The 52nd Bundesliga season started with a bang for Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Karim Bellarabi, who scored nine seconds into the Werkself's 2-0 victory at Borussia Dortmund – the fastest goal in German top-flight history.
In taking receipt of Sebastian Boenisch's pass and finishing with aplomb under Mitchell Langerak after his side had ploughed forward from the kick-off, Bellarabi bettered the previous record of 11 seconds, held jointly by Giovane Elber (FC Bayern München), Ulf Kirsten (Leverkusen) and Paul Freier (VfL Bochum 1848). The goal was all part of a grand plan, explained coach Roger Schmidt. "There was no luck. We aimed to attack right from the start," he said.
Potent striker Stefan Kiessling rounded off the scoring in added time as former FC Salzburg boss Schmidt marked his first league match in the Leverkusen hot seat with three impressive points. "We have made a really great start and it was an exceptional performance," he said. "We attacked them from the off and it made for a super game."
Winger Bellarabi, who spent last term on loan with TSV Eintracht Braunschweig, is taking everything in his stride, meanwhile. "I am really pleased, of course, but it is important that we won the game. Today we were rewarded for our pre-season preparation. It's a really fun time to be playing football," he enthused.
While Leverkusen are indeed having fun, they are still putting in the hard yards and reaping the rewards. "It was such an intense match," said Kiessling. "We were ferocious without the ball. We just gritted our teeth." Schmidt's men will now dust themselves down as they prepare to defend a 3-2 lead against FC København in next Wednesday's UEFA Champions League play-off decider.
— Bundesliga (@Bundesliga_EN) August 23, 2014
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