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.

Renato Sanches has expressed his delight at learning Bayern Munich wanted to keep him for the upcoming season.

Portugal international Sanches endured a dismal loan spell at Swansea City in 2017-18 and spent last term on the fringes under Niko Kovac.

The 21-year-old started just six games and did not hide his frustration at a lack of playing time, with Fenerbahce reportedly interested in his signature over previous months.

But Bayern were unwilling to part with the Euro 2016 winner and he is looking forward to a more important role at the Allianz Arena in 2019-20.

"When the bosses told me I was staying it felt good, even though I wanted to move. I felt their appreciation," Sanches told Bild.

"But I also need enough playing time. I want to play. That's what matters to me.

"The coach and I have spoken at length once or twice. I know exactly what he wants from me. Our relationship is normal. We shake hands and talk normally."

Manchester United could end up with not one but two Juventus attackers by the end of the transfer window.

Heavily linked to Paulo Dybala as they look to sell Romelu Lukaku, Mario Mandzukic has emerged as another target for the Red Devils.

It is going to be a busy couple of days, with the Premier League window set to slam shut on August 8.

 

TOP STORY – MANDUZKIC TO FOLLOW DYBALA TO OLD TRAFFORD?

Growing reports suggest Juventus pair Mandzukic and Dybala are being pushed to join Manchester United.

United striker Lukaku has agreed a €9million salary with Juventus, according to Goal, as the Red Devils look to sign Dybala in exchange.

Dybala is reportedly demanding €12m to make the move to Manchester, with the deal hinging on the Argentina international swapping Turin for Old Trafford.

Tuttosport, Goal and other outlets are also claiming Mandzukic has been discussed with United, in what would be a separate transfer.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to The Sun, Manchester City have set Leroy Sane's asking price at €158m (£145m) as Bayern Munich look to sign the Germany international.

Real Madrid are seriously considering a move for Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek, Marca reports. Manchester United star Paul Pogba has emerged as a key target for Madrid. However, Zinedine Zidane's side are eyeing a €60m bid for Van de Beek.

- Champions League holders Liverpool are pondering a bid for Bordeaux forward Francois Kamano as Jurgen Klopp looks to add depth to his attacking options, according to The Sun.

- The Sun also reports that Arsenal have been put off by West Ham's £60m valuation of defender Issa Diop, who has also been linked to Manchester United. Arsenal have already signed William Saliba but the teenage defender has been loaned back to Saint-Etienne for the 2019-20 campaign.

Radamel Falcao will not be leaving Monaco for Turkish side Galatasaray, according to Fabrizio Romano. The 33-year-old has been hampered by injuries since moving to Monaco in 2013.

- ESPN FC says Manchester United and Leicester City are £15m apart in their valuation of centre-back Harry Maguire. In one of the most drawn-out transfer sagas this off-season, United have been tipped to sign Maguire in a world-record transfer for a defender, however, the England international is yet to arrive at Old Trafford. The Red Devils are reportedly offering £70m plus add-ons, while Leicester want £85m plus add-ons.

Juventus and Marseille have made offers for Barcelona left-back Juan Miranda, claims Sport. Juve reportedly want the 19-year-old on a permanent deal, while Marseille are open to bringing him to Ligue 1 on loan.

- As Lukaku nears a switch to Juventus, FCInterNews says Inter have turned to Atalanta's Duvan Zapata. The Colombia forward, who scored 28 goals in all competitions last season, is valued at €60m and Inter are willing to include Matteo Politano in exchange.

Kingsley Coman has sustained only bruising to his knee and could be available for Bayern Munich's DFL-Supercup clash with Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

The France winger had to go off after managing just five minutes as a substitute in the Audi Cup match against Tottenham on Wednesday.

Head coach Niko Kovac said after the match: "We hope that it's not too bad and that he'll be back in the next few days."

Bayern confirmed on Thursday that Coman "only suffered a badly bruised knee" and is expected to return to training on Friday.

Bayern were beaten on penalties after a 2-2 draw with Spurs in their final pre-season fixture.

They face Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park in the traditional season curtain-raiser before a DFB-Pokal trip to Energie Cottbus on August 12.

Their Bundesliga title defence begins on August 16 at home to Hertha Berlin.

Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku to Juventus in a straight swap for Paulo Dybala? It appears simple, however, it is not.

United and Juventus are reportedly ready to exchange players, but Dybala is not entirely convinced about leaving Turin.

Now Inter could be set to pounce as the transfer window takes another turn…

 

TOP STORY – DYBALA HAS UNITED DOUBTS AS INTER CIRCLE

According to multiple reports in Italy, Juventus attacker Dybala has no intention of joining Manchester United in a swap deal involving Lukaku.

