First Romelu Lukaku. Now Alexis Sanchez?

Lukaku left Manchester United for Inter and former team-mate Sanchez could join the powerhouse Belgian in Milan.

Antonio Conte's Inter are set to be active before the transfer window closes.

 

TOP STORY – SANCHEZ SET FOR INTER

Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez has agreed terms with Inter, according to Sky Italia.

Sanchez has endured a nightmare spell since joining United from Premier League rivals Arsenal in 2018, managing just five goals in all competitions.

While United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has publicly declared Sanchez will play a significant role this season, the Chilean is reportedly poised to join former Red Devils striker Romelu Lukaku at Inter.

 

ROUND-UP 

- Real Madrid will make a late €65million (£60m) bid to sign Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen, The Sun reports. The Danish star has been linked to Atletico Madrid and Juventus, while Madrid have been talking to Ajax about Donny van de Beek as they struggle to prise Paul Pogba from Manchester United.

- Le Parisien says Neymar remains convinced he will leave Paris Saint-Germain before the transfer window shuts. It comes as Sport claims Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has taken command to re-sign the Brazilian, who left for a world-record fee in 2017.

- According to the Mirror, Manchester United are ready to pay defender Marcos Rojo to leave Old Trafford. With two years remaining on his contract, Rojo was linked with a deadline-day move to Everton. The Argentina international is now reportedly pushing for a loan switch to Turkish giants Fenerbahce.

Bayern Munich want to re-sign Mario Mandzukic from Juventus, claims Bild. Mandzukic spent two years at Bayern, where he won back-to-back Bundesliga titles and the Champions League.

- It comes as Soccerlink reports Serie A champions Juve have turned to Lyon forward Moussa Dembele, with Inter outcast Mauro Icardi proving difficult to sign.

Napoli are preparing to relaunch a €60m bid to sign Icardi, according to Corriere dello Sport. Juventus are willing to offer Paulo Dybala in a swap deal but Inter are reluctant to deal with the Bianconeri. Napoli are also reportedly set to complete the signing of PSV's Hirving Lozano, who will undergo a medical on Wednesday.

AC Milan have asked Tottenham for full-back Serge Aurier on loan with an option to buy, claims Soccerlink.

Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre said his Bundesliga hopefuls can get even better following their 5-1 demolition of Augsburg.

Last season's runners-up Dortmund recorded their biggest-ever opening-day victory in the club's 52 seasons in the Bundesliga thanks to Saturday's rout of visiting Augsburg.

Florian Niederlechner gave Augsburg a shock first-minute lead, but that advantage was wiped out by Dortmund's Paco Alcacer two minutes later at Signal-Iduna Park.

It was one-way traffic from that point as Dortmund – who surrendered a nine-point lead to Bayern Munich last season – pilled on four unanswered goals in the second half via Jadon Sancho, captain Marco Reus, Alcacer and Julian Brandt.

"We upped the tempo in the second period, which was very good," Favre told Sky. "The result was then clear and deserved. But we also still have a few things to work on.

"We want to get better every day. What's important for me is that the players make progress – both individually and collectively too.

Reus, who scored Dortmund's third goal 12 minutes into the second half, added: "There was a lot of excitement to be playing our first game at home. The stadium was sold out and the fans were immense once again; especially after we went 1-0 down, they were extremely loud.

"We never doubted we could win this match. It obviously wasn't all perfect, we would've liked to have gone 2-1 up before the interval. At the break we said we needed to play with more purpose. That's how we then created our chances.

"The fact we were playing towards the South Stand in the second half gave us the push we needed, as it always does. You get the feeling you can apply even more pressure, that you're more on your game. We're happy we scored four goals in front of the South Stand."

Germany international Nico Schulz made his Bundesliga debut for Dortmund, alongside fellow new signings Mats Hummels and Thorgan Hazard, after arriving from Hoffenheim in the off-season.

"That was a very, very good start," Schulz said. "We went about the match the way we'd set out to. We kept our cool after conceding and we're delighted to get our first three points. We went 2-1 ahead relatively early and we had more space after that. Then it got slightly easier for us.

"The chants by the fans are an honour for me, of course. Obviously, the best way to pay them back will be with my performances."

