ROUND-UP: Dortmund Crush Schalke, Leipzig Held As Bundesliga Returns
Five Bundesliga games took place in the big block on Saturday as the 2019/20 season restarted in style, albeit in empty stadiums amid the COVID-19 pandemic as Borussia Dortmund smashed Schalke in the big game of the day.
Borussia Dortmund hammered bitter rivals Schalke 4-0 in the Revierderby to move just one point behind league leaders Bayern Munich, while upstarts Freiburg clinched a big point at title-chasing RB Leipzig to boost their own European dreams.
Elsewhere Hertha Berlin picked up a big win away at Hoffenheim, Wolfsburg won late on at struggling Augsburg and relegation-haunted Fortuna Dusseldorf and Paderborn played out a draw.
Below we round up the action as the Bundesliga games returned. My goodness it was wonderful to have live soccer back on our screens and in our hearts.
Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Schalke
Teenager, Gio Reyna was injured in the warm up and replaced by Thorgan Hazard but that was the only negative for Dortmund after a resounding win. Early on Haaland dribbled through half the Schalke defense but was denied by goalkeeper Markus Schubert, as he then claimed for a penalty but a VAR check decided there was no handball on Jonjoe Kenny. Haaland continued to cause havoc as he slammed another shot into the side-netting as Dortmund kicked on after a slow start.
Haaland scored a superb opener after a flick to Hazard set up the move, then the Belgian winger crossed perfectly for Haaland to guide home his 10th goal in his first nine Bundesliga games.
Raphael Guerreiro made it 2-0 before the break as Schubert made a mess of a clearance and the excellent Julian Brandt played in the Dortmund left back to fire home.
At the start of the second half things didn’t improve for Schalke as Brandt played in Hazard who smashed the ball straight at Schubert but he didn’t even react.
Then Guerreiro scored his second and Dortmund’s fourth after a surging run was found by Haaland and the Portuguese defender flicked home.
This goal was a thing of beauty as Dortmund strolled to victory against Schalke as their young attack was too hot to handle.
RB Leipzig 1-1 SC Freiburg
The visitors took the lead in bizarre fashion as a corner from the left took a slight flick off the back heel of defender Manuel Gulde and went in.
Leipzig battered Freiburg in the second half and Julian Nagelsmann’s side finally broke through as Youssef Poulsen powered home a towering header.
Not the result Leipzig wanted but they almost didn’t get a point as Freiburg’s Robin Koch scored in stoppage time but the goal was ruled out by VAR. Leipzig have only lost once at home all season and they remain in the hunt for the Bundesliga title.
Augsburg 1-2 Wolfsburg
The Wolves took the lead just before the half time break via Renato Steffen but Augsburg battled back and USMNT center back John Brooks scored an own goal just after half time to make it 1-1. However, Wolfsburg would not be denied as Daniel Ginczek struck in stoppage time to boost their European hopes as they moved up to sixth place in the table.
Fortuna Dusseldorf 0-0 Paderborn
Not much to report in this relegation scrap as USMNT midfielder Alfredo Morales came off the bench in the second half as the home side had the better chances but couldn’t finish.
Hoffenheim 0-3 Hertha Berlin
Two goals in two second half minutes set Hertha on their way to a big win as an own goal from Kevin Akpoguma and then a strike Vedad Ibisevic in quick succession as the Berlin players did not social distance with their wild celebrations. Hertha made it 3-0 16 minutes from time as Matheus Cunha scored a wonderful solo goal to seal a superb win and push them up to 13th in the table. Hoffenheim are in ninth and still in the hunt for Europa League qualification.