Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig have had very different summers but all got off to a winning start as the new Bundesliga season kicked off.
Bayern were particularly impressive and appear to have very quickly replaced legendary wing duo Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry. Just over a year after the pair left the Allianz Arena, Bayern have won the treble and have a new pair of wingers to worship.
Serge Gnabry stole the headlines with his hat-trick in Friday’s season opener but we all knew he was capable of that.
The performance of team-mate Leroy Sané was perhaps even more exciting. In his first league start since April 2019, the Bayern debutant showed glimpses of his electric pace, intelligent movement, and final third selflessness. His link-up with Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski will be sending shivers down the spines of defenders all over the continent.
Playing just under 24 hours later, Dortmund responded to Bayern’s 8-0 win with a statement of their own.
Up against fellow Champions League side Borussia Mönchengladbach, and in front of 9,300 fans, the Schwarzgelben were, as ever, inspired by their youngest stars.
Jude Bellingham (17) impressed on his Bundesliga debut, assisting Gio Reyna (also 17) for his first ever league goal and Dortmund’s first of the season.
Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho, both relative veterans at 20, sealed a comfortable 3-0 win, linking up brilliantly on the break for the final goal.
Borussia Dortmund football at its finest 🔥
@Borussia Dortmund –
A third consecutive day of Bundesliga football saw a third consecutive top side in action and RB Leipzig impressively dominated Mainz 05 on Sunday. No Timo Werner? No problem. But bigger tests are on the way.
A three-way race this season? Perhaps not. But the opening weekend showed there’s plenty of quality at the top of the league outside of Bayern, even if they are huge favourites to run away with things once again.
- Fans back in stadiums
Up to 20% of fans were allowed to attend games in regions where the infection rate wasn’t high and things went off without a hitch. The difference, as a viewer, was enormous. It felt like things were a little bit more ‘normal’ than we’ve become accustomed to.
Most players seemed to enjoy it too, with celebrations for the home side looking that little bit more meaningful around the grounds.
- Crisis clubs set up early six-pointer
Schalke have now gone 17 Bundesliga games, an entire half season, without a win. And what a way to do it, losing 8-0 to Bayern in the season opener. David Wagner is in big trouble now.
And his opponent next weekend, Florian Kohfeldt, could be too.
Werder Bremen improved at the end of 2019/20 to survive by the skin of their teeth but opened the new campaign with a 4-1 home defeat to Hertha BSC.
A trip to Schalke beckons and, after hoping the summer could have provided a fresh start, both clubs are back to square one. There could hardly be more pressure on the two coaches in just the second game of the new campaign.
- Ones to watch?
VfB Stuttgart’s top flight return saw them lose 3-2 to SC Freiburg in the game of the weekend.
A match that easily could have ended 5-5, both teams played in the sort of adventurous manner that suggests they are going to be involved in plenty of must-watch fixtures this season.