chances to win this final."

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc confirmed Jadon Sancho has a "gentlemen's agreement" over a possible transfer, but that is not the case for fellow star Erling Haaland.

Sancho was heavily linked with Premier League giants Manchester United at the start of the season, while English rivals Liverpool have now emerged as a possible suitor for the Dortmund attacker.

It comes as Europe's elite – including Real Madrid, Manchester City, Barcelona, United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain – reportedly queue up to sign Haaland, who has a release clause that is not valid until next year.

Zorc discussed the futures of Dortmund duo Sancho and in-demand forward Haaland.

"We already had a gentlemen's agreement with Jadon last year that he can switch under certain conditions," Zorc told ARD.

"He's been with us for a couple of years. However, this agreement does not exist with Erling."

After United's reported pursuit of Sancho at the start of 2020-21, Zorc added: "In the end, the requirements were not met."

Sancho provided two assists as Dortmund routed second-tier outfit Holstein Kiel 5-0 in the DFB-Pokal semi-finals on Saturday.

Dortmund became the first team in history to score five goals in the first half of a DFB-Pokal semi-final fixture, while they are also the first side to reach eight consecutive finals.

Edin Terzic is hopeful Erling Haaland will not take long to recover from a thigh injury that forced him to miss Borussia Dortmund's emphatic DFB-Pokal win over Holstein Kiel.

Striker Haaland watched on from the stands as Dortmund clinched a place in the final, triumphing 5-0 against second-tier opponents as all their goals arrived in the first half of the contest.

Giovanni Reyna was on target twice while Marco Reus, Thorgan Hazard and Jude Bellingham also scored for BVB, who will now face RB Leipzig in Berlin on May 13.

However, before having the chance to secure silverware, the focus reverts to securing a top-four finish in the Bundesliga - and Terzic is confident leading scorer Haaland will be involved in the run-in.

Dortmund have a final rehearsal against Leipzig to come next, the first of three crucial league games as they aim to qualify for next season's Champions League.

"Erling being out had its origins in Wolfsburg last weekend, where he had a great performance," Terzic told the media. 

"Two or three minutes before the end he conceded a hit on his thigh. He stayed in pain. In the first few days, he tried to return to training but had some little problems.

"Yesterday, he told us that he couldn't play, that it would be too painful, so we decided to take him out for today's game. But we are confident that it won't take long to recover.

"Maybe he can join the team's training midweek and fully recover for the next Bundesliga tasks and the cup final."

While Haaland could be back soon, team-mate Mateu Morey seems set for an extended spell on the sidelines after suffering what looked to be a serious leg injury late in proceedings.

Morey had only come on as a substitute just after the hour mark, yet had to be carried off on a stretcher in the 74th minute.

Terzic admitted the full-back's situation had tarnished the result, particularly as Dortmund were coasting towards the final whistle at the time it happened.

"We totally wanted to go to the cup final and up until the 75th minute, it seemed like a perfect night for us," he said. 

"But the injury to Mateu tarnished everything for us. Especially when you know what a good boy he is.

"When he lies on the floor in pain, it is hard to think about the win or the game."

Borussia Dortmund breezed into the DFB-Pokal final despite the absence of Erling Haaland, Giovanni Reyna scoring twice in a 5-0 thrashing of Holstein Kiel.

Marco Reus, Thorgan Hazard and Jude Bellingham were also on target in a first-half rout, Dortmund dismantling their second-tier opponents to set up a showdown with RB Leipzig on May 13.

Kiel had sensationally ended Bayern Munich's reign in the competition when knocking out the holders on penalties in the second round. They also came out on top in a dramatic shoot-out against Darmstadt in the last 16, while they progressed to the semi-finals thanks to a 3-0 triumph away at Rot-Weiss Essen.

However, any hopes of another upset had long disappeared by half-time at Signal Iduna Park as the injured Haaland – ruled out with a muscle issue – watched on from the stands.

Reyna scored the first two. His opener was teed up by Jadon Sancho before he added another from close range, tapping in after Reus' attempted cross had been back-heeled into the path of the United States international by Raphael Guerreiro.

Reus was next to score, poking the ball past goalkeeper Thomas Dahne after Emre Can's lofted pass had picked out his team-mate's run beyond Kiel's overworked defence.

Hazard capitalised on a loose pass to make it four goals in a crazy 16-minute spell, while a long-range shot from Bellingham found the net thanks to a sizeable deflection off Simon Lorenz that left poor Dahne with no chance.

The onslaught allowed Dortmund coach Edin Terzic to make a slew of changes with one eye on a pivotal Bundesliga run-in, while poor Kiel were happy to avoid any further punishment in a second half that had a testimonial feel to it.


