Franck Ribery scores on return as Bayern Munich go joint top
Bayern Munich playmaker Franck Ribery scored in his first game this season as the champions moved joint top of the Bundesliga on Saturday, while Shinji Kagawa also enjoyed a goalscoring return as Borussia Dortmund saw off Freiburg.
Berlin: Bayern Munich playmaker Franck Ribery scored in his first game this season as the champions moved joint top of the Bundesliga on Saturday, while Shinji Kagawa also enjoyed a goalscoring return as Borussia Dortmund saw off Freiburg.
Mario Goetze put the defending champions ahead in the first half before Ribery came off the bench to seal a routine 2-0 win over VfB Stuttgart at the Allianz Arena.
Bayern are now equal on seven points with Bayer Leverkusen who were held 3-3 by Werder Bremen on Friday night and are ahead on goal difference after three games.
The Bavarians scored the first goal of the afternoon after 27 minutes when Goetze drove a shot through a crowd of players when a free-kick was only partially cleared.
In the second half Ribery, who has been suffering from a recurring knee injury, came on and the French midfielder secured the three points when he slotted under Sven Ullreich with five minutes left.
The only down side for Bayern ahead of a Champions League clash with Manchester City in Munich on Wednesday was seeing defender Holger Badstuber hobble off with a thigh injury.
"We`ll get the diagnosis tomorrow," Bayern manager Pep Guardiola said. "But I don`t think it`s too bad."
Meanwhile, Kagawa made a dream start to his second spell at Borussia Dortmund after getting on the scoresheet in their 3-1 win over Freiburg at Signal Iduna Park.
The Japanese midfielder returned to Dortmund from Manchester United last month and his clever pass for Kevin Grosskreutz helped the hosts open the scoring after 34 minutes. Grosskreutz`s low cross was swept in by Adrian Ramos for his second goal of the campaign.
The same three players were involved when Dortmund stretched their lead four minutes before half-time. This time Ramos found Kagawa, who sidefooted home in what was his 50th Bundesliga game.
"Shinji had a great game," Borussia Dortmund boss Juergen Klopp said. "He smiled the whole time - at least until he got cramp."
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a breakaway goal shortly after coming on before Oliver Sorg pulled one back for Freiburg.
Dortmund, who host Arsenal in their Champions League opener on Tuesday, are now third in the Bundesliga table, just a point behind Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern.
Elsewhere, Japanese striker Shinji Okazaki scored twice and Sami Allagui also found the net against the team he has just left as Mainz won 3-1 at Hertha Berlin.
Okazaki gave the visitors the lead after 36 minutes, finishing on the rebound after home keeper Thomas Kraft twice denied South Korea midfielder Koo Ja-Cheol.
Julian Schieber fired a great chance wide for Hertha before Allagui rounded off a lovely team move with twenty minutes left. It was the Tunisian attacker`s first game for Mainz since rejoining them on loan from Hertha at the end of August.
Ronny`s late penalty gave Hertha hope but Okazaki`s third league goal of the campaign ensured that Mainz got their first league win of the season.
Hoffenheim had to settle for a point after Ivica Olic`s deft finish drew visitors Wolfsburg level with a minute remaining. Anthony Modeste scored Hoffenheim`s goal in the 1-1 draw, while Wolfsburg`s Josuha Guilavogui was sent off late on.
Promoted sides Paderborn and Cologne are both still unbeaten after they played out a goalless draw.
On Friday, Bayer Leverkusen lost their 100 percent record when they were pegged back in a six-goal thriller against Werder Bremen.
Werder`s Sebastian Proedl made it 3-3 with only five minutes left as the visitors drew their third game in a row.