Dortmund strike first in 50th Bundesliga
Title defenders Borussia Dortmund kicked off the 50th Bundesliga season on Friday evening with a 2-1 home win over Werder Bremen, although it didn’t all go quite according to the script for the champions.
For history fans, Friday evening’s match saw the same two teams meet each other as in the first ever Bundesliga game back in 1963.
But both sides had their eyes very much on the future as new signings made their mark, opening the scoring for both clubs.
Marco Reus, newly signed from Borussia Mönchengladbach, proved his class early, scoring after just 11 minutes when Poland captain Jakub “Kuba” Blaszczykowski flicked the ball through for him. Reus finished neatly into the far corner, to a rapturous reception from the crowd at the Westfalenstadion.
Although Bayern seemed to be on top, Bremen enjoyed some neat periods of play during the first half, but it wasn’t until after the break that they really upset the apple cart.
Dortmund had to regret some sloppy defending when Bremen’s Gebre Selassie put a looping header in over keeper Roman Weidenfeller after 75 minutes, giving Bremen hope in a section of the match where they enjoyed some decent possession.
However, it was Mario Götze who spoiled the party for the visitors, grabbing the winner in front of of 80,645 spectators just three minutes after coming onto the pitch. The match finished 2-1.
"The way it happened didn't impress me or a few others, but the most important thing was to start with the three points," said Dortmund defender Mats Hummels.
However, Reus was delighted with the occasion in general. "I had goosebumps when I ran out and I am happy that I am now a Dortmund player," the 23-year-old said.
Dortmund now make it 29 games unbeaten in the league since they suffered a 2-1 defeat at Hannover last September. They are just seven matches short of Hamburg's record of 36 undefeated matches which the northerners set between 1982 and 1983.
Bayern Munich were set to begin their league campaign on Saturday against fellow Bavarians, newly promoted Greuther Fürth.
According to a report in Saturday's edition of the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes will quit Bayern Munich at the end of the season.
The report says the 67-year-old has already told Bayern president Uli Höness and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge he is not prepared to extend his contract, which expires in June 2013.