By JUSTIN FERGUSON
Borussia Dortmund fans may still be upset about Mario Gotze’s departure to rivals Bayern Munich, but one of the club’s newest signings gave them plenty to cheer about in Saturday’s season-opening rout.
Forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who arrived in Germany from Ligue 1 side Saint Etienne earlier in the transfer window, netted a hat trick in Borussia Dortmund’s 4-0 road victory over Augsburg. Star teammate Robert Lewandowski completed the rout minutes before full-time with a penalty conversion.
Dortmund weren’t the only ones celebrating a blowout win on the first Saturday of the Bundesliga campaign. Newly promoted Hertha Berlin defeated last season’s surprise team, Eintracht Frankfurt, by a score of 6-1 on Saturday. John Anthony Brooks, who reportedly is on the U.S. men’s national team roster for Wednesday’s friendly against Bosnia, netted an early goal in what was a dream debut for the young defender.
In other Saturday Bundesliga action, Bayer Leverkusen defeated Freiburg 3-1, Hannover 96 blanked nine-man Wolfsburg 2-0 and Nurnberg drew 2-2 with Hoffenheim.
Here are some more stories from this Soccer Saturday:
ARSENAL DEFEAT MAN CITY IN FRIENDLY
In a final preview of English Premier League action, which kicks off next week, Arsenal capped off their solid preseason with a victory over one of their high-powered league rivals.
Arsenal defeated Manchester City 3-1 on Saturday in Helsinki, Finland. The Gunners opened up a three-goal lead before Manchester City signing Alvaro Negredo pulled one back for his new club in the 80th minute.
Manchester City had more of the possession in Saturday’s friendly, but Arsenal made the most of their opportunities on Joe Hart’s goal. Theo Walcott opened the scoring in the ninth minute, and Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud combined for a quick one-two scoring punch early in the second half.
In other friendly results involving EPL sides, Aston Villa defeated Malaga 3-2, the newly renamed Hull City Tigers blanked Real Betis 3-0 and Fulham fell to Parma 2-1.
FABREGAS INJURED IN BARCA’S FINAL PRESEASON MATCH
After publicly committing his future to Barcelona earlier in the week, midfielder Cesc Fabregas might be unavailable for international duty and the La Liga debut next week.
Fabregas scored the opening goal and recorded two assists in Barcelona’s 3-1 victory over a Malaysian All-Star XI but left the match early with what the club called a sprained right ankle.
The Spanish midfielder, who ended Manchester United’s hopes of a possible transfer on Thursday, was scheduled to join his country’s squad for a friendly next week against Ecuador. Barcelona says Fabregas will undergo further tests on the ankle.
Barcelona was without star forward Lionel Messi for the Saturday friendly, which was the defending champion’s final preseason match before their La Liga opener against Levante. Messi was listed as out on Saturday with a left thigh strain but is expected to be ready for next Sunday’s match at Camp Nou.
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has been ruled out of Sunday’s Community Shield match against Wigan Athletic. (REPORT)
Organizers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar say they are open to hosting the tournament in either the summer or the winter. (REPORT)
Hannover 96 have signed Brazilian defender Marcelo from PSV Eindhoven. (REPORT)
Inter Milan have announced the signing of Portuguese international Rolando on loan from FC Porto in a move that will reunite the defender with former manager Walter Mazzarri. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Impressed with Aubameyang’s debut for Borussia Dortmund? Think the momentum from Arsenal’s preseason win on Saturday will carry over into next week’s EPL opener? Worried about Fabregas’s injury status?
Share your thoughts below.