While the 2016-17 English Premier League season kicked off last weekend, fans and supporters around the globe will see the German and Spanish campaigns begin during the coming days. Before those festivities take place, the country’s respective Super Cups offer title-winning clubs from last season their first crack at silverware.
While all involved may be looking ahead to their first league matches, the Super Cups can be a stepping stone for success that sets a team up for a strong season ahead.
In Germany, Bayern Munich met longtime rival Borussia Dortmund on Sunday. In Spain, Barcelona and Sevilla FC met over two legs on Sunday and Wednesday to decide a winner.
We look at how Bayern Munich and Barcelona triumphed in their respective matches.
Germany: Bayern Munich 2 – Borussia Dortmund 0
Borussia Dortmund came into the German Super Cup looking for revenge from last season.
BVB had one of the greatest league performances in Bundesliga history, only to see their impressive 78 points in the standings fall ten short of champions Bayern Munich.
If that wasn’t enough motivation, Bayern also defeated Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal final to capture the 11th double in club history for the Bavarian side.
Unfortunately, the Super Cup match picked up right where this script left off.
Despite a strong first half that featured several scoring chances, Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel saw his squad fail to keep the same intensity level going throughout. Opportunities were wasted and the match was kept scoreless heading into halftime.
Bayern controlled most of the possession in the second half and midfielder Arturo Vidal took over the proceedings, eventually finding a goal in the 58th minute to gain a 1-0 lead. Thomas Muller provided a second goal in the 79th minute to seal the victory, as new manager Carlo Ancelotti captured the first trophy for his new club.
The absence of Mario Gotze for Dortmund in this match was curious, as supporters and pundits were fully expecting him to play against his former team. His ability to create space and finish scoring chances perhaps could have provided a different result in this contest.
Spain: Barcelona 5 – Sevilla 0 (aggregate score)
Barcelona picked up their record 12th Spanish Super Cup on Wednesday night with a dominant performance over two legs, defeating Sevilla 5-0 on aggregate.
Coming off of a 2-0 win in the first match at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Barcelona kept the pressure going on Wednesday at the Camp Nou, with a goal from Turkish international Arda Turan in the 10th minute of the contest.
A handball from defender Samuel Umtiti resulted in a penalty kick for Sevilla and one last chance to get themselves back in contention. But goalkeeper Claudio Bravo came up with an excellent save on Vicente Iborra’s effort from the spot and it was essentially all she wrote for Los Nervionenses.
Turan and the mercurial Lionel Messi each added a goal in the second half, providing yet another piece to Barcelona’s glittering trophy cabinet. Sevilla did not mount much of an attack throughout, and manager Jorge Sampaoli has much work to do in preparing the squad for the 2016-17 La Liga season.
After a UEFA Super Cup loss last week to fellow Spanish club Real Madrid, Sevilla did not find a confidence boost in any way leading up to Saturday’s opening league match against Espanyol.
Barcelona, on the other hand, look in fine form heading into Saturday’s home encounter with Real Betis. And with Neymar finding two goals in getting Brazil to the Olympic finals against Germany, Wednesday was a good day on both sides of the Atlantic for the Blaugrana.
Roy Emanuel, TFN International Correspondent on 19/08/2016 at 13:01
Follow Roy on Twitter @roy13a