Julian Nagelsmann claimed his first piece of silverware at Bayern Munich as Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller secured a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in the DFL-Supercup.
In a frantic encounter between the Bundesliga champions and DFB-Pokal winners at Signal Iduna Park, it was Bayern who defended their crown in the third straight Supercup meeting between the Klassiker rivals.
Lewandowski broke Gerd Muller’s long-standing Bundesliga record of 40 goals in a single season with the final kick of 2020-21, and he fittingly opened the scoring two days after the Bayern great’s passing.
Muller put Bayern in complete control and, though Marco Reus’ stunner gave Dortmund hope, Lewandowski capitalised on Manuel Akanji’s error to seal victory.
Dortmund were their own worst enemy from the off, with Serge Gnabry, Muller and Kingsley Coman all squandering gilt-edged chances after sloppy play from Marco Rose’s team.
Yet it was Manuel Neuer who made the first save of the match. Hailed as “the best goalkeeper in the world” by Nagelsmann, the Bayern stalwart stuck out a leg to spectacularly deny Reus.
Dortmund were caught cold from a free-kick as the intensity continued, Lewandowski’s effort blocked on the line by Axel Witsel.
Youssoufa Moukoko, the youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history, thought he had nosed Dortmund ahead in the 36th minute only for the offside flag to halt his celebrations, before Neuer kept out Erling Haaland.
Bayern made their fortune count, Lewandowski floating into the area to direct a thumping header beyond Gregor Kobel.
Lewandowski was involved again as, four minutes after the break, Bayern doubled their lead, the striker doing enough to prevent Kobel from collecting Alphonso Davies’ cross, with Muller turning home.
Dortmund seemed to have an immediate lifeline when Haaland raced through and slotted home, but the offside flag again came to Bayern’s rescue.
Bayern’s lead was cut in sensational style after the hour, Reus curling a sumptuous first-time strike into the top-right corner.
Despite the backing of much of the limited-capacity crowd, Dortmund’s comeback hopes fell flat 16 minutes from time as Corentin Tolisso pressured Akanji and Lewandowski picked up the scraps to round matters off.
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) August 17, 2021
What does it mean? Nagelsmann gets his first trophy
Only back in May, Nagelsmann’s RB Leipzig side were thrashed by Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal showdown, as the 34-year-old’s first coaching appearance in a final fell flat. Yet Bayern, under his tutelage, perhaps laid down a marker for what is to come this term, despite the loss of some club stalwarts in the form of Jerome Boateng, David Alaba and Javi Martinez.
It is Nagelsmann’s first trophy as a coach, while Bayern have now won the Supercup on nine occasions, three more than Dortmund, who are their nearest rivals in that regard. It was not always convincing on Tuesday, with Dortmund creating plenty of chances, but the Bavarians just had too much quality at the other end.
Lewandowski close to replicating the late Muller once more
Gerd Muller’s passing over the weekend was felt greatly not only by Bayern, but German football, and there was an emotional tribute before kick-off at Signal Iduna Park.
Lewandowski overtook the Bayern legend as the player with the most goals (41) in a single Bundesliga season with his remarkable 2020-21 efforts, and the Poland star has now netted in 14 consecutive games across all competitions, meaning another Muller record is in his sights, Der Bomber having scored in 16 successive matches in 1969-70.
Haaland comes up short, but not for a lack of trying
Dortmund’s star striker kicked off his Bundesliga campaign with two goals and two assists against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, though the youngster could not get on the scoresheet this time around, despite what was by no means a below-par performance.
He was denied brilliantly by Neuer in the first half, just adjudged to have strayed offside when he netted after half-time, before he teed up substitute Donyell Malen only for the Netherlands forward to be caught unawares. Haaland, like Lewandowski at the other end, had 34 touches, yet whereas the Norwegian managed only two attempts, his counterpart had six.
Dortmund travel to Freiburg on Saturday, while Nagelsmann will get his first taste of the Allianz Arena as a home coach when Bayern host Cologne a day later.
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