The first Der Klassiker of the season goes to Bayern Munich, as the Bavarians have won the DFL-Supercup after beating Borussia Dortmund 3-2 at the Allianz Arena.
Munich would go up two goals after half an hour, as Corentin Tolisso converted on the counter before Thomas Muller headed home from close range.
Dortmund fought back, to their credit, and equalized courtesy of goals right before and right after the halftime break. Julian Brandt rifled a shot into the roof of the net, and Erling Haaland curled the ball into the bottom corner to tie things up.
Bayern would not be denied on the night, though, as Joshua Kimmich managed to grab the winner late on to add yet another title to the team’s already stacked trophy cabinet.
Story of the match
Both teams named interesting starting lineups, with a number of key players benched on either side. Serge Gnabry and the injured Leroy Sane were dropped for Munich, with Thomas Muller used on the right wing. Meanwhile, Dortmund star man Jadon Sancho didn’t start either, which was likely done to give him a bit of rest, but that won’t stop many Manchester United fans from getting their hopes up.
Bayern took the lead 17 minutes in following a breathtaking counter attack. After clearing away a corner, the Bavarians flew forward in numbers. Muller picked out Robert Lewandowksi out wide, who then played a square ball across the area to Corentin Tolisso. The Frenchman’s initial effort hit the bar, but he was able to poke home the rebound from close range.
BVB should have equalized minutes later, as a woeful clearance from Manuel Neuer fell right to Mahmoud Dahoud. His pass to Marco Rues wasn’t ideal, though, and the winger had to take several touches before getting a relatively tame shot off that was saved.
Not taking that chance would cost them, as Munich doubled their advantage at the half hour mark. Alphonso Davies was given too much space out wide, which allowed him to whip in a superb cross towards the back post. Muller rose highest, and placed an inch-perfect header off the post and into the back of the net.
Dortmund responded well, to their credit, and pulled one back with five minutes to go in the first half. The high press paid dividends, as Erling Haaland got the ball high up the pitch before laying it off to Julian Brandt. He made no mistake with the finish, slamming a shot into the back of the net.
They grabbed the equalizer early on in the second half, much to the surprise of many. Thomas Delaney played Haaland through on goal, and the Norwegian was able to curl his shot around Neuer to convert the chance.
However, their efforts would be for naught, as Bayern retook the lead with ten minutes to go. Joshua Kimmich stole the ball in the midfield before playing a give-and-go with Lewandowski. His first shot was saved, but Kimmich was able to somehow poke home the rebound, chipping the ball over the goalkeeper with his left foot while falling over. Some may think the finish was lucky, but it was actually a really clever bit of play from the German international.
Muller thought he had put the contest to bed late on, but his free kick attempt sailed just wide of the target.
That miss would not matter in the end, as Munich held on to secure the win and their fifth trophy of the year.
A different standard
It was a close contest throughout, but Bayern were able to show that they’re still the top team in Germany.
Getting off to a fast start, it seemed like the Bavarians were going to win this game with ease. However, to their credit, Dortmund fought back. They levelled the scoring in the second half, and really should have taken the lead at some stage.
Their lack of experience and composure in front of goal would be what cost them, as Munich grabbed the winner late on courtesy of a strike from Joshua Kimmich.
Der Klassiker is still one of the best rivalries in all of Europe, but it seems Bayern are just on a different level when compared to Dortmund. There’s a chance that could change as the season goes on, but for now, the Bavarians have the advantage.
Man of the match - Joshua Kimmich
It’s starting to seem like Joshua Kimmich is unfair to play against.
He’s genuinely one of the best center midfielders in the world while also being one of the best right backs. How’s that even possible? Kimmich is even an elite lever centerback as well despite his relatively small frame.
Against Dortmund, his attacking abilities were on show. A constant presence in the final third, he found space on the edge of the area on several occasions, but just couldn’t get his attempts on target.
Kimmich would grab his goal before the night was done, and it proved to be the winning one. Driving forward after winning the ball in midfield, his initial effort was saved, but the German somehow managed to finish off the move at the second time of asking, chipping the rebound over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Able to do literally everything out on the field, performances like this continue to show just how good Kimmich has become.