Martinez header hands Bayern Munich UEFA Super Cup victory
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Budapest (AFP) –
Javi Martinez wrote more UEFA Super Cup history for Bayern Munich on Thursday as his header in extra time sealed a 2-1 win over Sevilla in Budapest.
Having equalised with a crucial 120th-minute goal seven years ago when Bayern won the 2013 Super Cup on penalties against Chelsea, Martinez struck on 104 minutes at the Puskas Arena to hand the Champions League winners' a fourth title in 2020.
After Lucas Ocampos converted an early penalty for Sevilla, Leon Goretzka equalised for Bayern, who had two second-half goals disallowed before substitute Martinez, 32, struck.
Having replaced Goretzka on 99 minutes, it was Martinez - linked to a return to Spain after losing a first-team place under Hansi Flick - whose header extends Bayern's winning streak to 23 games dating back to February.
Bayern can win a fifth title this year next Wednesday when they host Borussia Dortmund in Munich for the German Super Cup.
There were a smattering of travelling Bayern and Sevilla fans among the 15,500 crowd in Budapest as both clubs played for the first time in front of spectators since the Covid-19 pandemic first hit Europe in March.
Champions League winners Bayern fell behind for the first time this season on 14 minutes when the VAR judged David Alaba had fouled Ivan Rakitic in the area and Ocampos converted Sevilla's penalty.
Alaba was booked for the challenge, but replays showed Rakitic seemed to run into the Austrian defender.
There were nervous glances in the Germans' ranks, especially when defender Benjamin Pavard and Thomas Mueller both missed chances.
Goretzka got Bayern back on level terms when Mueller and Robert Lewandowski combined in the area for the midfielder to smash home the equaliser with 34 minutes gone.
It stayed 1-1 at the break, but Bayern turned up the heat on the Europa League holders.
Just six minutes after the break, Lewandowski had the ball in the net after being set up by Thomas Mueller, but the VAR spotted the Poland striker was just the length a of a boot offside.
Then with an hour gone, Bayern winger Leroy Sane was left frustrated after his shot powered past Sevilla's Moroccan goalkeeper Bono, but the VAR spotted Lewandowski had the lightest of touches on a Sevilla defender in the build up.
Bayern maintained the pressre, but with the 90 minutes almost up Manuel Neuer underlined his status as one of the world's best goalkeepers with a finger-tip save to deny Youssef En-Nesyri after Sevilla attacked from the edge of their own penalty area.
Sevilla made a great start to extra-time with Bayern in all sorts of trouble, as Ocampos had a shot blocked while En-Nesyri's shot clipped the post after crashing off Neuer's leg.
However, the scene was set for Martinez, a veteran of the side which won the 2013 Champions League final in London, to add to his chapter in Bayern's folklore.
© 2020 AFP