Soccer-Flawless Leverkusen cruise past Dusseldorf into German Cup final


Soccer Football - DFB Cup - Semi Final - Bayer Leverkusen v Fortuna Duesseldorf - BayArena, Leverkusen, Germany - April 3, 2024 Bayer Leverkusen's Florian Wirtz scores their fourth goal from the penalty spot REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

LEVERKUSEN, Germany (Reuters) -Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen overwhelmed second division club Fortuna Dusseldorf 4-0 on Wednesday to reach the German Cup final and stretch their unbeaten run to 40 matches across all competitions this season.

First-half goals from Jeremie Frimpong, Amine Adli and Florian Wirtz put the game to bed as Dusseldorf struggled to cope with the hosts' pace.

Germany international Wirtz added a fourth with a penalty on the hour to give Xabi Alonso's team another shot at winning a major trophy for the first time in 31 years.

Leverkusen will face Kaiserslautern, who ousted third division Saarbrucken 2-0 on Tuesday, in the final on May 25.

"It is very important for the last game of the season to be a final," Alonso, who is staying at Leverkusen despite interest from major European clubs. "We now have a super chance and we are happy.

"It has been a long road. We started back in July with new players. But they have done it well. We show it on the pitch and that is important," said the Spaniard.

"We now have to enjoy the moment that we have earned the chance to be in the final."

Leverkusen can clinch the Bundesliga title for the first time earlier than that, however, with a 13-point lead over second-placed Bayern Munich and seven games remaining.

They are also through to the Europa League last eight where they face West Ham United.

The hosts got off to a powerful start with Frimpong drilling home a shot in the seventh minute. Dusseldorf briefly tried to bounce back but were caught on the break as Wirtz set up Adli for their second goal in the 20th minute.

Wirtz turned scorer after Leverkusen pounced on a Dusseldorf error before halftime and added his second with a penalty after the break.

There was more good news for Leverkusen as striker Victor Boniface made a second-half substitute appearance after the Nigerian underwent adductor muscle surgery in January and was sidelined for three months.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)

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