Ribery stars on his return, leads Bayern Munich to DFB Pokal semis

Wednesday March 1st, 2017

BERLIN (AP) — Franck Ribery starred on his return from a thigh injury to help Bayern Munich reach the German Cup semifinals with a comfortable 3-0 win over Schalke on Wednesday.

The French winger made an immediate impact, setting up Robert Lewandowski to open the scoring with a chip over goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann in the third minute.

Ribery was involved again for Bayern's second, sending through Lewandowski, who drew Faehrmann away from goal and then crossed Thiago Alcantara to head into the unguarded net in the 16th minute.

It got worse for the visitors when Ribery pulled the ball back for Lewandowski to shoot his second from a central position inside half an hour. It took Lewandowski's tally across all competitions to 30 so far for the season.

The 33-year-old Ribery hadn't played since the end of January after picking up the injury in training.

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Seemingly content with its comfortable lead, Bayern kept Schalke at bay for the second half without exerting the effort that led to the goals in the first.

Ribery went off for Kingsley Coman in the 67th minute.

The visitors' miserable evening was completed when Holger Badstuber was sent off late in the game with his second yellow card on his second return to Munich. Former teammate Arjen Robben asked the referee to reconsider but to no avail.

Badstuber, who joined Schalke on loan from Bayern in the winter transfer period, was celebrated by the home fans as he left the pitch.

Two penalties were enough for Borussia Moenchengladbach to beat Hamburger SV 2-1 away in the other quarterfinal.

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The recently prolific Lars Stindl broke the deadlock from the spot minutes after the restart, awarded when Mergim Mavraj brought Patrick Herrmann down.

It was Stindl's eighth goal in six games across all competitions.

Raffael made it 2-0 with another minutes later, this time after Matthias Ostrzolek fouled Jonas Hofmann.

American forward Bobby Wood grabbed Hamburg's consolation goal with a fine finish inside the far corner in injury time.

Wood had earlier gone closest for Hamburg when he was denied by a good save from Yann Sommer, before 'Gladbach emerged with purpose from the break.

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