Pep Guardiola displayed magnificent leadership qualities as Bayern Munich beat Chelsea to the Uefa Super Cup, according to sporting director Matthias Sammer.
A dramatic match in Prague was eventually settled by Romelu Lukaku’s miss in the penalty shoot-out after an equaliser from Javi Martinez had levelled the score at 2-2 with the final kick of extra-time.
Sammer was thrilled to see his side get over the line when defeat had looked almost certain to seal the club’s first-ever Uefa Super Cup triumph and he paid tribute to Guardiola for delivering the silverware.
He said: “Congratulations to Pep Guardiola! He was magnificent before the match and at half-time. He was a leader for his team and did a fantastic job.
“The trophy is very important to us because we need the success to keep on coming. Also, we lost the German Super Cup final. We were angry about that. It would have become difficult if we'd lost again here. We're not over the crest yet, but we are on our way to reaching it.”
The win on penalties secured an element of revenge over Chelsea after their win over Bayern in the Champions League final in 2012 by the same method and Manuel Neuer believes it represents an important mental step.
“Fortunately, we managed to win the penalty shoot-out this time. It was very important for psychological reasons,” said the goalkeeper.
“The penalties before my save were superbly taken, ours included – I'd have been delighted to see the same thing in the Champions League final two years ago.”
Talking about his save from Lukaku’s spot-kick, Neuer added: “What can you do as a goalkeeper? You simply try to react to the taker’s run up – and I chose to dive to the left."
Bayern return to Bundesliga business after the international break with a home game against Hannover on September 14.