The Kölner Stadt Anzeiger headline reads: "Salvation in extra time": "The stadium clock showed 23.09 and a crazy night of football was reaching its climax. From a Leon Bailey free kick, the ball was headed on by Lucas Alario to the feet of substitute Karim Bellarabi who hit it into the net from an incredibly tight angle. That put Bayer 04 3-2 up against Werder Bremen on 111 minutes. Kai Havertz scored shortly after that – with an assist from the sub Bellarabi – to round off the scoring at 4-2 on 118 minutes. In a barnstorming match, Bayer 04 came back from 2-0 down to go through to the semi-finals of the DFB Cup and now they can dream of a trip to the final in Berlin."
Julian Brandt was named man of the match. The reasoning: "Best game by the young international four months. Busy and accurate with his finishing."
The Bild Zeitung headline refers to the origins of the Bayer 04 goalscorers Brandt and Bellarabi: "Two Bremen lads beat Werder." The article explains: "The Bremen-born and Werder fan Julian Brandt bags a brace. First, he finishes off a great move involving Lars Bender and Kohr (31') and then he magically curls a wonder shot into the net from the edge of the box (55'). Bellarabi, who played for Green and White youth sides for six years, scored from a tight angle to make it 3-2 (111'), just three minutes after coming off the bench. He also provided the assist for Havertz to make it 4-2 on 118 minutes. Leverkusen are in the semi-finals for the first time since 2009 – thanks to two men from Bremen.
That is also covered in the Bremen journal the Weserkurier: The paper praises the performance of the Green and Whites for much of the game ("Applause all round") and also chooses their man of the match: "Julian Brandt was regularly at the Weser Stadium in his teenage years. As a fan. The boy from Borgfeld, who has never worn a Werder shirt and is now an established international playing for Bayer Leverkusen, actually really likes Werder but he had to inflict much pain on the Bundesliga club from his hometown on Tuesday. After going 2-0 down early on, Brandt first pulled a goal back and then levelled at 2-2 to pave the way for Bayer to progress to the DFB Cup semi-finals. After the 90 minutes were played at Leverkusen, Bayer went on to win an exciting cup tie 4-2 in extra time. The goalscorer for the third goal was a Leverkusen pro who grew up in Bremen: Karim Bellarabi from Huchting (111'). Kai Havertz then converted an assist from Bellarabi to make it 4-2 on 118 minutes. Leverkusen can now look forward to receiving a bonus of €2.55 million, allocated to all semi-finalists by the DFB.
And the online edition of the Rheinische Post also focuses on Karim Bellarabi: "The last few months have not been easy for Karim Bellarabi. While the Werkself's form has kept on improving and they have established themselves in second place in the table, the 27-year-old has often played a minor role of late. On Tuesday night, in an exciting quarter-final between Leverkusen and Bremen, the Berlin-born and raised in Bremen winger assumed a leading role. Only introduced from the bench on 108 minutes, Bellarabi put the Werkself through to the semi-finals of the cup with a goal (111') and an assist for Kai Havertz (118') – for the first time since 2009. 'It was a very exhausting match even though I wasn't on the pitch for very long,' said Bellarabi. Obviously, he was very happy to come on as a sub to score the crucial third goal with a headed assist from fellow substitute Lucas Alario. 'I was ready,' said Bellarabi, who definitely wants to reach the final in his place of birth with the Werkself. 'It's massive and we'll do all we can to get there.'"
The Cologne-based Express highlights the opening stages of the game: "Bayer were completely asleep at the start. The game had hardly begun and Bayer's dream of going to Berlin seemed to be disappearing over the horizon. Tah, who has been in outstanding form in recent months, made a clumsy challenge on Kruse in his own box – resulting in a penalty. The forward picked himself up to convert the spot kick to give Werder an early lead on four minutes. Then it got even worse. The double whammy came just three minutes later: A hair-raising mix up between Volland and Havertz led to the outstanding Kruse setting up his strike partner Johansson. The American kept his cool and lobbed Leno to make it 2-0 early on. A double setback for the Werkself!"
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