The Premier League window may have already closed, but Manchester United and Manchester City are still in the headlines.

After going head-to-head for Harry Maguire, the two Manchester clubs are reportedly eyeing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

This rumour will not go away anytime soon.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED AND CITY BATTLING FOR SANCHO

According to the Daily Mail, Sancho will leave Dortmund at the end of the season as rivals United and City do battle for the England international.

Sancho was reportedly on United's list of targets during the off-season, but Dortmund were unwilling to sell their 19-year-old star.

The English talent has flourished since joining Dortmund from Premier League champions City in 2017, and the Daily Mail claims the Bundesliga club are already looking for replacements.

 

ROUND-UP 

- Inter are considering a move for Man United's Alexis Sanchez after missing out on Edin Dzeko, reports Gianlucadimarzio.com. Bosnian striker Dzeko signed a new contract with Roma and Inter are now looking for alternatives, including Sanchez, free agent Fernando Llorente, Eintracht Frankfurt star Ante Rebic and Arkadiusz Milik, who could be used in a swap involving Mauro Icardi.

- According to le10sport, Ajax, AC Milan and Lille are among the clubs interested in Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo. The 19-year-old arrived from Toulouse in January.

- Brescia have offered former Juventus and Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio a two-year deal, reports Sky Sport Italia and other outlets in the country. Marchisio is a free agent after leaving Zenit and the 33-year-old could be joined at Brescia by Mario Balotelli.

- Sport claims Barcelona are prepared to sell midfielder Arturo Vidal for €20million as the Chile international continues to be linked to Inter and a reunion with former Juve boss Antonio Conte.

- According to Corriere dello Sport, Napoli and Juve are the only options for Inter outcast Icardi following Dzeko's Roma renewal.

- James Rodriguez may not leave Real Madrid following an injury to Eden Hazard, according to reports. James had been tipped to join either Napoli or Atletico Madrid, but the Colombia star is in Madrid's squad for their LaLiga opener at Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Halfway through last season, Borussia Dortmund were in pole position to dethrone Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.

The new year saw Lucien Favre's bright young side falter just enough for Bayern's know how to tell, with Niko Kovac's men claiming a seventh successive top-flight crown.

But it means the anticipation is for a memorable tussle once again this time around, with the processions of recent campaigns hopefully a thing of the past. Throw in an ambitious chasing pack and you have quite a spectacle.

Before the first ball is kicked, five Omnisport journalists have put their necks on the line with some top-four predictions.

We totted up the overall scores and here's what we came up with. Apologies in advance to all at Signal Iduna Park…

 

1st – Borussia Dortmund

Unlike our near-unanimous choice for Manchester City to be Premier League champions, the panel was understandably split down the middle over who will prevail out of Dortmund and Bayern. BVB just got the edge.

STRENGTHS: Wonderful attacking quality, expertly coached by Favre, which is now bolstered by the arrivals of Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard. The returning Mats Hummels – alongside the likes of the talismanic Marco Reus and Axel Witsel – ensures a pleasing blend between experience and future stars.

WEAKNESSES: Can they handle the pressure better than last time around? Hummels is a fine addition but has a significant job on his hands to shore up a vulnerable defence in front of the gifted but error-prone Roman Burki.

2nd – Bayern Munich

Despite an unconvincing close season in the transfer market, defined by the unseemly Leroy Sane saga, it remains hard to back against the Bundesliga's dominant force. But we have!

STRENGTHS: Supreme title-winning pedigree and, although lacking some of the depth they would like, the best collection of individual players in the league. Robert Lewandowski is going for a fifth Torjagerkanone, while there are signs Manuel Neuer might be back to his best.

WEAKNESSES: Light in attack after the departures of club greats Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben. Significant doubts remain over whether Kovac is the right man from the job, seemingly from the terraces to boardroom level. As such, Uli Hoeness' mooted departure as chairman could lead to turmoil.

3rd – RB Leipzig

German football's new kids on the block were the only other a unanimous choice to finish inside the top four.

