Bayern Munich are out of the Champions League, but they are still vying for two domestic trophies. They were nearly left with only one trophy left to fight for after an incredible German Cup game.
In what turned into a cup classic, Bayern Munich just about got past second-division Heidenheim in a game that had everything.
After Leon Goretzka had given Bayern the lead with a free header, the home side’s day was turned upside down when Niklas Süle saw red for a challenge on the edge of the box after VAR changed Guido Winkmann’s original decision to just give Süle a yellow card.
Inspired by their one-man advantage, Patrick Glatzel sent a header into the far corner and captain Marc Schnatterer delivered a superb low drive at the end of a counterattack to give Heidenheim the lead.
Niko Kovac reacted at the break, bringing on Robert Lewandowski and Kingsley Coman and instantly Bayern were a different side. Lewandowski set up Thomas Müller for a beautifully-executed third before, three minutes later, the two swapped roles as Lewandowski slid in at the back post to put Bayern up 4-2.
Despite Bayern being down to 10 men, the game seemed to be over. But Heidenheim weren’t done and head coach Frank Schmidt made two changes of his own. One of them, Maurice Multhaup slipped through striker Glatzel who sent another composed finish into the far corner to reduce the deficit to one. Three minutes later after Mats Hummels tugged gently at Multhaup’s arm, Glatzel converted the penalty and the score was level again, this time at 4-4.
With Coman struggling with what looked like an injury, Heidenheim suddenly had another chance to claim the unlikeliest of victories. Marnon Busch’s needless handball changed all that though. With six minutes left, Busch’s arm caught a cross and Lewandowski sent keeper Kevin Müller the wrong way to put Bayern back in front.
Gnabry hit the bar – the third effort off the woodwork in the game – but there was no drama left in what proved to be an incredible game. “Even though we were down a man, we can’t be happy conceding two when we were leading 4-2,” Thomas Müller said afterwards.
In the end it was job done for Bayern, but having come through a dramatic cup game unscathed the question will be whether they can make it count against Dortmund on the weekend.
As it happened:
Bayern Munich have won an absolute cup classic here with more plot twists than a Game of Thrones episode. Bayern were ahead, then a man down and two goals down, then they were ahead again, then it was level, and then, finally, they were ahead again. Just incredible. Tough on Heidenheim who deserved more than to score four and leave the competition, but such is cup football. Beautiful and brutal at the same time. I need a moment to recover from that one… wow.
90+3′ Lewandowski down the line to Coman. He keeps it alive. Here comes a Bayern corner… This should be it.
90+1′ Four minutes of added time. Lewandowski fouled. Time speeding up for the hosts now.
88′ That should be enough, but what am I writing considering what has happened in this game already? Gnabry at the end of a break, smashes the bar. That’s three efforts off the woodwork tonight. This game has had everything, honestly. Have to feel for Heidenheim a bit though. Score four in Munich and don’t win? Tough.
84′ GOAL! Bayern Munich (Lewandowski) This game. Honestly. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like it. A cross comes in, Marnon Busch handles it rather unfortunately but also unnecessarily. Penalty! The Pole steps up and fools Müller with a perfect penalty. Five four. Just bonkers.
82′ CHANCE! There’s more drama in this game than in Game of Thrones. Wow. Heidenheim break forward, Glatzel has another chance but this time Ulreich saves. The rebound falls to another Heidenheim player, but Boateng just blocks his shot wide. Incredible cup game!
81′ With Coman not comfortable, this is effectively 9 men for Bayern against 11 of Heidenheim. Bayern can make another sub if it goes to extra time, but who knows what will happen in this game?
77′ GOAL! Heidenheim (Glatzel pen.) What is happening here? What a game! Multhaup bursts into the box, Hummels tugged gently as his arm. The winger eventually goes to ground. Winkmann says penalty! After a quick VAR check, he gives it and Glatzel dinks it down the middle and the game is level! Madness!
74′ GOAL! Heidenheim (Glatzel) This game continues to astound. Heidenheim make that extra man count again! Maurice Multhaup, the aforementioned winger, slips in Glatzel. The striker finds the far corner perfectly and now there’s just one goal in it!
72′ What’s this? Coman looks in pain. Adductors perhaps? Lewandowski rubs his stomach after pointing to his teammate. Well, Bayern haven’t got any more subs but if they take off the Frenchman they’ll have just 9 men left on the field to defend their two-goal lead. What now? Coman stays on, walking slowly. Schmidt, who has already brought on a winger for Schantterer, now brings off a defender (Theuerkauf) for attacker Denis Thomalla. Has to go for it – and has.
