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Bundesliga: Dortmund crush Schalke in ghost derby

May 16, 2020

Erling Haaland scored the first goal of the Bundesliga's new era, as Borussia Dortmund outclassed Schalke in front of an empty stadium. It was a strange occasion, but provided relief for football fans around the world.

Deutschland Bundesliga BVB gegen Schalke | Tor Haaland
Image: Reuters/M. Meissner

Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Schalke, Signal Iduna Park
(Haaland 29', Guerreiro 45', 63', Hazard 48')

There are few games that can advertise the Bundesliga quite like the derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke. With the eyes of the football world fixed on Germany for at least this fleeting moment, these bitter rivals from the Ruhr were expected to put on a show.

Given the indefinite hiatus enforced on the global game, the 180th Revierderby had become a greatly anticipated event, akin to the opening game of a World Cup. The only difference, of course, was the eeriness that stalked the occasion.

Players arrived in separate buses and warmed-up individually, substitutes sat apart with masks on, and goal celebrations were socially distant affairs – none of this felt normal and it probably never will. The game won’t properly return until the fans do, but until then this has been sold as the next best thing.

Unusual derby, same Haaland

Every shout and kick echoed around the Bundesliga’s biggest stadium, but once the novelty of the situation ebbed away, Dortmund found their groove quicker than their rivals. Erling Haaland remains as prolific as ever, and it was little surprise that he scored the opening goal of the Bundesliga’s new era. Receiving Thorgan Hazard’s cross from the right, Haaland’s fine first-time finish served as a reminder of his abundant talent.

Deutschland Bundesliga BVB gegen Schalke | Jubel Guerreiro
New celebration: Raphael Guerreiro is congratulated by his teammates.Image: Reuters/M. Meissner

Dortmund were 2-0 up just before the break through Raphael Guerreiro's pinpoint drive. Suddenly it was looking like an uphill task for a Schalke side desperately short of attacking options. Any hope the visitors had of controlling the game in the absence of Dortmund’s influential midfield duo Axel Witsel and Emre Can had turned to dust.

It was more of the same after the break, with the impressive Julian Brandt notching his second assist of the game, and Hazard lashing in a third for Dortmund in front of a Südtribüne that didn’t contain a soul. Guerreiro added a fine fourth, but Schalke were already well beaten by that point. Without a win in eight games and without a goal in five, it’s the same old problems for Schalke, who are a long way from recapturing their form from earlier in the season.

There was to be no repeat of the astonishing comeback in this fixture in 2017, when Schalke miraculously recovered from being 4-0 down to draw 4-4. But this Ruhr derby will live long in the memory for other reasons. Football is back, and while the rights and wrongs of that decision will be played out over the coming weeks, its return at least provides some light relief for millions of fans around the world.

Guerreiro fires in Dortmund's second against Schalke.
Guerreiro fires in Dortmund's second against Schalke.Image: Getty Images/AFP/M. Meissner

As it happened

90' Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Schalke — The referee doesn't even bother with stoppage time. A fine performance by Dortmund on the day the Bundesliga returned, and it's as if the hiatus never happened. Dortmund a point off Bayern at the top of the Bundesliga. Football is back.

87' Dortmund subs: Götze and Schmelzer on, Dahoud and Guerreiro off.

85' Hakimi chopped down by Matondo, who is the fourth player to go into the book.

82' Almost a second for Haaland but this time Hakimi's cross towards the far post is just a little too strong for the Norwegian.

79' Dortmund sub: Sancho on, Hazard off. Hazard had just suffered a knock, and Sancho comes on for the final 10 minutes or so.

76' Schalke working hard but still not getting any closer to making an impact here.

74' Schalke sub: Miranda on, Caligiuri off.

71' Schalke sub: Schöpf on, Serdar off.

68' Dortmund sub: Balerdi on, Delaney off.

65' Dortmund, attacking the famous Südtribüne in this second half, can sense more goals in this for them. Looking like scoring every time they go forward.

63' GOAL! Dortmund 4-0 Schalke — Guerreiro again! It's Guerreiro's second of the game and it's a thing of beauty. Haaland turns provider, stabbing it into the path of Guerreiro, whose delectable outside-of-the-left-foot finish leaves Schubert helpless. Brilliant finish.

60' A real lack of imagination in attacking areas from Schalke, who look like they could play all day and not score. 

58' Schalke camped inside the Dortmund half, but can't penetrate the home side's defense.

55' Haaland causing problems again, getting into the box but can't quite dig out a cross.

53' Delaney catches Serdar with a flailing forearm and the Dane is the first player in the book. It's yellow.