STRENGTHS: Julian Nagelsmann has cast himself as a generational coaching talent and should be the man to take last season's beaten DFB-Pokal finalists on to the next level. They have bought shrewdly by bringing in the likes of Christopher Nkunku and Ademola Lookman.

WEAKNESSES: The distraction of star forward Timo Werner entering the final year of his contract. Adapting to Nagelsmann's detailed pressing system is likely to be a challenge.

4th – Bayer Leverkusen

Peter Bosz's time in charge of Dortmund might have ended abruptly but he is doing plenty to convince with a vibrant Leverkusen side.

STRENGTHS: Kai Havertz scored 20 goals in all competitions last season and is a superstar-in-waiting. They have bought well, with Moussa Diaby an exciting replacement for Brandt. The arrival of Hoffenheim duo Kerem Demirbay and Nadiem Amiri also strengthens Bosz's hand significantly.

WEAKNESSES: The coach's system is always likely to lead to defensive vulnerability and there is a lack of quality cover for Jonathan Tah and Sven Bender at centre-back.

Thirteen weeks on from lifting the Bundesliga for a seventh successive year, Bayern Munich begin their latest title defence with a home match against Hertha Berlin on Friday.

Bayern have strengthened their defence during the close season, but they are a little light in attack following the departures of Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and James Rodriguez.

Will that give other teams, namely last term's runners-up Borussia Dortmund, an opportunity to catch Niko Kovac's side?

The transfer window does not shut until September 2 but, ahead of the opening round of fixtures, we look at the five best signings made by Bundesliga clubs.

 

5. Ademola Lookman (RB Leipzig)

Following the success of Jadon Sancho at Dortmund, German clubs are desperate to get their hands on the next young British talent.

Others have followed in the steps of Sancho, including Rabbi Matondo, Ethan Ampadu, Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson, each with the aim of making a name for themselves on foreign shores.

Lookman is no stranger to doing exactly that, having starred for Leipzig during a spell on loan at Red Bull Arena in 2018 when playing a direct part in eight goals across his 11 Bundesliga appearances.

First-team opportunities were few and far between on his return to Everton, but he now has a chance to truly kickstart his career after a permanent deal worth a reported €25million was agreed between the clubs.

 

4. Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen)

Awarded the Titi d’Or award in 2016 - given to the player deemed the most promising in Paris Saint-Germain's academy - Diaby was expected to go on and become a key member in PSG's first-team squad.

Following a brief spell on loan with Crotone in 2017-18, Diaby returned to the Parc des Princes and started 10 Ligue 1 matches last season, scoring two goals and setting up six more.

He further enhanced his reputation with France at the Under-20 World Cup, but with competition from the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Angel Di Maria and Julian Draxler in the wide positions, he opted to move to Leverkusen.

Having also brought in Kerem Demirbay from Hoffenheim in a reported €28m deal, not many sides will have more creative midfield talents than Leverkusen this season.


3. Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Dortmund)

Dortmund were quick off the mark with their transfer dealings, using the cash from Christian Pulisic's £58m sale to Chelsea to bolster their squad from front to back.

Less than a week after the 2018-19 campaign finished, Hazard and Julian Brandt arrived at Dortmund on five-year deals from Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen respectively on the same day.

Brandt boasts plenty of Bundesliga experience from his five years with Bayer and represented Germany at the 2018 World Cup. 

It is arguably the capture of Hazard that is the more exciting of the two, though. The Belgian attacking midfielder registered double figures for both goals and assists in the top flight last season and he will provide BVB with some additional creativity.

 

2. Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich)

Like Dortmund, Bayern did not hang around to get their biggest pieces of transfer business - to date, at least - out of the way early on as they completed deals for French defenders Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard before last season was even over.

Pavard arrives from Stuttgart for around €35m and Lucas makes the switch from Atletico Madrid for a mammoth €80m.

Bayern now have both of the starting full-backs from France's World Cup-winning campaign, and in Lucas they have a player capable of playing on the left or in central defence, where he is most likely to feature during his time at the Allianz Arena.

He missed all of Bayern's pre-season programme but has now recovered from knee surgery and is expected to slot in alongside Niklas Sule in the early weeks of the season.


1. Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund)

Dortmund led the way at the top of the Bundesliga for a large part of last season, only to slip away when the going got tough.

