RB Leipzig reached the final of the DFB Cup with spectacular attacking football and showed impressive title form. Led by the outstanding playmaker Dani Olmo, the defending champions celebrated a 5-1 (4-0) victory in the semifinals on Tuesday at SC Freiburg. After this gala performance at the latest, the Saxons will be the favorites going into the final on June 3rd in Berlin's Olympic Stadium. The opponent will be determined in the second semi-final between VfB Stuttgart and Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday (20:45 / ARD and Sky).
In the repeat of the final from the previous season, Olmo (13th minute) gave the guests the lead. After that, the Spain international all set up the goals of Benjamin Henrichs (14'), Dominik Szoboszlai (37') and Christopher Nkunku (45'). RB defender Josko Gvardiol saw the red card in the 58th minute after video evidence of an emergency brake, but Leipzig's fourth place in the final was practically certain. Michael Gregoritsch (75th) only scored the 1:4 goal. Szoboszlai (90.7) made the final score with a penalty kick. In the Bundesliga, both teams will face each other again on Saturday, then it's a direct duel to qualify for the Champions League.
The second half was overshadowed by incidents in the stands. First, the Leipzig substitutes were thrown at with cups and coins while warming up, then some SC supporters managed to jump into the interior. But they could be pushed back by folders.
33,300 spectators, including national coach Hansi Flick, DFB sports director Rudi Völler and DFB President Bernd Neuendorf, saw a demonstration by the defending champion. "Leipzig showed today what quality they have on offense," said Flick during the half-time break on pay TV broadcaster Sky: "The way the goals came was really good."
Freiburg went into the game with a lot of desire for revenge. Because of the lost cup final last year, striker Lucas Höler had said that "still an open account" and will be "emotionally charged". But RB coach Marco Rose also announced that his players would "scratch, bite, spit". But what they showed above all: outstanding attacking football.
After a hard-fought opening minute, Leipzig took over and showed their class with the first two goals: Olmo's header made it 1-0 after an inimitable sprint from Nkunku and a tailor-made cross from Marcel Halstenberg. When Henrichs made it 2-0 after a fine combination game, RB made the Freiburg defenders look like beginners.
The people of Breisgau were visibly shocked by the early two-goal deficit – and coach Streich reacted. Already after 20 minutes he brought Vincenzo Grifo. With the creative player, a little more order returned to the Freiburg game, and RB goalkeeper Janis Blaswich had to save against Höler on his 32nd birthday (34th). But the guests remained dangerous with their enormous speed and playfulness. Everything went too fast for the Freiburg team to make it 3-0 after a one-two from Olmo and Szoboszlai. Above all, Olmo, who also prepared Nkunku to make it 4-0, couldn't get the SC under control at all.
The half-time whistle was a salvation for Freiburg. But the Breisgauers didn't succeed in changing sides either, before Gvardiol's dismissal after a foul on Roland Sallai and Gregoritsch's goal caused a little excitement.