Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller impressed but Bayern Munich made hard work of beating Hoffenheim 4-3 to reach the DFB-Pokal quarter-finals.

Holders Bayern appeared to be cruising into the last eight when Lewandowski put them 3-1 up at half-time on Wednesday, yet a lacklustre second-half showing gave Hoffenheim – who had taken the lead through Jerome Boateng's own goal – unexpected hope.

Bayern had quickly levelled when Benjamin Hubner put through his own goal before Muller – who had a hand in all three of the hosts' first-half goals – nosed them ahead.

Lewandowski's second made it 4-1 with 10 minutes to go before Munas Dabbur's late double set up the possibility of unlikely comeback that just fell short as Bayern ultimately did enough to book their progress.

Bayern thought they had the lead in the fifth minute, yet Muller had strayed marginally offside before he teed up Lewandowski and, against the run of play, the hosts were behind when Boateng sliced in Ihlas Bebou's strike.

But Hoffenheim's lead was short lived as Hubner, under pressure from Muller, was only able to turn Alphonso Davies' cross into his own net.

The turnaround was complete in the 20th minute, Muller sending a nonchalant side-foot volley beyond Philipp Pentke, who then made outstanding stops to deny Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry.

Lewandowski would not be denied again, though, heading into an empty net after Muller forced Pentke into a poor punch.

Pentke did well to prevent Lewandowski doubling his tally five minutes after the break, before Muller squandered a golden chance to get his second.

Steven Zuber had a goal disallowed for the visitors and Bayern extended the lead when Lewandowski headed in Joshua Kimmich's corner with 10 minutes remaining.

Sloppy Bayern defending gifted Dabbur his first as he dinked over Manuel Neuer and the substitute striker tapped home the rebound after Benjamin Pavard sliced Pavel Kaderabek's cross against the left post in the second minute of injury time to add to Bayern's nerves.

The hosts just about saw it out, though, to put their names into the hat for the last eight.

 

What does it mean? Flick on course for silverware but defence a cause for concern

Despite his struggles at Bayern, Niko Kovac did win the domestic double last season and Hansi Flick – who is surely in with a chance of getting the job permanently – will be eager to match his predecessor's achievements.

With Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig having both slipped out on Tuesday, Bayern are certainly the clear favourites to win the competition for what would be a 20th time, though they will have to be much more solid at the back in the next round.

Muller and Lewandowski lead the way

After a difficult season in 2018-19, Muller has been back to his best since Flick took charge and, along with Lewandowski, ultimately ensured Bayern's defensive lapses did not come back to cost the hosts on Wednesday.

Boateng and Pavard almost throw it away

It was a woeful start for Boateng, who made a mess of attempting to clear Bebou's effort and the former Manchester City man was lucky not to net a second own goal in the second half when he deflected a strike just over the bar.

Pavard, meanwhile, made a poor mistake for Hoffenheim's final goal and – along with the rest of the defence – was guilty of overplaying when Dabbur made it 4-2.

What's next?

The Bundesliga's top two face off when Bayern host RB Leipzig on Sunday, while Hoffenheim are in action against Freiburg a day earlier.

Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller impressed but Bayern Munich made hard work of beating Hoffenheim 4-3 to reach the DFB-Pokal quarter-finals.

Holders Bayern appeared to be cruising into the last eight when Lewandowski put them 3-1 up at half-time on Wednesday, yet a lacklustre second-half showing gave Hoffenheim – who had taken the lead through Jerome Boateng’s own goal – unexpected hope.

Bayern had quickly levelled when Benjamin Hubner put through his own goal before Muller – who had a hand in all three of the hosts' first-half goals – nosed them ahead.

Lewandowski's second made it 4-1 with 10 minutes to go before Munas Dabbur's late double set up the possibility of unlikely comeback that just fell short as Bayern ultimately did enough to book their progress.

Bayern thought they had the lead in the fifth minute, yet Muller had strayed marginally offside before he teed up Lewandowski and, against the run of play, the hosts were behind when Boateng sliced in Ihlas Bebou's strike.

But Hoffenheim's lead was short lived as Hubner, under pressure from Muller, was only able to turn Alphonso Davies' cross into his own net.

The turnaround was complete in the 20th minute, Muller sending a nonchalant side-foot volley beyond Philipp Pentke, who then made outstanding stops to deny Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry.

Lewandowski would not be denied again, though, heading into an empty net after Muller forced Pentke into a poor punch.

Pentke did well to prevent Lewandowski doubling his tally five minutes after the break, before Muller squandered a golden chance to get his second.

Steven Zuber had a goal disallowed for the visitors and Bayern extended the lead when Lewandowski headed in Joshua Kimmich's corner with 10 minutes remaining.

Sloppy Bayern defending gifted Dabbur his first as he dinked over Manuel Neuer and the substitute striker tapped home the rebound after Benjamin Pavard sliced Pavel Kaderabek's cross against the left post in the second minute of injury time to add to Bayern's nerves.

