Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich and Peter Bosz’s Borussia Dortmund posted identical 2-0 shutouts to continue their form as they prepare for the UEFA Champions League group stage gauntlet for the 2017-18 season. At the Weser Stadium in Bremen, Robert Lewandowski scored a brace in the 72nd and 75th minute to give Bayern a 2-0 shutout win over Alexander Nouri’s Werder Bremen. At Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (15′) and Nuri Sahin (57′) sank Pal Dardai’s Hertha BSC.
“We turned in a really good display,” said Hasan Sahihamidzic. “We remained patient and had many chances even if we lacked the final ball at times. But at the end of the day we’ve scored and won with aplomb. We were very compact and allowed no chances. Today Robert Lewandowski proved once more he’s essential for the team, that he’s the Bundesliga’s best striker and one of the best in the world. Lewy is sensational.”
“I’m very happy with the result,” said Ancelotti. “It was an important victory in a very difficult match. We struggled to find space for an hour. You always see room for improvement as a coach, but at the end of the day it’s only the three points that count.”
“I’m glad I was out on the pitch again and that we won the match. We turned in a good defensive display,” said Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who returned to action after a long layoff. “We lacked vision up front in the first half, we struggled for a long time. Werder became increasingly tired in the second half, we made the most of our chances then. When the referee blew for full-time the most important thing for me was that we won the match and kept a clean sheet.”
“I wasn’t really lurking for my goal, that is where we are supposed to be standing, and that is what our trainer demands from us number 6s, so that we can pick up the rebound,” said Sahin. “I ran up there speculatively, the ball fell nicely for me and I struck it sweetly. In summer, I had a career defining moment in front of me. It was important for me to learn the right lessons from last year. It’s important for me simply to be utilised. I had a good chat with the manager, and after that it was all about “work work work”. Our preparation went very well, you can see that on the pitch. And that’s exactly where I have to keep performing.”
“It was a great feeling for me once again on the pitch,” said Dortmund’s Mario Gotze, another player who is on the road back to full fitness. “I need the rhythm and the games in order to get my fitness back and to get back to 100%. I am grateful to be able to stand on the pitch, especially here in our own stadium. And when we win 2-0 against such an opponent as Hertha, against whom we have often made heavy weather of it, it is even better. We can be very satisfied.”
Bayern’s next match is against UEFA Europa League participant TSG 1899 Hoffenheim away, while Dortmund are away to SC Freiburg. Dortmund kicks off at 6:30 a.m. PT/9:30 a.m. ET and Bayern kick off at 9:30 a.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT. Both matches take place on Sept. 9.