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Dortmund launch title charge with Augsburg thrashing

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Marco Reus plays the ball during the match against Augsburg in Dortmund on Saturday. AFP

Dortmund launch title charge with Augsburg thrashing

Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre said his team could get even better after they made a perfect start to the new Bundesliga season on Saturday, thrashing Augsburg 5-1 to take an early lead in the title race.

England international Jadon Sancho, who claimed his first goal of the term in Dortmund’s Supercup victory over Bayern Munich two weeks ago, was among the scorers again as Dortmund ran riot to go top of the table.

“We did well and had a lot of possession today, and we deserved to win,” said Favre, but said his side could still improve in some areas.

“The important thing is that we get better every day,” he said.

Having thrown away a nine-point lead and narrowly missed the title last season, Dortmund had promised another attack on Bayern’s hegemony in 2019/20.

Dortmund received a boost on Friday when the champions dropped two points against Hertha Berlin in the season opener.

They then romped to victory in front of their own fans on Saturday.

Florian Niederlechner’s first-minute opener for Augsburg left Dortmund stunned, but it took the hosts two minutes to draw level. Paco Alcacer gratefully pounced on a mistake from Augsburg keeper Tomas Koubek.

Koubek was at fault again when Sancho put Dortmund ahead after the break, flapping at a low cross before the Englishman smashed the ball in at the far post.

The Czech keeper then crowned a miserable Bundesliga debut by dropping the ball at the feet of Marco Reus to gift Dortmund a third goal.

A curling long-range strike from Alcacer and a debut

goal for new signing Julian Brandt completed the rout for Dortmund.

Goalless debut for Wagner

Elsewhere, former Huddersfield manager David Wagner made a gritty start to his new job at Schalke, as his side were held to a 0-0 draw by Borussia Moenchengladbach.

“I’ve had worse days in my career. The boys gave everything in defence. We still need time on the training pitch, but today it was about showing commitment and passion,” Wagner told broadcaster Sky.

Former Dortmund boss Peter Bosz watched his Bayer Leverkusen side stumble to a 3-2 victory over promoted minnows Paderborn.

Leon Bailey’s early opener and Sven Michel’s sharp equaliser kick-started an action-packed first half.

A nonchalant chip from Kai Havertz quickly restored the lead, but Paderborn hit back again through Streli Mamba before Kevin Volland slotted home the winner 20 minutes from time.

Werder Bremen, widely tipped as dark horses in this year’s race for Europe, made the worst possible start with a 3-1 home loss to Fortuna Duesseldorf.

Bremen’s Johannes Eggestein cancelled out Rouwen Hennings’ first-half opener just after the break, but goals from Kenan Karaman and Kaan Ayhan ensured a perfect afternoon for Duesseldorf.

A sweetly-timed volley from Maximilian Arnold and a simple finish by Wout Weghorst saw Wolfsburg edge a 2-1 win over promoted side Cologne, while late goals from Lucas Hoeler, Jonathan Schmid and Luca Waldschmidt snatched a 3-0 win for Freiburg over Mainz.

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