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Aug, 12, 2012

Bayern lift Super Cup

Bayern Munich clinched the first title of the season in Germany as two early goals by Mario Mandzukic (6) and Thomas Mueller (11) secured a 2-1 win over double-winners Borussia Dortmund in the German Supercup, for whom Robert Lewandowski's late reply was not enough.

Bayern were without Germany internationals Mario Gomez (after his ankle surgery), Bastian Schweinsteiger (not fit) and Holger Badstuber (bench), while 18-year-old Emre Can played left-back and former Gladbach centre-back Danté made his debut alongside Jerome Boateng.

Dortmund had to do without holding midfielders Sebastian Kehl and Sven Bender, who both missed the match because of injuries, while Germany's Player Of The Year Marco Reus debuted with Mario Götze, coming back from an eye injury, sat on the bench.

From the first minute, Bayern took command of the match, clearly out for revenge for their five straight losses against Dortmund. After six minutes Neven Subotic and Mats Hummels were too late to stop a Franck Ribery cross and Mandzukic profited to put the ball past Roman Weidenfeller from close range.

Only five minutes later Mandzukic played a long ball to Arjen Robben. The Dutch winger broke through on a counter attack, his shot past Weidenfeller hit the post and Thomas Müller had no problems scoring from the deflection.

Dortmund did not manage a shot on goal in the first-half but after the break came out firing and only Manuel Neuer (and some better finishing) stopped them getting one back. Robert Lewandowski, Hummels and Reus all missed chances within 10 minutes and Bayern sat back and attacked on the break. Indeed, a Robben solo run nearly gave Bayern a 3-0 lead after 65 minutes but Weidenfeller saved well.

With the addition of Gotze (for Leitner), Perisic (for Grosskreutz) and Schieber (for Blaszczykowski) Dortmund risked everything in the last 20 minutes and Lewandowski got one back. The Polish international curled the ball past Dante, who had an impressive debut, and left Neuer without a chance. Schieber and Goetze had good chances to equalise; Bayern however were left unimpressed and held on.

A late penalty appeal by Borussia was rightly ignored by ref Michael Weiner and the match was over. Bayern Munich deservedly took the first title of the season. "Now we have won the first title, I hope many more will follow," said Robben. While coach Jupp Heynckes added: "This was a good test for us. Especially in the first half we played particularly well. Both teams still have room for improvement, but of course psychologically this was a good win for us."

His Dortmund counterpart Jurgen Klopp said: "We overslept the start. The result is ok, we got much better in the second half. Towards the end we had chances to equalise and turn the game around."

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