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Hertha Berlin floor Bremen as Cordoba scores on debut

Berlin (AFP) – After holders Bayern Munich kicked-off the new Bundesliga season with a record 8-0 thrashing of Schalke, new-signing Jhon Cordoba scored on his debut in a 4-1 away romp at Werder Bremen on Saturday as the ambitious capital city club threw down an early marker.

On Friday, Serge Gnabry netted a hat-trick in Bayern’s record win behind closed doors on the opening day of a new Bundesliga season.

The defending champions carried on where they left off 26 days after winning the Champions League final with their 22nd-straight victory dating back to February.

Last season’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund host fellow Champions League side Borussia Moenchengladbach in Saturday evening’s key clash with 10,000 fans expected.

For the first time since March, some German league clubs were able to welcome back fans, depending on permission from local health authorities.

In front of 8,500 in Bremen, Hertha defender Peter Pekarik and  Belgian winger Dodi Lukebakio scored quick-fire goals at the end of the first half to leave Werder 2-0 down at the break.

Bremen only just avoided relegation last season and their defensive woes continue.

Colombia striker Cordoba, signed from Cologne in mid-week, came on to start the move which Brazil Under-23 forward Matheus Cunha finished as Hertha went 3-0 up with an hour gone.

Davie Selke scored Bremen’s second-half consolation goal before Cordoba capped his debut by tucking home Hertha’s fourth goal on 90 minutes.

Bayern played behind closed doors due to the rising rate of new infections in Munich and Cologne also had plans to welcome back fans scuppered by the local health authority before their 3-2 home defeat to Hoffenheim.

Cologne’s managing director Alexander Wehrle told Sky they “accepted” the decision, but would seek clarity as “20 kilometres away is an amusement park, where there are now 10,000 visitors”.

“We need planning security, otherwise it will be difficult.”

In front of empty terraces in Cologne, Andrej Kramaric scored a hat-trick for Hoffenheim.

The Croatia striker put the visitors ahead after three minutes following a mix up in defence, netted a penalty and smashed home the winning goal in added time after Cologne had launched a late fight back. 

In Berlin, playmaker Michael Gregoritsch and winger Andre Hahn scored late goals as Augsburg beat hosts Union Berlin in front of 4,600 fans.

Newly-promoted Arminia Bielefeld earned a point with a 1-1 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt on their return to the top flight in front of 6,500.

Stuttgart, who also came up, gave Freiburg a scare with late goals by Sasa Kalajdzic and Silas Wamangituka as they fought back in a 3-2 defeat in front of 8,000.  

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