Arturo Vidal, Javi Martinez shine as Bayern beat BVB in German Super Cup
Bayern Munich clinched their first German Super Cup in four seasons beating Borussia Dortmund 2-0, courtesy of close range goals from Arturo Vidal and Thomas Muller on Sunday.
After a largely uninspiring first-half display, Bayern improved markedly after the break and made the hosts BVB pay for their severe profligacy in front of goal.
As top sides often do, Bayern got the job done, despite being outplayed until Vidal's goal extracted the bite from a swarming yellow and black tide.
By silencing the "Yellow Wall" and seeing off their only domestic rivals in their own backyard, Bayern laid down a marker for the forthcoming 54th Bundesliga campaign and remain overwhelming favourites to clinch a fifth straight league title sometime in April 2017.
After Euro 2016 and Copa America activity, you can forgive a few Bayern players for being short of a run but you can't forgive Franck Ribery's continued petulance.
The Frenchman's first half stray elbow on Felix Passlack would normally see him pick up a red card against less-forgiving referees than Tobias Welz. The fiery wideman needs to remove this unnecessary aspect of his game -- or it will come back to bite Bayern in more crucial games, especially in Europe.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- After only surviving to the break at parity thanks to Manuel Neuer's brilliance, Carlo Ancelotti's side looked more solid following a few soothing words at half time from the Italian maestro.
Ancelotti got off to a winning start, already outdoing Pep Guardiola, who lost three Super Cups in a row while in charge of the Bavarian giants, including defeats to Jurgen Klopp's BVB in 2013 and 2014.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Manuel Neuer, 9 -- The world's best keeper kept Bayern in the contest with a string of fine saves in the first half, including outstanding blocks from Ousmane Dembele and Adrian Ramos. Even if the game had gone to penalties, you just knew Neuer, a potential successor to Bastian Schweinsteiger as Germany captain, wouldn't finish on the losing side on the night.
Passlack's rasping shot also brought out the best in Neuer once again as the second half carried on in similar fashion to the first, before Vidal's opener changed the course of the game.
DF David Alaba, 6 -- The Austrian enjoyed a quiet game by his standards with few attacking thrusts down the Bayern left flank.
DF Mats Hummels, 6 -- BVB captain just three months ago, Hummels enjoyed a winning return to Dortmund where he starred for over eight and a half years. In a nervy opening, he was horribly caught out by a long ball which Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should have buried after only seven minutes.
A string of misplaced edgy passes ensued, but Hummels grew into the game and looked visibly more assured in the second half. The classy 27-year-old defender had the final say by nodding an assist for Muller to put the result beyond doubt.
DF Javi Martinez, 8 -- Bayern's record signing always reserves his best for BVB, the 2013 Champions League final and the German Cup final the following year spring immediately to mind.
He made a brilliant last ditch intervention to spare Hummels' serious embarrassment when his error of judgement left Aubameyang clean through on goal. The Spaniard's sprint forward and perfectly weighted cross to Vidal should have been rewarded with a goal for the Chilean.
Injured knee ligaments in this equivalent game two years ago basically ruined his whole season, but Martinez will leave Westphalia with much fonder memories this time around.
DF Philipp Lahm, 7 -- Entering his penultimate season as a player, the skipper made a couple of uncharacteristic early mistakes as Bayern were run ragged in a disjointed first half. Naturally, Lahm lifted his game after the interval and hardly put a foot wrong.
MF Xabi Alonso, 6 -- Like so many of his colleagues, the 34-year-old Basque struggled visibly in the first half, including shouts for a handball offence in the opening 15 minutes. He provided a better shield in front of a more-solid defence as Dortmund ran out of steam after the break.
MF Arturo Vidal, 8 -- Vidal -- "the Warrior" -- enjoyed the challenge and fired Bayern's first shot on goal after 37 minutes which fizzed narrowly wide. He also saw a close-range header blocked by Roman Burki, blazing wastefully over from the rebound from just a yard out. He did manage to put Bayern ahead against the run of play, finishing at the second attempt from a perfectly executed counter-attack.
MF Thiago, 5 -- The Brazilian-born Spain international still has plenty to prove to win over the doubters and he struggled to make any impact on the game, which passed him by for large chunks.
MF Franck Ribery, 5 -- Only Lahm is a longer servant at the club, but the 33-year-old Frenchman still hasn't curbed his temper. He was fortunate to escape a sending off after only a half an hour following a horribly stray elbow on Passlack. If Ribery raises his hands in a similar fashion in a Champions League clash, he'll be sent off, pure and simple. Ribery was removed from the fray to cool down after 64 minutes.
FW Thomas Muller, 6 -- Overall, Muller struggled to make an impact on the Bayern right flank, continuing his Euro 2016 hangover with the national side. But he cleverly dummied the ball to Vidal for the opener, and was also in the right place in the right time to stab home from close range and seal the Super Cup. After this much-needed confidence boost, Muller was hooked off with four minutes to play to receive the acclaim from Bayern's travelling faithful.
FW Robert Lewandowski, 6 -- Like Muller, toiled laboriously in France for his national side. Lewandowski enjoyed very little joy against his former club and a header just before the break, snuffed out by Burki, was as good as it got for the Polish striker.
MF Kingsley Coman, 6 -- Replaced his compatriot Ribery with no end product.
MF Joshua Kimmich, NR -- Germany's newest right-back showed his versatility, replacing the injured goalscorer Vidal and slotting into Bayern's engine room in midfield for the final 20 minutes. He found the time to fire narrowly over with the game in the bag.
DF Rafinha, NR -- Bayern's dressing room DJ came on for Muller for the final four minutes as Bayern ultimately coasted to victory.
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.