Borussia Dortmund marked Thomas Tuchel’s first Bundesliga game in charge with a stunning 4-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach at Signal Iduna-Park on Saturday.
Dortmund put the troubles of last season well behind them as they raced into a three-goal lead inside 33 minutes in their opening league match of the season, leaving Lucien Favre’s Monchengladbach, who finished third last term, shell-shocked.
After Henrikh Mkhitaryan had a goal disallowed for offside, quick-fire strikes from former Monchengladbach man Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were just reward for Dortmund’s flying start.
Mkhitaryan then added Dortmund’s third and fourth either side of half-time, with Shinji Kagawa then squandering a golden-opportunity to grab a fifth soon after.
With champions Bayern Munich having hammered Hamburg 5-0 on Friday, Dortmund served a reminder that they are ready to challenge the Bavarian giants once again after finishing last season in seventh place.
Tuchel announced on Friday that long-standing first-choice goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller was to be replaced with new signing Roman Burki.
And although the Swiss got off to a shaky start when he made a hash of claiming Raffael’s corner, he was mainly untroubled as Dortmund turned up the heat on a lacklustre Monchengladbach.
The in-form Mkhitaryan thought he had given Dortmund the lead with a superb curled strike, only for the celebrations to be cut short by the offside flag.
But Dortmund did not have to wait long for the opener when, following good interplay with Kagawa, Reusjinked inside from the right and smashed a shot into the near corner after 15 minutes.
The buoyant hosts wasted no time in increasing their advantage, with Marcel Schmelzer whipping in an inch-perfect cross for Aubameyang to nod in their second six minutes later.
Dortmund were on fire, and Aubameyang turned provider for their third on the half-hour mark when he raced onto Ilkay Gundogan’s pass and squared to Mkhitaryan, with the Armenian duly prodding home from close range.
Monchengladbach’s nightmare half could have been even worse had Raffael not cleared Mats Hummels’ looping header off the line shortly before the break.
Tuchel’s side picked up where they left off after the interval, with Mkhitaryan notching his second with a cool finish after being teed up by Reus in the 50th minute.
Kagawa, excellent throughout, then carved through Monchengladbach’s defence with a fantastic one-two with Aubameyang, but the Japanese playmaker then drilled his low shot wide when free on goal.
The home team took their foot off the pedal late on after a breathless display, although Gundogan forced Yann Sommer into a save low down to his left with a curling long-range strike as Tuchel enjoyed an ideal start to life at Dortmund.