The Revierderby wasn’t the same without fans but the teams were exactly what we expected
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Dortmund’s Norwegian forward Erling Braut Haaland celebrates after his team scored his 4th goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match BVB Borussia Dortmund v Schalke 04 on May 16, 2020 in Dortmund, western Germany as the season resumed following a two-month absence due to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Martin Meissner / POOL / AFP) / DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO (Photo by MARTIN MEISSNER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
With two goals by Raphael Guerreiro, one by Hazard, and one by star attacker Erling Haaland, Borussia Dortmund dominated the long-awaited Ruhr Derby against Schalke 04 in week 26 of the Bundesliga.
After a two-month break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bundesliga has finally returned, albeit with matches played without fans in attendance. But that doesn’t mean the League has lost its excitement, as the historic rivalries — like the one between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04, better known as the Revierderby or Ruhr Derby — were played and yielded huge TV ratings.
On the field, however, the match was completely one-sided, as the Dortmund squad demolished Schalke’s defense 4-0. They are now only one point behind table leaders Bayern Munich. This victory makes the team look really good in the face of its title aspirations.
The first goal came courtesy of none other than wunderkind striker Erling Haaland in the 29th minute, after a play originating from a marvelous Julian Brandt line-breaking pass and a precise assist by Thorgan Hazard culminated in the Norwegian’s definition. Right before the end of the first half, Raphael Guerreiro, attacking from the left side of the area, scored the second goal, after a huge mistake in coverage by the Gelsenkirchen defense sparked the deadly strike.
As the second half was just getting started, Hazard netted the third for Dortmund, in Julian Brandt’s second assist of the match. In minute 63, Guerreiro would complete the game’s final result on a brilliant assist by Haaland.
Borussia Dortmund took an important win from a very out-of-shape, sluggish Schalke team, who never showed enough signs of consistency and almost no important attacking opportunities. Nevertheless, even considering such a bloated score, there are still questions left about their general performance. They had enough chances for even more goals, but some imprecisions in both playmaking and definition left them with only four. Haaland and Reyna, in particular, looked generally good, but that synergy we have praised in previous instances wasn’t present for most of the game, especially in the minutes before Haaland’s opener.
The Revierderby felt like a blowout in many ways, and yes, the locals tore open a team that just didn’t feel well-prepared for the occasion. It is true that the coronavirus break has affected the rhythm and flow of both squads — and we can safely say so about anyone that stops playing for two months — but the men coached by Lucien Favre could maintain their impressive pace.
The chase for the title is more alive than ever, and Dortmund is now situated with 54 points. Bayern Munich, the historic giant of German football and current leader, with 55, are yet to take their week 26 fixture, facing Union Berlin on Sunday. Without a doubt, and despite the unprecedented circumstances surrounding 2020, the Bundesliga still excites.