Defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich opened the German football season with a steady 2-0 win at Borussia Dortmund in the DFL Supercup on Sunday.
Second half goals from Arturo Vidal and Thomas Muller were the difference in a match that looked for long stretches at the outset like it might go the other way.
Carlo Ancelotti opened his career as Bayern Munich coach with the club’s first Supercup win since 2012 – a game which Pep Guardiola lost three years in a row.
Dortmund had the better of the early going, dominating possession and teeing up first Shinji Kagawa and then Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for chances. Neither could convert.
Dortmund’s new signing from Renne, Ousmane Dembele, also looked lively as he combined at speed with his new teammates in the attacking third.
Bayern were lucky not to be reduced to ten men just before the half-hour mark as Franck Ribery’s temper threatened to get the best of him.
Facing a zealous series of challenges from Dortmund’s Felix Passlack, the winger lashed out with his forearm and caught the young defender in the side of the head.
Referee Tobias Welz decided to show the Frenchman mercy, however, showing him and Passlack yellow for the altercation, as well as cautioning Xabi Alonso for dissent.
Arturo Vidal had a golden chance to break the deadlock with seven minutes left in the first half, but Dortmund keeper Roman Burki saved his close-range header and the Chilean then pushed the rebound over the post.
In the second half, Vidal made good on his missed chance – in similar fashion, but with a different result.
This time, in the 58th minute, the midfielder tested Burki with a low shot from the edge of the area – and again he chased down the rebound.
And he made no mistake with the finish, firing a low shot in past the far post to give the visitors the lead.
Thomas Muller added a second for Bayern’s twenty minutes later when he guided Mats Hummels’ knock-down header off a corner kick into the back of the net.
The former Dortmund defender had looked shaky in the first half, firing a few passes right at the opposition – and appeared to apologise to his Bayern teammates at one point.
The assist was a good way to put a positive stamp on the evening.
At 2-0 down, the game was Dortmund’s to make, but the Bavarians kept a tight lid on proceedings and saw out the result.
Bayern now prepare to travel to Carl-Zeiss Jena in the opening round of the German Cup on Friday, 19 August, while Dortmund return to cup action at Eintracht Trier three days later.
The Bundesliga season begins on Friday, August 26 when Bayern host Werder Bremen.
Dortmund begin at home to Mainz the next day.