Beating Bayern Munich in the German Super Cup gives Wolfsburg, last season’s runner-ups, that something can be done about the dominance of the champions, although winning in a penalty shootout while playing at home isn’t actually anything that indicates a change at the top of German football.
For Bayern Munich, players like Arturo Vidal and Douglas Costa, who cost a combined €67 million, made their debuts, outspending their opponents this summer by more than €50 million. While it might not be enough to beat Wolfsburg in a specific match that doesn’t mean much to champions on most years, it should keep the distance between themselves and the rest of German football at its current length.
Not that Wolfsburg are a bad team. Max Kruse, who came off the bench, should make a big difference this season. Andre Schurrle, who came back to Germany midway through last season, is expected to do more than just one goal in 14 matches. Kevin de Bruyne, another ex-Chelsea player, has been one of the most sought after young stars in Europe this summer.
Arjen Robben, back from injury, scored for Bayern Munich, while Nicklas Bendtner, who has probably found a more or less permanent home in Wolfsburg, equalized in the 89th minute to send the match into a penalty shootout. Xabi Alonso missed his kick, Bendtner scored the decisive one, and Woflsburgh can feel, at least for a week, like the best team in Germany.