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Sunday , September 15 2019

Dortmund down toothless Bayern to win Super Cup

Dortmund’s Marco Reus lifts up the trophy beside head coach Lucien Favre (left), and Dortmund’s President Reinhard Rauball (right), as he celebrates with teammates after winning the German Super Cup final match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich in Dortmund, Germany on Aug 3. (AP)

Lewandowski questions Bayern’s transfer policy after defeat

BERLIN, Aug 4, (Agencies): English winger Jadon Sancho starred for Borussia Dortmund on Saturday to help his side beat rivals Bayern Munich 2-0 to win their sixth DFL Super Cup and claim early bragging rights in the curtain raiser for the German Bundesliga.

The teenager was the key man, assisting one goal and scoring the other in front of the Dortmund faithful against a Bayern side looking a little lost without departed greats Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.

Lucien Favre’s side tailed off in last season’s title challenge, finishing runners-up to Bayern who clinched a record 29th league trophy and the DFB Pokal. However, they showed their determination to put that right, captain Marco Reus forcing a diving save from Manuel Neuer in the very first minute.

Neuer was then lucky to not be beaten or force the referee to show him a red card when he ran out halfway into his own half after 15 minutes to dive at Paco Alcacer who knocked the ball past the goalkeeper, but it trickled past the open goal.

Alcacer made amends for his miss shortly after halftime. Sancho dazzled the opposition with his footwork on the right before teeing up the Spanish striker on the edge of the box who found the bottom right corner.

Some last ditch defending stopped Bayern from equalising 10 minutes later, with Kingsley Coman, Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski all denied from close range in a matter of seconds.

But it was Sancho who stole the show, doubling Dortmund’s lead after collecting the ball and sprinting from almost the halfway line to slot it expertly past Neuer.

Bayern tried to find openings but were unable to find a way past a stubborn yellow wall, which will this season feature Mats Hummels after his return from Munich. The veteran defender was not able to face his former side due to a knock in training.

For Niko Kovac’s men, the result was a reminder that they have areas in their squad to improve and they will no doubt increase their efforts to land young winger and long term target Leroy Sane from Manchester City.

Dortmund, meanwhile, go some way to make up for their 5-0 capitulation to Bayern in April and go into the new Bundesliga season buoyed by winning the first silverware of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Lewandowski is calling on the club to make high-profile signings that can have an immediate impact rather than players with potential.

Speaking after Bayern’s 2-0 loss, Lewandowski rued the lack of a game-changers among Bayern’s substitutes and appeared to question the club’s transfer policy.

“Sure, the young players on the bench have potential, that’s true – but sometimes you need direct reinforcement from someone who can come in and help the team,” Lewandowski said.

In contrast to Dortmund, which has significantly boosted its squad over the summer, Bayern has only signed French defenders Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez, while Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, James Rodriguez, Mats Hummels and Rafinha have all departed the club. German forward Fiete Arp has arrived from Hamburger SV though it is unclear if he will remain with the club or be loaned out for the season.

Lewandowski had already called on Bayern to make more signings while the team was on its summer tour in the United States.

“My opinion remains the same, because today was precisely the right time where we could have looked and seen what could happen if we had such a professional player ready to come on,” the Polish striker said Saturday.

Bayern is reportedly in talks with Manchester City over Germany forward Leroy Sane. Both Kicker magazine and the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper have reported that Sane has agreed to join the club for what would be a Bundesliga-record sum.

Lewandowski alluded to a lack of confidence among his existing teammates.

“We lost the game ourselves,” he said of Dortmund’s win. “We could have won it but we made too many simple mistakes. In the second half, after the first goal, we weren’t 100% convinced that we could come back from the goal. I think that was the same mistake we made last season. Always when we concede a goal, we try to keep playing but it’s not with 100% belief that we can do it, that we can change the game at the end.”

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