Bayer Leverkusen scored with the first kick of the game and the last as they opened their 2014-15 Bundesliga campaign with a 2-0 win away to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
The opener—which beat Dortmund goalkeeper Mitch Langerak after only nine seconds—established a new mark for the fastest ever goal in league history, and the insurance marker came in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time.
Dortmund’s next chance to get their first win of the season will come next Friday against Augsburg, while Leverkusen will be back in action on Wednesday when they host FC Copenhagen in the play-off round of Champions League qualification.
Fewer than 10 seconds had ticked off the clock by the time the guests took the lead at Signal-Iduna-Park, and Karim Bellarabi must have been in disbelief when he found himself in shooting position following a pass from Sebastian Boenisch.
The goal, which caught the hosts completely off guard, was quickly confirmed as the fastest in Bundesliga history, but despite the concession it was Dortmund who went on the front-foot in search of an equaliser.
Leverkusen’s Karim Bellarabi took all of nine seconds to score against Dortmund, a new Bundesliga record: https://t.co/Obd17LoVQ0— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) August 23, 2014
In the fourth minute, Matthias Ginter’s header from a Marco Reus free-kick was saved by Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno, who would prove to be vital in his side’s eventual victory.
But he wouldn’t have to make another save until late in the second half, as Dortmund proceeded to huff and puff and do little else over the balance of the match.
In fact, it was Stefan Kiessling who had the next goalscoring opportunity in the 11th minute, and in the 18th Hakan Calhanoglu narrowly missed the near corner of Langerak’s goal with a dangerous set-piece from just outside the 18-yard box.
All the while the likes of Reus, Ciro Immobile and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struggled to create openings for the German Super Cup winners, and it wasn’t until near the end of the first half that Milos Jojic actually attempted a shot—only to have it blocked in front of Leno.
Disjointed and seemingly unable to spring Immobile in the attacking third, Dortmund nevertheless went on the front-foot to start the second period but hadn’t taken a single shot by the time Heung-Min Son’s effort was blocked in their own goalmouth.
Reus, who was withdrawn after 75 minutes, never managed to test Leno before being replaced by Kevin Grosskreutz, and despite enjoying the majority of possession, Dortmund, in general, looked a team still very much in pre-season mode.
Dortmund can't find a way to create danger on Leverkusen's goal. The visitors still hold the lead after the fastest goal ever in #Bundesliga— GOLTV (@GolTV) August 23, 2014
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, however, began to assert himself midway through the second half and seemed to combine nicely at times with Immobile, although the much-needed chance remained elusive.
Finally, after 80 minutes since their last shot on target, Dortmund forced a spectacular save out of Leno when Ginter’s downward header required a quick reaction from the 22-year-old in order to preserve the lead.
SAVE! Ginter's header is brilliantly saved by Bernd Leno. #BVBB04— DW - Sports (@dw_sports) August 23, 2014
In the 89th minute, with Dortmund finally buzzing, Immobile’s attempt from close range was punched away by Leno, and in the third minute of second-half stoppage time the Leverkusen goalkeeper reached to his right-hand post to deny Aubameyang.
Moments later, Leverkusen had the points in the bag after Bellarabi’s dispossession of Erik Durm and subsequent pass to the wide-open Kiessling, who was never going to miss from in close.
"We knew that Leverkusen would go for it, nobody was surprised really, only four or five of our players." Klopp on Leverkusen's 1-0.— dembowski (@uersfeld) August 23, 2014
Leverkusen's goal symbolic of intrepid exciting approach from Roger Schmidt. Going to be fun to watch this season.— Cristian Nyari (@Cnyari) August 23, 2014