Like there has never been a summer break
Finally, this special feeling was back. After long weeks of boredom, the world cup of the women, many test matches and weeks of desperation, the Bundesliga is finally back and with it, the Deutscher Meister! However, after seeing the 3-1 (2-0) victory against Hamburger SV, there was one question that came to my – and not only my – mind: Was there a summer break actually? Did the players of Borussia really went to vacation to celebrate their championship and to regenerate? Did anything really change? Clear answer: Not at all! Instead, it was the same Borussia who played in May, the same Borussia which rushed to the Bundesliga over last season. The same Borussia which dominated the whole league to become the youngest Deutscher Meister ever. Like netradio reporter Boris Rupert said on Friday: "This was day 35 of the season 2010/2012." And even if it was like you never were away: Welcome back, Borussia! We desperately missed you!
Going to Westfalenstadion around 6 pm CET on Friday, the jimjams were back and I was not quite sure what to expect from the first game of the season. Another defeat on day 1 like last year? An opponent which made many changes during the break, being not easy to be estimated? Only in my wildest dreams I would have thought about dominating the other team like we did against Hamburg. And after around 20 minutes of the game, I was standing on the Südtribüne with a big smile on my face. But let's get first things first...
Before the match
Both teams won their matches in the cup competition last week with Dortmund beating Sandhausen 3-0 and Hamburg struggling in Oldenburg, but finally advancing with 2-1. But in comparison, some personal things had to be changed. Neven Subotic missed at short notice with a torn muscle fibre and was replaced by "Tele" Santana, Chris Löwe stepped in on the left side for Marcel Schmelzer who plans on coming back next week in Hoppenheim. With Barrios still out for the upcoming weeks, Robert Lewandowski took the position as the central forward while Kagawa played behind him. Götze on the right and Großkreutz on the left formed the sides. The big question mark called double six was answered with one combination: Milkay Bendogan (credits for this neologism go directly to editor colleague steph), meaning "Manni" Bender and Ilkay Bendogan formed the positions in the defensive midfield. Hamburg missed five players with Bruma, Berg, Sala, Stepanek and Arslan. Former Borusse Mladen Petric who always is there where there is no Champions League (again credits to steph), Paolo Guerrero, Eljero Elia and Gökhan Töre are players who need to be respected but who made no real problems after all. The dinosaur of the Bundesliga did not bite.
Before everything was ready to start, the German League federation presented something like an opening ceremony but this was not interesting for the fans on the Südtribüne who turned their back to the field and chanted against the music. When the teams stepped on the pitch, a big choreo was presented on the Süd, showing Meisterschalen and celebrating the biggest accomplishment since 2002 once again. When the whistle was finally blown, Borussia stormed forward like they used to last season. Hamburg's aim before the match was to keep the 0-0 and destroy the play of Borussia as long as possible – which eventually turned out to be around 17 minutes. After a cross by Lewandowski slightly missed Götze (4th), a strong shot by Kagawa missed the goal (14th). Three minutes later, Hamburg was done for the first time. A quick attack over Lewandowski and Götze lead to Dortmunder Jung Kevin Großkreutz appearing completely alone in front of Hamburg's goalkeeper Drobny. Großkreutz who was talked out of the team over the last few weeks by some critics who saw Perisic ahead left Drobny no chance and scored with the left foot. The ball hit the inner post – another thing which did not change in comparison to last season – but found the way into the net. 1-0 Borussia, around 74.000 Borussen in Westfalenstadion went to frenzy and going nuts. And that was around the time I stood on the Süd with a big smile on my face, asking whether there was a summer break or whether I missed the Bundesliga matches of the last weeks. However, this thinking was underlined more over the next minutes. Especially Kagawa and Götze were plain fun to watch, being able to turn the Hamburg defense around leaving no option to defend. There were several times when two or three defenders seemed to directly step on the feet of the two young guns but in the end, they managed to be three meters ahead of them – of course with the ball at their feet. Just awesome! And that was why Kagawa had the next two opportunities over the upcoming minutes (hitting the post once after brilliantly going through three defenders and also how Götze managed to score in minute 28. An attack out of the playbook was performed astonishingly when one part of Milkay Bendogan (this time the newbie from Nürnberg) passed the ball to Götze who searched Lewandowski – and the Pole showed all his technical abilities, setting Götze with his heel in scene. The young gun was through and left no chance to Drobny – brilliant goal, exclamatories of excitement on the Süd, people were not able to close their mouth because of pure amazement. What a goal, what a team, 2-0 Borussia! The atmosphere in the stadium was brilliant, the team just fun to watch and we went to half time with a two-goal lead after Bendogan (again, the newer part is meant) slightly missed shortly before the whistle.
