BERLIN: Leon Goretzka scored his first goal for Bayern Munich and set up another to lead the defending champions to a 3-0 win at Stuttgart in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Mueller also scored and set up goals as Bayern delivered a statement of intent with a cohesive and committed performance to end Stuttgart coach Tayfun Korkut’s seven-game unbeaten run at home.
Korkut’s side did well until Mueller set up Goretzka to break the deadlock minutes before the break. The former Schalke midfielder stopped the ball with his left boot and dispatched it with his right past Ron-Robert Zieler inside the far post.
In the second half, Goretzka set up Lewandowski, who took his tally to two goals in two games before setting up Mueller with his heel.
Milot Rashica scored from a brilliant free kick in injury time for Werder Bremen to beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 and ruin Kevin Trapp’s return.
Rashica took responsibility after earning the free kick about 25 meters from goal, and he whipped it over the Frankfurt wall and inside the left post to leave Trapp flailing.
The Germany goalkeeper rejoined Frankfurt from Paris St Germain the day before, returning on loan for the season due to Danish goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow’s knee problems.
Frankfurt played most of the game with 10 players after Jetro Willems struck Bremen’s Theodor Gebre Selassie in the face after half an hour played.
Yuya Osako already put Bremen ahead, though the video assistant referee was called into action once again after his goal was flagged offside. TV replays showed the Japan striker was onside, however, and the VAR eventually gave the go-ahead for his celebrations to resume.
It wasn’t a game for goalkeepers.
Bremen’s Jiri Pavlenka was stretchered off the pitch in the second half after bringing down Mijat Gacinovic, giving away a penalty and injuring himself in the process.
Then the 18-year-old Luca Plogmann’s first action on his Bundesliga debut was to pick the ball from the inside of his net after Sebastien Haller beat him from the spot to equalise.
Wolfsburg’s promising start to the season continued with a 3-1 win at Bayer Leverkusen.
Bruno Labbadia’s side, which only survived relegation through a playoff last season, came from behind after Leon Bailey put the home side ahead with a fine strike in the first half. The visitors equalised through goalkeeper Ramazan Ozcan’s own goal, then went ahead through Dutch striker Wout Weghorst’s first Bundesliga goal before Renato Steffen claimed his first to seal it.
Wolfsburg also defeated Schalke in their opening game. Elsewhere, Champions League participants Hoffenheim came from behind to beat Freiburg 3-1, aided by two goals from Adam Szalai, and promoted Nuremberg vs. Mainz and Augsburg vs. Borussia Moenchengladbach both ended 1-1.
Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2018