All eyes were on the Westfalenstadion as Borussia Dortmund opened their Bundesliga campaign against 1. FSV Mainz 05 with a two-one victory, as Mario Götze missed out on Thomas Tuchel’s first Bundesliga XI of the season. Borussia Dortmund needed to get off to a strong start after Bayern Munich’s 6-0 demolition of Werder Bremen.
Elsewhere, there were winning starts for 1. FC Köln, Eintracht Frankfurt and VfL Wolfsburg, whilst Bruno Labbadia’s Hamburger SV could only manage a 1-1 draw, despite taking the lead in the first-half.
New look Dortmund, same attacking prowess (Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Mainz)
It may have taken a couple of minutes for Ousmane Dembélé to settle, but he soon got into the thick of the action as the former Rennes forward soon adjusted to Dortmund’s style of play.
Dortmund’s first chance came from a Dembélé cross, but it was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who had the ball in the back of the net for the home side in the first-half. Although a very raw talent, there’s no doubt that Dembélé will cause defences problems this season – he just needs to work on his decision making, and Tuchel is the man to do that.
Aubameyang added another late on from the spot, as the win for the Golden Boot starts already between the Dortmund man and Robert Lewandowski. Yoshinori Muto scored a late consolation for Mainz, but it was too little too late.
Cologne’s attack revised? Problems lie for Darmstadt (Cologne 2-0 Darmstadt)
Peter Stöger’s side could have been two goals up in two minutes, but they weren’t. Although their opening game was against SV Darmstadt 98, Köln really have to put away their chances this season, something that they did just 38 times last season.
Artjoms Rudņevs hit the post just two minutes into his league debut, and despite gaining critics during his time at Hamburger SV, the Latvian could well prove to be a fine signing for Stöger on a free transfer.
Köln dominated the game, which saw Marcel Risse score in the first-half, but it’s evident that problems are there for Darmstadt. Without Sandro Wagner, who recently joined TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Darmstadt don’t have someone who can grab the goals this season, and grind out the wins.
Although experienced, Darmstadt’s new signing Artem Fedetskyi looked to have struggled to life in the Bundesliga, often being beaten for pace throughout the game. Something that ‘bigger’ teams will capitalise on.
Anthony Modeste got off the mark midway through the second-half.
Naldo past his best (Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 Schalke)
Christian Heidel has been praised for his signing’s during the summer for Schalke 04, but his signing of Naldo from VfL Wolfsburg did raise a few eyebrows. DW Sports writer Jonathan Harding wrote that the Brazilian is past his best, and he’s not wrong.
The 33-year-old had a poor debut in front of the travelling Schalke fans, and Markus Weinzierl will be hoping he soon puts this game behind him.
Fan favourite Alex Meier scored the only goal of the game for Eintracht Frankfurt, as Niko Kovac looks to get the Bundesliga club back in Europe in his first full season in charge.
A club in disarray, but a win for Wolfsburg (Augsburg 0-2 Wolfsburg)
Wolfsburg won just three of 17 away games last season, but Dieter Hecking will be happy with three points away from home in their opening game of the season.
Debutant Daniel Didavi opened the scoring, whilst he could well prove to be one of the better signings in the Bundesliga this season, after signing on a free transfer.
Ricardo Rodriguez doubled Wolfsburg’s lead late on with a sublime free-kick.
HSV build from last season’s poor performance (Hamburg 1-1 Ingolstadt)
There was another debut scorer in the Bundesliga as Bobby Wood opened the scoring for Bruno Labbadia’s side in the first-half.
The United States international could well be a success at Hamburger SV following his move from Union Berlin, which saw him score 17 goals in 31 2. Bundesliga matches. It’s certainly an area HSV had to improve on, after being down in the bottom-half for the majority of last season, and with the arrivals of Filip Kostic and Alen Halilovic, Labbadia’s side could cause teams a few problems.
However, Hamburg’s problems lay at the back – as proven with Lukas Hinterseer’s equaliser – just as they did last season. Labbadia failed to bring in one recognised defender, which could cost them this season as they look to challenge for a place in Europe.