Borussia Dortmund have progressed to the final of the DFB Cup for the tenth time in club history! BVB booked their tickets to Berlin after an exhilarating first-half performance helped them beat Holstein Kiel 5-0 (5-0). However, what looks like a serious injury to Mateu Morey put a major dampener on the celebrations.
Boris Rupert reporting
Four goals in the space of just 16 minutes in the first half meant Borussia took a decisive lead early on: Gio Reyna (16/23), Marco Reus (26) and Thorgan Hazard (32) made no mistake in front of goal to fire the home side into a 4-0 lead. Jude Bellingham grabbed a fifth goal shortly before the break (42) to make it 5-0 at half-time.
Borussia secured passage to the semi-final stage of the DFB Cup for the 15th time in club history thanks to wins over MSV Duisburg (5-0), Eintracht Braunschweig (2-0), SC Paderborn (3-2 a.e.t.) and Borussia Mönchengladbach (1-0). Going into the game the Black & Yellows had won each of their last 26 cup games against clubs from lower-tiers. The fourth-placed Bundesliga 2 side Holstein Kiel (although they may be able to move up to second due to having three games in hand over their competitors) reached the semi-finals after knocking out Rielasingen-Arlen (7-1), Bayern Munich (6-5 in a penalty shoot-out), Darmstadt 98 (7-6 in a penalty shoot-out) and Rot-Weiss Essen (3-0).
In addition to long-term absentees Moukoko, Schmelzer, Witsel and Zagadou, goalscorer Haaland (muscular complaints after a knock suffered in Wolfsburg) and midfielder Dahoud (suspension) were unavailable. The latter was shown red towards the end of the quarter-final in Gladbach (1-0) after picking up a second yellow card. There were two changes to the side that beat Wolfsburg 2-0 in the Bundesliga last Saturday, with Hummels and Hazard moving into the starting line-up to replace Haaland and Dahoud.
Both coaches opted for a 4-3-3 formation, albeit with much variation in the implementation: Holstein dropped very deep in their own half when BVB had possession, operating with two solid banks of four and a sweeper (Meffert) closing down the spaces in between. Their fast and direct counter-attacks ran through target man Serra. Borussia's approach was designed to make use of wide areas and work space up front through quick movement and switches of position.
The match & analysis:
Only at the beginning of the match were Holstein Kiel able to demonstrate why they have by far the best defensive record in the second tier (just 27 goals conceded in 28 games): the guests proved adept at keeping BVB at bay in the opening minutes, with their back four sitting deep and their nominally attacking players working hard without the ball
Borussia were dominant early on, aside from a brief phase between the 10th and the 15th minute. However, they only managed to fashion one goalscoring opportunity in the opening stages: the fleet-footed Reus only just failed to get on the end of a dangerous ball in to the six-yard box from Guerreiro.
It was just as Kiel seemed to be finding their feet in the game that Dortmund grabbed the opening goal: Sancho was able to make progress down the left wing before slotting a pass to Reyna, who found himself in space on the left of the box and fired a shot towards goal which took a slight deflection off Lee on its way into the far-corner of the net (16). This opened the floodgates: Guerreiro lifted the tempo with a sharp ball forward, Reus played a delightful touch from the corner of the six-yard box back towards the onrushing Guerreiro, who tried to score with a backheel. In the end, the ball fell to Reyna, who had the simplest of finishes from close range to double the lead (23). Three minutes later, Can played an excellent ball into the box, where Reus was on hand to deftly apply the finishing touches to make it 3-0. Down the other end, Reese rattled the post of the Dortmund goal with a long-range effort in the 27th minute.
The clock read 31 minutes when some hard pressing from Piszczek forced the opposition into a misplaced pass which Hazard intercepted for a clear route to goal. The Belgian kept a cool head to fire the ball home from 14 metres out to increase the lead to 4-0. The next piece of outstanding attacking play from the Black & Yellows came in the 42nd minute, with Bellingham exchanging passes with Sancho before drilling a shot into the back of the net to make it 5-0. Reyna had a chance to grab his hat-trick in first-half injury time, but his effort on goal was deflected wide of the mark.
Unsurprisingly, the second half didn't quite have the same flow as the first. Borussia took a more measured approach and were happy to sit on the lead for some ''load management.'' Brandt replaced Reyna at half-time, with Reinier, Delaney and Morey coming on on the hour mark in place of Reus, Can and Piszczek.
The apparently serious injury to Morey caused a shock in the 70th minute: the Spaniard fell awkwardly without opposition contact while chasing down a ball. His teammates in the stands, including Haaland, Zagadou and Delaney, held their hands over their mouths in horror. The right-back was in visible discomfort as he was stretchered off.
The Black & Yellows had one last goalscoring opportunity in their 47th competitive game of the season, but Kiel goalkeeper Dähne did well to prevent Hummels from making it 6-0 in the 84th minute.
The final will take place in 12 days' time - 13 May (Ascension Day) - in Berlin. BVB and fellow finalists RB Leipzig will face off against each other in the league five days prior to meeting again in the final: Borussia host Leipzig at Signal Iduna Park this Saturday (8 May), with the match kicking off at 15:30 CET.