Borussia Dortmund overcame hosts VfL Wolfsburg 3-0 on Saturday to make a flawless start to their Bundesliga season as last season’s runners-up RB Leipzig suffered a shock loss at Schalke 04.
New Dortmund coach Peter Bosz had promised attractive, attacking football and his team, who finished third last season, delivered on his Bundesliga debut.
There was more good news for Dortmund with Mario Goetze making his comeback after half a year out following a metabolic disorder and the Germany international set up 18-year-old Christian Pulisic after 22 minutes for the first goal at the Volkswagen Arena.
The absence of suspended Ousmane Dembele, who missed training last week amid speculation about a possible move to Barcelona, was quickly forgotten as Marc Bartra doubled the lead five minutes later against a dazed Wolfsburg defence.
With the Wolves cornered, Dortmund kept up the pressure and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, last season’s Bundesliga top scorer, added a third on the hour.
“I am very satisfied. A 3-0 win at Wolfsburg is a very good result,” Bosz said. “Overall we delivered a very good team performance and that is important.”
“Christian Pulisic is still very young but he did really well today,” Bosz said of the American teenager. “Not only because of the goal. He was everywhere today.”
Champions Bayern Munich are also on three points after Friday’s 3-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen. An 84th-minute deflected effort from Andrej Kramaric gave Hoffenheim, who face Liverpool next week for a spot in the Champions League group stage, a 1-0 win over Werder Bremen.
Australian Mathew Leckie struck twice for new club Hertha Berlin as they beat promoted VfB Stuttgart, back after a season in the second division, 2-0.
Schalke, with 31-year-old coach Domenico Tedesco making his Bundesliga debut, scored once in either half to beat Leipzig 2-0 with the visitors’ sensational league run last season already a distant memory.
Nabil Bentaleb put them ahead with a 43rd minute penalty before Yevhen Konoplyanka, who had scored twice in the German Cup on Monday, struck to finish Leipzig off.
Nicolai Mueller’s goal gave Hamburg, who suffered a shock first-round exit in the German Cup last week, a 1-0 win over Augsburg for their first victory at the start of the season in seven years.
Promoted Hanover 96 won by the same scoreline, with Austrian Martin Harnik on target against Mainz 05.
Saturday, August 19
FC Schalke 04 2 Nabil Bentaleb 43pen, Yevhen Konoplyanka 73
RB Leipzig 0
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VfL Wolfsburg 0
Borussia Dortmund 3 Christian Pulisic 22, Marc Bartra 27, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 60
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Hertha Berlin 2 Mathew Leckie 46,62
VfB Stuttgart 0
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Hamburg SV 1 Nicolai Mueller 8
FC Augsburg 0
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Hanover 96 1 Martin Harnik 73
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TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 1 Andrej Kramaric 84
Werder Bremen 0
– – –
Friday, August 18
FC Bayern Munich 3 Niklas Suele 9, Corentin Tolisso 18, Robert Lewandowski 52pen
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1 Admir Mehmedi 65
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Next Fixtures (GMT):
Sunday, August 20
Freiburg v Eintracht Frankfurt (1330)
Borussia Moenchengladbach v Cologne (1600)