New Bayern Munich signing Joao Cancelo set up a goal to help his side secure a first win of 2023 with a 4-0 triumph at 10-man Mainz in the German Cup on Wednesday.
Cancelo, who joined the German champions on loan from Man City on Tuesday, made an immediate impact, floating in a lofted cross to Cameroon striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who hammered home from close range.
Winless in their first three league games of 2023, Bayern entered the game under significant pressure to advance to the German Cup quarter-finals for the first time in three seasons.
Choupo-Moting’s 17th-minute strike settled the visitors’ nerves and they had a second on the 30-minute mark when Bayern veteran Thomas Mueller found teenage forward Jamal Musiala, who slammed the ball across the face of goal to make it 2-0.
Winger Leroy Sane scored the third with one minute of the first half remaining, sliding in a looped assist from former Mainz forward Choupo-Moting.
Canadian wing-back Alphonso Davies, who came on for Cancelo with 20 minutes to go, added a fourth late in the game, heading in a floated assist from Dutch center-back Matthijs de Ligt.
Mainz had a number of half chances in an increasingly fiery second half which saw centre-back Alexander Hack sent off for a second yellow card, along with Bo Svensson, who was shown a straight red for arguing with the assistant referee moments before Davies’ goal .
Svensson complained that the German champions got better treatment from the officials in the lead up to his red card.
“I saw a clear difference in the way Bayern’s bench were handled and the way we were handled (by the referees). It’s not the first time.”
Bayern manager Julian Nagelsmann praised his side, saying they were “much more aggressive” than they have been so far this year.
“I’m glad we won again. I think the style and manner in which we played was very, very good.”
– Werner on target –
Former Chelsea striker Timo Werner scored late to help holders RB Leipzig beat Hoffenheim 3-1.
Werner, who returned to Leipzig from a two-year stint at Stamford Bridge in August, had endured a difficult night and was caught offside on multiple occasions.
He got his timing right however in the 83rd minute, latching onto a pass from Danish striker Yussuf Poulsen and driving the ball past Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann to seal his side’s win.
Leipzig, who are unbeaten at home in the league this season, struck after just eight minutes, with Swedish forward Emil Forsberg catching Baumann napping to squeeze in a long-range shot at the near post.
Leipzig doubled their lead before half-time, with Austrian midfielder Konrad Laimer collecting the ball on the turn before unleashing a fierce left-foot shot into the far corner of the net.
Kasper Dolberg headed in a sublime cross from former Leipzig wing-back Angelino in the 77th minute to cause some nerves for the home side in the closing stages.
However, Werner scored his fourth goal of the cup campaign with just over five minutes remaining.
“We showed that we want to go further (in the competition),” said Forsberg.
“We played a good first half, we were really focused. We could have sealed it earlier, but it was a deserved win”.
Former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Thomas Delaney, who signed with Hoffenheim on Monday, told Germany’s Sky “we have a good team, we have great players, but we are lacking confidence at the moment.”
Hoffenheim captain Baumann agreed, saying his under-pressure side had hoped to build confidence with a better result in the cup.
Hoffenheim sit in 13th place in the league, three points above the relegation playoff spot, with Baumann saying the side needed to admit “we’re in a relegation fight.”
“We are almost only losing and that really annoys me.”