Werder Bremen needed extra-time goals from Anthony Ujah and Fin Bartels to win 2-0 at 3. Liga side Wurzburger Kickers in the first round of the DFB-Pokal.
Werder was given a scare by the third tier outfit in searing heat at the Flyeralarm Arena, with Marco Haller having a goal ruled out for offside 12 minutes before the end of normal time as the host sniffed an upset.
Viktor Skripnik's side was not to be denied a place in the second round, though, as new signing Ujah spun and fired it in front and a clinical finish from Bartels sealed the victory.
Kevin De Bruyne showed no signs of being affected by speculation over his future as the Belgium international starred in holder Wolfsburg's 4-1 hammering of Stuttgarter Kickers.
De Bruyne continues to be linked with a move to Manchester City and demonstrated why he is in demand by scoring and laying on a first competitive goal for the club for Max Kruse only four minutes in.
Nicklas Bendtner added a fourth goal late on after De Bruyne's shot had been saved, with Bas Dost also on target.
There was a shock at the Allianz Arena, though, as second-tier 1860 Munchen defeated Bundesliga side Hoffenheim 2-0 thanks to second-half goals from Daylon Claasen and Fejsal Mulic.
Stuttgart avoided a similar upset against Holstein Kiel, as Daniel Didavi and Daniel Ginczek scored in a come-from-behind 2-1 win.
Franco Di Santo scored and also missed a penalty on his competitive debut for Schalke in a 5-0 hammering of 10-man MSV Duisburg.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar opened the scoring after three minutes and Di Santo had a chance to double the visitor's lead from the spot, but failed to open his account after the home side had Branimir Bajoc sent off.
New signing Johannes Geis swung over a corner for Matija Nastasic to make it 2-0 and the set-piece specialist then found the back of the net with a free-kick on the stroke of half-time, with Di Santo volleying home in style after the break before Leon Goretzka completed the rout.
Anthony Modeste, a new recruit from Hoffenheim, scored a hat-trick as Cologne coasted to a 4-0 win at 10-man Meppen - which had goalkeeper Benjamin Gommert sent off in the first half - and Bayer Leverkusen won 3-0 at Sportfreunde Lotte.
Eintracht Frankfurt was also a 3-0 winner at Bremer SV, while Viktoria Koln, Erzgebirge Aue and Eintracht Braunschweig also advanced to the second round.
There was no shortage of drama at the Stadion an der Kreuzeiche as Reutlingen beat Karlsruher 3-1. Striker Giuseppe Ricciardi scored all three for the host from the penalty spot, while the away team had three players sent off.