Mane on target as Bayern chase DFB Pokal title

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Sadio Mane was one of five different goalscorers as Bayern Munich qualified for the next round of the German Cup, (DFB Pokal) with a 5-0 win away at Viktoria Cologne on Wednesday.

“You want to see these players stand out,” said Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann said after the win, lauding the star quality in his squad.

“I’m not a fan of the first round of the cup, because as favourite you’ve got everything to lose.”

Mane’s goal, scored in the 53rd minute, was his fifth in six games this season since his summer arrival from Premier League side Liverpool.

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Former Arsenal forward Serge Gnabry held up the ball, drawing in Cologne goalkeeper Ben Voll to find Mane unmarked in front of goal.

Two further summer arrivals in Ryan Gravenberch and 17-year-old starlet Mathys Tel both scored first-half goals, breaking down a stubborn but outgunned Cologne defence.

Teenager Jamal Musiala scored his side’s fourth in the 67th minute just four minutes after replacing Mane from the bench, controlling a pass from Thomas Mueller from the penalty spot.

Bayern added a fifth through Germany midfielder Leon Goretzka, playing his first game of the season after returning from a knee injury.

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This was only the second ever meeting between these two clubs, with the previous encounter in 1979-80 ending in a 3-1 win for the Bavarians.

Viktoria manager Olaf Janssen praised his team’s effort against one of Europe’s most in-form teams.

“I knew how brutal it could be for a third-division side to play against Bayern in this type of form,” Janssen said.

“We defended everything we could and we can be incredibly proud of ourselves.”

Bayern, who meet Union Berlin in a top-of-the-table Bundesliga clash on Sunday, have now scored 26 goals in six matches since the departure of striker Robert Lewandowski.

Bayern have twice been eliminated in the early rounds from the German Cup over the past two seasons.

In the 2020-21 campaign the Bavarians lost on penalties to second-division Holstein Kiel in the second round of the Cup, while in the 2021-22 season the 20-time winners were ousted 5-0 at the hands of Borussia Moenchengladbach.

On Tuesday, current German Cup holders RB Leipzig thrashed fourth-division side Teutonia Ottensen 8-0 thanks to a hat-trick from former Chelsea striker Timo Werner.