Borussia Dortmund returned to Bundesliga action with a bang as they thumped Schalke 4-0 in the RevierDerby on Saturday afternoon.
Erling Braut Haaland, looking like he’d never been away despite the break, scored the first goal of the game and in fact weekend as he once again displayed his clinical instincts to convert Thorgan Hazard’s cross. Raphael Guerreiro then doubled the lead just before the break with a guided finish into the far corner of the Schalke net. Hazard then also got in on the act himself just after the break as he polished off a lethal counter-attack.
The day got even better for Dortmund as Guerreiro got another with a brilliant finish after a one-two with Haaland in the 63rd minute. Players understandanbly tired as the match progressed but the hosts were left delighted with their derby win, albeit in strange circumstances.
As was to somewhat be expected, the match begun at a pedestrian pace as both sides once again got feels for the ball. The hosts had the better of the chances early on through Haaland but he was foiled by Markus Schubert before lashing into the side-netting from Thorgan Hazard’s cross.
Daniel Caligiuri, who has developed a handy nack of scoring in the RevierDerby, then had a great chance from close range as he found space in the Dortmund penalty area but Roman Burki produced a solid stop
Schalke stopper Schubert had no chance with the next opportunity as Haaland picked up exactly where he left off before the enforced break by opening the scoring. A great flick from Julian Brandt saw Hazard released down the right and his pin-point low cross was converted into the far top corner by the supremely talented young striker.
The hosts then seized a two-goal lead just before the break and it was all Schalke’s own doing. A poor clearance from Schubert was picked off by Dortmund, with Brandt then playing in the overlapping Guerreiro, who lashed the ball low and hard into the net.
Schalke boss David Wagner consequently elected to make a double change following the break as he introduced Guido Burgstaller and Rabbi Matondo. It did not work at all though as Lucien Favre’s men extended their advantage even further. They broke at pace, with Haaland being fouled on the half-way line but an excellent advantage played by the referee allowed Brandt to roll the ball across for Hazard who hammered it past a floundering Schubert.
If it wasn’t over already, a fourth goal of the game really did put the cherry on the cake for Dortmund. More exhilarating forward play from saw Guerreiro and Haaland play a tremendous one-two, with the Portuguese then advancing unchallenged into the penalty area and scooping the ball into the net with a stunning outside of the foot finish.
Albeit in strange and unfamiliar circumstances, Dortmund will definitely be delighted with their victory. The hosts were brilliant in attacking areas, and that is with the likes of Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus not starting the game. Despite the thumping, the main headlines will be the return of top-flight football in Germany, something that will surely give encouragement to the rest of the leagues around the world. Of course, there will be challenges, but this was extremely encouraging for the Bundesliga and of course Borussia Dortmund.
Goals: Haaland (29′), Guerreiro (45′, 63′), Hazard (48′)