What does it mean? Silver lining still a possibility

Securing a top-four Bundesliga finish is the priority for Dortmund, but an up-and-down season that has included the departure of head coach Lucien Favre could yet see silverware secured. They have not won the cup since 2017 when current Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was in charge.

While Leipzig had to work hard to seal progression on Friday, beating Werder Bremen with a dramatic winner at the end of extra time, their opponents for the Berlin final were able to coast through.

Just kidding around

While Haaland's future may be unclear beyond the current campaign, Dortmund have two more outstanding prospects coming through to take centre stage when, rather than if, the Norwegian departs.

Reyna scored with two of his 23 touches before being replaced at the break, yet Bellingham played the full game in midfield, completing 97 per cent of his attempted passes.

Visitors Kiel over

This was a harsh way for a superb run to end, with Kiel seeing fortune desert them as BVB benefited from several lucky breaks to run up the score.

Fabian Reese had every reason to feel frustrated after his wonderful long-range strike beat Marwin Hitz but was kept out by the post, albeit a comeback would still have been unlikely with the hosts already 3-0 up.

What's next?

There will be a final rehearsal next Saturday when Dortmund host Leipzig, though Bundesliga points – not prizes – will be on offer. Kiel, meanwhile, host SV Sandhausen in league action on Tuesday as they continue their quest for promotion to the top tier.

Julian Nagelsmann says he wants to "say goodbye with the title" after RB Leipzig secured a spot in the German DFB-Pokal final following a 2-1 extra-time win over Werder Bremen in Friday's semi-final.

Nagelsmann confirmed during the week that he would be joining Bayern Munich next season, ending his two-year tenure at Leipzig.

Leipzig were Champions League semi-finalists last season and finished Nagelsmann's debut season in third in the Bundesliga but he has not won any silverware for the club.

The Red Bulls appear destined to finish runners-up in this season's Bundesliga campaign but Nagelsmann is eyeing off a winning farewell in the DFB-Pokal.

"I would like to say goodbye with the title," Nagelsmann said. "We hope that we play a good cup final.

"When you see how the guys work so hard after such a turbulent week, of course it's great."

Emil Forsberg struck a late winner at the end of extra time after a scoreless 90 minutes to send Leipzig into the final against either Borussia Dortmund or Holstein Kiel.

Hwang Hee-chan had opened the scoring for Leipzig before Leonardo Bittencourt swooped on an error to equalise.

"At the end of the day, the close matches are the best wins," Nagelsmann said.

"It was very emotional and that releases more energy. The boys fought and gave everything.

"The turbulent week had no effect, everyone on the pitch saw that today. The boys had their hearts in the right place and deservedly won."

Emil Forsberg struck a late winner at the end of extra time as RB Leipzig overcame determined Werder Bremen 2-1 to reach the DFB-Pokal final in dramatic fashion.

After a scoreless 90 minutes, Leipzig took the lead with a goal from Hwang Hee-chan early in the first extra period, only for a Dayot Upamecano error to gift Leonardo Bittencourt the chance to equalise.

A penalty shoot-out appeared to be on the cards until Forsberg popped up in added time, Hwang heading the ball back across the face of goal for his fellow substitute to convert from close range.

The win means Julian Nagelsmann remains on course to deliver a first major trophy for Leipzig before his departure, the Bayern Munich-bound coach set to lead his current employers against either Borussia Dortmund or Holstein Kiel in the showpiece fixture in Berlin on May 13.

 

 

Julian Nagelsmann has given his approval to RB Leipzig's choice of Jesse Marsch as his successor and future Bundesliga rival.

American coach Marsch will arrive from Salzburg, close affiliates of the German side, at the end of the season to take over from Bayern Munich-bound Nagelsmann.

The 47-year-old has spent two years as Salzburg boss and previously worked as an assistant coach with Leipzig so knows the club well.

Marsch was also head coach of New York Red Bulls from 2015 to 2018, and Nagelsmann sees him as an easy fit at Leipzig.

"I'm very happy that RB Leipzig have been able to quickly find a successor in Jesse Marsch," Nagelsmann said. "It was important to me that the club find a good coach and that they wouldn't have to deal with too much uncertainty following the news of my departure.

"Jesse Marsch is a very emotional coach and has a good connection to his players. I will definitely look to speak with him at the end of the season. I wish him all the best here and that he continues the club's success."

Nagelsmann will perhaps be mindful of being too helpful as the coaches cross and he leaves for Bayern as Marsch arrives at Leipzig, given they have been Germany's top two sides this season.

