BERLIN, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Talking points from the Bundesliga weekend:
Erling Haaland needed only 23 minutes on his Borussia Dortmund debut to become the talk of the Bundesliga, with the exciting Norwegian teenager firing in a hat-trick after coming on as a substitute for a 5-3 win at Augsburg.
Haaland’s performance has delighted fans and instantly rekindled Dortmund’s pre-season title hopes as they moved to 33 points, seven behind leaders RB Leipzig.
“That was a dream debut,” said Dortmund sports director Michael Zorc. “Erling oozes this positive craziness. His body language alone is good for us. We need people who show emotions on the pitch.”
Another new signing, Michael Gregoritsch, enjoyed almost as a good a debut for Schalke 04 at the start of his loan from Augsburg.
The Austrian set up one goal and scored the other in their 2-0 victory over Borussia Moenchengladbach and was involved in eight of the 12 shots on Gladbach’s goal.
Champions Bayern Munich’s 4-0 win at Hertha Berlin was their fourth league victory in a row and proved they will not give up their crown easily - even if they are still missing several key players to injury, including Kingsley Coman, Lucas Hernandez, Javi Martinez and Niklas Suele.
Bayern, who were also without suspended Joshua Kimmich, scored four times in 24 minutes in the second half to move into second place.
“I am happy to start the year like that,” Bayern’s interim coach Hansi Flick said. “After such a short training camp sometimes it is unclear where the team stands so it is outstanding to start the second round in such a way.”
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Mark Trevelyan