Bayern beats Dortmund on penalties, wins DFL Supercup

Goalkeeper Ulreich saved two spot-kicks to help Bayern Munich defeat Borussia Dortmund 5-4 on penalties, after the teams were locked 2-2.

Bayern's Robert Lewandowski (left) celebrates with his team-mates after scoring on Saturday.   -  AP

Carlo Ancelott’s Bayern Munich seemed to have been following the wisdom of Pep Guardiola in the early half of its penalty-stage victory over Borussia Dortmund on Sunday. The teams were locked 2-2 before Bayern clinched the tie 5-4 in penalties, helped by two goalkeeping saves from Ulreich.

“In all team sports, the secret is to overload one side of the pitch so that the opponent must tilt its own defence to cope. After doing that, you attack and score from the other side,” Pep Guardiola had said.

On Sunday, Thomas Muller was given a free role behind No. 9 Robert Lewandowski. Muller, Lewandowski, Franck Ribery and make-shift left-back Rafinha combined brilliantly to divert Dortmund’s attention to the right.

Generally, great players respond to the passing of time by trimming their game, but Ribery showed no signs of slowing down, piercing through the Dortmund defence at will. During one such move, Bayern right-back, Joshua Kimmich, made a darting run and, after receiving a pass from Muller, sent a perfect cross to Lewandowski, who tapped in for the equaliser in the 18th minute.

Earlier, Christian Pulisic robbed Javi Martinez of the ball and coolly slotted past Sven Ulreich for the opener in the 12th minute.

Attacking formation

Dortmund coach Peter Bosz continued from where Thomas Tuchel left off by deploying an attacking 4-1-2-3 with Nuri Sahin shielding the defence and the club’s new signing Mahmoud Dahoud and Gonzalo Castro on either side of him. Pulisic (left) and Ousmane Dembele (right) supported Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the attack.

One of the interesting aspects of Bosz’s attacking style was the positioning of the front three during Bayern’s corners. Pulisic, Aubameyang and Dembele were asked to stay near the half-line for a quick counter-attack, and the move also deprived Bayern from pushing more men into the box.

Dortmund enhanced its lead with Aubameyang finishing off a rapid counter-attack with a lovely dink over Ulreich in the 71st minute.

Earlier, Bayern lost its plot when Ancelotti substituted Muller with Kingsley Coman. The Frenchman, who hasn’t been playing consistently, not only struggled to combine with Lewandowski, but also couldn’t move the ball into dangerous areas. Ancelotti had to make amends by bringing in Renato Sanches to support the Frenchman on the right. Bayern looked balanced after the move and made goal-threatening forays into the box.

Dortmund was thwarting all danger and seemed to have done enough but a late own-goal by Lukasz Piszczek forced the game to penalties. Bayern won 5-4 after Ulreich saved two spot kicks in the shootout.

Bayern starts its Bundesliga title defence on August 18 at home to Bayer Leverkusen, while Dortmund goes to Wolfsburg a day later.

The result: Borussia Dortmund 2 (Pulisic 12, Aubameyang 71) drew with Bayern Munich 2 (Lewandowski 18, Piszczek –og 88). Bayern won on penalties 5-4.

The writer is in Dortmund at the invitation of Bundesliga.