Leverkusen turfs Bayern out of cup

Bayern Munich's desperate domestic form continued on Wednesday as the defending German Cup holders were eliminated from the competition as the equally out-of-form Bayer Leverkusen beat them 4-2 in a quarter-final clash.

Leverkusen turfs Bayern out of cup
Photo: DPA

Bayern, who have lost two and drawn one of their last three league matches, found themselves down 3-0 after Bayer scored three goals in 16 second-half minutes and with just 20 minutes remaining.

Jürgen Klinsmann’s side fought back to make it 3-2 with two goals in the next four minutes but Bayer ensured they progressed with a goal in the second minute of time added on.

Bayer’s Swiss international Tranquillo Barnetta had opened the scoring in the 54th minute with a superb shot and they quickly doubled their advantage through a header by Arturo Vidal from a corner.

When Patrick Helmes added a third it looked like game over for Bayern, who had won four of the last six editions of the Cup.

But they showed some resilience in attack as Brazilian defender Lucio pounced to take advantage of a poor punch by German international goalkeeper Rene Adler to make it 3-1 and then Bayer’s nerves were set truly on edge as two minutes later Miroslav Klose scored following a terrific pass by Franck Ribery.

But it was still too little too late as Bayer – with three defeats, a draw and a win in their last five matches – added a deserved fourth goal.

Earlier on Wednesday both Hamburg and Werder Bremen had moved through to the semi-finals – Hamburg beating struggling Second Division Wiesbaden 2-1 while Werder Bremen were impressive 5-2 winners over VfL Wolfsburg.

Brazilian star Diego and Peruvian veteran Claudio Pizarro were the stars of the show for Werder as they grabbed a brace apiece.

Schalke 04’s disappointing season continued on Tuesday as they were knocked out of the German Cup 1-0 by Second Division Mainz in their quarter-final clash.

An 88th minute goal by Burkina Faso’s Aristide Bance was enough to end four-time Cup winners Schalke’s interest in the competition and send Mainz – who are second in their division – into the semi-finals for the first time in their history.

Schalke’s exit heaps the pressure on their Dutch coach Fred Rutten as they are eighth in the league, nine points adrift of leaders Hertha Berlin.


Chemical reaction likely to blame for deadly blast at German plant

An explosion that killed seven people at a hazardous waste site in Germany in July was likely caused by a chemical reaction inside a waste storage tank, local authorities said Monday, citing an interim report.

Chemical reaction likely to blame for deadly blast at German plant
The site of the Chempark explosion on July 27th. Photo: dpa | Oliver Berg

The July 27 blast at the Chempark chemical complex in the western city of Leverkusen, which also injured 31 workers, was heard several kilometres away and rattled the windows of nearby homes.

It sent up a large cloud of black smoke that prompted authorities to urge locals to stay indoors, although later examinations showed no danger to residents’ health.

The interim findings, announced by the Cologne district government, suggest that a chemical reaction “probably” caused waste liquid in storage tank 3 to self-heat and rapidly become warmer, leading to a build-up of pressure it was unable to withstand.

“The whole process happened so quickly that the safety mechanisms were no longer able to dissipate the pressure. When the pressure exceeded the design pressure of the container, it exploded,” the interim report is quoted as saying.

The explosion then triggered a large blaze at the park’s waste storage and incineration site that took firefighters hours to put out.

Chempark operator Currenta said in a statement that the early findings match its own investigations.

The Cologne district government said it was awaiting further expert analysis before final conclusions could be made about the cause of the blast.

Prosecutors in Cologne have opened an investigation against unknown persons on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter and causing an explosion through negligence.

All those killed and injured in the explosion worked at the chemical site.

The blast area, in Leverkusen’s Buerrig district, was separate from Chempark’s main industrial park that houses numerous companies including Bayer, Lanxess and Evonik Industries.

READ MORE: Death toll in German chemical blast climbs to six