The Norwegian recording machine Erling Haaland kept his habits and led Borussia Dortmund to skip his neighbor and arch-rival Schalke 4-0 on Saturday in the first Bundesliga match after stopping for about two months due to the outbreak of the new Coronavirus.
Dortmund raised its score to 54 points from 26 games, achieving his eighth victory in nine games, a point behind Bayern Munich, the champions and holders of the title in the last 7 seasons, which defeats Union Berlin, eleventh-place Sunday.
Halland shook the net about half an hour after the start of the match, which was held without fans at the “Signal Idona Park” stadium, raising his score to 10 goals in 9 games, after moving from Salzburg, Austria, in winter for 20 million euros.
Dortmund distributed his quartet between the two halves, translating his control over a guest unable to embarrass him, and Portuguese winger Rafael Guerrero added a double.
The return of the Bundesliga, which has been stalled since mid-March, has been a significant boost to football fans around the world who have been hungry to watch matches suspended since last March.
The matches were held behind closed doors in the face of the fans and under strict health control. The replaceable players, photographers, and security personnel wore masks and rare press interviews took place with a clear spacing.
For the first time in the history of the Ruhr derby, the Dortmund’s Signal Idona Park stadium lost the clamor of about 80,000 fans crowded with its stands, especially the southern “Yellow Wall”.
The first Saturday matches were not played without an audience, as Borussia Monchengladbach and Cologne played in similar circumstances last March.
Dortmund was at the top of its levels before the league stopped, especially since last January, after his contract with Halland, but he narrowly emerged from the price of the Champions League final against Paris Saint-Germain, the French champion. Schalke, on the other hand, was experiencing a real nightmare by failing to win seven consecutive games before falling again on Saturday.
Young English winger Jadon Sancho (14 goals and 15 assists) remained on the bench for Dortmund, before entering in the last ten minutes.
The injured captain Marco Royce has been absent for a while, Belgian midfielders Axel Witsel, Emery Jean, and French defender Dan-Axel Zagadou due to the injury.
While the young American midfielder Giovanni Reyna was part of the Dortmund squad, he was absent in the last moments due to muscle strain, and the Belgian Thorgan Hazard was replaced.