Borussia Dortmund made it a winning start to their 2016/17 campaign with a hard-fought 2-1 win over a spirited 1. FSV Mainz 05 side.
BVB coach Thomas Tuchel handed league debuts to new signings Ousmane Dembele, Sebastian Rode and Andre Schürrle and all three of them started the match impressively as Dortmund took control early on. Rode was as tenacious as ever in the middle of the park, while Dembele's pace caused makeshift left-back Daniel Brosinski all manner of problems, including a booking for a cynical lunge.
On the other side of the pitch, Schürrle took a little longer to find his feet, but it was his delightfully measured cross that led to the opener, with Gabonese goal machine Aubameyang heading in his first of the season from six yards. The visitors responded admirably, however, and both Fabian Frei and Karim Onisiwo both drew smart saves out of Borussia 'keeper Roman Bürki before the break.
Despite the lead, Tuchel cut a visibly frustrated figure on the touchline in the first half, and his mood was not helped when Christian Clemens was allowed to scamper free, only for the midfielder to blaze over. His side having lost their grip on proceedings somewhat, Tuchel introduced Julian Weigl on the hour-mark, and the young midfielder's arrival helped the hosts regain control.
The home side slowly took the sting out of the game, and as Mainz tired in the closing stages, the impressive Schürrle helped seal the victory by turning on the after-burners to win a penalty after being tugged back by Onisiwo. Aubameyang duly converted and Dortmund's winning start was assured, despite a late reply from Mainz's Japanese substitute Yoshinori Muto.
After seeing FC Bayern München throw down the gauntlet by scoring six without reply on Friday, Dortmund did what they needed to by winning. With so many new arrivals his side are yet to fully hit their stride, but Tuchel will be excited by the options he now has at his disposal.
- Dortmund are yet to lose to Mainz in the league after scoring first (W9, D4).Aubameyang has now scored on the opening Matchday in three of his four Bundesliga seasons.Eight of the Gabonese striker's 56 Bundesliga goals - including three of the last four - have come with his head.
Dortmund: Bürki - Passlack (Piszczek 76'), Sokratis, Bartra, Schmelzer (c) - Castro (Weigl 59'), Rode (Guerreiro 86')- Dembele, Kagawa, Schürrle - Aubameyang
Coach: Thomas Tuchel
Mainz: Lössl - Donati, Balogun, Bell (c), Brosinski - Gbamin, Serdar (Öztunali 71')- Clemens (Muto 81'), Frei, Onisiwo - Malli (De Blasis 86')
Coach: Martin Schmidt