‘Lost son’ Kagawa scores on Dortmund return
Posted on 08/26/19 2:24 AM
Champions Bayern Munich beat VfB Stuttgart 2-0, with Frenchman Franck Ribery scoring on his season debut as they prepare for their Champions League match against Manchester City next week.
Fellow Champions League club, Schalke 04, who face Chelsea on Wednesday, continued their bad start to the season with a 4-1 loss to Borussia Moenchengladbach that left them on one point from three league matches.
The 25-year-old Kagawa, who had spent two seasons at Manchester United after winning consecutive Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012 with Dortmund, was welcomed back with roaring applause and he instantly rewarded the fans.
First he set up Kevin Grosskreutz, whose cut back found Adrian Ramos for the lead.
Dubbed the ‘Lost son’ by German media, the attacking midfielder fired in from 12 metres in the 41st minute as hundreds of Japanese flags were unfurled in the stands.
“Shinji played an outstanding game and he had cramps at the end which is a good sign,” coach Juergen Klopp told reporters.
“We know very well that he can play football and also create a special atmosphere,” said Klopp after his player, who failed to hold down a starting spot at United, received a standing ovation at the end of the game.
Substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang completed Dortmund’s successful dress rehearsal for their Champions League group opener against Arsenal next week, with a scintillating 50-metre sprint and a superb chip for their third in the 78th.
Dortmund have six points from three games, one behind Bayern who never hit top form against Stuttgart.
The Bavarians, missing several players through injury, were rarely under pressure.
Stuttgart’s most threatening player was not one of the six forwards or attacking midfielders deployed during the game but defender Antonio Ruediger, who twice came close with headers.
Mario Goetze made the most of a bad Stuttgart clearance to fire home for the opener in the 27th minute.
France’s Ribery, who missed the World Cup with a back problem and nursed a nagging knee injury in the past weeks, came on for the scorer in the 68th and doubled their lead with a low shot from a tight angle five minutes before the end.
Schalke were equally toothless against Gladbach, whose striker Andre Hahn scored twice before the visitors pulled one back from an Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting penalty.
But goals from striker Max Kruse, who had set up the first two on his Bundesliga comeback from injury, and Raffael finished off the game, forcing Schalke deeper into trouble and piling the pressure yet again on coach Jens Keller.
Hoffenheim failed to keep pace with the top clubs after conceding an 89th minute equaliser from Ivica Olic in their 1-1 draw against VfL Wolfsburg.
Wolfsburg were then left with 10 men following the dismissal of Josuha Guilavogui for a second booking.
Cologne and Paderborn shared the points in their goalless battle of the promoted clubs.
Bayer Leverkusen are also on seven points after Friday’s 3-3 draw against Werder Bremen.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Alan Baldwin and Ken Ferris)