52' Schalke really are up against it now. They've shown barely a thing going forward today.

50' Haaland had to receive treatment after being clattered, but he's back on his feet now.

48' GOAL! Dortmund 3-0 Schalke — Hazard makes it three! Haaland is fouled but the referee plays a good advantage, Brandt rolls it across to Hazard and the Belgian slams it in with a powerful early low drive.

47' Serdar tests Bürki straight away with a decent drive from outside the box. Schalke need to be more direct if they're to have a chance of making a game of this.

46' We're back under way.

45'+2 HALF TIME — Dortmund 2-0 Schalke at the break. Haaland made the breakthrough and, on the stroke of half-time, Guerreiro doubled the advantage. Schalke have struggled to impose themselves and Dortmund are in complete control at the midway point.

45' GOAL! Dortmund 2-0 Schalke - Guerreiro makes it two! it starts with a poor clearance by Schubert, Brandt moves it on to Guerreiro on the overlap, and the Portuguese international slams it emphatically into the bottom corner. A long way back for Schalke already.

44' Harit goes down too easily on the edge of the box and then almost talks himself into the book.

43' Dortmund moving the ball around well since going ahead, whereas Schalke are jut waiting for half time.

40' Schalke caught short as Dortmund outnumber them on the break, but Hakimi's shot is blocked. A disappointing end to a promising counter-attack.

38' Nice ball by Caligiuri, who spotted the run of Harit, but Harit had just strayed offside.

35' Great athleticism by Hakimi to motor past Todibo and get a cross in for Gueirrero, who can't keep his shot down.

33' Schalke just need to steady the ship here. They've not been in this game for a while now and are second best to every ball right now.

30' The celebration involves no physical contact, but Haaland will be delighted with that.

29' GOAL! Dortmund 1-0 Schalke - Haaland scores! Dortmund have the lead and its Haaland — who else? Hazard finds space down the right after a neat flick by Brandt, and fizzes in a cross that Haaland meets and finishes it beyond Schubert with a fine first-time finish.

27' Schalke just starting to find their way into the derby now. Have been hanging on a bit for the past few minutes.

25' Schalke chance! Biggest chance of the game so far falls to Caliguiri, who pounces on a poor header by Akanji but Bürki is alert to the danger and makes a crucial save.

22' Hakimi goes for goal direct from a free-kick, but it flicks off the wall and goes out for a corner, which Schalke deal with.

19' Dortmund the better of the two sides, but they look flat without Sancho and Reus, their attacking sparks. We may see Sancho sooner rather than later today.

17' Possession so far: Dortmund 57%, Schalke 43%

15' Dortmund starting to enjoy the better of the game. Schalke struggling to take control of the midfield, despite the absence of Witsel and Can.

13' Dortmund go close as Hakimi gets into a fine position and delivers a dangerous low cross, but Todibo makes a fine sliding clearance off the line. Fine defending in the end.

12' Claim for a penalty as the ball strikes Kenny's hand in the Schalke box. VAR checks it, but it was at point blank range. Nothing Kenny could have done. No pen.

10' Nastasic slightly lucky not to get a ticking off from the referee after a clear shove in Hazard's back.

9' Nice interchange between Dortmund's blonde bombshells Haaland and Brandt, but then the latter is unable to thread it through to the former.

7' Hazard holds off a challenge and goes straight for goal, but it was some way over. Haaland annoyed Hazard didn't pick him out.

6' Harit tripped by Dahoud and Schalke have a free-kick in a great position...but Caligiuri strikes it ino the wall.

4' Haaland bursts into the Schalke box but the ball runs a little too far ahead of him and Schubert is able to smother it.

3' Gio Reyna was injured in the warm-up, by the way. A shame for the teenager, who is a real talent.

2' Dortmund controlling the early exchanges, as every shout and every kick can be heard.

1' KICK OFF! Erling Haaland gets this ghostly Ruhr derby under way! 

Signal Iduna Park Dortmund
A ghostly Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund.Image: picture-alliance/nordphoto/Rauch

15:28 A very late change to the Dortmund line-up... Hazard starts, Reyna does not!

15:25 You'll Never Walk Alone playing out as the Dortmund players emerge from the tunnel. The irony.

15:20 The socially distant and staggered warm-ups are coming to an end. A reminder that five substitutes will be allowed today. Ten minutes until kick-off.

15:15 Dortmund parking the bus. All four of them.

15:00 Dortmund would move to within a point of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich if they can get the win today against bitter rivals Schalke. Dortmund have won their last four league games, but given that their last win was on March 7 at Borussia Mönchengladbach, form should be taken with a rather large pinch of salt.

