• Lewandowski netted hat-trick in Bundesliga opener.
  • Aubameyang hit back with two in win over Mainz.
  • Two forwards go public with duel for top scorer's prize.

Robert Lewandowski threw down the gauntlet to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with a hat-trick in the opening Bundesliga fixture on Friday night, and the Gabon forward duly replied with two goals of his own as Borussia Dortmund beat 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Saturday.

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Last season's top two contenders for the Torjägerkanone are at it again, and this time neither of them is making a secret out of it. "The race is started," said Aubameyang on Twitter after replying to Lewandowski's opening salvo.

'The race has only just begun!'

Lewandowski won out last season by scoring 30 goals – five more than his rival - and he already has his nose in front after the opening round of Bundesliga matches, but there is plenty of time to make up ground. "He knows the race has only just begun, and I'm ready," said Aubameyang, who might have had a treble of his own.

Scoring opportunities are not likely to be lacking this season either as he seeks to cut the deficit, with summer recruit Andre Schürrle catching the eye with an assist and Ousmane Dembele impressing on his Bundesliga debut against Mainz. "Andre set up the goal for me really well," Aubameyang said. "They're both super players and it's amazing to play with them."

Schürrle (l.) and Aubameyang showed the signs of a strong partnership in Saturday's win. © imago / DeFodi

The feeling is mutual. "It's great fun when you have a striker who always goes deep and is just so fast that you can always send him through," said former VfL Wolfsburg winger Schürrle, whose trickery also earned the penalty that Aubameyang converted to seal Dortmund's victory.

Aubameyang admitted the Pole's hat-trick on Friday had "inspired" him to hit the ground running the following day, and the 2015 African player of the year will take encouragement from scoring twice from just four shots, while Lewandowski needed 12 attempts.

After a prolific opening weekend, somebody still felt left out, though. "I'm a bit disappointed that I'm being forgotten in this contest," wrote Mats Hummels on Twitter in reply to his current and former team-mates' challenge. There are still 33 matches to go, Mats!