Witsel scores on Bundesliga debut as Dortmund roar back

Axel Witsel began his stint at Borussia Dortmund with a goal. (AFP pic)

DORTMUND: Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel scored with a stunning bicycle kick on his Borussia Dortmund debut as the home side roared back with a 4-1 win against RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga despite conceding after just 31 seconds on Sunday.

Dortmund scored four goals without replay in an impressive display to better Bayern Munich’s 3-1 win over Hoffenheim on Friday on the opening weekend of the German league season.

Dortmund fell behind at Signal Iduna Park when Leipzig attacked from the kick-off and Witsel’s slip allowed France Under-21 striker Jean-Kevin Augustin to score in the opening minute.

Despite the early setback, Dortmund dug deep under new head coach Lucien Favre and scored three goals in a dazzling first-half display.

The hosts drew level on 21 minutes when Syria-born midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud powered home a header.

Dortmund’s new captain Marco Reus then provided the second goal when his free kick on 40 minutes was headed into the Leipzig net by Marcel Sabitzer for an own goal.

Witsel, who was making his Bundesliga debut after a 20 million-euro (RM95 million) transfer from Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian, made amends for his early blunder by scoring Dortmund’s stunning third goal.

When fellow new signing Thomas Delaney forced Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi into a diving save, Witsel was on hand to athletically smash the ball into the net with a stunning bicycle kick on 43 minutes to make it 3-1 at the break.

Leipzig, who have now already played seven games this season including a goalless Europa League qualifier at Ukraine side Zorya Luhansk on Thursday, did not have the legs to fight their way back.

Reus sealed the convincing win when Dortmund’s 18-year-old junior England international Jadon Sancho came off the bench and provided the final pass for the Borussia skipper to roll into the net on 90 minutes.

Earlier, Anthony Ujah came off the bench to score Mainz’s late winner in a 1-0 victory over Stuttgart.

Nigeria striker Ujah, 27, was sent on in the 66th minute and grabbed the winner ten minutes later after a mistake by Stuttgart’s ex-Germany defender Holger Badstuber.