Bayern need penalties to edge past Leverkusen in DFB Pokal quarterfinals

(Reuters) – Holders Bayern Munich beat Bayer Leverkusen 5-3 on penalties after a 0-0 draw to move into the German Cup semi-final and stay on course for a treble of titles on Wednesday.

Spaniard Thiago Alcantara, only back this month from a one-year injury absence, scored the decisive spot-kick for the Bavarians, runaway leaders in the Bundesliga and through to the Champions League last eight.

Without injured wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben along with Bastian Schweinsteiger and David Alaba, Pep Guardiola’s team were at times on the backfoot and an aggressive Leverkusen threatened them repeatedly.

Bayern were also lucky not to have Thiago sent off in second half stoppage-time after his flying studs-up challenge on Stefan Kiessling who had to be taken off.

Mario Goetze missed Bayern’s best chance when he was left unmarked at the far post but could not score from three metres out.

They stayed calm and converted every penalty with Josip Drmic having his spot-kick saved by Manuel Neuer before Thiago scored.

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