Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a goal and did his best superhero impression as Borussia Dortmund made a bold statement of intent with a 2-0 victory over double winners Bayern Munich in the German Super Cup on Wednesday at Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund.
Aubameyang headed in Dortmund's second in the 62nd minute, moments before donning a Spider-Man mask while celebrating with teammates.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with a powerful finish set up in part by another Aubameyang attack.
Though the Spider-Man celebration is nothing new, Dortmund will be hoping Aubameyang can help spark a fresh assault on Bayern Munich's domestic dominance.
Having lost star striker Robert Lewandowski to Bayern in the summer transfer market, Borussia Dortmund needed a new scoring hero ahead of the new season, which is set to begin in less than two weeks.
"We're delighted to have made this start to the season and to be in such rhythm," Aubameyang said, per Bundesliga.com. "The Spider-Man mask was because my son was born today and I wanted to score for him."
Bayern won their second straight Bundesliga title last season in dominant style, clinching the title in record time and finishing a massive 19 points ahead of nearest challengers Borussia Dortmund.
Pep Guardiola's side also won the German Cup, defeating Dortmund, 2-0, in the final to complete a domestic double.
In fact, Bayern were so dominant last season that the traditional Super Cup match-up—league champions against cup winners—was impossible. As runners-up in both competitions, Dortmund were drafted in to face Bayern, whom they defeated in the Super Cup last season.
But while Bayern appeared invulnerable for much of the previous 12 months, a rash of fitness concerns could leave Guardiola's team open to a title challenge ahead of the new campaign.
While World Cup stars such as Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben missed out, the double winners were also without the injured Rafinha, Thiago Alcantara and Franck Ribery.
In addition, defender Javi Martinez left the Dortmund match with a knee injury in the 31st minute. Sky Sports reported during the game (h/t Raphael Honigstein) that Martinez might have torn his anterior cruciate ligament.
"We were missing a lot of players and we're still finding our feet in pre-season," said Bayern captain Philipp Lahm (per Bundesliga.com), who entered the match at half-time. "It was difficult today. We have to work hard and do better."
Wednesday's loss was the second in as many matches for Bayern, who fell, 2-1, to a Major League Soccer All-Stars side last week in the United States.
As B/R contributor Stefan Bienkowski noted via Twitter, Dortmund appear stronger ahead of the upcoming season than they did a year ago:
Bayern will open the league season with a home match against Wolfsburg on Aug. 22. Dortmund will host Bayer Leverkusen the next day.
The game's first chance fell to Bayern's Xherdan Shaqiri in the third minute, the Swiss international finding space in the midfield before shooting from the edge of the box. Dortmund goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak saved low and to his left to keep the match scoreless.
Dortmund responded through new signing Ciro Immobile, who shot off target in the 10th minute. Seven minutes later, Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer had to scramble to clear off his line following a misplaced back pass from Martinez.
The hosts then went ahead in the 23rd minute, and Bayern will have been disappointed with the manner in which they conceded the goal. Two defenders converged on Aubameyang, only to see the ball bounce behind the Dortmund forward and directly into the path of Mkhitaryan, who smashed in a powerful first-time finish.
Bayern received more bad news in the 31st minute as Martinez left the match with the aforementioned injury. The defender was replaced by Dante.
Dortmund remained the superior side throughout the rest of the first half and came close to doubling their lead just before the break. Sebastian Kehl shot at Neuer in the 41st minute before Neuer made a fine double save to keep out Jonas Hofmann and, for a second time, Kehl.
Trailing 1-0 at half-time, Bayern had a chance early in the second half through Lewandowski, who was facing his former side for the first time. But the Polish striker was unable to beat Langerak, who smothered well to snuff out the opportunity in the 47th minute.
And 15 minutes later, Dortmund found the net again. Lukasz Piszczek set up the chance, crossing from the right for Aubameyang, who headed in low at the far post to make it 2-0.
Aubameyang celebrated by pulling out a Spider-Man mask, and with that, the party was on for Dortmund. While the home fans delighted in booing former star—and current Bayern attacker—Mario Gotze, Langerak made a good save from a David Alaba free-kick in the 81st minute to maintain the clean sheet.
There was still time for a third Dortmund goal, but Sven Bender shot off target three minutes from time after being set up by Hofmann.