BERLIN: RB Leipzig eased past Mainz 05 3-1 in their Bundesliga opener on Sunday to enjoy a successful start to league life without striker Timo Werner.
Werner joined Chelsea in the close season and missed their run to their Champions League semi-finals in August but Leipzig had little trouble finding the back of the net against Mainz, striking twice in four minutes.
Emil Forsberg converted a 17th-minute penalty for a foul on Dani Olmo and Yussuf Poulsen rose high to drill in a header for the second goal.
With Mainz struggling to find ways of stopping Leipzig, Forsberg almost scored again on the half hour mark when he dribbled past two opponents but his clever flick bounced off the post.
Mainz cut the deficit three minutes after the restart when Quaison threaded a ball through the entire Leipzig defence for Jean-Philippe Mateta to score with a fine finish.
Any hopes of a comeback lasted only three minutes, however, with Amadou Haidara tapping in a Forsberg assist in the 51st to restore Leipzig’s two-goal cushion.
Late on Saturday, Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland scored twice and teenager Giovanni Reyna added another goal as they cruised past Borussia Moenchengladbach 3-0.
The 20-year-old Haaland scored a 54th minute penalty, awarded for a foul on Reyna, and bagged another with a sensationally quick counter-attack and a Jadon Sancho assist as Dortmund utilised their fearsome youthful attacking weapons.
Norway forward Haaland, who joined in January, took his tally to 15 goals in his 16 Bundesliga games so far this year.
A day after Bayern Munich opened their season with an 8-0 demolition of Schalke 04, Dortmund sent a warning to the title holders with their dominant performance over Gladbach, who will be competing in the Champions League this season.
Reyna opened the scoring in the 35th minute after combining perfectly with fellow 17-year-old Jude Bellingham, making his league debut after joining from Birmingham City.
Reyna’s first league goal made him the second youngest American to score in the Bundesliga after former Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic, who is now at Chelsea.
Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2020