BERLIN : Union Berlin eased past Hertha Berlin 3-1 in the city derby on Saturday to kick off their Bundesliga season with a key win that stretched their dominance over their rivals.
In the second city derby of any kind on matchday one in the history of the Bundesliga, Union, fifth last season, made sure they kept bragging rights in the capital this year after having beaten Hertha three times, including in the German Cup, last season.
Jordan Siebatcheu scored on his Bundesliga debut, following his goal in the German Cup last week, sending a glancing header past Hertha keeper Oliver Christensen.
Julian Ryerson should have done better in the 37th minute when he had all the time in the world to pick a spot but sent his low shot just wide.
With Hertha, who needed a playoff to stay up, posing no threat and leaving big gaps in their defence, Union struck again five minutes after the restart when Sheraldo Becker charged into the box and flicked the ball past Christensen after combining with Janik Haberer.
It got even worse when Robin Knoche headed in, and a VAR review allowed the goal to stand in the 54th.
Hertha, who had only managed two shots on target until that stage, scored in the 84th through Dodi Lukebakio to cut the deficit.
Borussia Moenchengladbach also enjoyed a winning start to their season with a 3-1 victory over 10-man Hoffenheim while Freiburg fired four past hosts Augsburg.
Champions Bayern Munich kicked off the season on Friday with a sensational 6-1 demolition of Eintracht Frankfurt.
Last season's Bundesliga runners-up Borussia Dortmund host Bayer Leverkusen later on Saturday.