Donyell Malen grabbed the winner two minutes from time as Borussia Dortmund opened their Bundesliga season with a 1-0 win over Cologne.
Dortmund 1-0 Cologne
Goals: 1-0 Malen 88' (assist: Nmecha)
Dortmund started on the front foot, with Marco Reus at the heart of most of their attacking actions. He teed up former Bayern Munich and Manchester United new boy Marcel Sabitzer for a rasping shot before putting too much on a through-ball for Malen. But it was Cologne who had the first big chance, with Dejan Ljubicic slipping Davie Selke through for a shot on goal which deflected off the crossbar. Dortmund soon settled back into their stride, though, and Julian Brandt had the chance of the half on the half-hour when he rolled Timo Hübers and let fly, but Marvin Schwäbe was equal to his effort. Mats Hummels then headed narrowly past the post and Deniz Aytekin's whistle went with the deadlock intact.
Florian Kainz whipped a corner in for Eric Martel for the first chance after the restart, but his effort sailed wide. Selke, who had been a doubt before the game, soon made way for Sargis Adamyan, and the Armenia forward nearly scored with his first touch, but Gregor Kobel pulled off a brilliant save. Reus then tested Schwäbe at the other end before the flag went up for offside. Hummels was the next to try his luck, touching Brandt's delivery over the bar. Edin Terzic tried to inject some pace into the game with Youssoufa Moukoko and Karim Adeyemi, but Cologne were the next to threaten with Kobel toeing away Adamyan's downward header. Malen had the final say, though, forcing home to secure a 1-0 win.
- Malen, who had nine goals and seven assists last season, is off the mark this.
- Brandt was Dortmund most productive attacking asset last term with nine goals and eight assists.
- Dortmund are undefeated in 20 home games stretching back to Matchday 3 of last season, when they were edged 3-2 by Werder Bremen.
- Dortmund had nine shots to Cologne's seven, but dominated possession with 67 per cent of the ball.
- Ellyes Skhiri, now of Eintracht Frankfurt, was Cologne's seven-goal top scorer from defensive midfield last season.
- New Cologne left-back Leart Paqarada produced 10 assists in each of his last two seasons in Bundesliga 2 with St. Pauli.
Dortmund: Kobel - Ryerson (Hazard 84'), Süle, Hummels, Bensebaini (Wolf 83') - Sabitzer, Can (c) (Nmecha 59') - Malen, Reus (Adeyemi 69'), Brandt - Haller (Moukoko 59')
Unused subs: Meyer, Schlotterbeck, Özcan, Bynoe-Gittens
Out: Duranville (thigh), Meunier (hamstring), Morey (muscular), Reyna (foot)
Coach: Edin Terzic
Cologne: Schwäbe - Schmitz, Hübers, Chabot, Paqarada - Carstensen (Kilian 90'+1), Martel - Ljubicic, Waldschmidt (Finkgräfe 66'), Kainz (c) (Olesen 66') - Selke (Adamyan 52')
Unused subs: Pentke, Pedersen, Huseinbasic, Christensen, Limnios
Out: Dietz (knee), Katterbach (knee), Maina (back), Thielmann (knee), Tigges (shoulder), Uth (muscular)
Coach: Steffen Baumgart
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