Inter had been favourites to sign Lukaku, however, Serie A champions Juve have emerged as frontrunners to prise the Belgium striker at the expense of Dybala.

United and Juve have reportedly agreed on an exchange but Calciomercato, Rai Sport and Tuttomercatoweb claim Dybala is not convinced about a move to Old Trafford due to a lack of Champions League and his style of football in the Premier League.

Dybala – who is apparently demanding a higher salary than Paul Pogba and is set to meet Juve head coach Maurizio Sarri – could end up at Inter, with Corriere dello Sport's front page dominated by a shock move.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to Bild+, Bayern Munich have made their first offer for Manchester City winger Leroy Sane. The report comes after Niko Kovac apologised for saying he was confident of signing Sane before the transfer window shuts.

- Paris Saint-Germain have named their price for wantaway star Neymar. L'Equipe says the Ligue 1 champions are demanding €300million for the Brazilian, who is wanted by former club Barcelona.

- Calciomercato says Manchester City are close to signing Juventus full-back Joao Cancelo. The Premier League champions have been linked with Cancelo throughout the window and they are now poised to complete a deal for the Portugal international, who could cost £45.6-50.1m (€50-55m).

Napoli want to sign Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha, according to Sky Sports News. Napoli, who have been linked to James Rodriguez, Hirving Lozano and Nicolas Pepe, are willing to pay Palace €59.9m (£54.6m) for the Ivory Coast international.

- According to Sky Sports News, Manchester United are prepared to pay up to £80m for Leicester City centre-back Harry Maguire. The Red Devils have been pursuing Maguire throughout the window, but a deal is yet to be reached. However, United are willing to eclipse the world-record fee for a defender.

- Tuttosport claims Edinson Cavani has taken another step towards signing for Inter. Amid Inter's ongoing and so far fruitless pursuit of Lukaku, Paris Saint-Germain forward Cavani has emerged as a target, with a financial proposal agreed by the Uruguay international.

Juan Foyth sustained a "very painful" ankle injury as Tottenham beat Bayern Munich on penalties to claim the Audi Cup, said Mauricio Pochettino.

Foyth was taken off on a stretcher during the second half of Wednesday's pre-season clash at the Allianz Arena, where Spurs triumphed 6-5 on penalties after Bayern battled back from 2-0 down.

The Argentina international has been featuring at right-back, with Spurs yet to replace Kieran Trippier after his move to Atletico Madrid.

Pochettino is now awaiting an update on Foyth with the start of the Premier League season less than two weeks away.

"I need to talk with the doctor now," Pochettino told a post-match news conference.

"He twisted his ankle but at the moment I cannot update. I saw when he was leaving the pitch and he said to me his ankle was very painful. 

"For sure we will get an update in the next few hours or the next few days." 

Bayern have already lost Serge Gnabry to injury during pre-season and Kingsley Coman hobbled off shortly after his second-half introduction against Spurs.

The France international has had terrible luck with fitness throughout his career, while Bayern are yet to replace departed wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

Coman has been tipped to step up in the absence of the veteran duo and Kovac does not think the knock he took is serious.

"It does not seem too bad," Kovac said to German broadcaster ZDF. "It was just a kick."

Reports in Germany, meanwhile, claim Bayern have submitted an official offer to Manchester City for Germany winger Leroy Sane.

Thomas Muller plundered a hat-trick as Bayern Munich romped to a 6-1 Audi Cup win against Fenerbahce at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.

Niko Kovac's side were in ruthless mood against their desperately poor Super Lig opponents, with Renato Sanches, Leon Goretzka and Kingsley Coman adding to Muller's treble.

Max Kruse gave the visiting support something to cheer with a 64th-minute consolation strike, but it did little to take the shine off a consummate attacking performance by the reigning Bundesliga champions.

Bayern – who face Borussia Dortmund in the DFL-Supercup on Saturday – will take on Tottenham in the final on Wednesday, while Fenerbahce will have to pick themselves up for a third-place tie against Real Madrid on the same day.

Sanches got Bayern on their way after 22 minutes, sliding into an empty net after being teed up by Robert Lewandowski.  

That was followed six minutes later by a second, Goretzka driving into the penalty area to meet Coman's cutback with a low, right-footed strike from 12 yards.

Muller – who had been introduced for the injured Serge Gnabry after 20 minutes – made it three in the 31st minute after picking Nabil Dirar's pocket just eight yards out and slotting past a helpless Harun Tekin.

The Fener goalkeeper picked the ball out of his net again five minutes before the interval when the impressive Coman slotted underneath him after Lewandowski's pass was fortuitously deflected into his path.

