It is a case of normal service very much resumed in the Bundesliga, as teenage goal sensation Erling Haaland scored the first goal of the resumed German season in Borussia Dortmund’s clash with Schalke on Saturday.
Haaland gave Dortmund the lead just before the half-hour mark at Signal Iduna Park with a close range finish after good work from Thorgan Hazard on the right flank, signalling that the Bundesliga is back on track after a self-imposed two-month hiatus amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
It is the prolific striker’s 13th goal in 12 games for the title-chasing side since his move to Dortmund of RB Salzburg during the winter transfer window.
Each of Saturday’s fixtures are taking place in empty stadia, with fans not yet permitted to attend due to restrictions remaining in place limiting public gatherings.
This celebration from Haaland tho pic.twitter.com/94wygGkIFl
And Dortmund celebrate with some social distancing! 😎#BVBS04pic.twitter.com/btdh14ELL8
As such, the strange atmosphere present at the games has been noted on social media – with some saying that the fixtures more resembles training games than high stakes professional football.
The initial evidence of football in the coronavirus era is evident, as coaches and substitutes are mandated to remain socially distant from one another, while pre-match interviews were conducted while wearing medical face masks and even temporary plastic coverings on the microphones.
IT HAD TO BE HIMHaaland scores the first goal back and that’s his 10th in 9 appearances 🤩 Iconic celebration as well 🕺 😂 #BVBhttps://t.co/LIlPSNXZ18
Erling Haaland does what Erling Haaland does best, he scores.2019/20 statistics:Games: 34:Goals: 41Assists: 9Directly involved in 50 goals and he looks far from done just yet.#Soccerzelapic.twitter.com/F93q0lxIfB
While the face of football may have changed somewhat, the action on the field is following the script of the times before Covid-19.
Norwegian Haaland, considered to be among the hottest young properties in world football, has now scored on debut in his first Bundesliga, Pokal (German domestic cup), Champions League and now Revierderby – the term given to the Dortmund-Schalke rivalry – games for his new side.