Borussia Dortmund kicked off their Bundesliga campaign with a 1-0 home victory over Bayer Leverkusen, but the result was marred by a foot injury suffered by their new attacking recruit Karim Adeyemi.
An early goal from the Dortmund captain, Marco Reus, proved enough for the hosts in coach Edin Terzic’s first game in permanent charge. Leverkusen had opportunities to equalise through Patrik Schick before their goalkeeper, Lukas Hradecky, was sent off in stoppage time for handling the ball outside the area.
“We did not start really well, lost possession a few times but recovered well. They were better after the break but we defended our lead well,” said Terzic, the former interim coach who has now returned to replace Marco Rose. “Sometimes it’s not possible to score more than one, and you have to protect that clean sheet instead.”
Adeyemi, who was signed from Red Bull Salzburg this summer, thought he had scored when he turned Youssoufa Moukoko’s cut back towards goal in the 10th minute. Hradecky reacted to stop the ball crossing the line, but Reus was on hand to prod home and give Dortmund the lead.
Thirteen minutes later, the German forward was replaced by Thorgan Hazard after picking up a foot injury, with Terzic waiting anxiously for scan results. “He tried to play on but it was not possible,” the head coach said. “We have to wait until tomorrow to have a clear diagnosis.”
Adeyemi’s injury is the latest to befall a new signing with centre-back Niklas Süle currently nursing a thigh injury. The forward Sébastien Haller faces several months out after undergoing surgery on a malignant testicular tumour that was discovered during a pre-season training camp.
Leverkusen, who finished third last season, had their share of chances with Schick particularly dangerous. Mahmoud Dahoud had to produce a perfectly timed sliding tackle in the 42nd minute to deny the Czech forward. In the second half, Dortmund keeper Gregor Köbel made two good saves to keep Schick out.
The hosts also had chances to add to their lead, with Hradecky denying Hazard soon after half-time. This was a much-improved performance by Leverkusen after last week’s shock German Cup exit to third-tier Elversberg, but any hopes of grabbing a draw faded with Hradecky’s late red card.
After the final whistle, fans at Signal Iduna Park were told to remain in their seats due to a suspect car with a running motor found outside the stadium. Police investigated the vehicle and gave the all-clear 20 minutes later.
Union Berlin eased past local rivals Hertha 3-1 in the Berlin derby, maintaining their bragging rights after beating Hertha three times last season. Jordan Siebatcheu scored on his Bundesliga debut with a glancing header, before Sheraldo Becker punished passive defending to make it two soon after half time. Robin Knoche’s header, awarded after a VAR review, piled the hurt on Hertha before Dodi Lukebakio scoring a late goal that offered little consolation.
It was also a tough opening day for Augsburg, who were thrashed 4-0 at home by Freiburg. After an even first half, Michael Gregoritsch struck against his former club, with Vincenzo Grifo firing in a long-range free kick moments later. Matthias Ginter found the top corner just past the hour, with Ritsu Doan finishing clinically to complete the scoting.
Despite going down to 10 men after Stefan Posch’s 19th-minute red card, Hoffenheim took the lead at Mönchengladbach through Robert Skov. The hosts rallied to equalise through Ramy Bensebaini before half-time, however, and goals from Marcus Thuram and Nico Elvedi secured a comeback win for the hosts.
Werder Bremen had to settle for a point on their top-flight return after Josuha Guilavogui’s late equaliser for Wolfsburg. The promoted side went ahead through quickfire first-half goals from Niclas Füllkrug and Leo Bittencourt, after Lukas Nmecha’s early opener for the hosts. Elsewhere, Karim Onisiwo scored twice as Mainz earned a 2-1 victory at Bochum.