Vedat Muriqi flashed narrowly wide at the other end but normal service was resumed in the 44th minute, Muller adding his second from the penalty spot after Lewandowski was hauled down by Mauricio Isla.

Muller completed his hat-trick in style shortly before the hour mark, superbly controlling Niklas Sule's long ball with his heel and firing past Tekin, who had inexplicably raced off his line, from 35 yards.

Bayern eased up after a raft of substitutions, allowing Kruse to run at their defence and fire past Sven Ulreich from the edge of the penalty area for the most inconsequential of goals.

It still appeared to be too much for Dirar, who seemingly had to be prevented from walking off the pitch with 20 minutes remaining by his coach Ersun Yanal and a number of team-mates.

RB Leipzig's new head coach Julian Nagelsmann has spoken in bullish terms about his ambitions for the club ahead of the new Bundesliga season.

Nagelsmann, 32, took the helm in June and will lead Leipzig into their second UEFA Champions League campaign after they finished third in the German top flight last term.

The club's hierarchy will hope he can continue the incredible success he achieved with former side Hoffenheim, and Nagelsmann is upbeat about the squad's goals in domestic competition.

Speaking at the International Coach Congress in Kassel, he said: "I think we are able to challenge Bayern, but it's not just about Bayern.

"There are many interesting teams this year, with many new coaches and changes."


Mats Hummels will help to remedy a lack of quality that hampered Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga last season, according to team-mate Marco Reus.

Experienced defender Hummels returned to Signal Iduna Park for a second spell in June, making a €30.5million switch from Bayern Munich just three years after leaving Dortmund.

In the years without Hummels, Dortmund finished third, fourth and second in the Bundesliga while Bayern clinched consecutive titles, but the gap between the two sides was just two points at the end of a tense 2018-19 campaign.

Reus, who played alongside Hummels for four seasons at club level and for eight years in the national team, said his return could make the difference as Lucien Favre's men go in search of their first title since 2012.

"He [Hummels] brings quality," Reus told reporters. "That's most important. We were missing that last year.

"Of course, we had positive developments last season. Nobody expected that. But if we want to win the Bundesliga and advance further in Europe, we need good players.

"We found that in Mats and the other players we got."

Wieder in schwarz und gelb mit meiner alten 15 / Back in black and yellow and number 15 ! pic.twitter.com/MU5t3VBPiW

— Mats Hummels (@matshummels) June 28, 2019

Dortmund have also added Thorgan Hazard, Nico Schulz and Julian Brandt to Favre's squad, along with the permanent signing of last season's loan star Paco Alcacer, as they prepare to compete for honours in a division that Reus claims is shaping up to be stronger than it was last term.

With Julian Nagelsmann taking over as head coach of RB Leipzig and Bayern splashing out €115m on Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard following the departures of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, Reus is bracing himself for stiff competition.

"What happens with Bayern is nothing I can control," said Reus.

"I think even if they didn't buy new players they would have a strong team. They won the Bundesliga seven times in a row - that says everything.

"True, they lost some very good players who ended their careers, but we will see how the season goes.

"I hope it will be an exciting season and we cannot forget the other teams. Leipzig, with a new coach and new players, were very strong in the second part of the season.

"So, this could be between two, three, maybe even four teams until the end."

Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer has declared himself fresh and pain-free after two seasons tainted by injury.

Germany goalkeeper Neuer battled thumb and calf problems last term after missing almost the entire 2017-18 season due to a metatarsal fracture.

Rumours of retirement spread during April but the 33-year-old dismissed that possibility and regained fitness in time for the DFB-Pokal triumph over RB Leipzig in late May.

Three pre-season appearances have followed, giving the World Cup winner confidence for the campaign ahead.

"I feel really good right now," Neuer told the official Bundesliga website.

"I'm not in any pain and can take part in everything we're doing. I'm really looking forward to the new season."

Neuer's authoritative presence on the pitch will be crucial for the Bundesliga champions following the loss of several experienced players.

Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Rafinha and Mats Hummels have left since the end of last season, making space for new leaders to emerge.

"We've got a lot of players who are established and know each other well, but also some guys who will have bigger roles to play because of the departures," Neuer said.

"They have to prove they can take on leadership roles."

Axel Witsel believes Borussia Dortmund have no room to hide in the Bundesliga title fight after forming a squad capable of challenging Bayern Munich.

Dortmund have strengthened considerably in the close season, recruiting established performers Thorgan Hazard, Nico Schulz and Julian Brandt, along with the vastly experienced Mats Hummels.

The latter has rejoined the club from Bayern Munich, who capitalised on Dortmund's collapse to win the title by two points on the final day last season.

