Before the last weekend of Bundesliga action in 2015 there was a small matter of round three action from the DFB Pokal. In one of the later games of the day Darmstadt made the visit to Bayern Munich in search for an upset.
The two sides met in September and unsurprisingly it was Bayern that came out on top as they defeated Darmstadt 3-0. Bayern were clear favourites going into the match, they sit comfortably at the top of the Bundesliga and went into the game on the back of beating Ingolstadt 2-0. As for Darmstadt they will need to produce something magical if they were to cause a shock, especially after losing 4-0 at home to Hertha BSC on the weekend.
The last round saw Bayern Munich see off the tough test of Wolfsburg and they did so rather comfortably with a 3-1 victory away from home. Darmstadt also defeated a Bundesliga side in the last round, Die Lilien managed to defeat Hannover 96 at home.
Bayern start strongly
Bayern Munich made a very bright start to the game as their visitors looked nervous. Sandro Wagner was caught out when he tried to bring the ball out of defence, Robert Lewandowski picked out Kingsley Coman and his ball across goal had no takers. Soon after Coman had a chance of his own as Xabi Alonso played a lovely ball over the top, sadly for the youngster he didn’t strike the ball cleanly and it went out for a goal kick.
Lewandowski managed to carve up his first chance just before the twenty minute mark, good work from Joshua Kimmich saw him play the ball inside and Lewandowski touched the ball past Slobodan Rajković before firing across goal and inches wide.
The breakthrough for Bayern finally came five minutes from the break, after a while of pushing and being frustrated by a resilient Darmstadt defence. A corner was cleared by Darmstadt, however only to Alonso, the Spaniard controlled and fired a tremendous volley from thirty yards out into the top left corner to leave Christian Mathenia helpless.
Moments later Bayern came close to doubling their lead, Philipp Lahm crossed from the right and Lewandowski managed to beat two defenders in the air, unfortunately luck was against the forward as his header flew off the post.
The first real chance of the second half came from the hosts and Thomas Müller, Kimmich lofted a great pass into Müller and the forward excellently controlled with his before volleying across goal and just wide of the post.
Darmstadt almost made things worse for themselves, Müller sent two defender’s the wrong way when he decided to cut inside, his cross along the floor came off Peter Niemeyer and Mathenia had to scramble to save and direct the ball out for a corner.
The visitors pushed for an equaliser
The away side enjoyed a little bit more of the ball in the second half as they counter attacked more often. Sadly for the travelling fans they failed to muster up anything meaningful. When they did they were either offside or conceded fouls. One chance which was offside saw Junior Díaz alone in the area but he fired his shot across goal.
After Bayern missed a few half chances they should’ve been punished when Darmstadt provided a quick counter attack just inside the last twenty minutes. Marcel Heller was the main threat and he burst forward at speed to cross for Wagner, the striker however failed to produce a powerful header and Manuel Neuer saved comfortably.
Soon after that chance for Darmstadt they were awarded a freekick from just outside the area, Lewandowski fouled Aytac Sulu and Mario Vrančić curled the ball over the wall and just over Neuer’s goal.
Bayern responded instantly and came close to scoring once more, Müller whipped in a terrific cross to find Lahm and the Bayern skipper headed just over.
The hosts felt they should’ve had a penalty ten minutes from time, the ball was played through to Müller and after a bit of holding from Díaz he went down. much to his despair the officials didn’t award the spot kick.
One minute later Coman forced Mathenia into action, Lahm’s cross from the right was directed away by a defender but only to Coman. With great technique the winger tried his luck with a bicycle kick and Mathenia did very well to stretch and flick the effort around the post.
It was a valiant display from Darmstadt and they can be proud that Bayern needed a moment of magic to defeat them. Despite that Bayern were deserved winners and they are now into the quarter finals.
Up next for both sides are the last game of 2015 and for Bayern they travel to face Hannover, as Darmstadt also travel away to another tough test in the shape of Borussia Mönchengladbach.