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Dortmund impresses without Dembele in Bundesliga-opener

Published: 
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Wolfsburg’s Nany Landry Dimata, right, and Dortmund’s Lukasz Piszczek vie for the ball during the German Bundesliga soccer match between VfL Wolfsburg and Borussia Dortmund in the Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg, Germany, yesterday. Photo by:Silas Stein

BERLIN—Borussia Dortmund showed it can thrive this season without suspended forward Ousmane Dembele by opening its Bundesliga campaign with a 3-0 rout at Wolfsburg yesterday.

United States international Christian Pulisic scored one goal and set up another.

Dembele remains suspended after missing training when Barcelona made a bid for the player. Dortmund is yet to receive a second offer after turning down a bid reportedly worth 85 million euros ($100 million) with another 20 million ($23.4 million) in add-ons.

Dortmund fans have turned against the 20-year-old Dembele, who had six goals and 13 assists in his debut Bundesliga season after joining for 15 million euros from Rennes last year. One supporter attending yesterday’s game altered his Dembele jersey to read “Dumbele.”

Pulisic scored Dortmund’s first league goal of the season after good work by Mario Goetze, who was making his first Bundesliga start since December after illness. Goetze spotted Pulisic free to his right and played in the teenager. Pulisic scored with a great finish inside the far post midway through the first half.

Marc Bartra made it 2-0 with a brilliantly curled shot from a difficult angle inside the top corner.

Dortmund continued its domination in the second half when Pulisic crossed for last season’s top-scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to start his tally for the 2017-18 campaign.

Andrej Kramaric scored late for Hoffenheim to beat Werder Bremen 1-0, and Hannover celebrated its return to the league with a 1-0 win at Mainz. (AP)

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