Sunday 22 July 2018

De Bruyne off colour as Wolfsburg given scare

Midfielder Kevin de Bruyne of Wolfsburg
Midfielder Kevin de Bruyne of Wolfsburg

Jamie Holland

VFL Wolfsburg, last season’s runners-up, were made to work hard in their Bundesliga opener for a 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

The German Cup winners, who beat Bayern Munich for the German Super Cup two weeks ago, looked to be cruising to an easy win after Ivan Perisic wrong-footed the Eintracht keeper with a clever header at the far post in the 13th minute and Bas Dost volleyed the ball into the net from a deep throw-in four minutes later.

Eintracht, however, quickly pulled one back, when Stefan Reinartz, their new signing from Bayer Leverkusen, was left unmarked inside the box and had no trouble drilling in a header.

Midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, whose future at the German club is in doubt, with Manchester City interested in the Belgium international, was kept in check until his second-half substitution.

Champions Bayern Munich shot out of the blocks, crushing hapless Hamburg SV 5-0 on Friday night, while Borussia Dortmund hammered Borussia Moenchengladbach, who finished third last season, 4-0.

In Holland, Dirk Kuyt scored the second goal of his second spell at the club to give Feyenoord a 2-0 victory at Cambuur Leeuwarden.

In Spain, Luis Enrique, the Barcelona coach, is “completely convinced” his star-studded squad has enough firepower to overturn their 4-0 loss at Athletic Bilbao and win the Spanish Super Cup in the second leg tonight.

Enrique needs a stronger defensive performance at the Nou Camp after conceding eight goals in the past two games.

“We cannot make mistakes, we are capable of scoring four or more goals, but we cannot let them score,” he said.

Meanwhile, a first-half strike by defender Hamari Traore earned Stade de Reims a 1-0 victory over Olympique Marseille yesterday in the opening weekend of Ligue 1.

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