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Monday, May 14, 2012

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Up for the cup: Shinji Kagawa (right) celebrates with Dortmund teammates Ivan Perisic (left) and Robert Lewandowski after winning the German Cup on Saturday. AP

Kagawa, Dortmund claim German Cup

AP, Kyodo

BERLIN — Borussia Dortmund outclassed Bayern Munich 5-2 in the German Cup final and claimed its first domestic double on Saturday.

Robert Lewandowski led Dortmund to its first cup title in 23 years with a hat trick in front of a sellout crowd in the Olympic Stadium.

"What they did today is not possible to put into words," said Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp. "It's the outstanding moment. Really, the feeling, it's not possible to put it into words."

It was Bundesliga champion Dortmund's unprecedented fifth consecutive win over Bayern, which plays the Champions League final against Chelsea in Munich next Saturday.

"The game answered all questions," Klopp joked at the press conference.

His side has yet to lose a game in 2012, having finished the Bundesliga with a record 81-point haul and setting a record of 28 games unbeaten in a season.

"We showed that we deserved to win the league and cup," said Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl. "We were always there, it's indescribable. You had the feeling we'll put them away again. Five goals against Bayern — sensational."

Ten players from Germany's preliminary squad for Euro 2012 started the game, with Dortmund's Mario Goetze and Sven Bender as well as Bayern's Thomas Mueller on the bench.

"Congratulations to Borussia. They deserved it today," said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes. "They used our weaknesses. I don't need to explain what they were."

Dortmund scored with its first charge, Jakub Blaszczykowski running onto Luiz Gustavo's misguided backpass, drawing Manuel Neuer out from goal and then cutting the ball back for Shinji Kagawa to strike into the unguarded net after three minutes.

Kagawa may have played his last game for Dortmund before a mooted move to the English Premier League. Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson, for one, was watching from the stands.

"Everything was riding on this match for me," said Kagawa. "This completed the year, the final against Bayern Munich setting the stage, so to score shows how far I have come. It's been an unbelievable season."

Kagawa, who is reportedly being targeted by Chelsea, AC Milan and Arsenal as well as United, has yet to make a decision about his future after this season.

He nodded silently when asked if he knew that Ferguson was in attendance, but refused to be drawn when asked if he had played his last game for Dortmund, saying: "I will take my time and think things over."

Roman Weidenfeller denied Bayern's Mario Gomez after Arjen Robben played the striker through five minutes later, but the Dortmund goalkeeper needed lengthy treatment on his ribs from his crucial interception.

Weidenfeller conceded a penalty in the 25th when he brought down Gomez, and Robben — who dramatically missed the last penalty he took against Dortmund — held his nerve to score.

"They had good phases, but the big plus for my team is that they can handle them," Klopp said.

Bayern should have gone ahead, Gomez failing to take advantage of Neven Subotic's poor clearance and Mats Hummels blocking Philipp Lahm's shot on the line.

Weidenfeller was unable to continue after that, going off in the 34th to be taken to a hospital for his earlier injury.

"He's got a bruised rib," Klopp said. "He can celebrate and he has seven weeks to recover. That will do."

Barca draws in Pep finale


BARCELONA, Spain — Seydou Keita's stoppage-time header gave 10-man Barcelona a 2-2 draw at Real Betis on Saturday, ensuring coach Pep Guardiola would not lose his final league game at the helm of the dethroned Spanish champions.

Sergio Busquets opened for Barcelona in the ninth minute at Seville's Benito Villamarin Stadium.

But Betis looked set to get the win after Ruben Castro scored twice following Dani Alves' sending-off in the 53rd until Keita rose up to head in Martin Montoya's last-gasp cross.

Barcelona's all-time leading scorer Lionel Messi was unable to add to his league-record 50 goals. Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo can extend his total of 45 on Sunday when the league champions play Mallorca.

Barcelona has a chance to collect its 14th piece of silverware under Guardiola in his last game in the May 25 Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao. Assistant Tito Vilanova will then take over from Guardiola after the four most successful seasons in the history of the Catalan club.

"The league was here before me and will continue to exist when I am gone," said Guardiola.

Police clash with fans


ANKARA — One fan was reportedly stabbed after Galatasaray's Turkish League championship triggered violence at the goalless derby match with Fenerbahce and across the country on Saturday.

After the final whistle, hundreds of Fenerbahce fans occupied the pitch at their Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in Istanbul. Others broke off plastic chairs and threw them at police, who tried to use their shields to protect the players. Flares were also tossed at the police.

In response, police used pepper spray to disperse angry Fenerbahce fans and evacuated the stadium as the players escaped to changing rooms along with police.

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