Japan midfielder Sinji Kagawa scored twice in Dortmund’s 3-1 win over arch-rivals Schalke on Sunday in the Ruhr valley derby to inflict a fourth-straight defeat on the Royal Blues.
Despite signing Spain striker Raul and Dutchman Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Schalke have big problems in defence and are bottom of the league after four games.
Schalke lost French defender Nicolas Plestan for a second yellow card and a subsequent red on 60 minutes, but Kagawa had already scored his third goal in four games by then to claim the bragging rights for Dortmund.
Both his strikes on 19 and 58 minutes were top class and his 350,000 euros transfer from Japanese side Cerezo Osaka before the the start of the season looks like a bargain.
Dortmund’s Poland striker Robert Lewandowski headed a late goal to seal the win, before Huntelaar netted a late consolation for Schalke.
The result puts Dortmund third behind new leaders Mainz 05 while Schalke are rock bottom.
Leverkusen were held to a goalless draw by Nuremberg and remain in mid-table but lost Germany striker Stefan Kiessling to an ankle injury just 13 minutes into the game.
Earlier, Hamburg striker Mladen Petric’s long-range strike earned his side a 1-1 with St Pauli in the Hanseatic derby.
Hamburg’s Petric came off the bench in the 62nd-minute and went on to score a super equaliser in the 88th minute after St Pauli midfielder Fabian Boll, a part-time policeman, had fired the hosts ahead on 77 minutes.
The result leaves Hamburg in fourth and St Pauli tenth.
On Saturday, dark horses Mainz went top after shocking Champions League side Werder Bremen 2-0 while champions Bayern Munich were held to a goalless draw at home by Cologne.
Fresh from their 2-2 midweek draw with Tottenham in the Champions League, Bremen were stunned at home as midfielder Marcel Risse netted and teenage striker Andre Schuerrle scored his third goal in three games.
The win leaves Mainz as the only team in the German league with four wins from their first four games.
Bayern’s game coincided with the start of Oktoberfest in the Bavarian city, but there was little for Bayern fans to celebrate.
Cologne had several chances to win as Bayern goalkeeper Hans-Joerg Butt had a busy afternoon while Munich only threatened in the game’s closing stages.
The result leaves Bayern ninth with five points from four games.
Hoffenheim lost their 100 percent record and are second after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Kaiserslautern thanks to a late equaliser.
Stuttgart ended their three-match losing streak with their first win of the season in a 7-0 win over Moenchengladbach as Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak scored a hat-trick.
Ex-England coach Steve McClaren picked up his first points in charge of Wolfsburg as Brazil midfielder Diego and striker Edin Dzeko both netted in the 2-0 win over Hanover.
Diego struck first with a superb bicycle kick on 55 minutes while Dzeko showed his power and pace with a 67th minute shot which gave Hanover goalkeeper Florian Fromlowitz no chance.
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