Holders Bayern Munich squeezed into the quarter-finals of the German Cup with a 1-0 win over Wolfsburg on Tuesday following Douglas Costa’s first-half strike and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s heroics.
Bayern were coasting at Munich’s Allianz Arena after a well-taken goal from Costa on 17 minutes, but it took two superb saves from Germany shotstopper Neuer to put the Bavarian giants through.
Wolfsburg, who are struggling in the Bundesliga, upped the pace for the final ten minutes as Bayern lost their shape at the back.
Attacking midfielder Yunus Malli, a new signing last month from Mainz, forced Neuer into spectacular parries in quick succession as Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern endured a tense final few minutes.
“We were trembling a bit at the end, but all in all it was a deserved win,” Bayern’s president Uli Hoeness told broadcaster ARD.
Costa’s goal was a boost for Bayern amidst reports the Selecao forward is considering leaving the German giants to further his career at the end of the season.
And according to another report in magazine Sport Bild, Bayern captain Philipp Lahm has decided to retire in June despite having a year left on his contract.
Elsewhere, Borussia Moenchengladbach won their third round match 2-0 at second-division Greuther Fuerth thanks to goals by Oscar Wendt and a penalty from Thorgan Hazard, brother of Chelsea star Eden.
Gladbach’s cause was helped when Fuerth’s Hungary international midfielder Adam Pinter was sent off with just 19 minutes gone for a dangerous tackle on Germany midfielder Christoph Kramer.
Hamburg, who are in the Bundesliga’s relegation places, brushed off poor league form, winning 2-0 at home to Cologne with goals by Gideon Jung and US striker Bobby Wood.
Second division Arminia Bielefeld are into the last eight after a scare against fourth division minnows Astoria Walldorf, progressing 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
In the plum pick of Wednesday’s matches, Borussia Dortmund host Hertha Berlin in an all Bundesliga tie.