Haaland stars in Dortmund romp as Bundesliga makes ‘very strange’ return | Daily News


 

Haaland stars in Dortmund romp as Bundesliga makes ‘very strange’ return

Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Braut Haaland celebrates scoring his first goal against Schalke 04 in their Bundesliga clash at Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany on Saturday.
Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Braut Haaland celebrates scoring his first goal against Schalke 04 in their Bundesliga clash at Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany on Saturday.

BERLIN, Saturday - Norwegian sensation Erling Braut Haaland stole the limelight Saturday as the German Bundesliga became the first major European football league to return since the coronavirus lockdown, with teams playing in empty, echoing stadiums.

The 19-year-old striker claimed the first goal in Germany’s top flight for over two months to set Borussia Dortmund on the way to a 4-0 win over local rivals Schalke.

“There was no noise. You shoot at the goal, make a top pass, score a goal, and nothing happens,” said Dortmund coach Lucien Favre.

“That’s very, very strange. We really missed our fans.

“It’s hard to judge how good the game was, but the players were very focused.” Winger Raphael Guerreiro added two goals for Dortmund either side of a Thorgan Hazard strike.

Second-placed Dortmund moved to within a point of leaders Bayern Munich, who are chasing an eighth straight title and play Union Berlin away on Sunday.

Haaland steered a low Hazard cross into the far corner on 29 minutes to claim his 10th goal in just nine Bundesliga matches.

It was his 41st goal this season in all competitions and his 13th for Dortmund in just 12 games since joining in January from Red Bull Salzburg.

Haaland celebrated by dancing alone -- making no contact with team-mates, who clapped him on -- to comply with the strict hygiene guidelines which allowed the league to return.

All matches are being played behind closed doors, with no more than 300 people permitted inside stadiums.

Normally, Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park would be packed with more than 80,000 fans for the Ruhr derby, one of the biggest fixtures in German football.

After Haaland’s opener, an error by Schalke goalkeeper Markus Schubert led to Guerreiro making it 2-0 before half-time. Haaland then played a role in the build-up to the third goal before Julian Brandt set up Hazard to fire home on 48 minutes.

Guerreiro grabbed his second in style after a one-two with Haaland in the 63rd minute. Borussia Moenchengladbach climbed to third with a 3-1 win at Eintracht Frankfurt after scoring goals through Alassane Plea and Marcus Thuram in the opening seven minutes. Algeria defender Ramy Bensebaini converted a second-half penalty for Gladbach before replacement midfielder Andre Silva grabbed Frankfurt’s late consolation goal. Gladbach are three points behind leaders Bayern. RB Leipzig dropped to fourth after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Freiburg. Defender Manuel Gulde gave visitors Freiburg a shock lead and celebrated by elbow-bumping teammates, before Leipzig striker Yussuf Poulsen grabbed a late equaliser. Freiburg were then denied a stoppage-time winner when a VAR check spotted an offside. Bruno Labbadia, who was named as Jurgen Klinsmann’s replacement during the lockdown, made a winning start as Hertha Berlin coach with a 3-0 success at Hoffenheim.. – AFP

 


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