Bayern and Dortmund already setting the pace in Bundesliga
BERLIN (AP) — Bayern Munich has made such an impressive start to the season that few if any expect Borussia Dortmund or any other challenger to be able to keep up.
The two rivals are the only teams remaining with 100% records after two games of the Bundesliga, where they already occupy the places they had at the end of last season – first and second.
Bayern leads due to a superior goal difference after racking up six in its opening win at Eintracht Frankfurt and two more in last weekend’s comfortable victory over Wolfsburg. The Bavarian powerhouse next visits Bochum on Sunday, where it hopes for more target practice against a team that lost both of its games.
Dortmund, which is banking on a mix of youth and experience for the new season, overcame tough rivals Bayer Leverkusen and Freiburg. Edin Terzić’s team next hosts promoted Werder Bremen on Saturday.
Bayern and Dortmund don’t play each other until the ninth round on the weekend of Oct. 8.
Bayern is going for a-record extending 11th consecutive league title since Dortmund last won it in 2012.
Former Bayern great Lothar Matthäus doesn’t anticipate a change after paying tribute to sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić for a busy summer of transfer activity.
Matthäus says the squad is strong enough to challenge for the Champions League.
“Based on the performances we’ve seen so far and my gut feeling, I think that Bayern, with this team and this spirit, can once again have an important say when it comes to winning the most important European club trophy,” Matthäus said in a column for Germany’s Sky Sport.
Bayern saw top-scorer Robert Lewandowski depart for Barcelona, but brought in Senegal star Sadio Mané, Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt, Ajax stars Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch, and highly rated French talent Mathys Tel.
Franz Beckenbauer, another former Bayern great, struggled to contain his excitement after seeing Bayern’s opening game in Frankfurt.
“I’ll hold off congratulations for the title. But I hadn’t seen such desire, such a performance in a long time,” Beckenbauer told the Bild tabloid.
Dortmund is focusing on its own team and results. Sporting director Sebastian Kehl said he had watched Bayern’s opening game in Frankfurt but that it had caused “little excitement” in his household.
Kehl, who took over from predecessor Michael Zorc after last season, has overseen another summer of rebuilding in Dortmund. Top-scorer Erling Haaland is gone, replaced first by Sébastien Haller from Ajax, then Anthony Modeste from Cologne after Haller was found to have a testicular tumor.
Dortmund also signed Germany attacker Karim Adeyemi and his national team teammates Niko Schlotterbeck and Niklas Süle for the defense.
But existing players like Marco Reus, Jude Bellingham, and youngsters Youssoufa Moukoko and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens are just as important. Moukoko and Bynoe-Gittens both scored in Dortmund’s come-from-behind win in Freiburg last week, and Dortmund extended the 18-year-old Bynoe-Gittens’ contract on Tuesday.
Edin Terzić is back to coach the team following Marco Rose’s inconsistent spell in charge last season. Terzić led Dortmund to the German Cup title in his first stint in 2021. After last Friday’s win in Freiburg, he’s also the first Dortmund coach to win nine games in a row.
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