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 By Mark Lovell

Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes hails 'extremely important' Leipzig win

Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes hailed "an extremely important win" as 18-time champions Bayern Munich edged past 10-man Leipzig and into the DFB Pokal last 16 after a penalty shootout.

Heynckes said at a news conference: "It was a dramatic cup fight; both teams gave it their all right up until the final whistle. We wanted to progress against an opponent that plays some great football."

The two sides went into the break goalless following a heated end to the first half. On 34 minutes, referee Felix Zwayer rescinded a penalty decision in Leipzig's favour following Arturo Vidal's foul on Sweden international Emil Forsberg.

After consulting his assistant -- who stood 30 yards further away from the incident -- Leipzig were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box with which Forsberg scraped the top of the crossbar.

Tempers frayed at the interval as Leipzig's sporting director Ralf Rangnick wanted to show the official evidence that the foul had occurred inside the penalty area on his mobile phone as proof. Pushing and shouting continued as the two teams went into the tunnel.

Bayern celeb vs Leipzig Pokal 171025
Bayern Munich edged Leipzig after penalties on Wednesday.

In an incident-packed affair, Liverpool-bound midfielder Naby Keita was dismissed on 54 minutes after picking up a second yellow card for a shirt tug on Robert Lewandowski.

Jerome Boateng was adjudged to have fouled Denmark striker Youssuf Poulsen on the edge of the box and Forsberg put the home side ahead from the spot on 68 minutes.

Five minutes later, Thiago headed an equaliser, latching onto a fine pass from Boateng.

Despite Leipzig being at a man disadvantage for a total of 67 minutes, there were no further goals with Hungary goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi producing a series of miraculous saves to keep the home side on level terms and secure a penalty shootout.

Robert Lewandowski, David Alaba, Mats Hummels, Sebastian Rudy and Arjen Robben all dispatched their spot kicks, with Bernardo, Kevin Kampl, Marcel Halstenberg and captain Willi Orban successful for Leipzig. For penalty No. 10, Sven Ulreich saved his former Stuttgart teammate Timo Werner's effort to send the Bavarians into the next round.

"Penalties are always a lottery, but my players were very focussed and converted very well. It's an extremely important win to us," Heynckes said.

Bayern captain Robben told German broadcaster ARD: "It was football at a high level with two top teams playing. There is too much to analyse. It was a fiercely intensive game with a red card. We conceded the penalty against their 10 men but luckily, we got the equaliser. Then, of course, we created many chances and were unlucky not to score again."

He added: "Jupp Heynckes had told us to prepare for the game like a final. Perhaps we were lacking a little freshness as we play every three days, so playing 120 minutes is not very pleasant. Thankfully, we are playing against each other again on Saturday so they have the same problem. But we are very happy to progress to the next round."

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Ulreich said: "It is always nerve-wracking when it goes to penalties, but I'm just happy to have helped the team reach the next round."

Commenting on his match-winning save against his former teammate Werner, he added: "I want to pay a big complement to our goalkeeping coach [Toni Tapalovic] who is always great at analysing these things.

"I only managed to save one but it proved decisive as the lads converted all their penalties well."

Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.


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