A New Hope
Surely, the headline is a little bit elevated. But Borussia Dortmund's win against mighty Bayern Munich showed the league and themselves that the Reds from Southern Germany are not invincible. A convincing 4-2 earned Borussia Dortmund the German super cup, the first title of the season.
These days it's all about Pep Guardiola and his new team. The online and offline news were upside down about Bayern Munich's new coach. Every move was closely followed, every statement analysed. And while everyone was sure that this Bayern team was pretty invincible, the other teams did their homework, too.
Borussia Dortmund had to cope with a season, that was on the one hand very successful, as they reached the Champions League final out of the blue. On the other hand, there was this painful 1-0 defeat against Bayern Munich in Wembley and a huge 25 point gap in the league. And of course on top of that young midfield starlet Mario Götze decided to obey the lures from Southern Germany. Especially his move to Bayern Munich was really painful for Borussia Dortmund's officials.
Watzke, Zorc and Klopp noticed that the major difference between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund wasn't the starting eleven but the option from the bench. So the black-yellows put their emphasis on broadening the quality throughout the squad. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, a 24 year old midfielder from Shaktar Doneszk, was signed for incredible 27.5 million Euro. The versatile, multi-lingual player was meant to replace Mario Götze in offensive midfield. Central defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Werder Bremen was signed for 9.5 million euro. He will be a back-up for Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic, plus he will be an option as right back, as Lukasz Piszczek will be out until winter break. Up front our officials added another striker. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was signed from St. Etienne for about 13 million euro. The ultra fast Gabun national, will be an option for the wings or as a replacement for Robert Lewandowski.
Bayern Munich's coach, Pep Guardiola, had to replace injured Manuel Neuer and Franck Ribery. Tom Starke and Xherdan Shaqiri took their places. In front of Tom Starke, Lahm, van Buyten, Boateng and Alaba started as Bayern's flat-four. The main difference compared to last season was visible in holding midfield. Last season Javier Martinez and Bastian Schweinsteiger were surely the world's best holding midfield. But as Pep Guardiola has his own style of gameplay, he signed young Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara from his former club FC Barcelona. Thiago played as sole defensive midfielder. In front of him Kross, Müller, Robben and Mandzukic played in offensive midfield while Shaqiri was Bayern's sole striker. Especially playing Mandzukic on the wing was a surprise for the spectators and surely also for Mandzukic himself.
Jürgen Klopp made two changes compared to the lost Champions League final. Großkreutz, who played right winger back then, took over as right back as Piszczek will be out due to injury for about 6 months. Sahin took over in holding midfield while Gündogan moved forward and started as central offensive midfielder. Sokratis and Aubameyang took place on the bench, while Mkhitaryan was still injured.
The match started in front of a capacity crowd of about 80.000 spectators. Borussia started in an aggressive way. In minute 5, Großkreutz placed down the right wide and tried a cut-in, which was blocked. Only 1 minute later BVB was more successful. Bayern Munich keeper Tom Starke tried to clear the ball but only found Gündogan. Borussia Dortmund's midfielder played to the right wing where Lewandowski was waiting. His cut-in found Bender's head. Tom Starke made his second mistake, when he wasn't able to save the ball. Marco Reus took advantage and easily converted - 1-0 BVB!
And Borussia Dortmund hold up the pressure. In minute 8, Gündogan set up for Lewandowski, who was up and away. The Polish national striker put the ball past Starke into the net, but unfortunately the referees alled an offside position. On the other side of the pitch, Xherdan Shaqiri had a first approach for Bayern. His long-distance shot was cleared by BVB goalie Roman Weidenfeller. And Shaqiri added a second attempt. In minute 14, he again tested Weidenfeller with a fierce shot. Weidenfeller also solved this one. But all in all Borussia played an aggressive pressing, giving Bayern's player no time to breath. In minute 19, this nearly paid off. Reus played a superb low cut-in that found Lewandowski. 8 metres in front of Starke, Robert Lewandowski had the every option. His shot to the centre of the goal was superbly cleared by Tom Starke. As the temperatures were really high, referee Drees interrupted the match after 25 minutes, so that the players were able to drink some water. It took until minute 35 until Bayern had their next approach. Alaba paced down the left wing and passed into the box. Mario Mandzukic tried to slide into the ball but missed by centimetres. In the following minutes both teams neutralised themselves and so Borussia Dortmund went with an 1-0 lead into the halftime break.