The hosts just about saw it out, though, to put their names into the hat for the last eight.

Hoffenheim have completed the signing of striker Munas Dabbur from Sevilla for a reported fee of €12million.

The 27-year-old Israel international has agreed a four-and-a-half-year deal with the Bundesliga side and will link up with the squad in their training camp in Marbella.

"I'm absolutely delighted that the transfer to TSG worked out," Dabbur told his new club's website.

"Hoffenheim are an exciting team in one of the strongest leagues in the world. In recent years, I've come to see Hoffenheim as a club that offers footballers outstanding prospects to continue their development, and I can't wait to make my own contribution to this club's history."

Dabbur shone for Grasshoppers in Switzerland and Salzburg in Austria, but he made only nine appearances in all competitions under Julen Lopetegui at Sevilla, with all three of his goals coming in this season's Europa League.

He had been linked with a possible move to Premier League side West Ham before finalising a deal with Hoffenheim that reportedly includes an additional €2m in add-ons.

"Munas is a class striker – agile, quick reactions, precise timing, good technique and dangerous finishing," said Hoffenheim director of football Alexander Rosen.

"Furthermore, he's a strong character and speaks outstanding German, which will definitely help him settle in quickly."

Head coach Alfred Schreuder added: "Munas is a special footballer whose potential and international experience will undoubtedly enhance our play."

Dabbur could be involved in this week's friendly matches with Feyenoord and ADO Den Haag.

His first chance to appear in the Bundesliga will be at home to Eintracht Frankfurt on January 18.

Lucien Favre vented his frustration after Borussia Dortmund suffered another collapse as their Bundesliga title hopes were dealt a blow.

Andrej Kramaric's 87th-minute goal completed a late comeback for hosts Hoffenheim, who stunned stuttering Dortmund 2-1 on Friday.

Dortmund played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig on Tuesday after squandering a 2-0 first-half lead.

Favre's Dortmund – fourth in the standings and four points off the pace – looked set to bounce back in their final match of 2019 thanks to Mario Gotze's 17th-minute opener.

But Dortmund came unstuck again as Sargis Adamyan equalised in the 79th minute before Hoffenheim star Kramaric struck with three minutes of normal time remaining.

"We dominated the game," Dortmund head coach Favre told reporters. "We were leading 1-0 and had more possession. We played too complicated and lost too many balls. But we had clear scoring chances.

"In the second half we can make it 2-0, 3-0, within five minutes. But we don't make it, we miss big scoring chances. I just saw another situation where we could have crossed and two players from Dortmund were completely free. The goal is empty, but we can't handle it. I have to say, that's stupid.

"You lead 1-0, everyone is a bit tired and everything is possible. When they [Hoffenheim] made the 1:1, it was hard to accept. But we have to get at least one point at the end.

"Unfortunately we didn't manage that and that's a great pity. When I imagine how many points we lost stupidly. That costs us a lot. But congratulations to my colleague [Alfred Schreuder]."

Dortmund star Julian Brandt added: "We couldn't manage to score the second goal. We lacked determination, conviction and concentration. It was an ugly result."

 

DFB-Pokal holders Bayern Munich will host Hoffenheim in the last 16 of this season's competition, while two fourth-tier sides were handed home advantage.

Bayern were made to sweat in their second-round tie, needing two goals in the last seven minutes to scrape past second-tier strugglers Bochum.

Niko Kovac's side - who have won the tournament 19 times - beat RB Leipzig in last season's final and will be favourites against Hoffenheim in one of four all-Bundesliga ties.

Other clashes between sides in Germany's top tier see Eintracht Frankfurt host Leipzig, Schalke take on Hertha Berlin and Werder Bremen welcome Borussia Dortmund.

Interest in the fortunes of Saarbrucken and Verl will be high, with both sides playing in the regionalised fourth tier of German football.

Verl top the Regionalliga West table and will host Bundesliga opposition in Union Berlin, while Saarbrucken are also flying high in the league, sitting first in the Regionalliga South West standings.

Saarbrucken, who scored a stoppage-time winner to beat top-flight opponents Cologne 3-2 in the second round, will host 2. Bundesliga outfit Karlsruher.

Kaiserslautern, who have plummeted to the third tier in recent years, are in the relegation zone but have a chance to raise spirits when they welcome Fortuna Dusseldorf of the Bundesliga.

The other tie in the last 16 sees Bayer Leverkusen take on 2. Bundesliga high-flyers Stuttgart.

All third-round ties will be played on February 4 and 5.

DFB-Pokal last 16 draw

Eintracht Frankfurt v RB Leipzig
Bayer Leverkusen v Stuttgart
Bayern Munich v Hoffenheim
Schalke v Hertha Berlin
Saarbrucken v Karlsruher
Werder Bremen v Borussia Dortmund
Kaiserslautern v Fortuna Dusseldorf
Verl v Union Berlin

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