Bayern and Dortmund in German cup final

The two top teams in the Bundesliga will face off in Berlin's Olympic Stadium on May 12 for the German cup final, following a win Wednesday evening from Bayern Munich.

Bayern and Dortmund in German cup final
Photo: DPA

The Bavarians reached the final after they beat Borussia Mönchengladbach 4-2 on penalty kicks, as Wednesday’s semi-final finished goalless after extra-time.

Bayern’s previous games were won with scores of 7-1, 7-0 and 6-0 against Hoffenheim, Basel and Berlin’s Hertha, which is fighting to stay in the Bundesliga’s top division.

Bayern will now face Borussia Dortmund in Berlin following the league leader’s 1-0 win over second-division Greuther Fuerth in Tuesday’s other semi-final.

With nothing to separate Bayern and Gladbach after 120 minutes of football at the 54,057 sold-out Borussia Park, the game was settled by penalty kicks. The Bavarians owe their win to goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who not only stopped two of Gladbach’s kicks, but had some impressive saves in regular playing time.

After Bayern converted all four of their chances, misses by Gladbach’s Brazil defender Dante and Norway midfielder Havard Nordtveit handed Bayern victory.

“Penalties are always a certain amount of drama,” said Bayern’s relieved director of sport Christian Nerlinger.

“I am really pleased that Manuel Neuer saved the deciding penalties. We were able to convert all of our spot kicks, that speaks volumes for the team’s determination.”

With his side third in the Bundesliga behind second-placed Bayern, Gladbach coach Lucien Favre said his main concern now was Saturday’s clash at home against Hoffenheim.

“Now Saturday’s next game is all that is important. The cup game is already history,” said the Swiss.

“That’s football, we have to now win our next league game.”

Having already beaten Bayern home and away in the Bundesliga this season, Gladbach were chasing a rare treble over the Bavarians, but it was not to be.

This was a typically tense cup semi-final as both sides pushed forward looking for the half chance to take a crucial lead while desperately trying to avoid giving their opponent any opportunities.

Bayern hit the post in the first six minutes through Toni Kroos and it turned into a bruising encounter as Gladbach forward Mike Hanke accidentally kicked Bayern’s Holger Badstuber in the face with 25 minutes gone.

At the other end, Neuer had to be alert to save a shot from Filip Daems on 35 minutes having earlier denied Gladbach midfielder Marco Reus.

Both Neuer and Gladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen were busy throughout as Bayern striker Mario Gomez went close while Neuer pulled off a brilliant save to deny Reus with six minutes left.

In extra time, Bayern substitute Nils Petersen squandered a great chance with just two minutes left before his side held their nerve on penalties.


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EXPLAINED: Berlin’s latest Covid rules

In response to rapidly rising Covid-19 infection rates, the Berlin Senate has introduced stricter rules, which came into force on Saturday, November 27th. Here's what you need to know.

A sign in front of a waxing studio in Berlin indicates the rule of the 2G system
A sign in front of a waxing studio indicates the rule of the 2G system with access only for fully vaccinated people and those who can show proof of recovery from Covid-19 as restrictions tighten in Berlin. STEFANIE LOOS / AFP

The Senate agreed on the tougher restrictions on Tuesday, November 23rd with the goal of reducing contacts and mobility, according to State Secretary of Health Martin Matz (SPD).

He explained after the meeting that these measures should slow the increase in Covid-19 infection rates, which was important as “the situation had, unfortunately, deteriorated over the past weeks”, according to media reports.

READ ALSO: Tougher Covid measures needed to stop 100,000 more deaths, warns top German virologist

Essentially, the new rules exclude from much of public life anyone who cannot show proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19. You’ll find more details of how different sectors are affected below.

If you haven’t been vaccinated or recovered (2G – geimpft (vaccinated) or genesen (recovered)) from Covid-19, then you can only go into shops for essential supplies, i.e. food shopping in supermarkets or to drugstores and pharmacies.

Many – but not all – of the rules for shopping are the same as those passed in the neighbouring state of Brandenburg in order to avoid promoting ‘shopping tourism’ with different restrictions in different states.

2G applies here, too, as well as the requirement to wear a mask with most places now no longer accepting a negative test for entry. Only minors are exempt from this requirement.

Sport, culture, clubs
Indoor sports halls will off-limits to anyone who hasn’t  been vaccinated or can’t show proof of recovery from Covid-19. 2G is also in force for cultural events, such as plays and concerts, where there’s also a requirement to wear a mask. 

In places where mask-wearing isn’t possible, such as dance clubs, then a negative test and social distancing are required (capacity is capped at 50 percent of the maximum).

Restaurants, bars, pubs (indoors)
You have to wear a mask in all of these places when you come in, leave or move around. You can only take your mask off while you’re sat down. 2G rules also apply here.

Hotels and other types of accommodation 
Restrictions are tougher here, too, with 2G now in force. This means that unvaccinated people can no longer get a room, even if they have a negative test.

For close-contact services, such as hairdressers and beauticians, it’s up to the service providers themselves to decide whether they require customers to wear masks or a negative test.

Football matches and other large-scale events
Rules have changed here, too. From December 1st, capacity will be limited to 5,000 people plus 50 percent of the total potential stadium or arena capacity. And only those who’ve been vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 will be allowed in. Masks are also compulsory.

For the Olympic Stadium, this means capacity will be capped at 42,000 spectators and 16,000 for the Alte Försterei stadium. 

3G rules – ie vaccinated, recovered or a negative test – still apply on the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, trams and buses in Berlin. It was not possible to tighten restrictions, Matz said, as the regulations were issued at national level.

According to the German Act on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, people have to wear a surgical mask or an FFP2 mask  on public transport.

Christmas markets
The Senate currently has no plans to cancel the capital’s Christmas markets, some of which have been open since Monday. 

According to Matz, 2G rules apply and wearing a mask is compulsory.

Schools and day-care
Pupils will still have to take Covid tests three times a week and, in classes where there are at least two children who test positive in the rapid antigen tests, then tests should be carried out daily for a week.  

Unlike in Brandenburg, there are currently no plans to move away from face-to-face teaching. The child-friendly ‘lollipop’ Covid tests will be made compulsory in day-care centres and parents will be required to confirm that the tests have been carried out. Day-care staff have to document the results.

What about vaccination centres?
Berlin wants to expand these and set up new ones, according to Matz. A new vaccination centre should open in the Ring centre at the end of the week and 50 soldiers from the German army have been helping at the vaccination centre at the Exhibition Centre each day since last week.

The capacity in the new vaccination centre in the Lindencenter in Lichtenberg is expected to be doubled. There are also additional vaccination appointments so that people can get their jabs more quickly. Currently, all appointments are fully booked well into the new year.