presented by
Borussia Dortmund 2 Bayern 0

Weary Bayern fall to muscular Dortmund

Increase font size Text size

An unfamiliar Bayern side lacking a host of the club’s big-name stars were outmuscled by physically strong Borussia Dortmund in Wednesday’s first competitive match of the new campaign, as last season’s league runners-up and beaten cup finalists retained the DFL Supercup, the traditional curtain-raiser to the new campaign.

The 80,667 full house at Signal Iduna Park saw Bayern make a brisk start but cede the initiative to the robust home side, who took the lead at the midpoint of the first half through Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Manuel Neuer made a string of important saves as Jürgen Klopp’s team enjoyed the better of the chances, but even the world’s best keeper was powerless to prevent Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang heading his side two goals to the good and sealing the outcome after 62 minutes.

The double winners now enter the season proper on Sunday in the DFB Cup first round away to third-tier Preußen Münster, before the official 2014/15 Bundesliga opener at home to VfL Wolfsburg the following Friday.

Three competitive debuts

Despite the fact that the club’s World Cup winners only resumed training a week ago, Pep Guardiola’s first starting line-up of the new campaign included Neuer, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Müller, with competitive debuts for summer signings Juan Bernat, Sebastian Rode and former BVB hero Robert Lewandowski. Young Gianluca Gaudino has excelled in pre-season but was nonetheless a surprise starter in a match of this significance, while FCB were obliged to do without Franck Ribery, Rafinha and Bastian Schweinsteiger due to injury. A strong bench included Philipp Lahm, Mario Götze, Dante and Friday’s goalkeeping capture Pep Reina.

It meant the Bavarians started with captain for the day Neuer in goal and Boateng, Javi Martinez and David Alaba in a back three now familiar from the pre-season period. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rode lined up in defensive midfield, with Bernat, Gaudino, Xherdan Shaqiri, Müller and Lewandowski forming the attacking unit.

BVB boss Klopp began with none of his World Cup stars but handed first outings to new arrivals Matthias Ginter at centre-back and striker Ciro Immobile, the top scorer in Italy’s Serie A last term.

Goal down at half-time

After the opening formalities and referee Peter Gagelmann’s whistle for kick-off on an overcast evening in the Ruhr Valley, FCB were soon on the attack and Shaqiri drew an early save from BVB backup keeper Mitch Langerak, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang drove high and Immobile shot wide at the other end.

The game developed a pleasing flow without many clear-cut chances, although the home side upped the pace after a quarter-hour and Neuer was in action three times, preventing an overhit Boateng back-pass ending in an embarrassing own goal, beating out an Oliver Kirch drive, and saving comfortably from the same player’s header.

But the men in yellow had the bit between their teeth and Mkhitaryan crashed home a loose ball to hand his side the lead after 23 minutes. There was another setback for the visitors after 31 minutes when Martinez stayed down after an aerial challenge and had to be stretchered off, Dante coming on in his place.

Munich focused on holding their lines for a spell and Klopp’s men were given little room for manoeuvre, although Neuer was called upon again in a hectic period running up to half-time, the captain standing firm against powerful but central shots from Sebastian Kehl, Jonas Hofmann and Kehl again.

Chances few and far between

Guardiola sent on Lahm for Müller at half-time and the Reds were immediately on the attack, but Langerak blocked bravely from his former team-mate Lewandowski. BVB sub Erik Durm raced to the by-line but Neuer plucked the youngster’s cross out of the air, before Götze took over from Hojbjerg on the hour.

Immobile flicked wide from a difficult angle as FCB continued to lose possession unusually cheaply, and Guardiola’s men were punished on 62 minutes when Aubameyang rose unchallenged to head a Lukasz Piszczek cross firmly past Neuer and make the score 2-0. The scorer immediately gave way to new arrival Adrian Ramos, but the pace dropped for a spell and there was precious little goalmouth action to entertain the huge crowd.

Dortmund were content to play on the break now and the powerful Immobile surged past last man Boateng but failed with an attempted chip, before Mkhitaryan curled a shot inches wide of Neuer’s far post. But FCB were not beaten yet and Langerak finger-tipped an 80th-minute Alaba free-kick round the post, but the yellow-and-blacks continued to tackle effectively and closed out the win without undue difficulty.

Chris Hamley reporting from Signal Iduna Park for