Schalke’s Magath gets revenge as struggling Bayern exit Cup

Another piece of silverware slipped from Bayern Munich's grasp on Wednesday as the title holders were dumped out of the German Cup after a 1-0 semi-final home defeat to Schalke 04, who are coached by former Bayern boss Felix Magath.

Schalke's Magath gets revenge as struggling Bayern exit Cup
Photo: DPA

A first-half goal from Schalke’s veteran Spaniard Raul means the Royal Blues will face second-division MSV Duisburg in the final at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium on May 21.

This is Bayern’s second straight home defeat and pressure is mounting on coach Louis van Gaal with signs demanding ‘Van Gaal out!’ seen around the stadium.

The picture is now much bleaker just a week after the joy of Munich’s 1-0 win at Inter Milan in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 clash. Bayern are virtually out of the league race and now out of the cup.

Last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat also at home to Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund has left Bayern 16 points off the pace with 10 games left and effectively out of the title race.

“Schalke improved their hand with the early 1-0 lead, then they closed up shop in defence,” said disappointed Bayern captain Philipp Lahm. “We just couldn’t find a solution.”

“When we won’t be German champions and cup winners, that is not a good season for Bayern.”

This was sweet revenge for Magath who was sacked by Bayern in February 2007, despite leading Munich to the league and cup double in the previous two seasons.

“We knew we had a chance, but we could have done with one more goal,” said Magath, whose side has struggled in the Bundesliga this season. “We deserved this, even if we didn’t contribute much in the second-half and had to defend.

Raul added to Bayern’s woes with his 15th goal of the season with a header in the 15th minute.

Bayern poured on the pressure after the break with Dutch winger Arjen Robben just failing to connect with a Franck Ribery cross, while Schalke’s Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer denied Bastian Schweinsteiger with a header.

Robben was booked with 20 minutes remaining for clattering Neuer as Bayern were again frustrated, while Schalke’s Japan defender Atsuto Uchida also picked up a yellow for fouling Lahm.

On Tuesday, Duisburg beat fellow second division side Energie Cottbus 2-1 to book their place in the final.

This is the first time since 2004, when second-tier Alemannia Aachen lost 3-2 to first division side Werder Bremen, that a second division team has reached the final.

With an automatic place in the Europa League on offer for the winners of the cup, Duisburg – currently sixth in the second division – are just one more giant-killing away from a European place.

They have already beaten Bundesliga teams Cologne, in the round of 16, and Kaiserslautern, in the quarter-finals, on the way to the final.


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Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.