Bayern look like scooping the Bundesliga title for a ninth consecutive year. With 71 points from 31 games, they head Leipzig by seven points with three rounds of games remaining.

However, Leipzig are very much in the hunt for cup glory as they head into Friday's DFB-Pokal semi-final against Werder Bremen.

The winner of that tie will face either Borussia Dortmund or Holstein Kiel, the second-tier team that knocked out Bayern in the early stages of the tournament.

"Of course, it would be nice to end my time here by winning the DFB-Pokal," Nagelsmann said on Thursday.

"The pressure is there, but that's normal. If you've reached the semi-finals with your team, then it's obvious that you want to advance to the final and win there."

Quoted on Leipzig's official website, Nagelsmann said: "There's nothing worse than losing a final. If we have the chance to win the trophy, then we'll do everything possible to make that happen.

"We don't need any extra motivation for Friday night. The cup is motivation enough. The team will give it everything they have to meet the expectations. They are highly motivated.

"I still have a good relationship with the team and spoke to the lads. All the outside noise won't affect them. All of my players want to continue improving.

"Our goal is to make it to [the final in] Berlin. We also want to break the 67-point mark in the Bundesliga, in order to set a new [club] record this season."

Hansi Flick announced on Saturday that he intends to step down as Bayern Munich boss at the end of the campaign, bringing an end to an illustrious spell in charge of the club.

The 56-year-old succeeded Niko Kovac in November 2019, having previously worked as assistant, and has led the German giants to six major trophies in that time.

Bayern won the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League in 2019-20 and have followed that up with the DFL-Supercup, UEFA Supercup and Club World Cup this season.

Another Bundesliga crown could follow with Bayern seven points clear at the top with five games to go, which would be a fitting way to bring down the curtain on Flick's tenure.

Using Opta data, we look at the extraordinary numbers behind Flick's spell in charge and the players who have played a key part in Bayern's recent success.


AS MANY TROPHIES AS DEFEATS

Flick's shock revelation that he hopes to have his contract terminated came on the back of Bayern's 3-2 win at Wolfsburg on Saturday.

That was the German's 81st game in charge in all competitions, comprised of 67 victories, eight draws and six losses.

Incredibly, that means Flick has won as many trophies - six - as he has suffered defeats in his 17-month tenure. That also equates to one trophy every 14 matches.

NUMEROUS RECORDS SET

Bayern were as dominant as any club in European history en route to winning a treble last season, form that they would carry into the 2020-21 campaign.

The Bavarian giants won 23 matches in a row in all competitions between February 16, 2020 and September 18 that year - a record in German professional football.

With their victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the final, meanwhile, they became the first side in European/Champions League history to lift the trophy with a 100-per-cent win record.


BUT FLICK TRAILS GUARDIOLA

Flick's 83-per-cent win rate is another record among Bayern bosses, as is the average of 3.0 goals per game his side have scored under his watch.

However, the former Germany assistant trails one of his predecessors in Pep Guardiola when it comes to points per game accrued in the Bundesliga.

Guardiola collected 2.52 points per game across his 102 matches, whereas Flick is currently on 2.49 after 53 matches, though that could change before he eventually departs.

LEWA LEADS THE WAY

In the Bundesliga alone, Manuel Neuer has played more games for Bayern (52) than anyone else since Flick initially took charge on an interim basis on November 3, 2019.

Thomas Muller and David Alaba, the latter of whom will also depart the Allianz Arena in June, are next on the list with 50 league appearances.

Robert Lewandowski is next with 46 outings and the striker has been Bayern's top performer over that period in terms of goal involvements.

The Poland international has a combined 65 goals and assists, followed by Muller with 52 and Serge Gnabry with 27.

Lewandowski has 55 Bundesliga goals in total under Flick, while Muller leads the assists metric with 34, 20 more than next-best Joshua Kimmich.

Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig were kept apart in the draw for the DFB-Pokal semi-finals on Monday.

Dortmund will go up against Holstein Kiel hoping to avoid suffering the same fate as holders Bayern Munich, who were knocked out of the competition by the second-tier side.  

In the other tie, Leipzig – who sit second in the Bundesliga – will take on the winner of the quarter-final clash between Regensburg and Werder Bremen, which is scheduled to be played on April 7. 

Bayern have lifted the trophy in the previous two campaigns, including beating Leipzig 3-0 in the 2019 final. 

However, their hopes of triumphing again were dashed by Kiel, who scored a dramatic late equaliser in the second-round tie before going on to seal a famous win on penalties. 

Dortmund, winners in 2017, will host Kiel on Saturday, May 1. Leipzig will be in action the following day, with the final set for May 13 in Berlin.