The return of experienced defender Hummels in the heart of defence could potentially be the missing piece in the jigsaw for Lucien Favre's side, then, with BVB finishing just two points behind Bayern last time around.

He returns to Signal Iduna Park for a reported fee of €31m and has plenty of title-winning experience that he can put to good use, making Bayern's decision to sell him to a direct rival somewhat surprising - and one that could potentially backfire come next May.

Mats Hummels has made one return in recent months by going back to Borussia Dortmund, and he is still open to the possibility of playing for Germany again.

World Cup winner Hummels, along with then Bayern Munich team-mates Jerome Boateng and Thomas Muller, was informed by Joachim Low earlier this year that he would not be considered for international selection going forward.

However, Hummels appears to harbour no ill feeling towards Low as he remains receptive to a call-up in the future.

For now, the 30-year-old centre-back is not giving the possibility too much thought.

"If I'm allowed to put on the Germany shirt again at some point, I would not resist it," he told Kicker.

"I do not have that option at the moment and will use the international break for other purposes. But I'll be playing for a few more years, so let's just see what happens."

Hummels moved back to Dortmund in this transfer window in a reported €38m switch from Bayern, where he had won three Bundesliga titles in three seasons.

Dortmund were champions twice previously with Hummels in the side, but he admits there is a mentality he hopes to bring back to BVB that might have been missing as they collapsed in the 2018-19 title race.

"It has to be acknowledged that the winning mentality in Munich is not the worst, as can be seen for more than 40 years," he said.

"However different the cultures of the clubs are, it must be my goal to bring this attitude even more in Dortmund now."

Werder Bremen have signed Borussia Dortmund centre-back Omer Toprak on a season-long loan with an option to buy to further strengthen their defence ahead of the new Bundesliga season.

Toprak was a regular in the Dortmund side of 2017-18 but fell out of favour last season, making just one Bundesliga start as Lucien Favre's side narrowly missed out on the title.

He becomes the second defender to join Florian Kohfeldt's side in the close-season, after fellow centre-back Marco Friedl arrived in a €3.35million deal from Bayern Munich.

Dortmund announced that Werder have "agreed a purchase option as part of the deal, which will take effect under realistic circumstances".

Turkey international Toprak, 30, started his career at Freiburg where he helped the club to 2. Bundesliga glory before joining Bayer Leverkusen for €3m in June 2011.

Dortmund paid €12m to take him to Signal Iduna Park in June 2017, and his most recent appearance came in a DFL-Supercup victory over Bayern Munich on August 3.

Kohfeldt told Werder's official website: "Omer is a fast centre-back who has played at the highest level for years. We are very glad that he has decided to join us.

"He last played a very strong game in the Supercup against Bayern and can help us directly."

Bayern Munich will begin their defence of the DFB-Pokal without midfielder Javi Martinez after head coach Niko Kovac confirmed the Spain international is out with a knee injury.

Martinez was missing from Bayern's squad for the 2-0 DFL-Supercup defeat to Borussia Dortmund and has been ruled out of the trip to Energie Cottbus on Monday.

The 30-year-old's last appearance came during Bayern's 6-1 Audi Cup win over Fenerbahce in July and Kovac said he would not make the trip to Cottbus.

"Everyone's available apart from Javi," Kovac told reporters.

"Javi Martinez fell on his knee and was in pain, so we're not taking any risks."

Kovac indicated that close-season signing Lucas Hernandez would not be rushed back into action following his recovery from knee surgery.

"We're taking things slow with Lucas," Kovac, whose side get their Bundesliga campaign underway on Friday when Hertha BSC travel to Allianz Arena, said of the former Atletico Madrid defender.

The Bayern coach said his players would take nothing for granted against Cottbus, who were relegated to the fourth tier of German football at the end of 2018-19 season.

"The atmosphere in the team is good, the boys get along - on and off the pitch," said Kovac.

"Cottbus were unfortunately relegated from the third league and we know how difficult it is to play in Cottbus.

"We have two titles to defend and that's what we want to do. You don't achieve anything by sitting back and doing nothing. It's better to get things done sooner rather than later."

