Bayern Munich got off to an ideal start to the season, following a lackluster pre-season, when they edged past Borussia Dortmund on penalties. It was Bayern’s first victory Dortmund at Allianz Arena in over two years, albeit to penalties. The record champions also secured their sixth German Supercup thanks to last night’s win vs Dortmund.
It was Christian Pulisic, who opened the scoring, when he capitalized on the mistake by Javi Martinez. The American wunderkind showed tremendous composure to put the ball past the Bayern keeper. But Bayern were quick to respond, as former Dortmunder Robert Lewandowski, pounced on an opportunity to equalize from a Joshua Kimmich cross in the 18th minute.
In the second half, Aubameyang once again put the home side into the lead, and it seemed as if Dortmund were about to clinch the cup. However, keeper Roman Bürki, failed to clear the scramble inside the box, and the ball, somehow got deflected of him, and went into the net, just two minutes from time.
Dortmund’s High Defensive Line
The home side started the game with somewhat decent looking formation. Nuri Sahin acted as the main defensive midfielder, with Gonzalo Castro and Mahmoud Dahoud complementing the Turkish International, in a slightly advanced position.
Coach Peter Bosz’s implementation on high backline was something which came as a surprise to many supporters. The high backline kept Bayern pushing to their defensive half. The primary aim was to minimize their ball circulation, whilst maintaining a clear cut offside trap. To a certain extent, it worked, as the constant pressure from the front three in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, OusmanéDembéle and Christian Pulisic made life difficult for the Bavarian center backs.
They also got caught by the offside trap no less than six times! It also contributed to the uncharacteristic mistake from Javi Martinez, for the opener.
Carlo Ancelotti Masterclass
However, Carlo Ancelotti was quick to identify a weak point in BVB’S backline – Dan-Axel Zagadou. The young 18 year old Frenchman only arrived this summer, and was playing in an unfamiliar left back position. Bayern’s right back Joshua Kimmich frequently made runs in behind Zagadou on the left flank, hoping he may get lucky with the offside trap.
Kimmich successfully got in behind the defense, even though he may been offside, but the highly talked about, VAR, failed to spot the close offside call and ultimately, the record Champions restored parity.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men, suddenly, were much more fluent in playing out from the back, after the equalizer. And Bayern completely dominated the rest of the first half.
Second Half Substitutes
Peter Bosz made an interesting decision to take off Mahmoud Dahoud and bring on Sebastian Rode – but it was one that paid off at the end. Given Rode’s quality as a ball winner, it helped Dortmund be more proactive in pressing phases. Unlike Dahoud, who was constantly losing the crapshoot.
The Black and Yellows suddenly started winning the balls more frequently, higher up the pitch as the Dortmund pressing became sharper and intense by the minute. They were rewarded too, as Ousmané Dembéle found a tiny bit of space to play Aubameyang, whose world class finish restored Borussia’s one goal cushion.
At the end however, the home side were made to pay for their own mistakes. Felix Passlack brought down Joshua Kimmich in a dangerous area. The resulting free kick saw a scramble inside the 18 yard box, and eventually it top toed around the goalkeeper Roman Bürki, ending up in the back of net at the 88th minute.
Sebastian Rode and Marc Bartra failed to score from the penalty shootout, ultimately costing BVB the entire match. On the flip side, both the teams should be happy with their performance. After all, it’s more or less a part of pre-season preparations.
The win will boost the confidence of Carlo Ancelotti’s men, especially after such a disappointing pre-season campaign. While Peter Bosz will try to nail down his tactical ideology more precisely before the season gets underway.