The Bavarians are still without a win under their new head coach.
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund face each other in the DFL-Supercup final on August 18, hoping to clinch the first title of the season. Bayern will head into the final as an eight-time standing champion. But the Bavarians are still searching for a maiden win under coach Julian Nagelsmann after five attempts. In contrast, Borussia Dortmund are off to a flyer after crushing Eintracht Frankfurt 5-2 in their season opener.
Nagelsmann, who joined from RB Leipzig, is yet to taste his first win as the manager of Bayern Munich. The Bavarians were held to a 1-1 draw by Borussia Monchengladbach in their first match of the Bundesliga season. They have also failed to win any of their four pre-season games, putting Nagelsmann under serious pressure heading into the new season’s first title clash.
The 34-year-old is also searching for the first major title of his managerial career and knows that a blunder in the Der Klassiker could prove to be too costly. “It would be nice to win the first title with the first win,” he said in an interaction ahead of the DFL-Supercup final. “It is normal that we need time with the late pre-season preparation. you could see against Gladbach that we have room for improvement,” he quipped.
“But this is an important game, against an opponent, who started well in the league this season. We will try to get a win. Hopefully it will work tomorrow,” he added.
Like the results, there is a contrast in the moods across both camps. While Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann appears weary, Borussia Dortmund boss Marco Rose is ‘incredibly happy’ about the possibility of lifting a trophy with his new club. As his opposite number, a win shall deliver the first major title in Germany for Rose.
That is one of the reasons he is here – “fighting for titles,” said Rose. “When you come here, knowing the history of the club, you want to work towards competing for titles.”
Four different players scored for Dortmund in the 5-2 win over Frankfurt. Erling Haaland scored a brace while also producing three assists. Despite it only being the first game, Rose is excited by the team’s opening-day display and believes they are ready to deliver silverware.
Dortmund’s perfect start to the season has left Bayern boss Nagelsmann worried. While he is yet to complete a training session with the full squad, Dortmund looks well-oiled and in great form.
“They have had a brilliant start to their season,” said Naglesmann when questioned about his side’s DFL-Supercup final opponents. “What will be important is to control the space in front of our defence line. If we lose possession we need to immediately counter-press. We have to avoid deep passes behind the defensive line,” he opined.
“We will try to win balls in our opponent’s half and try to counter attack ourselves,” he added. “Soccer is teamwork so we will try to work as a team tomorrow. Especially in defending against Haaland.”
The 18-year-old Norwegian striker scored a hat-trick to begin the season in the first round of DFB Pokal. Haaland then followed it with a wonderful brace and three assists against Frankfurt, who were blown away 5-2. There seems to be no way to stop the attacker, other than defending as a whole team, feels Julian Nagelsmann.
“We have to control him (Haaland) with the whole team. To do counter-pressing is you lose the ball. They play brilliant balls behind the defence line, it’s not easy to defend him with the pace he has, there should not be a one-on-one situation where he finds space,” warned the Bayern boss.