Borussia Dortmund registered a massive win against arch-rivals Schalke 04 as Bundesliga on Saturday became the first major European football league to return to action since the coronavirus lockdown, with teams playing in empty, echoing stadiums.
In the standout match of the day, Borussia Dortmund hosted Schalke 04 in the Ruhr derby in the cavernous Signal Iduna Park, which would normally have been packed with more than 80,000 spectators.
Instead no more than 300 people were in the stadium and the only sound when Norwegian forward Erling Braut Haaland scored the opening goal for Dortmund in the first half was the players’ voices.
Dortmund won the match 4-0 while RB Leipzig’s title hopes were dealt a blow as social media was abuzz with reaction to the return of live football from Europe.
Professional football returned to western Europe earlier in the day as the second-tier Bundesliga 2 resumed with four matches.
South Korean Lee Jae-Sung scored the first league goal in over two months when he gave Holstein Kiel a third-minute lead at Regensburg.
In order to get the political green light to resume, the German Football League (DFL) has tested players and coaches regularly for the virus and teams have been in quarantine for the past week.
Players and staff must follow stringent hygiene guidelines.
Teams arrived at stadiums in several buses in order to meet social distancing requirements inside the vehicles. Once play began, players were banned from shaking hands or embracing to celebrate goals.
The reactions to Bundesliga’s resumption were mixed on Twitter: