Raúl Reigns Supreme

Raul leads Schalke to the German Cup final over BayernSpanish superstar Raúl fired Schalke 04 into the German Cup final with the only goal of the game against cup holders FC Bayern München.

The ex-Real Madrid legend's header on the quarter of an hour mark was enough to secure the 4-times winners a place in the Berlin final, where they will face 2nd division underdogs MSV Duisburg.

The former Spanish international looked lively throughout and could have opened the scoring on 13 minutes, when his goal bound volley was hacked off the line by Mario Gomez.

However, Raúl was not to be denied for long, reacting quickest to head into the roof of the net after Jefferson Farfan's corner was flicked on by Benedikt Hoewedes.

Schalke bossed the first half with an impressive counter-attacking display and could easily have stretched their lead. The Peruvian Farfan failed to make the most of an inch-perfect through ball from Raúl, firing a weak shot straight at Bayern keeper Thomas Kraft.

At times Bayern's back-line looked all at sea, failing to cope with the "Royal Blues" aerial threat from set-pieces. Thomas Müller cleared Hoewedes header off the line on 35 minutes after another dangerous delivery from the lively Farfan.

The home faithful who roundly booed Schalke 04's keeper Manuel Neuer throughout the game will only have served to inspire the opposition keeper during a grim "backs-to-the-wall" 2nd half display from the visitors. It was one-way traffic for most of the second half but FCB could not find a way past the impressive German international goalkeeper. The 24-year old glovesman is rumoured to be a summer transfer target for both Bayern and Manchester United.

In a rare attack, Farfan might have sealed it for the Gelsenkirchen side, but he ballooned over with the goal at his mercy after a comical mix-up in the Bayern rearguard.

Bayern had a late shout for a penalty turned down after top scorer Gomez collapsed in a heap in the box. Franck Ribéry and Bastian Schweinsteiger were also denied by Neuer as the visitors held on resolutely to their advantage.

Revenge will be sweet for Schalke'ss coach Felix Magath, who was hounded out of the Bayern job, despite winning the league and cup doubles in 2005 and 2006.

Bayern succumb to consecutive home defeats for the first time in ten years and lose their first home cup game in 25 games when unfancied FC Homburg shocked them in August 1991.

It promises to be an interesting few weeks at "FC Hollywood".  Panic stations anyone?


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