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Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich: Analysing German Super Cup Final

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Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich: Analysing German Super Cup Final
Image courtesy of the Champions League Twitter account.

It wasn't quite revenge for the Champions League final loss, but Borussia Dortmund's 4-2 German Super Cup win over Bayern Munich will have Jurgen Klopp's team feeling rather optimistic.

New Bayern boss Pep Guardiola will not be pleased to have lost his first competitive match in charge of the European champions. Last season's treble winners have trundled through preseason in prolific form, but had to do without key players against an energetic Dortmund side that wanted nothing more than to score goals.  

With Manuel Neuer and Franck Ribery sidelined, Guardiola's team suddenly looked ripe for the taking.

Let's break down the match, key events and memorable moments.

 

Highlights

Tom Starke stood between Bayern's posts on just three occasions last season, as reported by Whoscored.com. The 32-year-old stopper looked rigid in his earlier attempt to save Sven Bender's header, fumbling a simple catch straight onto the forehead of Marco Reus.

The energetic Reus delivered the first goal after six minutes and took advantage of some high defending from the Bayern back four. Daniel Van Buyten failed to get out of the box, providing German Reus with the simple chance of staying onside and nodding home.

Arjen Robben burst into life 10 minutes after halftime. The Dutch winger—who scored the late Wembley winner during May's Champions League final—latched onto a pinpoint cross from Philipp Lahm to head home the equaliser.

Alex Grimm/Getty Images

This only brought Dortmund to life. Two minutes later, Van Buyten's difficulties only got worse as he unwillingly headed a teasing Ilkay Gundogan cross into his own net. It was a stunning finish, just at the wrong end.

Klopp's men smelt blood and marched straight back up the pitch with some intricate passing. Bayern's shape and closing-down looked off, as players ran too close together, allowed space to open up in the attacking third and failed to effectively challenge Dortmund's offense.

Gundogan was given too much time on the edge of Bayern's area. His balletic turn and curled effort exceeded Starke's reach, hit the inside of the post and bounced into the net. At this point, Guardiola's managerial return was ruined.

Lahm again turned provider with 25 minutes to play. The right-back's low cross found Robben, who wonderfully swiveled inside the box and drilled his effort down the middle of Roman Weidenfeller's goal.

It wasn't to be for Bayern. With five minutes left to play, new Dortmund signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made his first significant contribution in the yellow shirt.

A crunching tackle saw Bayern lose possession in the middle, and Dortmund continued to pass through their opposition's defence with ease. Robert Lewandowski found Aubameyang in space and with two touches he was into the box, ready to set up Reus for his second goal of the match.

The tap in sealed it.

 

Star Man: Marco Reus

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Guardiola's decision to use his tried and tested 4-1-4-1 formation allowed Dortmund to create small openings between the midfield and attacking lines. Reus worked relentlessly to drop into gaps and receive possession in areas Bayern found difficult to halt.

With Thiago Alcantara lying deep, the likes of Bender, Gundogan, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Nuri Sahin were able to win possession, spring forward and leave the Bayern midfield for dead. Reus capitalised on this with two finishes where his movement allowed him to escape the clutches of those trying to stop him.

 

Reaction

As reported by Reuters via The Guardian, Guardiola doesn't believe Dortmund were a million miles ahead of his side:

I don't have the feeling that they played much better than us. It's football. It can happen. We played well, we did things right. We played against a strong team, who played the Champions League final. But I'm pleased for my players. It's a good lesson for us. After one month, I am very happy with our performance.

Guardiola was shown to slap Thiago on the pitch, but whether or not this was malicious remains debatable. The pair spent many years together at Barcelona and this may be Guardiola's way of saying he loves having his Spanish counterpart in Germany. That, or he is terrible at patting people on the back.

Klopp was less hands-on and expressed his happiness after the game. The Guardian captures the charismatic manager's loveable nature and honesty: "The game was simply brilliant. To have won it is just awesome."

Dortmund's excellent win leaves plenty of work ahead for Guardiola and Bayern. The new boss will strive to eradicate simple mistakes across the next few weeks and needs to quickly slot the likes of Thiago into the team.

Whether or not that will be with the palm of his hand is a different matter.

 

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