Ancelotti's Bayern send out bold statement for this season
REPORTING FROM DORTMUND
BORUSSIA DORTMUND 0
BAYERN MUNICH 2
(Arturo Vidal 58, Thomas Mueller 79)
At the Signal Iduna Stadium, the formation of an updated version of the Bavarian machine took shape.
Carlo Ancelotti achieved in his first game in charge of Bayern Munich what his predecessor Pep Guardiola couldn't pull off during his three-year reign - a German Super Cup victory.
The lavishly assembled squad turned on the style after a goalless first half, with goals from Arturo Vidal and Thomas Mueller handing arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund a 2-0 defeat yesterday morning (Singapore time).
It might have been merely a curtain-raiser but, in this part of Germany, and especially when these two teams clash, bragging rights are taken seriously.
The deafening roar from the 81,360-capacity crowd as both sets of players entered the field was ample proof that pride mattered most.
Ancelotti, a three-time Champions League winner, made an emphatic statement by naming his strongest possible 11.
Bayern won last season's German Bundesliga by a 10-point margin.
Ancelotti, 57, has largely retained the same squad and added a couple of new gems.
Mats Hummels, 27, was the one the home crowd couldn't bear watching.
His every touch of the ball yesterday morning was met with whistles from the Dortmund fans throughout the match, as they made known their disdain of his defection.
Convincing the former Dortmund captain to switch camps was a coup Bayern supporters couldn't stop talking about.
One of the most elegant and finest centre backs in the world, he is a formidable addition.
When Jerome Boateng, recently named Germany's Footballer of the Year, returns from his injury, Ancelotti will have the central defensive partnership of every manager's dream.
Renato Sanches is the other exciting acquisition that sets the pulse racing. Like Boateng, he was absent because of injury.
He is the 18-year-old Portuguese who operates in midfield like a wily old fox, as he showed during his country's recent Euro 2016 triumph.
To think Ancelotti will also soon have Arjen Robben, Holger Badstuber and Douglas Costa back for selection.
Dortmund, last season's Bundesliga runners-up and widely seen as Bayern's toughest rivals again this campaign, have a mountain to climb.
They did enough to suggest they won't be pushovers.
But coach Thomas Tuchel will be consumed by the task of integrating eight new players into his squad.
They probably should have drawn first blood at home yesterday morning though.
Striker Pierre Emerick Aubameyang found his way through on goal inside nine minutes, but his goal-bound shot was deflected out for a throw-in by Javi Martinez.
Ousmane Dembele and Adrian Ramos, too, had gilt-edged chances to score after him, but Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer proved to be unbeatable on the day.
At times, there seemed to be a certain sense of pre-season rustiness to Dortmund's play.
Then just like that, Bayern returned from the break functioning at a couple of notches higher.
Vidal broke the deadlock in the 58th minute, thumping home after Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki had blocked the initial attempt.
Then Mueller "The Raumdeuter" struck, sneaking into the penalty box to sweep the ball though Burki's legs to double their lead with 11 minutes remaining.
The job was completed. At the final whistle, the Bayern players revelled in the win in scenes not unlike a European night.
In celebration, the entire team slid on the turf - twice - towards the 10,000-odd Bayern fans mostly located in the south of the arena.
Philipp Lahm leapt over the advertising boards to throw his jersey into the crowd, before Franck Ribery and Robert Lewandowski followed suit.
By then, all the singing was done by the Bayern faithful.
Ancelotti's men have laid down the marker for Germany and, probably, the whole of Europe too.
This team are already very, very strong. I’m just trying to bring in my own, new ideas, but the team are already very good. Now we have another 10 days in which we can prepare for the new season. We’re very happy.
— Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti