Bayer Leverkusen defeated lowly Saarbruecken 3-0 away on Tuesday to reach the German Cup final next month and put the fourth division side’s fairytale run to a jolting end. Two goals inside the opening 20 minutes quickly ended home hopes as top-flight Leverkusen advanced to the Berlin decision-maker on July 4, where Wednesday’s winner will face the Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt holders.
In the 11th minute, French flyer Moussa Diaby put Leverkusen ahead and Lucas Alario added a second eight minutes later before replacement Karim Bellarabi finished in the 58th.
Saarbruecken became the first team from the fourth tier to reach the final four of the cup, taking the scalps of two top-flight and two second-division clubs along the way but had the odds stacked ahead of Tuesday’s game against her.
It had not played for 94 days since the suspension of the German regional league and then prematurely ended due to the novel coronavirus health crisis. This was in contrast to its high-flying opponent of the Bundesliga, who resumed playing a month ago and whose superior match fitness was evident almost from the opening whistle.
Diaby timed his run perfectly to beat the offside trap and get over the defense at the end of a clever forward pass, which he then hooked from close range into the goal.
After a mix-up in the host’s defense, Alario added a second from a tight angle.
Leverkusen, still contesting for another trophy in this Europa League season, continued their domination and added a third goal, just before the hour, after a series of smooth passes through Bellarabi. Yet after that, it was also guilty of squandering several good chances, and could easily have won by a much bigger margin. Markus Mendler of Saarbruecken miscued his attempt to squander their best opportunity for consolation on the full-time stroke in front of the post.
Leverkusen, who won the German Cup in 1993 for the only time, went on to appear in the final in 2009 when they lost to Werder Bremen.