UEFA Super Cup: FC Bayern vs. Chelsea | Recap

Alexander Hassenstein

Bayern Munich banished the ghosts of the 2012 Champions League final by defeating Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out to lift the 2013 UEFA Super Cup.

Revenge is sweet.

The match at Prague's Eden Arena was shrouded in memories of that Champions League final as Bayern faced Chelsea for the first time since being denied European silverware by a penalty shoot-out.

As Oliver Kahn stated during pre-match analysis, the Super Cup is not the Champions League, and tonight's result would not alter the result of that fateful evening at the Allianz Arena. But try telling that to the jubilant Bayern fans after a match that oozed poetic justice.

In Bayern's previous match, a disappointing draw at Freiburg had exposed the need for a cutting edge to compliment Pep Guardiola's possession-minded football. He deployed his usual 4-1-4-1 here, with Philipp Lahm occupying the holding midfield role in the absence of the injured Bastian Schweinsteiger and Rafinha taking over the spot at right-back.

Bayern dominated possession from the outset, but Chelsea grabbed the game's first goal against the run of play. A neat solo run from Eden Hazard set up André Schürrle to cross to Torres, who duly provided a powerful finish to hand Chelsea the lead on 8 minutes.

Mario Mandzukic nearly responded for Die Roten with a crisp right-foot volley in the box, but Chelsea's tight defensive unit sat back and harassed Bayern in droves whenever the Bavarians had possession.

UEFA "Best Player in Europe" winner Franck Ribéry was Bayern's biggest threat heading into the break, drawing audible anticipation from the crowd whenever he touched the ball. He roamed around the pitch in search of opportunities to shoot, forcing Cech into a low, diving save after combining well with Mandzukic on the edge of the area.

Even so, Chelsea continued to provide a threat of their own. Schürrle frequently found space on the right wing as the London side hurtled forward at speed whenever they regained the ball.

Guardiola responded in the second half by bringing on Javi Martinez for Rafinha and returning Lahm to full-back, with Götze later replacing Thomas Müller behind lone striker Mandzukic.

But it was Ribéry who restored parity after the break, latching onto a pass from Toni Kroos to fire an equaliser past the outstretched Cech. The scores were level, but Bayern did not yet have the upper hand.

A slip from Dante allowed Oscar into a one-on-one with Neuer, who reacted quickly to parry his shot away. David Luiz then sent one header crashing onto the bar from a corner before forcing a superb reaction save from Neuer with another.

This momentum came to an abrupt halt for Chelsea when Ramires saw red on 84 minutes for an awkward tackle in which he collided into Götze with an outstretched leg. Reduced to ten men, Chelsea occupied the edge of their penalty area and continued to press Bayern hard heading into extra time.

Bayern appeared complacent in the wake of their numerical advantage, and the outstanding Hazard took advantage of sluggish defending to hand Chelsea the lead after the interval with a driven shot past Neuer.

As fatigue set in for both sides, Bayern resorted to early crosses into the box in an effort to find a late equaliser. This time, it was Cech's heroics that prevented another goal, as Martinez lofted a precise chip that glanced off the head of Mandzukic before seeing his own header saved from close range moments later.

Calls for a penalty were ignored when Mandzukic went down under pressure from Ivanovic, and it seemed that Bayern would have to resign themselves to defeat after Ribéry's curling free-kick was met with yet another acrobatic save by Cech.

There was little the goalkeeper could do about Bayern's breakthrough. Alaba's cross evaded a crowd of Chelsea defenders before ricocheting into the feet of Martinez, who calmly placed the ball in the back of the net to draw Die Roten level and take the game to a penalty shoot-out.

Penalty after penalty hit the back of the net for both sides before Romelu Lukaku stepped up for Chelsea's fifth. Hailed by some as the next Didier Drogba, Lukaku could not replicate the Ivorian's winning penalty in 2012 as his nervous approach was followed by a tepid shot that rolled straight into the arms of Neuer. Cue mass celebrations from the Bayern faithful and an overriding sense of redemption after a highly combative match.

But the final result doesn't hide the cracks in Bayern's performance. It was, for much of the night, another frustrating game for a side that is still finding fluency under their new manager. A Bundesliga match against Hannover on September 14 kicks off a busy period of five games in a fortnight. For now, though, Bayern have two weeks in which to rest and take stock. There is still work to be done.

Hi everyone. This is my first post for Bavarian Football Works, so I thought I'd introduce myself briefly. I'm originally from Brighton, England and I'm a huge fan of Tottenham Hotspur. I share my time between studying history at the University of Warwick in England and at home in Frankfurt, Germany. Seeing as they're my local side, I try and go to watch Eintracht play as often as possible, but I consider myself more of a fan of German football as a whole. The stadiums, the fan culture, the half-time beer - there isn't much like it anywhere else. In that respect, Bayern have always stood out as the very best advertisement for the Bundesliga around, and for that reason I've always followed them ever since I first moved to Germany in 1999. That, and I remember thinking as a six-year-old that Hasan Salihamidžić was an awesome-sounding name for a football player. My favourite current Bayern players, incidentally, are Philipp Lahm and Toni Kroos.

- Sam

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