The Bundesliga returned after a lengthy coronavirus-induced layoff, and the marquee matchup of the weekend was a one-sided rout featuring storied rivals Borussia Dortmund and Schalke.
The Revierderby foes met at Signal Iduna Stadium, where the empty atmosphere made for an odd backdrop for one of Europe's most fierce matchups. Dortmund raced out to an early lead thanks to goal machine Erling Haaland, and never looked back en route to a 4-0 victory. Raphael Guerreiro scored twice, Thorgan Hazard had a goal and an assist and Julian Brandt had a pair of assists in an influential showing.
Two Americans were slated to be featuring in Saturday's edition of the Rivierderby, with Schalke's Weston McKennie and Dortmund's Gio Reyna both given the starts–but Reyna was injured in pregame warmups and replaced by Hazard, denying him of his first Bundesliga start for Dortmund's first team.
Schalke entered the resumption of the league in sixth place, while Dortmund is still very much in the title race, now provisionally trailing first-place Bayern Munich by just one point. Bayern marks its return on Sunday vs. Union Berlin.
Dortmund looked the more aggressive of the two sides from the start, with Haaland nearly having a great chance on goal in the opening minutes after a sequence spearheaded by Achraf Hakimi. Schalke goalkeeper Marcus Schubert raced off his line to deny the Norwegian sensation, who entered the day with 12 goals in 11 matches in all competitions since joining Dortmund in January.
Haaland fired into the side-netting in the 24th minute, with Schalke struggling to defend a corner kick but relieved that the strike from the left channel didn't cause more trouble.
Haaland got his goal soon after. Hazard curled in a ball from the right, and Haaland one-timed it home from the center of the box, giving Dortmund the 1-0 lead before enjoying a social-distancing-appropriate celebration.
Dortmund doubled its lead just before halftime, with Guerreiro doing the honors after Schalke turned the ball over following a long ball by its goalkeeper. The Portugal international ripped a low, left-footed chance by Schubert to make it 2-0 in the 45th minute.
The dominance continued after halftime. On a counterattack, Haaland fired off a ball to Julian Brandt just as he was being fouled. The referee played the advantage, and Brandt played the ball to Hazard, who fired home from 18 yards.
Dortmund continued the onslaught in the 63rd minute. Guerreiro was the beneficiary, scoring his second with an outside-of-the-boot finish after Haaland slipped a through ball to him, making it 4-0 before celebrating with elbow bumps, one of the coronavirus-protocol-approved methods for gathering with teammates after a goal.
With the final whistle blown, Dortmund players went over to the vacated space where its supporters would normally form their famed Yellow Wall, applauding their presence as if they were there, putting a final bow on an odd, yet long-awaited match.
Here were the lineups for both sides:
The Bundesliga slate continues with matches on Sunday and Monday, followed by the next matchday kicking off on Friday.