Second-half goals earn Bayern Munich Super Cup glory vs. Dortmund
Three points from Bayern Munich's 2-0 German Super Cup win vs. Borussia Dortmund.
1. Bayern ride their luck and take their chances
This was a game of two halves. When referee Tobias Welz blew his whistle after 45 minutes, Borussia Dortmund could have been up by more than one goal and Bayern Munich should have been reduced to 10 men.
After 28 minutes, Franck Ribery hit out -- twice -- at BVB's 18-year-old right-back Felix Passlack. But, just as in May's German Cup final, the Frenchman was let off with a yellow card. Xabi Alonso went into the book for complaining. Passlack did as well but it took nothing away from the display of the young German, who impressed against the veteran Ribery.
Dortmund were the more active side from the start, pressing high and getting into dangerous positions several times. New centre-back Marc Bartra found the space between Bayern's Mats Hummels and Philipp Lahm, who did not click in the first half. But BVB lacked composure in front of Manuel Neuer, who parried shots by Ousmane Dembele and Adrian Ramos, while efforts from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Shinji Kagawa flew wide.
Playing a 4-1-4-1 formation, Dortmund also shut down Bayern playmaker Xabi Alonso, who had fewer than 30 touches in the first half. The hosts controlled the match and sailed into unknown territory by dominating possession against Bayern Munich, an unthinkable prospect during Pep Guardiola's tenure.
But close to the hour mark and with just their second real chance of the night, Bayern took the lead after a play initiated by Ribery who, for once, was quicker than Passlack. The Frenchman hit a long pass to Robert Lewandowski, who found Arturo Vidal on the other side of the box. The Chilean was first stopped by Roman Burki, but converted the rebound.
The game changed thereafter as Dortmund ran out of steam and failed to create dangerous situations in the final third. Bayern, on the other hand, slowly found their groove and took control, even more so with the introduction of Joshua Kimmich. Twelve minutes from time, Hummels set up Thomas Muller for the second goal of the night.
2. Ancelotti era starts with a trophy
In Carlo Ancelotti's new 4-3-3 system, Bayern still lacked a number of key players. German footballer of the year Jerome Boateng is still working on his comeback and Hummels played as the right centre-back, where he was uncomfortable. It was not just due to the constant whistles from his old fans, but also because he never played the role at Dortmund and has not been there for Germany since 2012 European Championship.
For the majority of the match, Bayern appeared to be in preseason mode, were late into tackles and could not get a grip on proceedings. An individual effort by Javi Martinez spurred them into life in the first half when, after collecting the ball in his own territory, the Spaniard ran across the field and saw Vidal storming into the box.
However, after Burki saved the Chilean's powerful header Vidal sent the rebound over the bar from close range. Bayern had long phases without possession and yet slowly battled their way into an intense match, with Vidal and Muller ultimately making the difference.
Despite winning the Super Cup for the first time since 2012, Bayern Munich still need time to adjust to life under Ancelotti, who will be a curator of talent rather than a coach leaving football fans gasping about the latest tactical innovation.
Still, the Italian is off to a good start and has one up on his predecessor. Guardiola never got his hands on the Super Cup, losing three straight finals during his stint at Bayern, but each time his side went on to dominate and win the Bundesliga, adding two German cups for good measure.
3. Gotze not among Dortmund's new faces
"Mario [Gotze] lost his way a bit in the past three years," BVB CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said minutes before kickoff.
Yet Gotze's return to the Westfalenstadion after three indifferent seasons at the Allianz Arena, which saw his stock drop from one of German football's brightest hopes to a bit-part player, began and ended on the bench as an unused substitute.
Even excluding Gotze, Dortmund became a dramatically different-looking side this summer and, on Sunday, three new signings started: Bartra, Ousmane Dembele and Sebastian Rode.
Nineteen-year-old Dembele hinted at what he can be and added a few new clips for his highlight package, dribbling past defenders from his position on the left-wing. Former Bayern midfielder Rode marshalled the match; he worked hard, intercepted balls and coolly distributed them to Shinji Kagawa and Gonzalo Castro in front of him.
But it was Bartra, who made the best impression. Within only a few minutes in the first half, the 25-year-old showed with a few smart passes between the Bayern lines that, at least going forward, he can be the replacement for Hummels that Dortmund had been hoping for.
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.