AMSTERDAM – Aron Jóhannsson bagged the spot-kick opener as Werder Bremen notched their first win of the young season with a 2-1 decision over visiting Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The US forward could have bagged his first Bundesliga goal on 21 minutes, but shanked a shot from near the penalty spot wide right. There would be no such mistake a few moments before intermission, as Jóhannsson stepped up to make good from the penalty spot after strike partner Anthony Ujah was derailed in the area.
Jóhannsson, who could have added an assist had Ujah fired his slip pass home near the hour, completed 12 of 13 passes on the day. The result pushed Bremen to both break-even and mid-table through three rounds.
Around the league, John Anthony Brooks and Hertha Berlin were well off their best in a 3-1 road loss against Borussia Dortmund.
The center back passed solidly, but also did not complete one in or into the BvB half between minutes 16 and 74 of the contest. At the back, Brooks managed just three clearances, two pass picks and a lone tackle. Hertha joined both Bremen and Timothy Chandler's Eintracht Frankfurt with a 1-1-1 record, but an inferior goal differential has them down in 12th place.
Across the border in Ligue 1 action, Alejandro Bedoya and 10-man Nantes suffered their first defeat of the season, 2-0 at Bordeaux.
The US attacker could have picked up an early assist had Kolbeinn Sigthorsson not put his sixth minute setup over from close range. Bedoya connected nine passes in or into the attacking half out of 30 completions, while helping out his shorthanded side with three tackles and a pass interception in their end.
Switching focus to Norway's Tippeligaen, Zarek Valentin was largely solid as Bodø/Glimt continued their fine run of results with a 3-1 triumph at Sandefjord.
The in-form right back was bailed out by the post after a mix up with a teammate with the game still tied in the 71st minute allowed the hosts a golden chance. Glimt would then hit twice in the final two minutes to win for the eighth time in nine games. After a miserable start, the promoted club now stand within eight points of the last Europa League slot eight matches from the finish.
Elsewhere, Cole Grossman's solid full shift went to waste as Bob Bradley's second-place Stabæk slipped in the title race after a 2-1 home loss against Odds BK. The Blue Ones had their four-game win streak snapped to conditionally remain eight points back of leaders Rosenborg.
Rhett Bernstein and Mjøndalen had a rough day at the home office, leaking twice in the last minute to fall 4-2 against Strømsgodset.
The defender's weak clearance attempt was punished for the away opener on 14 minutes and his mistake forced the MIF 'keeper into a good save near the break. The hosts lost for the fourth time in five games to stay docked in the danger zone.
Over in Scotland's second flight, Gedion Zelalam ably went the distance in central park as Rangers strolled to a 5-1 victory at Queen of the South.
Though he was not credited with an assist, the US youth international effectively set up the away side's third on 59 minutes. Zelalam's pass cleanly broke Jason Holt into the area, but the midfielder needed to follow up his own rebound to get the goal. The league leaders remained perfect through four rounds.