By Martin Graham | 31st Jul 2022
It was all smiles as Sadio Mane scored in his competitive debut for Bayern Munich in the German Super Cup. RB Leipzig attempted a late comeback, but the Bundesliga champions held on to win the German Supercup on Saturday via a 5-3 scoreline.
It was all thanks to an outstanding aggressive first half and a goal from new signing Sadio Mane.
Bayern were keen to demonstrate that they were still a genuine attacking threat despite the departure of star striker Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona. They did not have to wait long to show their dominance.
Only five minutes had passed since the kickoff of the Bundesliga’s customary season opening, when Mane narrowly missed converting a free kick from Joshua Kimmich. While Manuel Neuer was in a no-man’s-land, Leipzig answered in kind, but the raging Christopher Nkunku was unable to locate a teammate with his cross. After a corner, Jamal Musiala used a deft finish to find his intended target and end the tie.
After the restart, Nkunku had the ball in the net, but the goal was disallowed for offside. Musiala and Serge Gnabry teamed together to set up Mane for a straightforward close-range goal, but Benjamin Pavard converted Musiala’s assist to give Bayern a comfortable lead at the break.
Leipzig only managed one shot on target in the first half owing to Bayern’s backline, which was equally as strong. That all changed after the break when Marcel Halstenberg tied it up with his own header three minutes later to reduce the gap. The hosts had already hit the bar in the 56th minute with replacement Andre Silva’s strong effort.
When Thomas Muller’s shot was deflected away by goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi, Serge Gnabry converted on the rebound to temporarily restore Bayern’s three-goal lead.
Christopher Nkunku’s 77th-minute penalty made it 4-2 before Dani Olmo, a teammate from Leipzig, scored with a strong shot to set up a tense finish to an entertaining game. Leroy Sane, a late replacement, scored on the break with the game’s final kick to ensure Bayern’s first trophy of the year.
Mane’s promising start
Admittedly, Bayern have lost goals and lots of them following the departure of Lewandowski but in Sadio Mane, they have seemingly brought in a player that can deliver goals as well.
So far, the Senegalese international has fit in with the club’s style of play and the early indications show that he could be in line for a prolific debut campaign with the German giants.
It would be wrong to expect as much goals as Lewandowski but it’s safe to say Mane will chip in with a fair number of goals and contributions as well this season.