There's not much doubt about who captured most of the Matchday 1 headlines as new Borussia Dortmund frontman joined the elite band of players, now six-strong, to have scored three goals on their Bundesliga debut. And while the French-born Gabon international was firing his way to a bit of top-flight history at FC Augsburg, he was by no means the only new face to get among the goals on Matchday 1. Indeed, with the ball hitting the back of the net 37 times all-told over the course of an exhilarating opening weekend it would have been quite a surprise if he had been. An overview of how it all went.
Top Game I
Eintracht Frankfurt and FC Bayern Munich got their 2013/14 respective campaigns off to distinctly contrasting starts. Bayern took the points as expected in the season curtain-raiser at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach, although the Foals put up a decent fight of it before succumbing to their first loss in three years at the Allianz Arena. For his part, Pep Guardiola was reservedly satisfied with the performance and unreservedly glad to have got his Bundesliga career underway with a win.
Frankfurt were in action at Hertha BSC Berlin the following afternoon and while they were doubtless expecting a tough encounter against their freshly repromoted and accordingly fired-up hosts, neither they nor the German football-following public at large were prepared for the 6-1 mauling dished out to them in the capital. Now, the Eagles have to get back on track against Bayern of all teams - although the flipside of that argument is that an upset victory here would more than compensate psychologically for that Matchday 1 debacle.
With 25 minutes to go and the scores locked at one apiece between 1. FSV Mainz 05 and VfB Stuttgart, cut inside his marker and planted a precise finish into the net to put his side back in front. Last season, that would have been very good news for Stuttgart - but on Sunday it was Mainz, the 61-time Japan international's new employers, who were the beneficiaries. After two seasons in the German top flight at VfB, Okazaki signed up with FSV on a three-year contract over the summer and, having promptly helped dispatch his former club for starters, he seems to be settling in very nicely in his new surroundings.
This is the season has earmarked for the next big step forward in his already singularly precocious career. Still only 19 and already with over 75 Bundesliga appearances under his belt - an unparalleled combination - Draxler has taken possession of the FC Schalke no10 shirt this season and he intends to do it every justice by assuming the definitive role of playmaker for the Royal Blues. "It's the position I feel most comfortable in," says the Germany international, who accordingly feels "ready to take on more responsibility." And indeed, with other even younger talents such as now on board, Draxler is in the fast lane to seniority at the club he joined as an eight-year-old - and to whom he recently recommitted on a new contract valid through to 2018.