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Dublin: -1°C Sunday 24 January 2021
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Bayern dumped out of German Cup, Barca prevail, and Neymar returns as Poch's PSG lift silverware

A busy night of domestic cup action across Europe.

firo-13-01-2021-soccer-soccer-dfb-pokal-season-202021-holstein Disappointed Bayern Munich 'keeper Manuel Neuer. Source: R7043 firo Sportphoto/Selim Sudheimer

BAYERN MUNICH WERE knocked out of the German Cup after second division Holstein Kiel won a nail-biting penalty shoot-out 6-5 after the second round tie finished 2-2 after extra-time.

This is the first time Bayern have been knocked out of the cup by a non-Bundesliga club since losing to then fourth-tier Magdeburg in 2000/01.

After Bayern midfielder Marc Roca was the first player to miss with his team’s sixth penalty, Kiel’s former Bremen forward Fin Bartels converted the winning spot-kick to spark wild celebrations.

The upset means this is the first time European champions Bayern have been eliminated from a cup competition since head coach Hansi Flick took charge in November 2019. 

Bayern were 2-1 up thanks to goals by Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane, either side of a superb Bartels strike, before a last-gasp header by Kiel captain Hauke Wahl on 95 minutes took the game to extra time, then penalties.

In the last 16, Kiel will host fellow second-division side Darmstadt on 2 February.

Meanwhile, Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s heroics ensured Barcelona edged past Real Sociedad on penalties to reach the Spanish Super Cup final, without the injured Lionel Messi.

Messi was watching on as Ter Stegen did his best to fill the void in Cordoba, the goalkeeper immense both in the shoot-out and during normal time, which had finished 1-1.

Frenkie de Jong’s header was cancelled out by a penalty from Mikel Oyarzabal, who then missed in the shoot-out, one of two crucial saves made by Ter Stegen before 21-year-old Riqui Puig hit the winning shot.

Barca advance to meet either Real Madrid or Athletic Bilbao in the final on Sunday, when Messi is expected to be available again, with his injury not thought to be serious.

This is the second year of the Spanish Super Cup’s new format, which has four teams playing each other in a semi-final and final.

Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad joined after reaching the final of last season’s Copa del Rey, which is still to be played, while Barcelona finished runners-up to Madrid in La Liga.

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Yet while last season’s version controversially took place in Saudi Arabia, the pandemic means this year’s semis are in Cordoba and Malaga, with the final to be played in Seville.

france-soccer-champions-trophy Mauricio Pochettino and his PSG players celebrate. Source: Christophe Ena

Elsewhere, Neymar scored on his return to action for Paris Saint-Germain as they beat arch rivals Marseille 2-1 to win this season’s Champions Trophy.

The Brazilian rolled home an 85th-minute penalty to put PSG two goals ahead following Mauro Icardi’s first-half opener to give new coach Mauricio Pochettino the first trophy of his reign in the French capital, and managerial career.

The Champions Trophy is the French equivalent of a Super Cup, usually contested at the start of the season by the league champions and French Cup winners.

With PSG winning both last season, Marseille had been selected as their opponents as the Ligue 1 runners-up. This season’s edition was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hopes were high for a feisty tussle in Lens after Marseille’s league win at PSG in September ended with five red cards and Neymar accusing Marseille centre back Alvaro Gonzalez of racism in the aftermath.

However it was a largely tame encounter in northern France, with the most noteworthy incident being substitute Neymar’s goalscoring return after a month away.

The 28-year-old hadn’t featured for the French champions since being stretchered off with an ankle injury during a 1-0 defeat to current league leaders Lyon on 13 December.

This busy night of European action came after a day on which Atletico Madrid announced the loan signing of French striker Moussa Dembele from Lyon.

The Frenchman has been replaced at Lyon by Algeria international Islam Slimani, who arrives on a free transfer from Premier League club Leicester City. Slimani, 32, spent last season on loan at fellow Ligue 1 outfit Monaco, where he scored nine goals in 18 league appearances. 

© – AFP, 2021 

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