Dortmund Lift The German Super Cup
A superb second half performance from Jadon Sancho helped Borussia Dortmund win the German Super Cup for the first time since 2014, as they defeated Bayern Munich at Signal Iduna Park.
The young English midfielder first provided an assist for Paco Alcacer who slotted in the opening goal after 48 minutes.
Then Sancho scored a superb solo goal, driving forward inside the penalty area and coolly placing the ball past Manuel Neuer in the Bayern goal.
In a highly entertaining game, Dortmund just about deserved the victory and put down a marker ahead of the new Bundesliga season.
For Bayern, they created enough chances but couldn’t find that cutting edge as their run of winning three German Super Cups in a row ended.
Frenetic Start From Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund almost opened the scoring after just 51 seconds. A mistake from Bayern defender Niklas Sule allowed Raphael Guerreiro to drive forward.
He cut the ball back to Marco Reus inside the box who unleashed a powerful shot, which was brilliantly saved by Manuel Neuer in the Bayern goal.
Bayern were beginning to get a foot hold in the game after Dortmund’s bright start and started to dominate possession. However, they were struggling to create any clear cut chances.
After 14 minutes, Dortmund nearly took the lead. Jerome Boateng gave the ball away to Jadon Sancho.
The Englishman played a ball through to Paco Alcacer who was met with an on rushing Manuel Neuer. The German keeper was miles off his line and nearly got caught out. Fortunately for him and Bayern, Alcacer’s shot trickled just wide.
Bayern were giving away the ball far too often and looked very open defensively in the early stages.
On 19 minutes, Raphael Guerreiro hit a shot from close range, which was well saved again by Manuel Neuer.
The game may technically be called a pre-season game but it was being played at a frenetic pace with both sides looking threatening going forward.
Three minutes later, Bayern midfielder Kingsley Coman was denied from close range by Marwin Hitz in the Dortmund goal.
Despite both sides creating chances, neither side could find the opening goal in the first half.
Sancho Steals The Show
Two minutes into the second half, Dortmund took the lead.
Thiago gave the ball away to Jadon Sancho inside his own half. The English midfielder drove forward and showed great feet to dance away from a couple of Bayern defenders.
He then showed great awareness to pick out Paco Alcacer who then slotted the ball past Neuer from just outside the box.
Bayern Munich almost equalized minutes later. Dortmund defender Nico Schultz gave the ball away to Leon Goretzka. The German midfielder played a neat one two with Thomas Muller and unleashed a powerful shot from outside the box, which was tipped over by Hitz in the Dortmund goal.
On 57 minutes, Bayern were somehow denied an equalizer. A brilliant cross by Joshua Kimmich found Kingsley Coman who’s header was brilliantly saved by Hitz.
The rebound fell to Thomas Muller but his shot was superbly blocked on the line by Manuel Akanji.
With 22 minutes to go, Dortmund doubled their lead. A brilliant counter attack saw Jadon Sancho pick up the ball just inside the Bayern half.
He drove forward inside the penalty area and then calmly slotted the ball past Neuer to double Dortmund’s advantage.
Dortmund comfortably held on to win their sixth German Super Cup.
Dortmund Put Down A Marker
This may still be defined as a pre-season game but for Dortmund this victory is very much putting down a marker ahead of the new Bundesliga season.
Jadon Sancho put in a superb second half performance and is sure to be key to their title hopes once again.
He was the lead assist maker in the Bundesliga last campaign and provided another great assist for Dortmund’s opener.
The Englishman also showed how clinical and composed he can be on goal when he coolly despatched a shot from just inside the penalty area to double Dortmund’s advantage.
He’s still only 19-years-old and is only going to get better.
Dortmund look better equipped to sustain a title challenge this time around. This was a side that was missing new signings Thorgan Hazard and Julian Brandt.
Both players will add real depth to Dortmund’s attacking options. It will be interesting to see who Dortmund boss Lucien Favre picks.
It appears that Sancho and Marco Reus are guaranteed starters. That leaves one spot up for grabs in the three players behind the main striker.
With Mario Gotze also in the mix, that leaves Favre with a good headache to have. Last season, Dortmund appeared to run out of steam towards the end of the season.
You suspect that won’t be the case this time around.
Pressure On Niko Kovac Already?
This isn’t the start to the new domestic campaign that Bayern boss Niko Kovac would have wanted.
Bayern had chances to take the lead before Dortmund’s opener. But the truth is they gave the ball away far too often.
They were masters of their own downfall for Dortmund’s first goal. Thiago gave the ball away inside his own half to Jadon Sancho and immediately they were in trouble.
Also, defensively they still look very suspect. Yes, record signing Lucas Hernandez was missing for this game and will undoubtedly make a big difference at centre-half.
However, they do appear not to have the strength in depth that Bayern teams of the past have had.
If they get a few injuries to key players, Bayern could find it a real struggle to retain their Bundesliga title.
Last season’s double helped Kovac keep his job, but at Bayern expectations are much higher. The Bavarians expect to be challenging for the Champions League each year.
With the squad they have at present you can’t see them winning the Champions League this season.
That puts extra pressure on Kovac who knows if they don’t win the Bundesliga his job will be on the line.
On this evidence that could be even more difficult this season.
Written by David Coates
Photo credit to BlackAndYellow via Twitter