European Supercup 2015
Liverpool and Bayern travelled to meet each other today, in the European Supercup, on the samw day that the two sides found out their Champions League group stages fates. Bayern were drawn in a relatively straightforward group, and they will play Juventus, Olympiakos and Dinamo, whilst Liverpool face games against Schalke, Lyon and Hapolel Tel-Aviv.
The major talking point before the match however, was another group in the Champions League draw: Group D, which drew Real Madrid, PSG, Ac Milan and Celtic together, to gain the billing of the 'group of death' this year.
Ahead of his side's Supercup match, Didi Hamann refused to talk about the Champions League draw, and instead announced his side for the match, following on from his Bayern counterpart Claudio Ranieri doing the same.
Mingolet, Criscito, Balanta, Sakho, Kelly, Rossiter, Henderson, Allen, Coutinho, De Bruyne, Suarez
Subs: Valdes, McIlduff, Sterling, Wilson, Shaw, Volland, Sturridge
Neuer, Alaba, Reyes, Zouma, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Martinez, Kroos, Gotze, Fischer, Lewandowsi
Subs: Starke, Thiago, Muller, Zivkovic, Boateng, Ribery, Xhaka
Liverpool kicked off, and were immediately moving the ball around the Bayern half, sniffing around the outside of the penalty box with some slick passing, before Kelly's pass hit off a Bayern defender and went out for a throw-in.
Bayern were almost ahead after 15 minutes, when Henderson lost the ball in the centre-circle, and a raking ball forward from Martinez found Fischer on the edge of the Liverpool box, but an acobatic save from Mingolet kept it out, and Martin Kelly cleared the ball into touch.
The best chance of the half fell to Kevin De Bruyne, who couldn't lift his shot high enough to make it over Neuer, after some great play from Coutinho just outside the box.
15 minutes after the restart, and with no real signs of any activity in either goalmouth, Hamann turned to his bench, laden with stars and starlets, and made 2 changes; Criscito, who had just been booked for a rash tackle, was replaced by Luke Shaw, and Daniel Sturridge replaced the largely ineffective Suarez, who had also picked up a booking for diving.
Shaw's impact was immediate, as he lifted a ball into the Bayern area which caused confusion as it hung in the air. Daniel Sturridge's inital shot was blocked, but Kevin De Bruyne made no mistake with the rebound, slotting it past a sprawling Neuer, and Liverpool were 1-0 up!
With six minutes to go, Daniel Sturridge picked up a knock at the hands of Phillip Lahm, and had to be replaced by Kevin Volland, who was overjoyed to take his place on the stage, even for such a short time.
With a minute left of added time, Zivkovic found himself clean through on goal, and tried to lift his shot over Mingolet as he rushed out to meet him, but brave goalkeeping from the Belgian meant that he could collect the ball from Zivkovic's toes, and the danger was averted. It proved to be the last act of the match, and Liverpool were crowned European Supercup Champions!!!