BERLIN (AP) No Dembele, no problem.
Borussia Dortmund began its German Cup defense with a comfortable 4-0 win over FC Rielasingen-Arlen on Saturday, when Bayern Munich also progressed easily.
Dortmund banned France forward Ousmane Dembele from playing and training with the side on Thursday, after he failed to show for training as Barcelona made a bid reported to be worth $124 million including add-ons.
Dembele, who has a contract to 2021 with Dortmund, has since refused any contact with the club and new coach Peter Bosz was forced to field questions on the 20-year-old’s future before the first-round game against Rielasingen.
“We don’t know what’s happening,” Bosz said, adding that “the club should say early tomorrow (Sunday) what we’ll do.”
Facing a sixth-tier side, Dortmund showed no signs of missing the forward.
Marc Bartra opened the scoring early before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang added another from the penalty spot.
Aubameyang claimed his second in typical fashion after the break, accelerating away from two defenders before finishing with a chip over the goalkeeper. He took advantage of poor defending to complete his hat trick late on.
It’s not often that the referee is the center of attention before a Bayern Munich game.
But Bibiana Steinhaus, who will be the Bundesliga’s first female referee, got a taste of things to come when she took charge of Bayern’s 5-0 victory at third-division Chemnitzer FC.
Last season Steinhaus refereed eight second-division games.
Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring from a free kick in the first half, when Franck Ribery went close with an audacious effort that just whizzed past the far post.
Ribery set up compatriot Kingsley Coman after the break, and then scored one for himself after Lewandowski had claimed his second. Mats Hummels wrapped it up late.
Nils Petersen opened the scoring for Freiburg in a 2-1 win at his father’s team, fourth-tier Germania Halberstadt.
Also Saturday, 10-man Eintracht Frankfurt defeated fourth-tier TuS Erndtebrueck 3-0, Mainz won 3-1 at fourth-tier Lueneburger SK Hansa, Cologne beat fifth-tier Leher TS 5-0, and there were wins for second-division sides Heidenheim and Kaiserslautern.