Marco Rose is plotting to stop one of the players he will have at his disposal next season when Borussia Monchengladbach come up against Erling Haaland and Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal.  

Rose will be leaving his role as head coach of Monchengladbach at the end of the season to take charge at Dortmund, though still has a chance of signing off with a trophy.  

With Bayern Munich already knocked out, the quarter-final clash offers a chance for both clubs to move a step closer to silverware. 

Haaland will be hoping to get one over his future boss in the competition before they join forces, provided, of course, the prolific Norwegian does not depart Signal Iduna Park in the next transfer window.  

The 20-year-old striker has 27 goals already in the current campaign, including 17 in as many starts in the Bundesliga. Rose, however, hopes Monchengladbach can prevent him adding to that tally on Tuesday.  

"Of course there are options to stop him," Rose told the media ahead of the last-eight tie. 

"I don't think you can completely stop him for 90 minutes, but you can look after him and control him in many situations.   

"He is a forward who is very good at transition. He has a good feeling for deep runs and is a very dynamic player.   

"He is very clinical in the box and we need to defend him well there. We have to stop him when he starts his runs, but it would be even better to destroy Dortmund's build-up, so we can bring out our strengths on the pitch."

Dortmund head into the fixture having won three on the spin under caretaker boss Edin Terzic, suggesting they are rounding into form at an ideal time in what has been a see-saw campaign. 

After Monchengladbach in midweek, BVB have a trip to the Allianz Arena on Saturday to take on league leaders Bayern. 

Rose will be determined to lead Dortmund to success in 2020-21 but insists there will be no mixed emotions when he comes up against them, making clear his focus right now remains fully on his job at Monchengladbach. 

"There is nothing to say. It's not a topic at all," he said of the prospect of facing his future employers.  

"The job here is very demanding and I need all my energy here. I need to make the best out of it together with the boys, that means a cup quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund."

Bayern Munich completed a year of dominance by collecting the Club World Cup on Thursday, beating Tigres UANL 1-0 in the final.

Victory in Qatar, courtesy of Benjamin Pavard's scrappy second-half goal, clinched a sixth trophy in under 12 months.

Bayern started a 23-match winning run in all competitions this time last year, winning the Bundesliga, DFB Pokal, Champions League and UEFA Super Cup in this time.

They added the DFL-Supercup immediately after seeing that streak ended in September, then completed the set by beating Tigres.

Hansi Flick's side went one better than Bayern's 2013 team, who collected five titles - losing to Borussia Dortmund in the domestic Supercup.

The Bavarian giants were dominant last season and have continued to collect results this term, led by a star-studded cast, as we can see with Opta data.
 

FLICK'S MEN ALMOST FLAWLESS

Going back 12 months to the start of that remarkable winning stretch, Bayern have played 53 matches in all competitions, winning 46 of them.

In fact, they lost games just twice in the last year, to Hoffenheim 4-1 and Borussia Monchengladbach 3-2, both in the Bundesliga, although there was also a penalty shootout defeat to Holstein Kiel that ensured they will not defend their Pokal crown this season.

While dominating, Bayern have mainly been a great watch, scoring 157 goals (2.96 per game) and conceding 51 (0.96 per game). Indeed, those 53 games yielded only 21 Bayern clean sheets.

The standout results were obvious, scoring eight in games against both Barcelona and Schalke, but they also netted six versus Hoffenheim and Salzburg, plus five in clashes with Eintracht Frankfurt (twice), Fortuna Dusseldorf and Mainz.
 

OLD GUARD THE STANDOUT STARS

Bayern have a wealth of exciting young talents, but they relied heavily on their experienced campaigners over this glorious stretch.

Thomas Muller (51), Manuel Neuer (50) and David Alaba (48) led Bayern in appearances over the past year. Neuer was named in the starting XI on the most occasions - every time he played.

Robert Lewandowski has been unsurprisingly the leading marksman with his 49 goals in 45 games, but Joshua Kimmich came to the fore in terms of assists, his 23 - along with nine goals - coming from 43 matches.

Kimmich had one more assist than Muller, despite the forward creating 141 chances to his team-mate's 108.

With Neuer playing all but three of the 53 matches, he accounted for 20 of Bayern's 21 clean sheets - Alexander Nubel earned the other - and made 139 saves.

Niklas Sule, at 91.9 per cent of 1,656, was the most accurate passer to start a game, although he trailed the team's most prominent passers by some distance; Alaba played 3,743 at 88.2 per cent accuracy.

Alaba (4,210) also led the way in terms of touches ahead of Kimmich (4,089), who was beaten in terms of tackles by the slightly surprising figure of Serge Gnabry (76).

Page 1 of 2
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.