During half time, all supporters had the chance to see the two brilliant goals on one of the four new screens again. And again, I saw many amazed faces, many open mouths and some supporters shaking there head not being able to believe that the new season was about to start like the last season ended. And when the second half was opened, it did not take long to have something to celebrate again. Götze showed all his technique being able to control the ball even when there is no place on the pitch like in minute 47 when he entered the penalty area, assisting Großkreutz. The Dortmunder Jung was beaten by Drobny first, but the ball directly went to the number 19 again who used this second chance to score for the second time. 3-0, game over! Well-deserved, also in that way. Hamburg had nothing to put up against this extraordinary team. The match was broadcasted in 199 countries and if those 199 countries were not excited about our style of play, I don't know why. This was football from another planet and while the laola wave went through the stadium in minute 50, even the Hamburg fans had some fun as well. Good appearance by the guest fans who chanted all the way through the match, most time in exchange chants. However, from the 3-0 onward, there was not many to witness on the pitch. Pure celebration on the stands and the Deutscher Meister playing clever against HSV. But when Hamburg's Tesche scored in minute 79 and another shot one minute later was just slightly saved by Weidenfeller, some panic came up for a short time. However, Borussia managed to bring the lead over time.
So many people said there was no break – and I can only repeat that phrase. There was no change at all even with Nuri Sahin gone, Lucas Barrios out and Schmelzer and Subotic missing as well. If that team can keep this power, we will certainly fight against Bayern Munich in terms of the Meisterschale. After that first match, we don't need to hide from anyone and can look forward to the match in Hoppenheim – which won't be easy but let's see what comes out. I am just happy to have the Bundesliga back, to have that kind of order in my week again, to see Borussia play again... And if they play like Friday, I am even happier and won't get the smile out of my face for a long, long time. So once again: Welcome back, Borussia! Even if it is like you never were away.
Chris Löwe: "There is nothing more beautiful than to play in your first match in this stadium. This is probably one of the best days of my life. In front of fans like this, I was very nervous at first but I think, I managed to hide that. Now I need to ease that down first."
Mats Hummels: „If we played more consequently, the victory would have ended much higher. We have done a really good job over the first 60 minutes. After that, we have allowed us a discount and were punished with a goal. That was something which did not need to happen. The HSV was every defensive and I think, this was the result of the last season because the respect towards us was high. However, we had enough room used by Shinji, Kevin and Mario."
Jürgen Klopp: „I was very content with around 70 minutes of our match. We were patient enough in the offense, but following the 3-0, we were not focused enough. We missed the passes which lead to the 1-0 and 2-0 after having scored the third time."
Michael Oenning (coach HSV): „You are allowed to be honest when an opponent was better. What Dortmund played during the first half was something we could not live up to yet. I am not sure how many teams are able to do something against that. It's a pity that we got the first goal after having tried to start an own attack. At this point, we were highly focused and I thought we had overcome the starting phase of the match. However, we have scored another regular goal in the end and the opportunity to get a penalty. The fact that Marcell Jansen had the chance to score the second goal shows me that there is at least nothing wrong with the team."
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller , Piszczek , Santana , Hummels [2,5], Löwe , Bendogan , Götze , Kagawa [1,5], Großkreutz , Lewandowski 
Subs: Perisic for Löwe (76th), Kuba for Götze (76th), Kehl for Kagawa (90th).
Hamburger SV: Drobny, Diekmeier, Mancienne, Westermann, Aogo, Rincon, Kacar, Töre, Guerrero, Elia, Petric
Subs: Ben-Hatira for Guerrero (42nd), Jansen for Elia (46th), Tesche for Kacar (73rd)
Goals: 1-0 Großkreutz (17th), 2-0 Götze (29th), 3-0 Großkreutz (47th), 3-1 Tesche (79th)
Referee: Dr. Felix Brych (Munich)
Bookings: Lewandowski – Mancienne, Kacar, Rincon
Attendance: 80.720 (sold-out Westfalenstadion)