German Bundesliga Returns From Coronavirus Shutdown As First Major European League To Resume
The German Bundesliga returned from a two-month suspension due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Borussia Dortmund crushed Ruhr rivals Schalke 4-0 on Saturday to move within one point of leaders Bayern Munich.
Norwegian hitman Erling Haaland and Raphael Guerreiro struck in the first half of the closed door affair at the 81,000-capacity Signal Iduna Park, which, like all matches, was contested in front of only a few hundred people.
Thorgan Hazard added a third early in the second half of the atmosphere-less derby before Guerreiro completed his brace.
"This was no different from the game we used to play when we were children. Without spectators, just having fun. You could see that was the case for the team," an ecstatic Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki told reporters.
While Dortmund's win signals the title race remains on with a further eight matchdays remaining in the delayed season, league authorities will be even more relieved fans observed advice not to congregate at stadiums.
Elsewhere, Borussia Moenchengladbach beat Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 to go third and stay two points behind Dortmund.
Augsburg coach Heiko Herrlich watched his team for the first time from a lounge rather than the bench as punishment after breaking quarantine during the week to visit a supermarket.
His relegation-threatened team lost 2-1 at home to Wolfsburg, who went sixth.
Bruno Labaddia also made his debut as Hertha Berlin coach with a 3-0 win at Hoffenheim in a mid-table encounter.
Labaddia didn't include Socceroos winger Mathew Leckie in his 17-man squad and fellow Aussie Brandon Borrello was also left out of a Freiburg side who were denied a late winner by VAR in their 1-1 draw against third-placed RB Leipzig.
Neither 16th-placed Fortuna Dusseldorf or bottom club Paderborn gained much from a goalless draw.
Bayern can return their advantage at the top to four points on Sunday at Union Berlin, after Cologne play Mainz.
Werder Bremen against Bayer Leverkusen concludes round 26 on Monday.
Leagues in England, Spain and Italy will have watched intently as they look to restart their own competitions while the Netherlands, Belgium and France have already abandoned their seasons.