VfL Wolfsburg got the best of Bayern Munich again in the Volkswagen Arena, finding a late equalizer before defeating the Bavarians in penalty kicks to lift the DFL-Supercup for the first time in club history.
Niklas Bendtner was the main culprit in Bayern's demise, getting on the end of a cross from Kevin de Bruyne before crushing the final penalty to secure the Wolfsburg victory. Bayern lost their third penalty shootout of the season, Koen Casteels stretching for the leg save on Xabi Alonso.
Bayern came out of the gates flying, Douglas Costa sparking attacks by running relentlessly at Vieirinha. Bayern could not find the opener in the first half, Jérôme Boateng smacking a shot off the crossbar and Robert Lewandowski nearly finishing off a chance before Douglas was caught offside.
Wolfsburg barraged Manuel Neuer at the other end, Vieirinha and Ivica Perišić keeping the German international on his toes. De Bruyne nearly caught the sweeper keeper off of his line, beating both Neuer and Medhi Benatia before shanking a shot wide of the far post.
The opener came just after halftime, Douglas corralling a ball from Boateng before finding the pair of Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben crashing the near post. The Dutchman snuck in his foot in before Lewandowski's and poked it into the back of the net.
A goal ahead, Bayern manager Pep Guardiola tried to lock things up with two substitutions, He maneuvered Philipp Lahm back into midfield as Rafinha came on for Lewandowski. He also debuted €40 million signing Arturo Vidal, who came on to a large Bayern ovation as he replaced Thiago Alcantara.
Despite 14 shots in the match, Wolfsburg had to wait until the death of regulation in order to find the equalizer. Wolfsburg manager Dieter Hecking even brough on strikers Max Kruse and Niklas Bendtner to force the issue, sliding De Bruyne to the flank. The move proved to be incredibly profitable, the Germany footballer of the year slapping a service near post, one Bendtner was able to lift over Neuer's soaring hands.
It was not long after Wolfsburg eventually secured the victory in penalties, winning their first Supercup in club history. Bayern, having won the competition just thrice before (1990, 2010, 2012), go back to Munich as runners-up for a third straight time.
Bayern will next play FC Nottingen in the first round of the DFB-Pokal before opening the 2015/16 Bundesliga season against Hamburger SV on August 14.
VfL Wolfsburg (1-1, 5-4 PEN) Bayern München
FCB: Arjen Robben (49')
WOB: Niklas Bendtner (90')
0-1 FCB: Arturo Vidal
1-1 WOB: Ricardo Rodriguez
1-1 FCB: Xabi Alonso *saved*
2-1 WOB: Kevin de Bruyne
2-2 FCB: Arjen Robben
3-2 WOB: André Schürrle
3-3 FCB: Philipp Lahm
4-3 WOB: Max Kruse
4-4 FCB: Douglas Costa
5-4 WOB: Niklas Bendtner
Wolfsburg XI: Casteels – Vieirinha, Naldo, Klose, Rodriguez – Guilavogui, Arnold – Perišić (Kruse 70'), De Bruyne, Caligiuri (Schürre 63') – Dost (Bendtner 70')
Bayern XI: Neuer – Lahm, Boateng, Benatia, Alaba – Alonso – Robben, Müller (Götze 84'), Thiago (Vidal 73'), Douglas – Lewandowski (Rafinha 72')
- While a loss to a top German team is never good, the DFL-Supercup is still a glorified friendly. The competition does not even have the courtesy to go into extra time, an arena Bayern has a good amount of success in. The important aspect of Bayern's performance is the energy Bayern played with, for that is what has gotten them out ahead in the Bundesliga the last three seasons – which was not contingent on Supercup performance.
- The goal may have come at the death, but Bayern's defense were lucky the equalizer came as late as it did. Wolfsburg opened several channels by pulling Boateng and Benatia out of position, which made Alonso the last line of defense – not a desirable outcome to say the least. When Bayern went ahead though, Guardiola was able to put more ball-winners in midfield, which allowed Bayern to really give Wolfsburg a hard time in the end. Considering it is August, it makes sense for the defense to not quite be on the same page, but the misconnections as the moment should be troublesome for Bayern.
- With Douglas and Robben on the field for the first time together, Bayern played with more width than they had the entire Rückrunde of last season. With Wolfsburg playing so deep, that did not open up the channels quite wide enough, causing Thomas Müller to struggle a bit trying to find a way through. The defense occasionally shifted to a back three in order to get more men forward, but misguided passing undid any numerical advantage Bayern could have.
- Although both have orchestration skills, playing both Alonso and Thiago in midfield left Bayern without an imposing force at the center of the park. The resulting affect was Wolfsburg's ability to break up the middle, hence why Perišić and Daniel Caligiuri wanted to drift inside. Vidal is certainly part of the solution to that issue, but Guardiola also has Sebastian Rode at his disposal, a player he does not use as much as he should.