Jürgen Klopp made one change and replaced Sven Bender with Sebastian Kehl. Borussia Dortmund immediately started their pressing, but now Bayern was getting along better. In minute 54, Marcel Schmelzer gave Lahm too much space on the right wing. Lahm's high cut-in found Robben totally unmarked in the box. The Dutch national converted easily by head - 1-1! Bayern Munich now saw their chance to turn the match, but only 120 seconds later Borussia Dortmund regained the lead. Gündogan passed into the box from the right side. Lewandowski was waiting more or less unmarked. But central defender van Buyten was the one, who executed. His deflection of the ball left Starke no chance to clear - 2-1 BVB! And to pile up the mess for Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund added a third one. One minute later Gündogan paced down half the pitch and played a fine curve ball into the lower right corner - 3-1 BVB!
These 3 goals in 3 minutes were followed by an incredible 7 minutes without any goal. Then it was again Robben who set the next highlight. Once again Lahm had way too much space on the right side. His pass found Robben unmarked in the box. A last desperate tackle of Subotic wasn't enough and so Robben hit the net with a low shot - 3-2 BVB! It was time for some more changes. Aubameyang replaced Blaszczykowski while Pep Guardiola brought on Schweinsteiger and Pizarro instead of Shaqiri and Mandzukic. The changes were again interrupted by a short drinking pause. Highly rated midfielder, who had some bright and some not so good moments during the match played an incredible lob pass into Dortmund's box, which was used by Thomas Müller. Müller's volley shot fortunately only hit the bar. On the other side Lewandowski set Aubameyang up and away. The Gabun national was one on one with Starke but the Bayern keeper was able to clear. Borussia Dortmund was still pressing very early, giving Bayern and especially Thiago no room to breath. In minute 86 it paid off, when Thiago lost the ball to Sahin. The ball again found Aubameyang on the right wing. He entered the box and played a cross pass to Reus, who easily converted - 4-2 BVB! Bayern tried some last desperate attacks but BVB was able to keep them away from their goal. And so this really entertaining match ended when referee Drees blow the final whistle.
A superb match with many goals and a deserved winner. Borussi Dortmund showed that when the whole team is following Klopp's instructions and playing an aggressive pressing, there is a chance to win in every match. Gündogan, who played behind Lewandowski made a brilliant match. Especially keeping in mind that he normally plays in holding midfield. Having a look at the upcoming season, Bayern Munich is of course still number one favourite to win the Bundesliga title, but this super cup match gave everyone a little bit new hope that Bayern Munich is not invincible.
Jürgen Klopp: „It was a brilliant match, both teams gave it all. The good thing about the super cup is, that the winner is happy while the loser is not caring too much. When we play Bayern Munich, we want to win. Apart from that we are not playing on the same level."
Pep Guardiola: "I am satisfied with the performance of my team. We played well. The goals resulted from certain individual situations. Even having lost this match, I didn't had the impression that Borussia Dortmund was the better team."
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Großkreutz, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Sahin, Bender (46. Kehl) - Blaszczykowski (72. Aubameyang), Gündogan (88. Sokratis), Reus - Lewandowski
coach: Jürgen Klopp
Bayern Munich: Starke - Lahm, van Buyten, Boateng, Alaba - Thiago - Müller, Kroos (86. Dante), Robben, Mandzukic (75. Pizarro) - Shaqiri (67. Schweinsteiger)
coach: Pep Guardiola
Goals: 1-0 Reus (6., header, assist Bender), 1-1 Robben (54., header, Lahm), 2-1 van Buyten(56., own goal, header, Gündogan), 3-1 Gündogan (57., right-footed), 3-2 Robben (64., left-footed, Lahm), 4-2 Reus (86., right-footed, Aubameyang)
Yellow cards: - / Boateng
Referee: Dr. Jochen Drees
Attendance: 80.645 (Westfalenstadion, sold out)