Dortmund crush Schalke 4-0
May 17, 2020 | 4:39 PM
by DW

Berlin: There are few games that can advertise the Bundesliga quite like the derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke. With the eyes of the football world fixed on Germany for at least this fleeting moment, these bitter rivals from the Ruhr were expected to put on a show.

Given the indefinite hiatus enforced on the global game, the 180th Revierderby had become a greatly anticipated event, akin to the opening game of a World Cup. The only difference, of course, was the eeriness that stalked the occasion.

Players arrived in separate buses and warmed-up individually, substitutes sat apart with masks on, and goal celebrations were socially distant affairs – none of this felt normal and it probably never will. The game won’t properly return until the fans do, but until then this has been sold as the next best thing.

Unusual derby, same Haaland

Every shout and kick echoed around the Bundesliga’s biggest stadium, but once the novelty of the situation ebbed away, Dortmund found their groove quicker than their rivals. Erling Haaland remains as prolific as ever, and it was little surprise that he scored the opening goal of the Bundesliga’s new era. Receiving Thorgan Hazard’s cross from the right, Haaland’s fine first-time finish served as a reminder of his abundant talent.

Dortmund were 2-0 up just before the break through Raphael Guerreiro's pinpoint drive. Suddenly it was looking like an uphill task for a Schalke side desperately short of attacking options. Any hope the visitors had of controlling the game in the absence of Dortmund’s influential midfield duo Axel Witsel and Emre Can had turned to dust.

It was more of the same after the break, with the impressive Julian Brandt notching his second assist of the game, and Hazard lashing in a third for Dortmund in front of a Südtribüne that didn’t contain a soul. Guerreiro added a fine fourth, but Schalke were already well beaten by that point. Without a win in eight games and without a goal in five, it’s the same old problems for Schalke, who are a long way from recapturing their form from earlier in the season.

There was to be no repeat of the astonishing comeback in this fixture in 2017, when Schalke miraculously recovered from being 4-0 down to draw 4-4. But this Ruhr derby will live long in the memory for other reasons. Football is back, and while the rights and wrongs of that decision will be played out over the coming weeks, its return at least provides some light relief for millions of fans around the world.

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