Lucien Favre's side had been the clear frontrunners until February and midfielder Witsel says there can be no excuses come the start of the new campaign.

"I want to win titles with this team," Witsel told Kicker.

"A club like Borussia Dortmund must have that as a goal.

"I think we are stronger than last season. The championship is therefore a realistic goal. We must not hide.

"But we still have to prove we are stronger. You have to play at a top level all the time and you need courage. Otherwise, don't bother trying."

The return of World Cup winner and five-time Bundesliga champion Hummels after three successful seasons in Bavaria could prove especially useful in guarding against ill-timed stumbles.

"As far as I can tell it's as if he has never been away," Witsel said.

"It's easy for me to share the pitch with him. He's technically very good, I can give him the ball in any situation

"He's a leader - we can use another one of those guys - and he'll feel the impact he has on training right from the start.

"The more leaders the better."

Pep Guardiola has reiterated his desire to see Leroy Sane remain at Manchester City amid interest from Bayern Munich.

Sane starred in City's pre-season demolition of Hong Kong Premier League champions Kitchee on Wednesday, scoring twice in a 6-1 win.

Niko Kovac had labelled Sane as Bayern's "dream player" following the Bundesliga champions' 1-0 victory over AC Milan in the United States, as the saga rumbles on into the closing stages of the window.

Sane is yet to sign a new contract at City, though Guardiola has maintained the club wish to keep the former Schalke forward, who has been offered a new deal.

And, having been thrilled with Sane's display, Guardiola reaffirmed his wish for the 23-year-old to remain at City, though acknowledged it could be out of the club's control.

"He had a good game, especially in the second half," Guardiola told a press conference.

"He is a guy we appreciate, I like him a lot. I think he can be better. Two times, three times I have said that we want him to stay.

"That's why he has an offer to extend his contract. It's not in our hands.

"The agreement is good and if he wants to leave, I'll be sad. Hopefully, he stays."

David Alaba admits being on Barcelona's transfer radar is flattering but insists his focus remains on Bayern Munich.

The Austria international has been linked with a move to LaLiga champions Barca in recent days.

Reports in Germany indicate Bayern are unlikely to entertain negotiations for a player viewed as one of the finest and most versatile left-backs in the world.

Alaba joined the Bundesliga giants as a teenager in 2009 and has two seasons left to run on his contract.

"Of course, it's an acknowledgement, it's an honour for me," Alaba told reporters in the United States, where Bayern are based for the International Champions Cup.

However, he added: "My focus is fully on Bayern here in America and on pre-season. I want to concentrate on the essentials."

Bayern are set to return to Germany following their final ICC match against AC Milan in Kansas City.

Jerome Boateng will miss the clash after leaving the tour for private reasons.

Boateng had looked headed for the Allianz Arena exit towards the end of last season, but boss Niko Kovac insists the experienced centre-back will not be short on opportunities during the forthcoming campaign.

"Should he stay, which is what looks like happening right now, he will have the same chances as any other player," Kovac said.

"He is doing very well and I am very happy with his performance so far in pre-season."

Benjamin Pavard says Bayern Munich fans can expect a successful season and should not fear any "little crisis" that comes the way of the Bundesliga champions.

Niko Kovac's side beat Real Madrid 3-1 in the International Champions Cup on Sunday despite goalkeeper Sven Ulreich's late red card in Houston.

There were encouraging signs of improvement following Bayern's 2-1 loss to Arsenal last Thursday, particularly with the DFL-Supercup showdown with Borussia Dortmund now less than two weeks away.

Bayern's domestic dominance looked under serious threat from Dortmund last term, but a strong second half to the season saw them claim the league title and the DFB-Pokal.

And Pavard, who completed his move from Stuttgart after the end of 2018-19, thinks there is every reason to be optimistic heading into the new campaign.

"We were strong, we defended very well, attacked very well," he said after the win over Madrid. "We scored three goals. We conceded a goal, which is annoying, but it does not matter. We just must remember the fact we won. We feel better and better.

"Of course, it's a very big club, which has a habit of winning a lot of titles. We know that if we lose one or two matches in the season, it's a kind of little crisis. But I don't worry: we really have a very good squad and a great atmosphere. It will be okay.

"I have a lot of confidence. There is a very good atmosphere. On the pitch, we can see that everyone takes pleasure. We are making every effort together."

Bayern face AC Milan and Fenerbahce in their remaining pre-season games before meeting Dortmund on August 3 at Signal Iduna Park.

They then take on Energie Cottbus in the first round of the DFB-Pokal before getting their Bundesliga campaign underway at home to Hertha Berlin on August 16.

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