DFB Cup: Bayer Leverkusen takes Fortuna Düsseldorf apart and moves into the final

For the invincible Bayer Leverkusen, the double is within reach.

DFB Cup: Bayer Leverkusen takes Fortuna Düsseldorf apart and moves into the final

For the invincible Bayer Leverkusen, the double is within reach. Thanks to the impressive 4-0 (3-0) against second division third-placed Fortuna Düsseldorf, the sovereign Bundesliga leaders reached the final of the DFB Cup for the fifth time and will be there on May 25th against second division relegation candidate 1. FC Kaiserslautern with veteran trainer Friedhelm Funkel (70) a towering favorite.

In the league, Leverkusen, who have been completely untitled since winning the cup in 1993, have an almost unassailable 13 point lead over series champions FC Bayern Munich seven game days before the end of the season. After 40 competitive games this season, the Werkself, who are also in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, are still without a defeat. For Fortuna, who had no chance at all on Wednesday, the dream of the first cup final in 44 years was shattered; the Düsseldorf team can now concentrate on the fight for promotion to the Bundesliga.

Full-back Jeremie Frimpong gave Leverkusen an early lead with his twelfth competitive goal this season (7th minute). Amine Adli (20th) then took sole possession of the top scorer list with his fifth goal in the current competition. National player Florian Wirtz added his first brace in his 141st competitive game for Bayer Leverkusen (35th/60th, hand penalty).

Fortuna, accompanied by Edelfan Campino among others, did not have to eliminate a single Bundesliga team on the way to its first semi-final in 28 years, but played away from home throughout and prevailed against league rivals Magdeburg and St. Pauli, among others. Leverkusen had to overcome a real test, at least in the quarter-finals, when the Werkself prevailed 3-2 against league third-placed VfB Stuttgart thanks to a last-minute goal from Jonathan Tah.

The Düsseldorf team, who had to do without Ao Tanaka for a short time due to an appendix operation, did not play at the back despite a nominal five-man chain, unlike many Bundesliga teams in the BayArena. But that backfired. From the start, Leverkusen seemed to crush the second division team. After Emmanuel Iyoha saved from Frimpong at the very last second in the 4th minute, the Dutchman scored the early 1-0 three minutes later when the ball reached him at the far post after a cross from Granit Xhaka and he put it under the crossbar thresh.

Of course, the second division team now had to look for a way forward - which gave Leverkusen additional space. Adli made it 2-0 through a counterattack, at the end of which Bayer even had the majority. After an unfortunate bad pass from Fortuna goalkeeper Florian Kastenmaier, which resulted in Wirtz's third goal, the game was virtually decided. At least the second division team had their first big chance shortly before the break through captain André Hoffmann (45th).

Nothing changed after the break. Bayer obviously wanted more goals, for Düsseldorf it was just a matter of limiting the damage. When Patrik Schick headed the ball onto the post, Düsseldorf seemed to have escaped the fourth goal. But because Matthias Zimmermann deflected the ball with his hand, there was video evidence of a penalty, which Wirtz safely converted. In the 65th minute, the Leverkusen fans celebrated euphorically, even without a goal, when the long-injured striker Victor Boniface made his first appearance in 2024.

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