Florian Wirtz Hits Double As Bayer Leverkusen Reach German Cup Final


Florian Wirtz of Leverkusen reacts after scoring his teams fourth goal during the DFB cup semifinal match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Fortuna Düsseldorf at BayArena on April 3, 2024 in Leverkusen, Germany.

Florian Wirtz has scored a brace as Bayer Leverkusen trounced Fortuna Duesseldorf 4-0 to reach the German Cup final in the latest step to finally rid themselves of their Neverkusen image.

The derby between the runaway Bundesliga leaders and the top flight promotion hopefuls from 20 kilometres down the River Rhine on Thursday (AEDT) was over as a contest in the first half as Leverkusen stretched their unbeaten run all season to 40 games.

Jeremie Frimpong fired the opener into the roof of the net in the seventh minute, and Amine Adli doubled the lead 13 minutes later into the far right corner on the counter.

Wirtz made it 3-0 in the 35th after a mistake from goalkeeper Florian Kastenmeier and converted a penalty on the hour.

Twice Cup winners Duesseldorf had some chances of their own but were outplayed by the hosts who have not tasted defeat since a 3-0 loss at VfL Bochum in last season's May 27 Bundesliga finale.

In their fifth Cup final on May 25 in Berlin, Xabi Alonso's men face another second division team in the form of twice winners Kaiserslautern, who beat third tier Saarbruecken 2-0 in the other semi-final on Wednesday.

Leverkusen will be the big favourites again for what could be the completion a domestic double, as they are 13 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga which ends a week earlier.

A treble is possible as well, with Leverkusen in the Europa League quarter-finals where they face West Ham United.

But caution is expected to prevail at the 1988 UEFA Cup champions because they have not earned any silverware since winning a lone German Cup title in 1993.

Three lost German Cup finals and five Bundesliga runner-up finishes since then have earned them the dubious Neverkusen distinction, culminating in 2002 when they came second in the league, German Cup and Champions League within a span of 12 days.

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