Shinji Kagawa has left Borussia Dortmund to join Real Zaragoza in Spain's second tier on a permanent deal.

The 30-year-old Japan international has signed a two-year contract at La Romareda, as Los Manos prepare for a seventh successive season away from the top flight.

Attacking midfielder Kagawa joined Dortmund in 2014 for a second spell at the club following an underwhelming-two-year stay at Manchester United.

Initially his return to Dortmund went to plan, playing regularly and often impressing in his first couple of years.

But he fell out of favour in the 2016-17 campaign and has failed to turn things around, featuring just twice in the Bundesliga last term before being sent out on loan to Besiktas.

Kagawa had been linked with clubs in LaLiga, particularly Celta Vigo, however a move did not materialise and he has dropped down a tier.

Zaragoza will hope Kagawa proves to be the arrival who inspires a return to the top flight, having been relegated in 2012-13 as an inevitable consequence of years of financial mismanagement.

 

Barcelona are still hopeful of bringing Neymar to Camp Nou, but Real Madrid's interest is rising as they give up on Paul Pogba.

Neymar, 27, is set to leave Paris Saint-Germain this close season, two years after joining the Ligue 1 champions from Barcelona for a world-record €222million.

While a return to Barca has been mooted, Madrid are also seemingly interested after accepting they are unlikely to land Pogba from Manchester United.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA HOPEFUL OVER NEYMAR, CONVINCED MADRID ARE INTERESTED

Barcelona are still eyeing a move for Neymar, but the LaLiga champions are convinced rivals Real Madrid are also chasing the Brazilian, according to AS.

The report says Barca believe the forward will definitely leave PSG, who do not want to loan or sell Neymar to them because of a fractured relationship between the clubs.

AS report that Barcelona feel PSG are still hoping Madrid will make a late bid for Neymar.

According to Globo Esporte, Real Madrid are ready to use Gareth Bale and Keylor Navas as part of the deal.

Barcelona want Neymar to publicly state his desire to return to the club and they will offer Philippe Coutinho to PSG as part of a deal, according to Sport.

ROUND-UP

Real Madrid's intensified interest in Neymar comes as they accept their chances of signing Pogba from Manchester United are "practically zero", according to AS, after the Premier League club failed to sign a potential replacement for the France international before their window shut.

Coutinho may not have returned to the Premier League, but Barcelona still want to see the playmaker depart. Sport say PSGJuventus and Bayern Munich are the most likely destinations for the former Liverpool star.

Luka Modric was reportedly set to be offered to PSG by Real Madrid as part of a deal for Neymar. However, the Croatia international's camp has told AS the midfielder is not leaving the Santiago Bernabeu.

- Despite giving up on Pogba, Real Madrid still need to strengthen in midfield. Ajax star Donny van de Beek remains the most likely option for Zinedine Zidane, according to AS, but they are waiting amid a potential move for Neymar.

- Manchester United opted against signing a replacement for Romelu Lukaku, who left for Inter. The Times report the Premier League club ended talks with Juventus over striker Mario Mandzukic due to the £14m (€15.2m) valuation being deemed too high. Borussia Dortmund are interested in the Croatian, according to Corriere dello Sport.

- Mario Balotelli is a step away from joining Flamengo. According to Gianluca Di Marzio, the Italian striker has reached a salary agreement with the Brazilian club, but work is still being done relating to image rights.

Mario Gotze believes his 2014 World Cup-winning goal for Germany was "not that great" for his career, conceding it created "huge" expectations.

Borussia Dortmund star Gotze, then of rivals Bayern Munich, was long tipped to be one of the world's very best and had a decisive impact in the biggest match of his life when he scored the only goal of the final against Argentina at the Maracana.

But having failed to kick on in the subsequent years, returning to Dortmund and falling out of favour with the national team amid a metabolic disorder that sidelined him for five months, Gotze acknowledges the expectation became too much.

"Once I stop playing, it will probably be the experience I cherish most, the first thing that comes to mind," he told The Athletic. "There is nothing more amazing [than the final goal].

"But for my active career, it was not that great, perhaps. The strong emotional response created huge expectations.

"It became lodged in people's minds that I was the guy to score decisive goals in decisive games all the time. That was the assumption out there."

