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Aug 23, 2014

Dortmund caught cold in record-breaking opener

Bayer Leverkusen's Karim Bellarabi nets the fastest goal in Bundesliga history in a 2-0 away win against Borussia Dortmund.

Borussia Dortmund entered the new Bundesliga campaign with the worst possible start -- A 2-0 loss at home against Bayer Leverkusen in the season opener just like in 2010/2011, with some unwanted history made as well. Karim Bellarabi scored the quickest Bundesliga goal ever, as he was at the end of an attack that was completed within nine seconds.

Bayer Leverkusen's coach Roger Schmidt is famous for trying to catch the opposition with the first attack from kick-off, which is why this is rather embarrassing for the Dortmund players.

- Three Points: Dortmund 0-2 Leverkusen

Conceding the earliest goal in Bundesliga history meant there was enough time to make up for it. However, Dortmund weren't only stunned by the early goal, Leverkusen's aggressive pressing restricted their hopes of getting back into it. Schmidt's tactics worked brilliantly, as Leverkusen's work-rate overshadowed Dortmund's by far.

Bayer's dominance didn't quite come as a surprise. The Rhine side had fewer international players at the World Cup and fewer injuries to deal with, too. They had far longer to prepare for this season with a first choice 11, so their edge was logical. Playing early against Dortmund was rather convenient for them but that shouldn't diminish Saturday's victory, as they will be a tough opponent throughout the whole season.

The Black and Yellows struggled, especially in central midfieldwhere Sebastian Kehl and Milos Jojic just couldn't create a sufficient build-up play. It also speaks a lot for Oliver Kirch, whose absence is felt. The game might have been a bit different with Kirch on the pitch, as the 31-year-old shows more pressing resistance. Sadly he is out for at least eight weeks with a muscle rupture. In addition, Matthias Ginter clearly lacked the experience of playing with his new teammates. The central defender can't yet make the play from the back, as Mats Hummels usually does.

Ginter's centre-back colleague Sokratis Papastathopoulos was by far the best Dortmund player on the pitch. If it wasn't for his tidy and gritty defending, BVB would probably have conceded more than just two. The Greek is showing impressive form and will make it tough for Neven Subotic to find his way back into the side.

Bellarabi celebrates with his teammates after his shock early goal -- and Dortmund never recovered.

Apart from Sokratis there wasn't much to cheer about. The second half was better from Dortmund, as they left the dressing room with more urgency. Leverkusen obviously couldn't replicate the high intensity from the first half and Jurgen Klopp's side managed to get back into the game, although a breakthrough was not forthcoming.

BVB look like a team that isn't quite up for the task at this stage. New striker Ciro Immobile still looks like foreign body within the squad; his teammates still need time to learn how to best use the Italian's strengths.

Marco Reus, who led his team as captain, will also need a few weeks to get into gear. The long injury that ruled him out of the World Cup is still taking its toll.

Stefan Kießling sealed Dortmund's fate late on but there is no reason to overreact just yet. It was only the first game and Dortmund still need time to find their form. They will get there eventually, so don't worry just yet.

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