Erling Haaland welcomed football back with a quite sensational post-match interview on Saturday.
Major European football made its cautious return on Saturday as Germany’s Bundesliga became the first of the big five leagues to resume during the coronavirus pandemic, but amid strange new conventions there were the familiar sights of a dominant Dortmund performance and VAR controversy.
The voices of players and coaches echoed around empty stadiums, in which players wore face masks in the dressing rooms and during warm-up, respected social distancing on the benches and for the pre-match pleasantries, but then got stuck in on the pitch.
Players may still be feeling their way in after two months off, which could explain third-placed RB Leipzig dropping points at home to Freiburg.
They were grateful it was only two in a 1-1 draw, however, as the visitors were denied victory when Robin Koch’s stoppage-time goal was disallowed by VAR.
Manuel Gulde had given Freiburg a 34th-minute lead as they moved up to seventh in the table.
Daniel Ginczek struck a stoppage-time winner for Wolfsburg as they snatched a 2-1 victory at Augsburg.
Hertha Berlin seemed at home in Hoffenheim’s empty PreZero Arena as a flurry of second-half goals gave them a 3-0 away win as Bruno Labbadia won his first game in charge.
Fortuna Dusseldorf and SC Paderborn will both be grateful for the restart as it gives them at least the hope of climbing out of relegation trouble, though neither could take immediate advantage as they drew 0-0.
But by far the most eye-catching game came at the Westfalenstadion, where put pressure on leaders Bayern Munich with a thumping 4-0 win in the Revierderby against Schalke.
Erling Haaland opened the scoring, stroking home Thorgan Hazard’s cross and saluting the empty stands, before Raphael Guerreiro doubled the advantage on the stroke of half-time.
Hazard lashed home a third three minutes into the second half before Guerreiro’s cheeky finish gave the hosts an unassailable lead.
The win puts Dortmund one point behind Bayern, who face Union Berlin on Sunday.
Haaland gave a wonderful post-match interview, the full transcript of which you can read here:
Erling Haaland's post-match interview is… something else 🤣🤣🤣pic.twitter.com/UxNpfhY60p
— Goal (@goal) May 16, 2020
Interviewer: “After the final whistle, you and the whole teammates, you were going to the south stand, the famous Yellow Wall which was empty today, of course. Why did you do that?”
Haaland: “Why not?”
Interviewer: “Is it a kind of message you want to send out?”
Interviewer: “Would you tell us the message?”
Haaland: “To my fans.”
Interviewer: “They’re everything to you and football is to Dortmund.”
Haaland: “It is.”
Interviewer: “Thanks a lot! What a pleasure to talk to you.”
Haaland: “Thank you.”
Welcome back, football.
Sunday’s Bundesliga Predictions, Livescores, & Standings
Action returns to the RheinEnergieStadion this weekend as 1. FC Koln host relegation threatened 1. FSV Mainz 05.
Perennial Bundesliga champions and current table-toppers Bayern Munich travel to the capital to take on hipster favourites Union Berlin on Sunday afternoon.
Saturday’s Bundesliga Results and Reports
Borussia Dortmund 4 – 0 Schalke 04
Eintracht Frankfurt 1 – 3 Borussia Monchengladbach
Fortuna Dusseldorf 0 – 0 Paderborn
Augsburg 1 – 2 Wolfsburg
RB Leipzig 1 – 1 Freiburg
Hoffenheim 0 – 3 Hertha Berlin
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