Rather than concerning himself continuing to try to live up to those expectations, though, Gotze is content with first performing for Dortmund.

"It would be great to play another big [international] tournament, but it's not my target right now," he added.

"My priority is to reach my personal goals with Dortmund. I can't influence anything else. There is always an element of luck involved in getting called up."

Gotze believes he can enjoy his football under Lucien Favre, while he gives little thought to the idea he has failed to fulfil huge potential.

"I'm doing well, I'm relaxed, I'm very cool," he said. "In any job, it's important that you're feeling comfortable, that your body works and that you can find your inner balance.

"The most important thing for me right now is to enjoy playing football. I want to relish the experience in the knowledge that many things tend to happen over the course of a season. To deal with these situations, to appreciate them, that's the trick.

"What does 'doing justice to your potential' mean? I'm not a big fan of imagining what could have been. There is no point.

"All I can do is to stay true to myself and to the journey I'm on. I want to grow, I want to improve, I want to achieve the maximum possible at any given moment.

"I want to be able to say that I went my own way at the end and performed to the very limit of my ability."

Axel Witsel was left revelling in the fear of Bayern Munich's defence after claiming they were "scared" of Jadon Sancho in Borussia Dortmund's 2-0 DFL-Supercup win on Saturday.

Dortmund looked the more threatening and inventive side for much of the game in Germany's traditional curtain-raiser, with Paco Alcacer and Sancho getting the goals.

Sancho also set up the opener, dazzling the Bayern defence on a solo run, before teeing up Alcacer for a sweeping finish from the edge of the box.

England international Sancho picked up from where he left off last season, when he scored 12 Bundesliga goals and recorded a league-high 14 assists.

Dortmund managed to see off reported interest from Manchester United to keep the winger, and on the evidence of Saturday's match, Sancho will be tormenting Bundesliga defences again this term.

"Jadon is damn talented," Witsel told reporters. "Even Bayern's defenders are scared when he has the ball.

"But that's normal, because Jadon just has a lot of quality. He is fast, technically strong and he can score goals as well as putting his team-mates in the spotlight. He really is a complete player."

Despite the relatively comfortable nature of the victory, Witsel was not getting carried away and was adamant Bayern's form will pick up.

"It is a good sign, but we have to keep working hard," he added. "Before the game, we said we are quite self-confident.

"If you're playing against Bayern and you're not self-confident, like we were in April [when Bayern won 5-0], then you have no chance. You cannot win if you do not play [in a positive fashion] against Bayern.

"It will be a very long season and, in the end, Bayern are still Bayern. That means we have to get back to work."

Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac lamented his team's mistakes and wastefulness in their DFL-Supercup defeat to Borussia Dortmund, though he was not dissatisfied with the performance.

Dortmund claimed the DFL-Supercup with a 2-0 win on Saturday, Paco Alcacer and Jadon Sancho preventing Bayern from winning the German season's curtain-raiser for a fourth consecutive year.

Thiago Alcantara gifted possession to Sancho, who set up Alcacer for the 48th-minute opener, before the England international scored a goal of his own with 21 minutes remaining.

Reflecting on the result, which saw Kingsley Coman denied twice, Kovac told reporters: "Of course, we're sad we lost the match today. I think we turned in a decent display, not a very good one, but decent.

"We were dominant, we made two mistakes Dortmund capitalised on. We failed to take our chances, which is why we lost the match.

"We're in the fourth week of pre-season. It was the first match where everyone played 90 minutes, you can't expect more in this situation. I'm not dissatisfied, of course it wasn't an outstanding performance.

"We must take our chances and not play into Dortmund's hands, losing the ball and allowing counters."

Bayern star Joshua Kimmich added: "They won deservedly, even if they weren't better. We saw two very weak teams in the first half. We attacked in the second half and immediately conceded a goal.

"Dortmund presented us with a lot of mistakes. The problem was that we made even more mistakes and that Dortmund made the most of these mistakes. The level wasn't so high because both teams made many mistakes."

Dortmund looked the brighter and more imaginative of the two sides for much of the clash and coach Lucien Favre – whose team finished two points adrift of Bayern in the Bundesliga last season – said: "We absolutely wanted to win this match.

