Borussia Dortmund breezed into the DFB-Pokal final despite the absence of Erling Haaland, Giovanni Reyna scoring twice in a 5-0 thrashing of Holstein Kiel.
Marco Reus, Thorgan Hazard and Jude Bellingham were also on target in a first-half rout, Dortmund dismantling their second-tier opponents to set up a showdown with RB Leipzig on May 13.
Kiel had sensationally ended Bayern Munich’s reign in the competition when knocking out the holders on penalties in the second round. They also came out on top in a dramatic shoot-out against Darmstadt in the last 16, while they progressed to the semi-finals thanks to a 3-0 triumph away at Rot-Weiss Essen.
However, any hopes of another upset had long disappeared by half-time at Signal Iduna Park as the injured Haaland – ruled out with a muscle issue – watched on from the stands.
Reyna scored the first two. His opener was teed up by Jadon Sancho before he added another from close range, tapping in after Reus’ attempted cross had been back-heeled into the path of the United States international by Raphael Guerreiro.
Reus was next to score, poking the ball past goalkeeper Thomas Dahne after Emre Can’s lofted pass had picked out his team-mate’s run beyond Kiel’s overworked defence.
Hazard capitalised on a loose pass to make it four goals in a crazy 16-minute spell, while a long-range shot from Bellingham found the net thanks to a sizeable deflection off Simon Lorenz that left poor Dahne with no chance.
The onslaught allowed Dortmund coach Edin Terzic to make a slew of changes with one eye on a pivotal Bundesliga run-in, while poor Kiel were happy to avoid any further punishment in a second half that had a testimonial feel to it.
What does it mean? Silver lining still a possibility
Securing a top-four Bundesliga finish is the priority for Dortmund, but an up-and-down season that has included the departure of head coach Lucien Favre could yet see silverware secured. They have not won the cup since 2017 when current Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was in charge.
While Leipzig had to work hard to seal progression on Friday, beating Werder Bremen with a dramatic winner at the end of extra time, their opponents for the Berlin final were able to coast through.
Just kidding around
While Haaland’s future may be unclear beyond the current campaign, Dortmund have two more outstanding prospects coming through to take centre stage when, rather than if, the Norwegian departs.
Reyna scored with two of his 23 touches before being replaced at the break, yet Bellingham played the full game in midfield, completing 97 per cent of his attempted passes.
Visitors Kiel over
This was a harsh way for a superb run to end, with Kiel seeing fortune desert them as BVB benefited from several lucky breaks to run up the score.
Fabian Reese had every reason to feel frustrated after his wonderful long-range strike beat Marwin Hitz but was kept out by the post, albeit a comeback would still have been unlikely with the hosts already 3-0 up.
There will be a final rehearsal next Saturday when Dortmund host Leipzig, though Bundesliga points – not prizes – will be on offer. Kiel, meanwhile, host SV Sandhausen in league action on Tuesday as they continue their quest for promotion to the top tier.