I get the feeling I’m going to end up seeing a fair bit of Dortmund this season, watching and waiting for Ciro Immobile to settle. Yesterday afternoon was pretty opportune as the German Super Cup was shown and I was off work resting my elbow (which we thought might have been broken, but seems not to be) but I probably shouldn’t have made Mrs Marco sit through the whole game.
So what happened? It was, in truth, like watching the Dortmund side of a couple of years back. Even with a couple of players out – notably Hummels and Sahin – they were able to harry an equally under-strength Bayern side throughout the whole game, pressing them high up the pitch and making the Bundesliga champions look a shadow of what you’d expect.
The first goal, from Mkhtaryan, came from the drive Dortmund were showing, following his own ball into the box and then lashing home when it bounced backwards – the second, Aubameyang, was down to Pisczek’s persistence and a prodigious leap. And all the while Immobile was working his way into decent positions, but never quite looking up to speed.
The same was true of Philipp Lahm, introduced by Guardiola at half-time to sit in front of Bayern’s (experimental) back three. Neither the defensive triumvirate nor the recently retired Germany captain looked anything like comfortable and seeing Lahm booked for a late (and high) challenge on Mkhtaryan was no surprise. In the end, we can’t take too much out of this relatively low-key encounter between two sides that will line up very differently in the Bundesliga though it was clear that Dortmund possess a little more squad depth than last season. Whether its enough for the whole campaign remains to be seen.
One other point of note was the reception Mario Götze was afforded – he warmed up in the tunnel, so much was the anticipation of the turncoat sun appearing his former stomping ground – and was greeted with a cacophony of boos and jeers; moreso even than more recently departed Robert Lewandowski.
Entertainment factor? 7/10