14:35 CET Dortmund team news: Sancho benched!

The teams are out and Jadon Sancho starts on the bench as he recovers from the effects of a calf strain. Dahoud and Delaney start in midfield, with Witsel and Can missing. Reyna gets the nod.

Dortmund starting XI: Bürki; Hakimi, Piszczek, Hummels, Akanji Guerreiro; Dahoud, Delaney, Reyna, Brandt; Haaland

Schalke team news: Sane starts!

Schalke's Salif Sane returns for his first start since November, bolstering the visitors' defense.

Schalke starting XI: Schubert; Todibo, Sane, Nastasic; Kenny, McKennie, Oczipka; Caligiuri, Harit, Serdar; Raman


Dortmund vs. Schalke (kick-off 15:30 CEST)

-- Just to give you an idea of what is happening around the grounds today. In Leipzig, steps have been attached to the stand to make life easier for the subs to get onto the pitch later. On that note, five subs are allowed today, with three opportunities per team to make those changes and then halftime as well. Everyone working around the ground is wearing masks, but worth remembering that head coaches no longer need to wear them on the sidelines.

-- The scenes outside Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park are unusual, to say the least, but also a sign of things to come in the weeks ahead. DW's Davis VanOpdorp is in place for us today, reminding us that Germany's biggest stadium will be empty today, like all of Germany's stadiums. Football is back, just not as we know it.

The 180th edition of the Revierderby will be like no other before it as Borussia Dortmund play host to Schalke in Germany's biggest football stadium... without the fans

-- History: The Mother of all Derbies!

Saturday's clash will be the 180th Revierderby. A 2-1 win in December 2018 is the only time Borussia Dortmund have won in the last eight meetings. The last derby in Dortmund saw S04 win 4-2 – BVB's only BL home loss since Lucien Favre took charge.

-- Pre-match spotlight: Jadon Sancho

Erling Haaland has stolen some of the spotlight since joining in January, but Dortmund's Jadon Sancho has been stealing the show this season. The 20-year-old has hand in at least one goal in his last eight games and leads the Bundesliga in goal involvements (29; 14 goals, 15 assists).

-- Pre-match spotlight: Suat Serdar

Schalke strikers not being the most dependable source of goals is nothing new and it also takes nothing away from Serdar being the club's top scorer this season. The Germany international's form has flourished under David Wagner and produced seven goals making his threat one BVB need to heed.

-- Fun fact!

Well not if you're a Schalke fan. The Royal Blues have scored a league-low four goals in the Rückrunde – their lowest-ever tally after Matchday 25 (same as 1965-66 and 2010-11). It may have something to do with the fact only Hertha (267) and Augsburg (280) having attempted fewer shots.

There will be no fans present for the rest of the Bundesliga season
There will be no fans present for the rest of the Bundesliga seasonImage: picture-alliance/dpa/G. Kirchner

-- From the coach's mouth: Lucien Favre

"We've trained well. Now we're in the hotel, everyone's is doing their job well and we're not encountering any problems. I'm pleased we can make five substitutions during the game. It's a good idea and it will be necessary."

-- From the coach's mouth: David Wagner

"The lads have behaved in an exemplary manner. It's an extremely tough situation for us all - both privately and professionally. It's been tough, but the lads have made the best of this situation. One huge advantage is that we aren't just playing any old match, but rather the derby!"

-- From the sporting director's mouth: Michael Zorc (Dortmund)

"This isn't the time to be talking about the title. These are new and extreme circumstances for everyone. Our first priority is winning the game on Saturday. A derby without fans: you're heart breaks. We therefore need a higher standard of self-motivation."

Marco Reus is one of many high-profile names out of the derby due to injury
Marco Reus is one of many high-profile names out of the derby due to injuryImage: Reuters/L. Kuegeler

-- Probable line-up: Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre confirmed that both Axel Witsel and Emre Can would join Marco Reus, Nico Schulz and Dan-Axel Zagadou on the absentee list.

Dortmund XI: Bürki - Piszczek, Hummels, Akanji - Hakimi, Brandt, Delaney, Guerreiro - Sancho, Haaland, Hazard

-- Probable line-up: Schalke

A trio of defensive stalwarts will miss the Revierderby for Schalke with Ozan Kabak, Benjamin Stambouli and Omar Mascarell all unavailable for when head coach David Wagner chooses his 11.

Schalke XI: Schubert - Kenny, Todibo, Nastasic, Oczipka - Caligiuri, McKennie, Serdar - Harit - Burgstaller, Raman