66′ GOAL! And there’s the fourth! After VAR checks and confirms, that is the goal that probably puts Bayern in the next round. Hummels flicks a corner towards the back post and Gnabry, unmarked, is there to tap home. Game over. Again, what a game.
64′ And just like that Bayern look like the side with 11. Gnabry is causing problems in the box, as is the fresh-legged Coman. The pressure from the home side is growing. One more and they, the 10 men, are probably out of sight.
56′ GOAL! Bayern Munich (Lewandowski) This is turning into a classic! Kimmich blocks a certain goal on the ground (not sure how aware of it he is) and then Bayern break. Gnabry feeds Müller on the left and he breaks into the box and he drags a low pass towards the back post that Lewandowski slides in. Two goals in two minutes. Bayern are ahead, but still a man down. What a game.
54′ GOAL! Bayern Munich (Müller) Quality makes all the difference. Lewandowski goes on a run, no chance comes after he hits a pass wide to Gnabry too late, but Heidenheim’s clearance falls to the Pole at the edge of the box. He brilliantly heads the ball into Thomas Müller who hits a volley on the turn into the net. A superb finish and the 10 men of Bayern are level!
51′ Boateng has a go from range. Bit early for that isn’t it? Dorsch comes off in a ground he used to call home (on a yellow). Arne Feick is on, giving Schmidt fresh legs at left back. Heidenheim still look dangerous on the break…
46′ Off we go. Bayern have 45 minutes to turn this around. Kovac brings on Lewandowski and Coman for Rafinha and James. Going all in. Heidenheim are unchanged.
Who saw that coming? The red card is obviously the turning point of the game, and remains controversial. Niklas Süle sees red after VAR for a tackle on the edge of the box that looked tough but not too rough. Guido Winkmann thought otherwise, and Heidenheim scored two brilliant goals thanks to captain Marc Schnatterer. Before the game, Hummels said Glatzel was good in the air and Schnatterer was a legend. Well, Hummels was not wrong.
45+4′ Huge clearance to keep Müller away from a chance right at the end of the half, but Heidenheim do just that!
45+1′ James gets the ball in the box but again doesn’t shoot. Bayern are lucky though as the play is brought back for a free kick. Whipped in, but cleared. There will be three more minutes of added time.
43′ Bayern trying to settle and figure out a way through, but Heidenheim have to lines of four and are going to make it very difficult from here onwards. Kovac will change up at the break and go for it, but the visitors have put themselves, with the aid of the red card, in a perfect spot.
39′ GOAL! Heidenheim (Schnatterer) A perfect counterattack and the visitors lead! Frank Schmidt’s plan has been perfect since the red card. A lovely ball down the left flank, Sebastian Griesbeck has the eye and just enough of a touch to poke it across to the on-running captain. Schnatterer just gets to it before Bayern’s defense can, and he plonks it just inside the far post. The home side and crowd are stunned!
35′ James dallies on the edge of the box when he should shoot. Kimmich eventually keeps it alive with some neat footwork, but a poor pass ends that move. Bayern edging their way back into this, as odd as that sounds.
32′ Bayern are still in this. Sounds odd, but 10 vs. 11 won’t feel like that for Heidenheim. Maybe on a counterattack or two (which is where they need to make it count), but the quality of the home team is huge. Goretzka nearly gets to the end of a low cross, but it’s cleared. Rafinha tries a one-two with James, but it’s cleared. Heidenheim try to break, but the final ball is off.
26′ GOAL! Heidenheim (Glatzel) Heidenheim have made the extra man count! A great cross from the captain Schnatterer gets the ball beyond Bayern’s central defenders and Robert Glatzel heads perfectly across goal in the far corner. All square with 70 minutes to go and one man more. Can Heidenheim record the greatest result in the club’s history? They’ve got a chance now…
22′ Schnatterer has another free kick but this one clips the top of the wall. Andrich goes on a great run but then can’t get the ball out wide left to his captain. Just that bit of quality missing. Boateng comes on for Ribery. The Frenchman is not happy, not happy at all. Wouldn’t want to be Kovac now. Not an easy conversation to have.
19′ Well. Well. That has changed things. Kovac tries to figure out what to do (Boateng coming on?). In the meantime, Dovedan tests Ulreich with a low shot from the edge of the box. Heidenheim are becoming braver. I’d like to see the Süle challenge again you know? First look it looked tough but not a red card. Still, that’s the advantage of seeing multiple angles. At least, it should be.
