Borussia Dortmund Reassert League Dominance in Season Opener
Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Hamburger SV
At Signal Iduna Park on Friday, in front of more than 80,000 fans, the home side looked as comfortable as ever as they started the new season off strong.
Last year's Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund put on a show, defeating the vastly underrated Hamburg by a margin of two goals.
Kevin Großkreutz started things off early, scoring Dortmund's first goal of the 2011-12 season in the 17th minute, taking advantage of a world-class feed from Mario Goetze. Großkreutz would complete a brace by the end of the match (with the help of Goetze once again), and the German champions would go 79 minutes and three unanswered goals before conceding their first of the season.
Dortmund outshot Hamburg 16-7, and dominated every other offensive aspect of the match. In their desperation, the visitors committed 21 fouls to try and stem the tide of Dortmund's repeat-Championship campaign.
For Borussia, this match was more than the first of the season. It was an opportunity to send the Bundesliga a message: "get ready, because it's going to be a long season for the rest of you."
Rough Start at Home for Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich 0-1 Moenchengladbach
One match into the season, and last season's Bundesliga third-place finishers Bayern Munich are already wishing they could get one back.
Playing at home, Bayern struggled to find the back of the net, but only conceded four shots to Moenchengladbach, one of which snuck through in the 62nd minute to secure the victory for the lower-table side. Bayern themselves took 13 unsuccessful shots, and will face difficult questions about their finishing ability as they prepare for next week.
Moenchengladbach, of course, finished third to last in Bundesliga at the end of the last campaign. They only narrowly avoided relegation by winning the playoff to determine who would compete in Germany's top tier in 2011-12.
The final result is less of an indicator of an improved Moenchengladbach squad, and much more of indicator of Bayern's struggle to start off strong. If they can't figure out how to convert some of those shots into goals, Bayern may be in for a long and disappointing campaign.
Could This be the Year for FSV Mainz?
FSV Mainz 05 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen
Starting the season at home, FSV Mainz 05 wasted very little time in showing the league that they're ready to be taken seriously.
Taking on last season's Bundesliga runners-up, the home side dominated in nearly every offensive aspect of the match, holding a majority share of the possession and more than tripling Leverkusen's shots on target.
Mainz has been on a steady ascent in German football since their relegation in 2007. In 2009, they won promotion back to the top tier, and finished ninth the following season. In 2010-11, they secured a spot in European football by finishing fifth in Bundesliga and earning a spot in the Europa League qualifying round.
Could this be the season that FSV Mainz 05 finally break into the top three and earn themselves a coveted spot in next year's Champions League tournament? In any case, they could easily be the club to watch in Germany this year.