Bayern Munich opened its 2016-17 season with a thrilling German Supercup duel against perennial rival Borussia Dortmund. Dortmund dominated Bayern in the first half with relentless speed, but slow and steady Bayern won the race with two well-taken goals by Arturo Vidal and Thomas Müller
Bayern wilt under Dortmund’s blistering pace
Dortmund set the tone for the first half immediately, as lightning-fast Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang immediately drove Bayern's ball all the way back to Manuel Neuer. As Bayern struggled to build up a response, former BVB captain Mats Hummels was greeted with vigorous boos at every touch.
Dortmund’s blistering pace dictated the match. Bayern's first scare came as Aubameyang caught Hummels out of position, only to be blocked at the last second by Javi Martínez. Pushed to his defensive limits, Javi would receive a yellow card for a foul just minutes later. It would be the first of many.
Bayern escaped danger yet again only minutes later, as Xabi Alonso accidentally bounced the ball off his hand in the penalty area while intercepting a dangerous cross. Referee Tobias Welz ruled the contact accidental, despite Dortmund’s protests. Bayern seemed to be on the ropes.
The physicality of the match quickly escalated. A tangle between Felix Passlack and Franck Ribéry turned into an outright confrontation that had to be broken up by the referee, who subsequently issued yellow cards to the instigators, Passlack and Ribéry, as well as to Alonso for his own involvement.
Dortmund’s new signing Ousmane Dembélé showed his worth with two of Dortmund’s most dangerous shots, first testing Neuer from close range and then launching a second shot just past the far post. Neuer kept Bayern in the game with another spectacular save on another dangerous shot by Adrián Ramos.
Dortmund’s pace at last slackened, however, and Bayern finally came into the game as the first half drew to a close. Bayern’s best opportunity of the half came as Javi delivered a perfect ball to Vidal. Vidal, however, headed it directly into Bürki and then skied the rebounding ball out of danger. Javi delivered another would-be assist to Lewandowski minutes later, but again Bayern was checked at the goal line by Bürki. If Bayern had hoped to shake up Dortmund early, the first half was a rude awakening.
Bayern takes control as Dortmund flags
The second half saw Dortmund resume its high-speed pressing game, and the men in yellow and black were soon rewarded a dangerous shot on goal: this time Neuer would keep Passlack off the scorecard. Bayern’s defense held while Dortmund continued to dictate the game, but Dortmund would soon suddenly run out of steam.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Bayern scored the go-ahead goal: a long pass from Ribéry found Robert Lewandowski near the penalty area on the left. Lewandowski crossed inside to Thomas Müller, but Müller could not control the ball, and so it rolled on to Vidal. Vidal shot - and was blocked again by Bürki! But this time Vidal buried the rebound in the back of the net. Bayern 1-0.
Now Bayern became the aggressor. A beautiful interweaving attack between Müller and Philipp Lahm was frustrated by an overshot cross. Shortly after the hour mark, Carlo Ancelotti turned the screws tighter, sending on fresh legs in Kingsley Coman for hot-headed Ribéry. Thomas Tuchel responded in kind, sending André Schürrle on for Dembélé and Julian Weigl for Ramos.
Bayern suffered a setback, however, as Ramos inadvertently stepped on Vidal's foot. The Chilean goal-scorer was still limping after a few minutes and was replaced in the midfield by Joshua Kimmich. On the opposite side of the pitch, Aubameyang was forced to make way for youngster Emre Mor.
After the flurry of substitutions, the pace of the match slackened dramatically. But the methodical pace played precisely to Bayern's strengths, and they quickly capitalized on none other than a set-piece: Hummels recorded an assist in his debut against his former club, heading the corner forward to Müller at the goal line. Perfectly placed, Müller tapped the ball in, giving Bayern a 2-0 lead.
With five minutes to play, Ancelotti made a defensive substitution, replacing Müller with Rafinha. Dortmund continued to search for an answer, but now lacked the energy to penetrate Bayern's defense. Instead, Dortmund found itself on the defensive, as Bayern retaliated dangerously in kind. Kimmich would send a parting shot tantalizing over the crossbar.
The end of the match was virtually the opposite of the beginning, as a sluggish Dortmund seemed out of ideas, while Bayern casually sat back waiting to intercept and counter. The first Klassiker of the year, and with it the German Supercup, belonged to Bayern.
Bayern Munich (2-0) Borussia Dortmund
FCB: Vidal (58'), Müller (79')
FCB: Martínez (10’), Ribéry (29’), Alonso (29’)
BVB: Passlack (29’), Dembele (39’), Rode (61')
Bayern Munich XI: Neuer - Lahm, Martínez, Hummels, Alaba - Vidal (Kimmich, 71'), Alonso, Thiago - Müller (Rafinha, 86'), Lewandowski, Ribéry (Coman, 55')
Dortmund XI: Bürki - Passlack, Sokratis, Bartra, Schmelzer - Castro, Rode - Dembélé (Schürrle, 68'), Kagawa, Ramos (Weigl, 69') - Aubameyang (Mor, 78')