14′ RED CARD! CROSSBAR! Well, Niklas Süle clatters Robert Andrich just outside the box. Free kick on the edge of the box. Süle is booked, but VAR makes the call and after a long look referee Guido Winkmann sends Süle off for seemingly a dangerous tackle. On second look, his feet are down as he slides across – and he’s not last man – so it seems an odd one. The resulting free kick is clattered onto the bar by captain Marc Schnatterer. All happening!
12′ GOAL! 1-0 Bayern (Goretzka) But from the resulting corner Bayern take the lead. Frank Schmidt won’t be happy about this. Great delivery from Kimmich, but Leon Goretzka is very free and can head in from just a few yards out. Easy. Just like that, Bayern are ahead.
10′ Bayern have stepped it up a gear. After a slip in midfield opens up space for Bayern, Ribery cuts in from the left but his pass is just beyond James. The pressure has definitely gone up a notch. Patrick Mainka then glances a header away from Müller, who was otherwise in on goal.
9′ A chance! Bayern do eventually force a corner, Hummels rises but heads over. The pressure begins…
5′ Fairly usual first five minutes of a cup team between Bayern and a supposed minnow. Heidenheim trying to find their feet, but sticking firmly to their plan of playing out of the back. Bayern looking to impose their quality but can’t get enough control yet. Light sparring is how I’d describe it, but not even a light blow has been landed yet.
1′ Off we go! Heidenheim get us underway with six players on the halfway line.
18:28 Teams are out. Bayern in red, Heidenheim in white. It’s still light out. Love that. Cup football that starts in the light of the late afternoon and finishes in the darkness of the evening.
18:21 “Everything is mental,” Kovac says before the game, adding: “That decides everything.” Well that is true, but a little talent helps too I think. Kick off approaching here…
18:14 Worth remembering that Eintracht Frankfurt, under Niko Kovac, played Heidenheim in the German Cup last year. Kovac says before this one that it’ll be harder this year because Schmidt has done some good work. Frankfurt squeezed past them in the Last 16 last season with a 2-1 scoreline. Can imagine Kovac will want more than that tonight. On Lewandowski, Kovac adds that the striker came to him this morning say he wasn’t feeling right and that’s why he’s on the bench.
17:50 Fun fact! Mats Hummels used to put Marc Schnatterer, the Heidenheim captain, in his second-division fantasy football team because he would always get him points from free kicks. Perhaps he’ll deliver another tonight, although I’m sure Hummels would prefer him not to. Kick off at 1830 CEST.
17:34 TEAMS! Bit surprised by this Bayern team. No place for Alphonso Davies in the squad. Kovac has picked a strong team, even with Neuer and Alaba out injured. Robert Lewandowski is on the bench because he’s a little ill say the club. Sounds like a rest ahead of the big game.
This will be a big challenge for Heidenheim. Schmidt makes two changes from the team that drew in the league on the weekend. Note that keeper Kevin Müller saved a last-minute penalty in that one to secure the point. Some more heroics today? It is the cup…
Bayern Munich XI: Ulreich – Rafinha, Süle, Hummels, Kimmich – Thiago, Goretzka – Ribery, James, Gnabry – Müller
Heidenheim XI: Müller – Busch, Mainka, Theuerkauf, Beermann – Schnatterer, Andrich, Griesbeck, Dorsch – Glatzel, Dovedan
17:21 The scene is set. It’s 19C in Munich at the moment, with a few clouds. Perfectly warm spring evening. Bring on the football!
17:04 So who are Heidenheim? A side that rose into the third division in 2009, eventually made their way in the second division in 2014 where they have solidified themselves as a mid-table team. Head coach Frank Schmidt has been in charge since 2007 and midfielder Niklas Dorsch will be looking to show his former employees what they should never have let him go. The 21-year-old left Bayern for Heidenheim in 2018 having been at the Bavarian giants since 2012. This season the club are 6th in the second division with – four points off the promotion playoff spot. Keep an eye on striker Robert Glatzel and Dorsch tonight.
16:58 Good evening! Bayern Munich can still win the double. Whether that will be enough to keep Niko Kovac remains to be seen, but it wouldn’t be a bad season for the record champions. With one eye on their huge clash against Dortmund on Saturday evening, there’s a potential for them to slip up tonight against second-division side Heidenheim. Keep up with all the action here!