presented by
'Heads won't go down!'

Plenty of promise despite unlucky defeat

Bayern played well but unluckily lost the 2015 edition of the German Supercup away to VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday night, a fact that coloured the mood in the champions’ camp afterwards. “Overall, I’m very happy,” commented Pep Guardiola after 90 entertaining and fast-paced minutes of football against the league runners-up and DFB Cup winners. “The performance, the passion, and our attacking intent were all good.” The outcome less so: The men from Munich lost 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time.

“We played well and were the better team. But it wasn’t enough,” observed Manuel Neuer. In fact, it was enough – for 89 minutes. The 30,000 sell-out crowd in Wolfsburg saw Bayern take a 49th-minute lead through Arjen Robben, but with just a minute left Kevin de Bruyne crossed from the right and Nicklas Bendtner netted a near-post equaliser. The contest went straight to a shootout where the Wolves enjoyed the better of the luck.

Plenty of positives

The late leveller was “infuriating,” Neuer felt. “We shouldn’t be conceding right at the end,” agreed Jérôme Boateng. Robben felt the real reason for the reverse lay elsewhere: “We deserved to win. We controlled the game and we kept it very tight. But we should have scored a second, and we had the chances to do so. At 2-0 it’s all over.” Philipp Lahm put it in a nutshell: “We missed our chance to wrap it up and we’ve been punished at the end.”

Wolfsburg claimed the trophy, but with two weeks to go until the Bundesliga restart there were a number of positives for Bayern too. Douglas Costa’s first competitive game for Munich confirmed the excellent impression the Brazilian has made in the pre-season friendlies: his mazy dribble and cut-back led to FCB’s goal. Arturo Vidal also clocked up his first few minutes in a red jersey. “His quality is obvious. He’s going to bring us on,” said Neuer.

Robben pleasantly surprised

As for Robben, it was the winger’s first game of preseason since recovering form a niggling muscular injury, but he was highly influential from the off and netted his team’s goal. “I’m surprised how far I already am,” said the Dutchman, “I was delighted to be on from the start, although that was a surprise too. I never thought I’d be in the starting line-up. It was good for a first match back.”

There was certainly plenty for the Reds to build on. “Our heads won’t go down! We have the cup next week and then the Bundesliga. Our best form is still to come,” ventured Robert Lewandowski. Guardiola’s parting words were completely true to the spirit of FC Bayern: “The next thing is regeneration. And then we keep going, we keep on going.”