"Bayern were very strong and had a lot of possession; 65 per cent I think, that's a lot. Nonetheless, we created clear goalscoring chances and defended patiently and very compactly. We performed very, very well."

"If things continue like that until the end of the season, I'll take it," Dortmund's Marco Reus added. "It was a good start today. It goes without saying that the match is not a real benchmark for the season. But it was still a spectacular game, we were more effective today and deserved to get the victory too."

Jadon Sancho grabbed a goal and an assist to inspire Borussia Dortmund to a 2-0 win over Bayern Munich in the DFL-Supercup, ending Die Roten's recent dominance of the German season's curtain-raiser.

Lucien Favre's men looked the brighter and more imaginative of the two sides for much of the contest and their display – led by the excellent Sancho and Paco Alcacer – suggests the Bundesliga is set for another tight tussle at the top of the table.

Although Bayern survived Dortmund's lightning start, Alcacer finally opened the scoring in the 48th minute.

Niko Kovac's side piled forward in search of an equaliser and Sancho – who set up the first goal after a solo run – finished things off on the break, preventing Bayern from winning the title for a fourth year in succession.

Dortmund showed no sign any of pre-season rustiness and almost produced a devastating start, as Raphael Guerreiro's cutback found Marco Reus and he forced a vital save from Manuel Neuer inside the first minute.

Bayern's goalkeeper was nearly the villain soon after, wildly rushing 40 yards out of his goal – but, luckily for him, Alcacer's effort trickled just wide of the empty net.

Kovac's men finally clicked into gear in the 24th minute and Kingsley Coman drew a reflex save from Marwin Hitz.

Dortmund resumed control after the break and deservedly took the lead – Thiago Alcantara gifting possession to Sancho, who dazzled the Bayern defence and teed up Alcacer on the edge of the box for a sweeping finish into the bottom-right corner.

An equaliser almost arrived 10 minutes later, but Hitz palmed away Coman's header and Omer Toprak desperately cleared just in time before Robert Lewandowski could pounce.

Dortmund took advantage with 21 minutes to go, as Guerreiro released Sancho behind the flagging David Alaba and he coolly slotted through Neuer's legs.

 

What does it mean? Dortmund make a statement

While you can rarely garner a huge amount from these traditional openers, this was certainly no casual kickabout. Bayern cannot be accused of not taking things seriously when you look at their starting XI.

However, they were outthought and outmanoeuvred on Saturday, with Dortmund looking in great shape ahead of the new Bundesliga season.

Sancho dazzles when it matters

Not even Sancho will claim he was everywhere throughout this match. He picked his moments to make an impact, and he certainly succeeded. His run for Alcacer's goal was exceptional, while he showed stamina, pace and composure to double the advantage.

Thiago well off the pace

Spain international Thiago was culpable for Alcacer's goal, cheaply giving possession away. It was not the first such instance either, as he was also responsible for Dortmund's opening opportunity.

What's next?

Both sides return to DFB-Pokal action in their next outings, with Dortmund travelling to Uerdingen on Friday, before Bayern face Energie Cottbus the following Monday.

Mats Hummels has missed out on a swift reunion with Bayern Munich after an injury ruled him out of Borussia Dortmund's starting line-up for the DFL-Supercup.

Hummels returned to Dortmund in a €38million deal after three consecutive Bundesliga-winning seasons at the Allianz Arena.

But a muscular problem sustained during BVB's final training session for the game at Signal Iduna Park means the former Germany centre-back is sidelined alongside fellow new recruits Thorgan Hazard (ankle), Julian Brandt (adductor) and Mateu Morey (shoulder), while Marwin Hitz starts in goal because Roman Burki has a leg problem.

"Sadly, I can't play today. I felt problems in training last-minute and we thought it would be reasonable to sit this one out despite the game's meaningfulness - especially for me," Hummels tweeted. 

"I'm looking forward to my 'debut' hopefully in the next weeks."

Kingsley Coman lines up for Bayern having made a full recovery from the bruised knee he suffered during the Audi Cup clash against Tottenham earlier this week.

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