With 37 goals across nine fixtures – an average of over four per game – and a host of big names and fresh faces making immediate impacts, the 2013/14 Bundesliga season got off to a great start at the weekend.
Several teams could claim to have had the best start of anyone - especially Hertha Berlin, who kicked off the season with the latest in a string of crazy yo-yo performances with a wonderful 6-1 hammering of last term’s promoted golden boys, Eintfracht Frankfurt.
Considering all that has happened over the last few months, however, Borussia Dortmund’s match day one triumph - a 4-0 rout at Augsburg - was every bit as good.
I’m not going to try and pretend as if Jurgen Klopp and his men in yellow have a hard knocks existence, by any means: two Bundesliga titles in the last three years and a run to the Champions League final speak volumes, and their on-field approach is the toast of the town.
But relinquishing the league to Bayern earlier this year seemed to mark the turning of the tide for Dortmund. As we've seen before, every time a team other than Bayern climbs to the top of the mountain in the Bundesliga, the Munich side pull out every trick in the book to make sure their rivals end up falling back down again. And quickly.
Stuttgart, Wolfsburg, Werder Bremen, Kaiserslautern, even Dortmund themselves a couple of other times in the past: teams dislodge Bayern as champions and look set to turn a monopoly into a ‘big two’ or even a ‘big three’.
Then, Munich flex their considerable muscle in a number of ways and put their rivals back in their place.
Dortmund, of course, were more than just pretenders to the German throne: as mentioned above, they have beaten Bayern to the title more than once over the last two decades. Not only that, but they’ve strung together back-to-back championships twice – including in 2011 and 2012.
Bayern are often considered the nation’s premier side, even if someone else are defending champions, or if a domestic rival has a better European run. Klopp’s men over recent years have been the first side to properly cast doubt over that.
Dortmund face their biggest test yet, however, as they look to keep knocking on Bayern’s fortress door in spite of losing the Bundesliga by 25 clear points – and having the Bavarians pinch Mario Goetze and almost Robert Lewandowski, to boot.
Even Dortmund’s excellent progress to the Champions League final at Wembley was made bittersweet by the fact that it was big, bad Bayern who denied them glory at the final hurdle.
As far as the 2000s cliché ‘bouncebackability’ goes, however, things look bright at Signal-Iduna Park.
Though Goetze replacement Henrikh Mkhitaryan picked up an injury in pre-season and missed the Augsburg opener, another highly-rated recruit - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Saint-Etienne – stepped in to give the side a 4-4-2 look and began life in the Bundesliga with a bang.
A league debut hat-trick is one thing, but the manner in which he collected his three goals was particularly promising for the future in a strike partnership with Lewandowski – who converted the fourth from the penalty spot.
Beginning life in yellow with his maiden goal after 24 minutes, Aubameyang finished a delightful chipped diagonal from Marcel Schmelzer with a tumbling headed finish.
The Gabon international then displayed a lovely first touch in the critical final third twice in the second half to slot home, thanks in large part to two tremendous assists from Marco Reus and Lewandowski. That was enough to ensure he would take home the match ball, with his Polish team-mate adding a late exclamation mark to the scoreline from 12 yards.
Aubameyang had chances to make it five or six, and created a number of chances for his team-mates in return.
It’s easy to contribute this dream start to the quality of the service on the day, but football’s number of prolific goalscorers is not as large as the number of players gifted at creating chances.
It takes a good marksman to make good on the opportunities presented - and for 90 minutes, the former AC Milan youth player was reading forward passes like he had been at the club for a decade. 'Like a duck to water', as I believe the cliché goes.
And based on the first impression made by two-man outright attack of Aubameyang and a now-staying Lewandowski, as well as a 4-2 Supercup win over Bayern last month, this could be one yellow-and-black pest the treble-winners cannot swat away with their usual powerplays.
Liam Happe | Follow on Twitter