Borussia Dortmund showed signs they can thrive this season without suspended forward Ousmane Dembele by opening their Bundesliga campaign with a 3-0 rout at Wolfsburg on Saturday.
United States international Christian Pulisic scored one goal and set up another.
Dembele remains suspended after missing training when Barcelona made a bid for the player and sporting director Michael Zorc said earlier on Saturday that the La Liga side had yet to meet their demands.
Dortmund fans have turned against the 20-year-old Dembele, who contributed six goals and 13 assists in his debut Bundesliga season after joining for 15 million euros from Rennes last year. One supporter attending Saturday’s game altered his Dembele shirt to read “Dumbele.”
Pulisic scored Dortmund’s first league goal of the season after good work by Mario Gotze, who was making his first Bundesliga start since December after illness.
Gotze spotted Pulisic free to his right and played in the 18-year-old. Pulisic scored with a great finish inside the far post midway through the first half.
Marc Bartra then made it 2-0 with a brilliantly curled shot from a difficult angle inside the top corner.
Dortmund continued their domination in the second half when Pulisic crossed for last season’s top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to start his tally for the 2017-18 campaign.
The result sees Dortmund move ahead of reigning champions Bayern Munich, who beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 with the help of video technology on Friday night.
In the late game, Nabil Bentaleb’s penalty and a cool finish from Yevhen Konoplyanka handed Schalke a 2-0 home win over Leipzig.
New coach Domenico Tedesco enjoyed a victory in his maiden Bundesliga tie in charge of Schalke, with the hosts able to control the majority of the contest.
Last season’s Bundesliga runners-up Leipzig were unable to pick up where they left off last term, with ex-Spurs man Bentaleb showing no mercy from the spot to hand his side the lead just before the break.
And when Amine Harit laid on a neat through-ball midway through the second half, Konoplyanka did the rest, curling home in style to seal the victory.
Mathew Leckie scored twice on his league debut for Hertha Berlin to beat promoted Stuttgart 2-0 at home.
The Australia forward, who joined from Ingolstadt in this summer, eluded a defender with a clever flick and finished in style just after the restart, and then blasted home after Stuttgart failed to clear a corner.
Nicolai Muller’s first-half goal was enough for Hamburg to beat visiting Augsburg 1-0, but it came at a price as he injured himself while celebrating.
Muller, arguably Hamburg’s best performer last season, fired the side into an early lead — although Augsburg keeper Marwin Hitz should have done better — but then had to go off after twisting his knee while celebrating.
Andrej Kramaric scored late for Hoffenheim to beat Werder Bremen 1-0, and Hannover celebrated their return to the league with a 1-0 win at Mainz.