BERLIN — Shinji Kagawa starred on his return for Borussia Dortmund in a 3-1 win over Freiburg, while Franck Ribery scored on his injury comeback as Bayern Munich defeated Stuttgart 2-0 in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Kagawa, back at Dortmund after an unhappy two-year spell at Manchester United, was given a hero's welcome by fans who remembered his role in helping the club to successive Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012.
The Japan midfielder had a hand in Adrian Ramos' opening goal in the 34th minute, playing through Kevin Grosskreutz to cross for the Colombian striker at the post.
Kagawa then scored on a counterattack in the 41st, when Henrikh Mkhitaryan let Ramos' cross through for him to pick his spot with a low shot.
The attacking midfielder went off to a standing ovation in the 64th. He had cramp, a "good sign" according to Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp.
"Shinji was smiling the whole time, at least until he got the cramp," Dortmund midfielder Sebastian Kehl said.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang secured the result with a chip over the outrushing goalkeeper in the 78th, three minutes after he went on as a substitute.
Oliver Sorg claimed Freiburg's consolation in the final minute, by which time the home side had already turned attention to Tuesday's visit of Arsenal in the Champions League.
Mario Goetze got Bayern off the mark in the 27th, and Ribery marked his return from a knee problem by scoring with five minutes remaining.
Borussia Moenchengladbach forward Max Kruse led his team to a deserved 4-1 win over Schalke in the late game.
Kruse set Andre Hahn on his way to score with a fierce shot in the 17th, sent in a free kick for Hahn to head past Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann in the 50th, and then scored himself in the 56th, four minutes after Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting pulled one back with a penalty.
Raffael scored in the 79th and Schalke had Faehrmann to thank for a host of saves to ensure it didn't get any worse.
"We'll be working in the next few days, licking our wounds, and then it carries on. We want to present ourselves well at Chelsea," said Schalke coach Jens Keller, looking ahead to Wednesday's Champions League game.
Mainz won 3-1 at Hertha Berlin, Wolfsburg earned a 1-1 draw at Hoffenheim, and promoted sides Paderborn and Cologne maintained their unbeaten status with a scoreless draw.
Bayern, which hosts Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday, was hardly threatened by Stuttgart, but was made to work hard for its second win from three Bundesliga games.
"We're always happy when we win," Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said.
Xabi Alonso made his home debut since moving from Real Madrid, and it was the Spaniard's free kick that led to the opening goal. Goetze stopped Antonio Ruediger's attempted clearance, cut inside Vedad Ibisevic, and shot through a host of players inside the far post.
Holger Badstuber, who recently returned after missing 20 months with a knee injury and two operations, had to go off before the break with a thigh muscle problem.
"It's not too serious," the Bayern defender said.
Ribery made an immediate impact after going on as a substitute in the 68th. Four minutes later he set up Alonso's deflected effort off the post and Robert Lewandowski struck the post again from the rebound.
Lewandowski set up Ribery to seal the result with a low shot through the Stuttgart keeper's legs.
"The day went well," said Bayern forward Thomas Mueller on his 25th birthday.
In Berlin, Mainz forward Shinji Okazaki scored on the rebound after Hertha goalkeeper Thomas Kraft twice saved from Koo Ja-cheol in the 36th, and Sami Allagui slid in to score against his former club in the 70th.
Ronny pulled one back with a penalty in the 86th, but Okazaki snuffed out any hope of a comeback with his second goal in injury time.
"We're still in development and the three points are very, very important for it," said Mainz coach Kasper Hjulmand after his first Bundesliga win.
With 28 goals since January 2011, Okazaki is the highest scoring Japanese player in the Bundesliga.
Ivica Olic's 89th-minute strike was enough for a point for Wolfsburg. Hoffenheim striker Anthony Modeste put the home side ahead in the 55th.