And finally, football resumed for the general mass. After a long two-month break because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bundesliga returned on Saturday with five games and the biggest one was definitely the 'River Derby' between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04.
And on return, Dortmund crushed Schalke 4-0 to restart their campaign and keep on the pressure on league leaders Bayern Munich courtesy of a brace from Raphael Guerreiro and goals from Erling Braut Haaland and Thorgan Hazard.
The match was played behind closed doors with empty galleries. The Signal Iduna Park is famous for the 'Yellow Wall', the tifos and the buzz but the pandemic led everything turning bleak as the commentator lamented, "Who thought we would ever see a scene like this!"
The game started off slowly as expected because of the long break. Achraf Hakimi was the biggest threat for Schalke in the early minutes but Schalke showed their resistance to stop Dortmund from scoring. But just like normal services, Haaland scored the first goal. Thorgan whipped in a perfect ball from the right side and Haaland duly finished to score his 10th goal in the league this season.
Dortmund doubled their lead through Guerreiro as the first time came to a close and Thorgan turned into scorer as soon as the second half resumed. In the 62nd minute, Guerreiro scored his second after a neat one-two with Haaland.
Dortmund kept on pressing but failed to score again. Schalke failed to go through the Dortmund defence and score but they too got a few chances. They could not take any and the game ended 4-0 for Dortmund.
The game saw the new five substitution rule come to life as Schalke used them all and Dortmund used four.
This game takes Dortmund up to 54 points, one point behind Bayern Munich who will face Union Berlin on Sunday.