Defending champions Borussia Dortmund kicked off the 50th season of the Bundesliga on Friday with a 2-1 win over Werder Bremen thanks to goals from Germany stars Marco Reus and Mario Goetze.
Dortmund and Bremen contested the first Bundesliga match back in 1963 and it was the same pair who opened the 2012/13 season on Friday night at Borussia's sold-out Signal Iduna Park Stadium in front of over 80,000 spectators.
New signings opened the scoring for both clubs as Germany's Reus fired home in the first-half for Dortmund, while Bremen's Czech Republic defender Theodor Gebre Selassie headed the equaliser 15 minutes from time. But Germany star Mario Goetze grabbed the winner for the hosts just three minutes after coming off the bench to get the champions off to a winning start.
Dortmund last lost in the league almost a year ago when they suffered a 2-1 defeat at Hanover on September 18 2011 and this was their 29th game without losing in the Bundesliga. They are just seven matches short of Hamburg's record of 36 matches set between 1982 and 1983.
It was 1-0 at the break in Dortmund as their new star signing Reus needed only 11 minutes to show his class. Poland captain Jakub Blaszczykowski flicked the ball through for Reus who drilled the ball into the far corner to open the scoring.
Bremen came back as new signing Dutch striker Eljero Elia was only denied by a fine save from Dortmund's Roman Weidenfeller then first Austrian striker Marko Arnautovic slammed his shot against the post.
After the break, Dortmund turned up the pressure as Germany defender Mats Hummels rose highest from a corner, but Bremen goalkeeper Sebastian Mielitz palmed the ball over the bar. Dortmund were punished for some sloppy defending when Gebre Selassie put in a looping header over Weidenfeller on 75 minutes to give Bremen hope.
But the champions reacted by taking the lead again just six minutes later when Goetze, who came off the bench just three minutes before, slotted home the winner. The 20-year-old gratefully accepted a pass from Poland striker Robert Lewandowski and held off the defence to score.
Bayern Munich start their league campaign on Saturday at promoted Greuther Fuerth, who will make their debut in the Bundesliga, while Schalke 04 are at Hanover 96 on Sunday.
Dortmund defender Mats Hummels was cautiously happy with the victory. "The way it happened didn't impress me or a few others, but the most important thing was to start with the three points."
Midfielder Marco Reus said he was just delighted to have made his debut.
"I had goosebumps when I ran out and I am happy that I am now a Dortmund player," said the 23-year-old. "I think the opening goal was really important for the team."