European roundup: Haaland double fires Dortmund to winning start

By on September 20, 2020

Erling Braut Haaland scored twice and teenager Giovanni Reyna added another as Borussia Dortmund cruised past Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-0 in their season opener on Saturday.

The 20-year-old Haaland scored a 54th-minute penalty, awarded for a foul on Reyna, and bagged another with a sensationally quick counterattack and a Jadon Sancho assist as Dortmund utilised their fearsome youthful attacking weapons. Reyna opened the scoring, after combining perfectly with his fellow 17-year-old Jude Bellingham in the 35th minute. His first league goal made him the second youngest American to score in the league after Christian Pulisic. The hosts, playing in front of a crowd limited to 9,300 fans in their 80,000-capacity stadium due to Covid-19 restrictions, also hit the crossbar with a Sancho header.

Hertha Berlin beat hosts Werder Bremen 4-1 to earn their first win there in 14 years. Hertha, who announced a €127m investment in June, barely had any chances until they struck twice in three minutes late in the first half. Peter Pekarik was left unmarked at the far post and tapped in for the lead in the 42nd minute. Dodi Lukebakio then stunned the hosts – and 8,500 home fans allowed to attend the match – with a second on the stroke of half-time. Matheus Cunha wrongfooted keeper Jiri Pavlenka with a low shot before newcomer Jhon Córdoba added his first goal for the club in the 90th minute. Davie Selke had earlier cut the deficit in the 68th with a close-range header against his former club.

Freiburg were made to sweat against VfB Stuttgart, eventually edging past them 3-2 having gone 3-0 up only to see their opponents score twice late in the game. Andrej Kramaric scored a hat-trick to hand Hoffenheim a 3-2 win at Cologne, who had equalised twice. Bayern kicked off their season with an 8-0 demolition of Schalke on Friday.

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The evergreen Iago Aspas scored in either half to give Celta Vigo a 2-1 win at home to Valencia in La Liga. The 33-year-old striker first nipped in to beat the offside trap and meet a pass from Nolito before rounding Valencia keeper Jaume Domenech to score in the 13th minute, the goal being ruled out at first for offside until a VAR review. T he former Celta forward Maxi Gomez equalised early in the second half with a powerful header but captain Aspas soon restored his side’s advantage, smashing into the top corner with a free-kick.

Iago Aspas round the keeper to score a goal that was disallowed at first for offside, then give by VAR. Photograph: Miguel Riopa/AFP/Getty Images

Unai Emery earned his first win as Villarreal coach after his side came from behind to beat Eibar 2-1 at home in La Liga. After being held to a disappointing draw with promoted Huesca last week, Villarreal again fell behind at home to humble opposition when Kike put Eibar ahead five minutes into the second half. Emery sprung a double substitution shortly afterwards and the changes paid dividends as Gerard Moreno levelled in the 63rd minute and then played in Paco Alcácer, who rounded the goalkeeper to tap in from a tight angle in the 71st.

Fiorentina grabbed a late goal through Gaetano Castrovilli to beat visiting Torino 1-0 in the opening match of the new Serie A season. As the season kicked off without spectators due to the pandemic, Castrovilli tapped the ball home in the 78th minute at the far post to hand Torino’s new coach, Marco Giampaolo, a losing debut. Andrea Belotti had the ball in the net for Torino deep into stoppage time with an acrobatic effort but it was disallowed for offside.

Italy will allow up to 1,000 supporters to attend Serie A soccer matches from Sunday following an agreement between the regions and various government departments, sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora said on Saturday.

Teenage midfielder Adrien Truffert capped a memorable Ligue 1 debut as he scored a stoppage-time winner for Rennes which gave his side a comeback 2-1 victory at home to Monaco and sent them top of the table. The result left Rennes on 10 points from four games, one ahead of St Etienne, who can reclaim pole position on Sunday when they visit Nantes, and Lens. In Sunday’s other standout fixtures, champions Paris Saint-Germain visit Nice in the lunchtime kick off while Olympique Marseille entertain Lille

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