Bayern Munich's Sven Ulreich a 'godsend' this season - Jupp Heynckes
Jupp Heynckes chose to hail the "exceptional" goalkeeping of "godsend" Sven Ulreich as Bayern Munich cruised into the DFB Pokal final with a thumping 6-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen.
The outgoing Bayern manager also called the game a "footballing masterclass" as his Treble-seeking side took the lead after only 125 seconds when Robert Lewandowski got a faint touch on Javi Martinez's drive from just outside the box.
Bayern's top scorer grabbed his second inside the opening ten minutes -- his 38th goal in 42 games this season -- with a composed finish after fine play from Franck Ribery on the left flank.
However, Leverkusen hit back through a Lars Bender header seven minutes later and Ulreich had to be at his best to deny an equaliser to German internationals Kevin Volland and Karim Bellarabi (twice).
"We were the dominant team but occasionally there were times when Sven Ulreich had to save us -- as he has so often this season," Heynckes told German broadcaster ARD.
"Sven has been exceptional and is reaping the rewards for his hard work. In October when I took over, Sven had no self-confidence and little recognition. He is now realising his massive potential and has been a godsend while Manuel Neuer has been out injured."
Leverkusen were left to rue Ulreich's brilliance when Thomas Muller got on the end of Thiago Alcantara's incisive pass to restore the two-goal advantage on 52 minutes. Thiago added a fourth eight minutes later, before Muller completed his hat trick, sandwiched between a delightful Leon Bailey free kick for Leverkusen on 72 minutes.
Heynckes added: "Overall, we produced a top performance against a good opponent who have picked up some great results recently. For long periods we put on a footballing masterclass."
Bayern, who have won 18 of the 22 cup finals in which they've player, will face the winners of Wednesday's semifinal between Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt in the final on May 19 in Berlin.
"We were extremely motivated and focused, we really wanted to progress to Berlin tonight," Heynckes said. "The players that have been there before know what a great occasion and experience it is."
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.