Football: Alonso thunderbolt puts Bayern into cup quarters

Bayern Munich's Xabi Alonso shoots for the 1-0 winner.
Bayern Munich's Xabi Alonso shoots for the 1-0 winner.PHOTO: EPA

BERLIN (AFP) - A thunderbolt of a volley from Spain international Xabi Alonso booked Bayern Munich's place in the German Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday after a 1-0 win over Darmstadt.

The 34-year-old midfielder launched a long-range strike from outside the area with 40 minutes gone at Munich's Allianz Arena which hit the top left-hand corner and gave Darmstadt goalkeeper Christian Mathenia no chance.

"Even I wouldn't have tried to pull that one off," said Bayern's impressed Germany striker Thomas Mueller when asked about Alonso's strike.

Having knocked out holders Wolfsburg in the previous round, Pep Guardiola's remain the team to beat in the cup.

Bayern could have made it 2-0 when Robert Lewandowski headed against the post later in the first half.

However, Bayern went through despite another below-par performance from the German league leaders, who were equally unimpressive during their 2-0 Bundesliga win against Ingolstadt on Saturday.

"In the first half, we could have rented the Bayern half as a car park," quipped Darmstadt coach Dirk Schuster as Munich spent most of the first 45 minutes in his team's half, but failed to finish their chances.

There was a seven-goal thriller at Borussia Moenchengladbach as Werder Bremen claimed a shock 4-3 win over the hosts to progress to the last eight.

With the scores locked at 2-2 with 15 minutes left, Peru striker Claudio Pizarro, 37, proved again that age is no barrier by netting before Bremen's Nigerian striker Anthony Ujah added Werder's fourth three minutes later.

Gladbach fought until the end as Sweden striker Branimir Hrgota pulled one back in stoppage time by grabbing his second goal of the game.

Javier Hernandez claimed his 16th goal in just 13 games for Bayer Leverkusen when he scored in their 3-1 win at fourth division Unterhaching.

The minnows had dispatched top-tier side Ingolstadt and second division RB Leipzig en route to the last 16 and stunned Leverkusen by taking an early lead.

But Leverkusen hit back with goals by Hernandez and Germany striker Stefan Kiessling before Unterhaching had Ulrich Taffertshofer sent off for a dangerous tackle.

Germany winger Karim Bellarabi added Leverkusen's third to put them in the quarter-finals.

Second-division side Heidenheim also went through after they enjoyed a 2-0 win at third-division Erzgebirge Aue to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in the club's history.

On Wednesday, Borussia Dortmund will be without injured Germany winger Marco Reus for their third-round tie at Augsburg.