Bayern Munich were taken to extra time by a durable and resilient Sevilla in front of around 20,000 fans in Budapest before adding the UEFA Super Cup to their Champions League trophy.
The showpiece was watched by supporters inside the 67,000-capacity Puskas Arena, the first major European match to allow fans since the Cornonavirus pandemic forced the game into lockdown.
And they witnessed a hard-fought encounter which saw Sevilla take the lead from the penalty spot on 13 minutes when Lucas Ocampos scored an outrageous “no look” penalty after Ivan Rakitic was bundled over by David Alaba.
Bayern equalised before the break, Leon Goretzka scoring from Robert Lewandowski’s superb touch, with both sides having opportunities to win after the break.
Lewandowski and Leroy Sane saw goals chalked off for Bayern but the biggest chance fell to Sevilla substitute Youssef En-Nesyri in the closing moments, seeing his shot touched away by Manuel Neuer with only the keeper to beat.
Bayern, who last lost in December 2019, clinched victory with substitute Javi Martinez’s 104th-minute header after Sevilla keeper Yassine Bounou could only push out Alaba’s shot.
Bayern Munich had to dig deep for victory but there is a fierce conviction in Hansi Flick’s side that made this win almost inevitable, despite another mammoth effort from Sevilla, who had that great chance late on through En-Nesyri.
The European champions, who left the likes of Alphonso Davies out of their starting line-up, looked a little ring rusty despite opening their defence of the Bundesliga with an 8-0 romp against Schalke.
There were still glimpses of the class and threat of Lewandowski and the pace and directness Sane will bring after his move from Manchester City.
Bayern have the look of a relentless, hungry, winning machine and will once again represent a huge threat to their rivals as they prepare to defend the Champions League crown they won against Paris St-Germain.
This victory makes it 32 games unbeaten in all competitions for the treble winners, while they ended Sevilla’s own 21-game unbeaten run.
It was a game with atmosphere as fans returned to the big European occasion, albeit in vastly reduced numbers and also observing social distancing, wearing masks and undergoing temperature checks before the game.
The decision did not win unanimous approval, with opposition from some local officials in Budapest to the game being staged with fans.
It did add atmosphere as fans of both clubs were in attendance despite the rise in coronavirus cases around Europe, with Bayern fans even indulging in some of the traditional baiting in an attempt to Ocampos off as he prepared to take his penalty.
One thing remained unchanged – Bayern Munich ended up lifting the silverware. [BBC]
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