New signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang enjoyed a dream Bundesliga debut on Saturday, scoring a hat-trick to steer last year’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund to a 4-0 win at Augsburg in their first league match of the season.
The weekend was also marked by controversy as TSG 1899 Hoffenheim were denied a Kevin Volland goal in their 2-2 draw against Nuremberg, despite replays showing that the ball crossed the line before bouncing out.
The incident is bound to raise the issue of goal-line technology in Germany, which the country’s soccer federation has said it will not use until at least 2015.
Gabon international Aubameyang, who joined from France’s AS Saint-Etienne for a reported 13 million euros (US$17.36 million) last month, put the visitors ahead with a diving header in the 24th minute and slotted home from the left midway through the second half.
The 24-year-old completed his remarkable debut by picking up a superb Robert Lewandowski pass to round Augsburg goalkeeper Mohamed Amsif 11 minutes from time.
“That was a super start for me,” a beaming Aubameyang said. “The intensity in the league here is much higher than in France. Our aim is to work hard and see what is possible in this season.”
Poland international Lewandowski, who had wanted to move to Bayern Munich, but saw the transfer blocked by his club, got onto the score sheet himself with an 86th minute penalty.
“I told my players it would be tough and there are not many teams who will win 4-0 here,” Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said.
“We scored some great goals and finished off the game,” he added.
Hertha BSC made a sensational return to top flight soccer in front of a 55,000 home crowd in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, crushing Eintracht Frankfurt 6-1, with Sami Allagui scoring two goals in two minutes and Adrian Ramos adding two of his own.
Hertha also hit the woodwork three times in the first half. Champions League participants Bayer 04 Leverkusen, third last season, struck twice early in the second half in a 3-1 win over SC Freiburg, who had canceled out Stefan Kiessling’s opener with a Mike Hanke goal just before the break.
Two goals from South Korea’s Heung Min-son and Sidney Sam in the 46th and 52nd minute killed off Freiburg’s hopes of a point.
Hanover 96 beat nine-man VfL Wolfsburg 2-0 after the visitors had Maximilian Arnold and Timm Klose sent off.
Promoted Eintracht Braunschweig’s return to the Bundesliga after 28 years was spoiled by a 1-0 Werder Bremen win, with Zlatko Junuzovic snatching the goal eight minutes from time.
Kamaru Usman put on a Fight Island masterclass yesterday to retain his UFC welterweight world title by grinding down a brave Jorge Masvidal in Abu Dhabi. “I’m at the top of the mountain and everyone’s looking at me,” said the 33-year-old Usman after scoring a unanimous points decision 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 on the three judges’ cards. The Nigerian-American Usman (17-1) looked the fresher fighter, with Masvidal (35-14) having taken the UFC251 headline bout at just six days’ notice when Brazil’s Gilbert Burns (19-3) tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to travel. The Las Vegas-based UFC pulled off a power-packed schedule with
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