Energetic and committed Bayern showed patches of excellent pre-season form in shading out Dortmund to win Sunday evening’s DFL Supercup, the traditional curtain-raiser to the new season, but the psychological dimension may be the most significant aspect to the result, as Jupp Heynckes’ men finally ended a run of five straight defeats to the champions of the last two seasons.
The 69,000 full house at the Allianz Arena saw FCB race into a two-goal lead via summer signing Mario Mandzukic and Thomas Müller, before the home side easily saw the game through to the break while denying the visitors a single shot on Manuel Neuer’s goal.
Dortmund were a different prospect after the restart, but the unfamiliar Munich defence held firm until Robert Lewandowski pulled one back 15 minutes from time. The Bavarians survived a couple of scares in the closing stages but ultimately held on to claim the Supercup for the fourth time, moving ahead in the roll of honour of three-time winners Borussia.
In the absence of injured quintet Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Gomez, David Alaba, Rafinha and Diego Contento, Bayern supremo Heynckes fielded a slightly unexpected starting line-up with Neuer in goal, and Jerome Boateng, Dante, youth product Emre Can and captain Philipp Lahm in the back four. Luiz Gustavo partnered Toni Kroos in central midfield, with Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery on the flanks, and Müller in behind central striker Mandzukic.
The FCB bench was heavy with new signings, including back-up keeper Tom Starke, Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri, youth prospect Mitchell Weiser and fit-again Claudio Pizarro. Dortmund boss Jürgen Klopp was without injured midfielders Sven Bender and captain Sebastian Kehl, and kept Mario Götze in reserve on the bench, but included freshly-crowned German Player of the Year Marco Reus in his line-up.
Once referee Michael Weiner whistled play underway on a delightful summer’s evening in the Bavarian capital, Müller saw an early headed chance deflected over the bar, but Mandzukic made no mistake after Neven Subotic totally misjudged Ribery’s sixth-minute cross from the left.
Mandzukic’s next effort landed on top of the net, but the home side doubled their lead five minutes later when the Croatian newcomer superbly released Robben for a run at Roman Weidenfeller. The Dutchman’s shot came back off the post, but Müller was on hand to blast into the roof of the net.
FCB were in the ascendancy and Dortmund created nothing until a half-chance for Lewandowski midway through the first period, but there was plenty of aggression in Munich’s tackling and the play was concentrated in BVB’s final third. Müller whacked a drive just too high, although Dante had strayed offside, and the match wound down to the interval with no threat to the home side’s 2-0 lead.
Ribery brilliantly set up Robben but the Dutchman and Mandzukic were both hustled off the ball, and Weidenfeller got down smartly on the hour to tip away Robben’s shot following a trademark dart and cut inside. There was a let-off for FCB after 67 minutes when Lewandowski miskicked with the goal at his mercy after a neat flick by sub Götze, before Holger Badstuber took over from Can for the last 20 minutes.
Reus stroked a free-kick into the FCB wall, but Klopp’s men did cut the deficit after 75 minutes when Lewandowski netted from 18 yards with Neuer unsighted. The action came thick and fast now, as BVB sub Julian Schieber fizzed a drive across goal, before Anatoliy Tymoshchuk took over from Ribery, Dante applied a vital foot to Götze’s close-range effort, and Weidenfeller saved well from Robben. Shaqiri replaced the Dutch ace with four minutes to go, as Heynckes’ side closed out a psychologically significant victory.