DFB Pokal: Bayern Munich 6 Wolfsburg 1
By Football News
Mario Gomez scored a blistering hat-trick at the Allianz Arena as Bayern Munich crushed Wolfsburg 6-1 to reach the final of the DFB Pokal.
Mario Mandzukic, Arjen Robben and Xherdan Shaqiri were also on target for Jupp Heynckes' side as they disposed of the visitors, who briefly threatened to get back into the contest thanks to a fantastic strike from Diego just before half-time.
With the Bundesliga title secured and a massive Champions League semi-final with Barcelona on the horizon, Bayern hosted Wolfsburg on Tuesday still in the hunt for an historic treble.
Despite resting the likes of Franck Ribery, there was no let-up from the Bavarians as they went straight on the offensive, hungry for victory in the semi-final.
With just a handful of minutes on the clock, the home side almost opened the scoring. An intelligent pass from Robben opened the right flank for Philipp Lahm, and the Bayern captain fired low into the box. Bastian Schweinsteiger was on hand to meet the ball, and his first-time effort slipped agonisingly past the near post.
It would not be long, however, before the hosts were on target.
Despite matching the champions across the field, Wolfsburg always looked vulnerable when their rivals countered.
Shaqiri held on to the ball just long enough to release Robben on the overlap, and the Dutchman's pass was met by Mandzukic who smashed into the roof of the net to give his side the perfect start.
Shaqiri was on form and with 35 minutes gone, the Switzerland international capped another break to play in Robben, and the provider turned scorer as he deftly chipped past Diego Benaglio to double the lead.
Despite falling two goals behind, Wolfsburg stepped up their efforts and fought back on the stroke of half-time when Diego hit a wonderful strike that gave Manuel Neuer no chance, cutting Bayern's advantage and giving the visitors a lifeline for the second 45 minutes.
Buoyed by that strike, Wolfsburg came out after the interval in an aggressive mood and looked to level the game.
But Bayern had other ideas, as a short corner from Thomas Mueller went to Robben, and the winger reacted well to open up the game for Shaqiri on the edge of the box with a raking pass. Shaqiri had time to pick his spot, and smashed his effort along the floor to nestle in the corner of the net.
Wolfsburg never stopped trying but could not find a way through as time steadily ran out for the visitors. Bayern had few problems in seeing out what remained of the match, as they continued their march onwards to a domestic double.
Gomez capped a dominant display with a late double, netting a simple tap-in at the end and then converting a Schweinsteiger pass shortly afterwards to leave the home fans ecstatic as they saluted their heroes in full voice.
Gomez still wasn't done, however, and sealed his hat-trick in just six minutes with another cool finish to complete Wolfsburg's humiliation.
The Bundesliga champions will face the winner of Wednesday's clash between Stuttgart and Freiburg in the final of the tournament.