Werder Bremen 0-4 Bayern Munich: Unstoppable Bavarians Complete Domestic Double

Bayern Munich earned an emphatic 4-0 win today to claim their second trophy of the season...
Bayern Munich entered today's match hoping to win their record eighth DFB Pokal title, and keep on pace for an historic treble. They had to fight off stiff competition from rivals Werder Bremen, who finished third in the league and had been in scintillating form for most of the spring campaign.

There were a few surprises from both teams before kickoff. For Bremen, skillful winger Marko Marin was excluded from the starting lineup as Tim Borowski got the nod. Bayern coach Louis van Gaal also turned a few heads, selecting Daniel van Buyten to start in central defense, moving Holger Badstuber to the left flank, and relegating Diego Contento to the bench.

In the early procedings, Bayern controlled the majority of possession while Bremen, much to coach Thomas Schaaf's dismay, dropped deep to defend. The forward-minded gaffer urged his team to play a higher offside trap, but it was difficult to do so in the face of wave after wave of attack.

Unsurprisingly, Arjen Robben had the game's first goalscoring opportunity, but Tim Wiese saved well from the Dutchman's 20-yard effort. Bremen reacted well to the initial pressure, and defended with good organization. The trouble for the official hosts was their lack of possession, which made winning the game a huge ask. They had their chances but such opportunities were very few and far between.

Bremen may have gone a goal ahead in the 8th minute, but Hans-Joerg Butt came to the rescue for Bayern. Claudio Pizarro brilliantly skinned Daniel van Buyten before shooting on goal, but Butt saved. The rebound was follow-ed up with another shot that Butt parried to his left, before a third shot was blocked.

Six minutes later, Philipp Bargfrede played a clever 1-2 pass with Mesut Ozil, but the Germany U-21 international lost his footing and let the ball roll out of play.

That would be just about all for the Werder attack in the first half. Bayern's huge possessional advantage kept the Gruen-Weissen on their heels, and it seemed only a matter of time before the Bavarians would open the scoring.

After Robben came close a couple of times--including missing an open net--Per Mertesacker was whistled for a hand ball in the penalty area after Ivica Olic cleverly tapped the ball forward.

Robben stepped up to the penalty spot, picked his corner, and drilled into the net past Wiese, who guessed correctly but could not position himself quickly enough to make the save.

Shortly before the half, Bremen had a chance to draw level once more, but Aaron Hunt poorly struck over the bar after Ozil set him up perfectly. Shortly thereafter, the halftime whistle was blown and Schaaf was left with the tough task of adding firepower without leaving his side exposed on the counterattack.

At the start of the second eriod, striker Hugo Almeida replaced Hunt as Schaaf looked to try out a 4-3-1-2 setup. The new game plan had immediate effect as Ozil set up the Portuguese hitman early, but Martin Demichelis made a last-ditch tackle.

Moments later, Almeida beat Holger Badstuber to a cross and looked like scoring, but sent his shot just wide.

Bremen would rue their missed opportunities, because it was not long before Bayern regrouped and mercilessly struck on te counterattack. After Robben had a legitimate claim for a penalty, Olic pounced on a loose ball in the penalty area, and tapped in to double the Bavarians' advantage.

Schaaf rolled the dice once more, this time bringing in Marko Marin for Bargfrede, but his decision would only make Bremen more susceptible on the break. Ribery, Olic, and Mueller had close calls before Mark van Bommel played Ribery through on goal. The Frenchman coolly fired into the net, effectively ending the game as a contest.

Pizarro came close to pulling one back for Bremen following a free kick, but Butt made a majestic save from the Peruvian's header. It just wasn't his day. With the game rapidly proceding towards a rout, Schaaf pulled his team into a more defensive stance to try to limit the damage rather than play for the comeback. By the 76th minute, Torsten Frings had had enough, and received his marching orders after a cynical challenge on Bastian Schweinsteiger.

In the 83rd minute, "Schweini" added a fourth after collecting a well-weighted ball over the top, rounding off an impressive performance from him and the Bayern team as a whole.

Seven minutes later, the final whistle blew, and Bayern Munich lifted their record 15th DFB Pokal title. On a different day, Bremen may have gone ahead earlier on and perhaps won the match, but this match belonged to the Bavarians, who enter the Champions League final on a high note.