VfL Bochum vs. Bayern Munich: Winners and Losers from DFB Pokal
Bayern Munich booked their spot in the DFB-Pokal semifinal on Wednesday evening as they downed Bochum with a 3-0 win at the rewirpowerSTADION.
Robert Lewandowski silenced the home support on 39 minutes as he opened the scoring against a Bochum side that had put up stiff resistance. But a red card to Jan Simunek shortly thereafter effectively ended the contest, and Thiago Alcantara (61') and Lewandowski (90') struck in the second half to round off the win.
Following Wednesday's action, B/R takes a look at the players who gained and lost from the action on hand. Click "Begin Slideshow" to see our picks.
Winner: Robert Lewandowski
It’s easy to play well when all those around you are on top of their game. But to do so when your teammates are sluggish and well off their best is a very different matter. As is scoring when you really don’t look to be up to the task yourself.
Robert Lewandowski wasn’t at his very best against Bochum and hardly had a sniff at goal. When he did, though, he made it count with a perfect finish off the inside of the far post.
That certainly took the pressure off a Bayern side that before Lewandowski’s opener had been struggling. The Poland international later rounded off Bayern’s win with a second goal at the death.
Loser: Simon Terodde
For the opening minutes, Bochum had Bayern against the ropes. The hosts had a good share of possession and plenty of space to break into behind the opposing defense.
Their best chance came on eight minutes as Thomas Eisfeld crossed to the wide-open Simon Terodde. Bochum couldn’t have had a better man on the receiving end of the cross, and he did well to create space after being confronted by David Alaba.
Yet when it came to the shot, the striker fired agonizingly wide. He also nearly got a chance to score but was denied by a great Holger Badstuber block. And that more or less was the end of his evening, as Bayern soon thereafter locked up shop at the back and kept him silent until his 64th-minute substitution.
Loser: Arjen Robben
It’s worth mentioning that Arjen Robben missed a sitter from about a yard early in the second half, but this comment has more to do with the Dutchman’s antics leading to a penalty that effectively killed off the game.
In the 43rd minute, Jan Simunek raced to catch up to Robben, who had slipped away from his marker. The Dutchman, anticipating his opponent approaching from behind, slowed and drew contact. Yes, there was contact, but the way Robben fell to ground was very exaggerated. The result was a red card for Simunek and a penalty for Bayern, who were already ahead.
In normal situations, drawing a penalty and trying to sell it to the referees is just a normal and accepted part of the game. But there’s something that doesn’t sit well about a Champions League winner and World Cup finalist diving so theatrically while facing a 2. Bundesliga side.
Winner: Thomas Muller
At first glance, it may appear that Thomas Muller had a bad day. The Bayern man missed some great chances to score, including a penalty. And indeed, from the perspective of scoring goals, Muller did quite poorly. He looked a shadow of the prolific scorer who entered the match having found the net 21 times in all competitions.
Yet scoring is not the only thing that matters in football, even for a forward, and that Muller was able to make a mark on the match despite failing to do what he typically does best says a lot about him.
The 26-year-old played the final ball to set up Lewandowski's opener, then assisted Thiago for Bayern's second. Not bad for a player having an off game.