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Football: Treble-chasing Bayern into German Cup final

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

High-flying Bayern Munich kept alive their dreams of becoming Germany's first team to win the treble by booking their German Cup final berth with a 6-1 win at home to VfL Wolfsburg in Tuesday's semi-final.

Having already won this season's Bundesliga crown, Bayern are bidding to become the first German side to win the European Cup, cup and league titles as they face Barcelona at home in the Champions League semi-final next Tuesday,

Bayern will discover their opponents for the cup final, which takes place on June 1 at Berlin's Olympic Stadium, when Stuttgart host Freiburg in Wednesday's other all-Bundesliga semi-final.

Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, in for suspended France wing Franck Ribery, impressed as he set up three of Bayern's goals for Mario Mandzukic, Arjen Robben and Mario Gomez, then scored one of his own.

But Gomez was the star of the night as he warmed up for Barcelona by coming off the bench to score three goals in six minutes to double Bayern's tally in the last 10 minutes.

Bayern started without left-back David Alaba, who was suffering from a stomach infection, while Ribery was suspended having been sent off in the last 16 win over Augsburg last December.

Having started with just under 70 percent possession, Bayern needed just over a quarter of an hour to take the lead as Shaqiri's pass gave Robben acres of space down the right wing to square for Mandzukic to fire home.

The Croatia striker, who is suspended for the Barcelona game next Tuesday, pulled up clutching his thigh immediately after scoring, but played on until the last 15 minutes.

Shaqiri helped double Bayern's lead on 35 minutes when he picked up a loose ball and threaded his pass through the Wolfsburg defence to find Robbben in space, who knocked his shot past goalkeeper Diego Benaglio.

Wolves pulled a goal back just before the break when Brazil midfielder Diego slammed home a superb goal after his marker, Diego Contento, failed to close him down.

Shaqiri made sure of Bayern's place in the final when the Swiss slotted home from 20 metres with the Wolfsburg defence beaten.

After Mandzukic made way for Gomez, Shaqiri rounded off an impressive display by sprinting down the left wing and then supplying the final pass for Gomez to tap home on 80 minutes.

Gomez grabbed his second and Bayern's fifth when defensive midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger put in a well-timed pass for the Germany striker to score his second in three minutes.

Another slick pass from Schweinsteiger and Gomez made it a hat-trick in six minutes to compound Wolfsburg's misery.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130416/football-treble-chasing-bayern-german-cup-final