Borussia Dortmund reclaimed top spot in the Bundesliga from Bayern Munich on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over Hertha Berlin — their eighth straight win under new coach Thomas Tuchel.
As the only teams in Germany’s top flight to have won their opening three matches, Dortmund are matching Bayern’s impressive form as the Bavarians bid to become the first side to win fourth straight German league titles.
Dortmund are top only on goal difference from Bayern, who romped to a 3-0 home win over Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.
Borussia saw off Hertha at their Westfalenstadion with goals from captain Mats Hummels, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Adrian Ramos.
“The hardest thing today was to keep the pace up,” said Hummels, who said his side were feeling the effects of Thursday’s 7-2 win at home to Odds BK to qualify for the Europa League’s group stages.
“It wasn’t a good performance from us, but we still won.
“We could have decided it earlier and it was annoying to concede the late goal, because we were a little flat.”
Pitchside temperatures of 32 degrees Celsius (89.6 Fahrenheit) meant the game was frequently interrupted for water breaks as Dortmund continued their red-hot form when Hummels powered home a Shinji Kagawa cross on 27 minutes.
Aubameyang, Hummels and Adrian Ramos score for BVB
Aubamenyang claimed his seventh goal in eight games after right-back Matthias Ginter combined with Kagawa to set up a simple tap-in on 51 minutes.
Ex-Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou pulled a goal back for Hertha on 78 minutes before Colombia striker Adrian Ramos came off the bench to score Borussia’s third on 93 minutes, but it looked like the ball had run out of play in the build-up.
Later on Sunday, Champions League side Borussia Moenchengladbach have the chance to climb up from second-from-bottom at Werder Bremen.
Wolfsburg are third after beating Schalke 3-0 at home on Friday without attacking midfield star Kevin de Bruyne, who completed his transfer to Manchester City on Sunday.
Bayern Munich beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 yesterday
On Saturday, Bayern impressed in their win over Leverkusen as Mueller scored twice, to leave him with five goals in his opening three league matches, before new Netherlands captain Arjen Robben netted a late penalty.
Cologne’s impressive start continued as they finish the weekend fourth after a 2-1 comeback win at home to Hamburg in controversial fashion.
After ex-Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Lewis Holtby put Hamburg ahead early in the second half, Cologne levelled through Philipp Hosiner on 76 minutes, but the game turned on a dubious red card and penalty.
Hamburg’s ex-Bosnia captain Emir Spahic was sent off on 79 minutes for the slightest of touches on Cologne striker Anthony Modeste, who drilled home the resulting penalty to the fury of the visitors’ bench.
Japan striker Yoshinori Muto warmed up for his country’s World Cup qualifier against Cambodia in Saitama on Thursday with his first two Bundesliga goals in Mainz’s 3-0 win over Hanover.
Centre-forward Yunus Malli claimed Mainz’s third by finishing off a sweeping counter-attack just after the break as Mainz moved up to fifth.
Socceroos forward Mathew Leckie also scored his first goal in Germany’s top flight in Ingolstadt’s 1-0 win at Bavarian rivals Augsburg.
The 24-year-old left winger, who has won 25 caps for Australia, curled a superb shot inside the left-hand post, which gave Augsburg goalkeeper Marwin Hitz no chance on 63 minutes.
Ten-man Stuttgart are bottom after a 4-1 defeat at home to Eintracht Frankfurt as Poland goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton was sent off for the hosts.
Darmstadt are 11th after their third straight draw following a goalless effort at home to Hoffenheim.