Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund offered some insight into the ‘new normal’ in football on Saturday as the striker and his team-mates ensured that they stayed apart when celebrating the Norwegian’s opening goal against Schalke, writes Goal.com
The 19-year-old found the net on the right-wing after a fine back-heeled through-ball from Julian Brandt sent Thorgan Hazard, with the Belgian later finding Haaland at the back post with a neat cross to put the hosts in front of the Westfalenstadion.
Having scored the first goal in the Bundesliga since its return to action following the coronavirus-enforced suspension, celebrations might well have been wild, but players in Dortmund kept their cool as they kept social distancing rules with a beaming Haaland.
As they witnessed the 19-year-old break the deadlock and Raphael Guerreiro added a second just before the break to place Lucien Favre ‘s men in the driving seat, substitutes from both sides were placed many meters apart.
After half-time, Thorgan Hazard and Guerreiro will score to hand Dortmund a comfortable 4-0 victory on their rivals.
After the match, Dortmund took part in their regular greeting of the Yellow Wall – with no fans being present with the notable difference.
Asked why social distancing tends to be done during match play, players are unable to do so while fighting opponents for the ball.
Nevertheless, the German government closely monitored the Bundesliga ‘s protocol plan for returning to play ahead of the resumption, with various health professionals taking a critical look at the league’s safety plans.
With his goal on Saturday against the bitter rivals of Dortmund’s Revierderby, Haaland has brought his strike tally to 10 goals in just nine games since making the move from RB Salzburg, with just 13 shots on target to achieve that number.
Giovanni Reyna, who was originally named in the starting XI but was forced to sit out after picking up an injury in the pre-match warm-up, is one player who will be disappointed at not being able to feature in Saturday’s derby.
Dortmund has narrowed the gap on Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich to a single point, with the Bavarian giants expected to take Union Berlin on Sunday in the German capital.