He stood in front of the fans in the South Stand, hopping on one leg during the celebrations. Two hours earlier during the warm-up, Karim Adeyemi "felt goosebumps". He then played an important part in the winning goal before having to be substituted off early with injury, but the pleasure outweighed the pain in the end. Adeyemi embodied BVB's start to the new season, which was emotional, passionate, at times tough, but successful in the end.
"This stadium can help us: to push the ball over the line with 80,000 alongside us, and to defend our goal with 80,000 behind us. That helped to squeeze the last few percent out. We're very happy about that," said Edin Terzic after the 1-0 opening-day win against Leverkusen, before adding: "But we won't rely on the crowd alone. We must continue to spread the energy to the stands."
"A clean sheet and a victory: long may that continue. It was an imposing first half from us; the second was then a bit jittery," said Nico Schlotterbeck in summary. "It was a real battle today, it wasn't so easy on a footballing level because Leverkusen resisted well," explained Adeyemi, who injured his ankle when Hincapie fouled him. "He tried to battle on afterwards," Terzic said. "He might be fast. But he can't limp fast enough to help us in the game."
Schlotterbeck also faced the prospect of an early withdrawal but managed to continue in the end. "Nico injured his shoulder in a fall and had to be treated. I didn't have time to ask what was wrong; then his thumbs went up and he was back immediately," said Terzic: "Unfortunately, he also showed this toughness in training on Friday. That's when he collided with Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, so Jamie has a bruised iliac crest." That answer also served to explain why the promising young attacker was not in the squad.
The winning goal – scored thanks to Marco Reus' persistence – was set up by another youngster: Youssoufa Moukoko. "He showed good movement, was very hard-working and made an important contribution to the team," said Terzic in praise of the 17-year-old ("He is always reduced to the number of goals he scored in youth football"), adding: "That was a very good step. Youssoufa was heavily involved in the one goal that sufficed to win the game."
BVB's first points of the season were also down to their defensive discipline and the excellent Gregor Kobel between the sticks. Jude Bellingham was the midfield maestro and initiated the opening goal. "He wants this form of responsibility; he can cope with it and we will give it to him," Terzic said of "one of the most consistent players over the last two seasons. I said a year and a half ago: We don't know how good he is yet. We're trying to figure out what his ceiling will be."