Rigorous hygiene protocols and regular testing in a country that has handled the Covid-19 pandemic better than some others meant the German top-flight became the first major league to return to action.
Raphael Guerreiro’s brace and Thorgan Hazard’s strike sealed the thumping win against David Wagner’s men in this ‘geisterspiel’ – ghost game – at the mammoth Signal Iduna Park.
Here are three things we learned as Borussia Dortmund beat Schalke 4-0 at home.
3. Social distancing is the future
The norm on the touchline is usually to see the substitutes cuddled up together on the bench behind their coaches, having a good chat, or watching the game. They were still able to do the latter two things, only this time while sticking to social distancing rules, two metres apart.
But it wasn’t just the subs who were maintaining social distancing. Erling Haaland’s opener provided an insight into how celebrations will look moving forwards. Haaland stuck to the rules, remaining socially distant from his team-mates and avoiding any handshakes.
2. Schalke’s European hopes in jeopardy
After a solid start, Schalke are now eight Bundesliga games without a win, leaving their hopes of securing a European spot for next season in serious doubt. They clearly missed their captain Omar Mascarell, without whom the backline seemed to fall apart constantly.
David Wagner tried to inspire the team by picking Markus Schubert who panicked under pressure while trying to clear the ball, playing it straight to Mahmoud Dahoud. Moments later, the ball was in the back of the net and Schalke were 2-0 down.
1. Title race wide open
Saturday’s win takes Lucien Favre’s men within one point of league leaders Bayern who travel to Union Berlin on Sunday. This was also the first time Dortmund have won five league games in a row. BVB also had just one win from their last eight Revier derbies, but this time around, they put Schalke to the sword with a punishing performance.
Favre’s men were too easily able to play through the Schalke lines and once they were into the open field, Haaland, Hazard and Brandt caused absolute havoc. Some dodgy goalkeeping didn’t help Schalke but in the end, it was Dortmund’s sheer pace, directness and precision which won the day.