What are the laws of football

There are a few sentences that can be woven into a conversation without explanation. "The cup has its own laws" is one of those sentences. Everyone is now informed: Aha, a Bundesliga team lost again to a club in the second, third or fifth division and was eliminated from the DFB Cup. Any further justification for the defeat is superfluous. The laws are to blame.

Sometimes there are strange laws of their own that this DFB-Pokal has there - and you could marvel at many of them in this second round. There were, for example, the third division players from VfL Osnabrück, who initially led 2-0 against Hamburger SV and suddenly fell 3-2. Then suddenly one of these laws came into play again, Osnabrück equalized and won on penalties.

It was similar in the game against Hertha BSC Berlin in 1860 Munich. The Munich team led 2-0, suddenly it was 2-2, the game threatened to tip over. But then a DFB Cup law was combined with a rule that applies to all football. It is the rule of the anti-run, according to which a team that has lost four games in a row cannot just win a game by accident. So the Berliners gave away numerous opportunities in extra time and failed on penalties. The defeat was of course due to the cup's own laws and not the fact that the Berliners could not stage a reasonable attack for 75 minutes.

There were numerous surprises in this second round of the DFB Cup. Eintracht Trier, for example, won against a slack team from Arminia Bielefeld, MSV Duisburg threw Borussia Mönchengladbach out of the competition, Kaiserslautern defeated Bayer Leverkusen. Again and again he could be heard, this sentence about the cup and about one's own laws.

That a team can oppose this anti-run - which nobody knows for sure, whether a club catches it like a cold or whether it just drops by - and can also defend itself against the own laws of the DFB Cup, proved the players of VfB Stuttgart. They were 0: 1 behind the fourth division club VfB Lübeck, it looked like the cold would turn into a solid flu. Then coach Markus Babbel replaced the goal scorers with Julian Schieber and Sami Khedira to make it 1-1 and 2-1.

Maybe this DFB-Pokal doesn't have any laws of its own - or maybe these laws are just a continuation of what also applies in the Bundesliga and in every other competition: If you play badly, you shouldn't be surprised if you lose - no matter in which league the opponent is playing.