The annual curtain-raiser to the German football season, the DFL-Supercup, is being held tonight between DFB-Pokal winners Bayer Leverkusen and Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
Leverkusen beat Fürth 3-1 in a one-sided final back in June to seal their place at tonight’s fixture after a league campaign that saw them finish 5th, some 20 points behind today’s opponents. Munich wrapped up the Bundesliga title with three weeks to go and capped a great season with their 3-0 defeat of Arsenal in the Champions League Final – a campaign that only saw them concede eight goals in thirteen matches.
Bayern were involved in this summer’s largest deal so far, in the sale of Helger Badstuber to Manchester City for a colossal £37.5m. Sami Khedira (Real Madrid) arrived for just over £10m, while Andreas Kühne was signed from Stuttgart for £2.3m. Leverkusen have retained their cup-winning squad, spending a little over £7m to bring in Par Hansson (Helsingsborg), Mohammed Abdellaoue (Hannover), and Jakob Jantscher (Salzburg).
In the pre-season, Leverkusen have won both of their games 3-1 away to second-flight opposition so far – beating Lugano (Switzerland) and AGOVV Apeldoorn (Netherlands). Bayern started their pre-season fixtures with a 2-1 home win over Zenit St Petersburg before a 3-2 victory at Chivas in Los Angeles. Though they may be suffering fatigue after a money-making venture to China saw them beaten 1-0 at Dalian on Thursday night.
In Bundesliga last season these clubs shared the points in a 2-2 draw thanks to Jens Hegler’s last minute equaliser for home-side Leverkbusen, before Mario Gomez scored the only goal of the game in the reverse tie in Munich.
Two confirmed absences for either side tonight – Hajime Hosogai (calf) and Zvoonko Pamic (hernia) for Leverkusen, and Daid Alaba (foot) and Nils Petersen (groin) for Munich.
00′ Leverkusen kick-off in front of a full house here at BayArena, their first Supercup appearance for 20 years.
04′ Ribery cuts inside from left, skips past two defenders and fires a shot from 15 yards. Leno palms away well, Robben can’t get to rebound.
09′ 1-0 LEVERKUSEN. Schürrle floats in a free-kick from near the corner flag and Renato Augusto heads home at the near post.
15′ Kadlec’s in-swinging corner is met at the far post by Wollschied but he’s inches over the top of the bar.
18′ Lars Bender gets a talking to, conceding a free kick in the centre circle for a late foul on Khedira.
18′ 1-1 EQUALISER FOR BAYERN. Ribery goes on a typical run cutting rut across the face of the box, Bender makes a great challenge but knocks the ball to Mario Mandzukic who slots home from six yards out. 1-1!
21′ Ribery in the thick of things again, gets the ball to Mandzukic, scramble in six yard box, balls falls back to an unmarked Ribery who skews his shot wide from four yards out. Must have been harder to miss it.
23′ 2-1 LEVERKUSEN. The hosts counter and Augusto is free down the right, he whips a cross in, met by the head of Stefan Kießling for 2-1.
31′ Khedira has a sight of goal and pulls the trigger, shot deflects off Bender to Mandzukic but he fires straight at Leno.
32′ Handbags break out. Mandzukic was late on Bender. Leverkusen take free kick quickly, give it away and Bender chops Mandzukic down.
32′ Yellow card for Lars Bender following all that.
41′ Leverkusen win a corner when Schweinstiger slides and deflects an Augusto cross off the outside of the post and wide.
43′ Flag stays down for Ribery, played in by Schweinstiger, pokes ball past Leno from 12 yards but it hits the inside of the post and away.
HALF TIME: Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Bayern Munich (DFL-Supercup)
46′ Javi Martinez is cautioned moments after restart. He’s late on Kießling right in front of the ref. Quick yellow card to calm things down.
55′ Few hearts in mouths as Bender and Javi Martinez, both on a yellow, clash in the centre circle. Both up and after the ball though.
72′ Game broken up by offsides and niggly fouls in midfield. Javi Martinez looks like he’s picked up a knock colliding with Renato Augusto.
77′ Two Munich subs: Lahm and Gomez on, replacing Javi Martinez and Rafinha. Keverkusen sub: Abdellaoue makes debut, repl. Jr Fernandes.
85′ Into the final five and Bayern really stepping up the pace in search of an equaliser.
88′ Bayern have a corner and ‘keeper Neuer has come up for it.
88′ Robben whips corner in, Rolfes heads to edge of box, Lahm shot hits Kießling and he’s away. Furthest man forwards. Neuer racing back.
88′ Kießling has five yards over the keeper but he’s hit it from some forty yards towards the unguarded net…
88′ 3-1 LEVERKUSEN! Never in doubt by Stefan Kießling as he surely seals it, ball bouncing over the line from a full forty yards.
90′ Into stoppage time, going to have three minutes of it. Leverkusen on course for their first Supercup victory.
FULL TIME: Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 Bayern Munich (DFL-Supercup)