Dortmund vs Bayern – 3 things we learned from the Super Cup showdown
You sense this match meant more to both managers than they would like to admit. Klopp understandably wanted a response from his men after their mauling at hands of Liverpool at Anfield only a weekend ago. Whilst, Guardiola would have been interested to see how his Bayern side implemented his newly formed 3-5-2 against Dortmund once more after last season’s dramatic German Cup final in which it worked so well for his side. Klopp however was the one who left feeling upbeat as his side showed they are more than ready for another assault on Bayern’s Bundesliga crown by beating Guardiola’s Bayern side comprehensively 2-0 with goals from Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang.
1. Bayern are in need of a leader at the back
It may be a slightly knee-jerk reaction to the result, but a feeling that I’ve been having for a quite some while has again been confirmed after today’s defeat. New signing Bernat is finding his feet in this Bayern side and Hojbjerg isn’t the most comfortable at right wing back, so it doesn’t require much thinking to see that a calm head is required at the back to negotiate Bayern through a stern test such as this one. However, this simply was not the case. Straight from the off the trio of Boateng, Martinez and Alaba were pressed ferociously by Dortmund’s front line – harassed if you will. Here is where Bayern needed to consolidate and accept Dortmund were on top. Yet, the back three of Bayern became anxious on the ball not allowing their midfield to play through the phases, ending up with a starved Lewandowski up front.
Leading on from this came the lack of organisation when the Bayern were faced with the opposition running in behind or penetrating in front. Boateng especially was guilty of losing runners throughout the contest exemplified by Dortmund’s second where Aubameyang (Spiderman) out-jumped the German to head home expertly to all but seal the win.
Long story short Bayern’s defence were in all honesty all over the place and Guardiola will have to take note as the season draws ever closer with Wolfsburg on the horizon. A leader is required in a back three. Right now Bayern haven’t got one.
2. Immobile’s mixed debut
I’m quite jealous of Ciro Immobile. To begin with he has had quite some year. Seria A Top Scorer with Torino; he then got to travel to Rio with Andrea Pirlo and to top it all off he managed to secure a dream move to Borussia Dortmund. Although, what isn’t quite a dream is being asked to replicate the success of Robert Lewandowski after the Poland striker’s free transfer to Bayern.
Far from a one-season wonder (that would hideously premature to call), but Immobile did look ‘Im-mobile’. At the summit of a front three which included ‘Spiderman’ and Hoffman, Immobile was asked to stretch Bayern’s defence which in fairness to him he achieved frequently throughout the fast-paced affair. Box 1 ticked.
Although, as the contest wore on it became apparent Immobile quite have the same technical ability as Dortmund’s former talisman. The ball received into feet, more often than he would of liked, never stuck which became a frustrating spectacle for Immobile himself such was his desire to impress the Yellow Wall upon his home debut. Maybe it’s unfair to compare Immobile to Lewandowski, yet it will be a comparison made by many a Dortmund fan however much they won’t like to admit it.
There is no doubting his willingness to work the channels and run in behind defences, but Immobile needs to improve his link-up play with on-running team mates to truly maximise his efforts. I’m sure this will eventually come as a player of his calibre should mould into Dortmund’s system pretty nicely over the coming weeks as he fully settles into life in Germany.
3.Battle for the title heats up
Last season saw both giants of the German game go their separate ways in the title race after the winter break. Nevertheless, this season is threatening to be far closer. Bayern have strengthened their depth with signings of Rode and Bernat consolidating both defence and midfield rosters, however the marquee summer transfer of Robert Lewandowski from their arch-rivals has so far promised to be one of the transfers of the summer.
In terms of Dortmund’s transfer window I sense Klopp would have been delighted to get his targets in early into the summer. Adrian Ramos, who played a cameo role in the victory over Bayern, is a smart buy from Hertha Berlin where he excelled last season. Expect him to chip in with a fair few across all competitions when Klopp decides to shuffle his pack up top.
Moreover, Mathias Ginter is an excellent addition to the Centre-back positions as he provides back up to Hummels and Subotic whilst gaining valuable top-level experience to accelerate his progression. Look out for him.
Last but not least Ciro Immobile from Torino has the job of being Dortmund’s talismanic figure up front charged with supplying the goals to fire Dortmund to domestic and European success.