Updated: Feb 11, 2021
61 days since the last kick of a ball in the Bundesliga, football was back with a bang in Germany as the Ruhr region’s two biggest clubs – Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 – met in the fierce 'Revierderby'.
However, it was BVB who started well after the Coronavirus-enforced hiatus, grabbing two goals in each half to record an impressive 4-0 win over their rivals, making a statement to their fellow title challengers. There were no surprises for guessing who opened the scoring, as Erling Haaland quickly got back to his clinical best when he diverted home a cross from the right-hand side.
Left-back Raphael Guerreiro and attacking midfielder Thorgan Hazard found the net either side of the half-time break, making David Wagner’s side pay for their lackadaisical defending and difficulties when playing out from the back, with goalkeeper Marcus Schubert in particular struggling. The adventurous Guerreiro sealed the victory in the 63rd minute, with cheeky finish with the outside of his foot. Schalke offered very little in terms of attacking threat, meaning BVB are now only one point behind leaders Bayern, who play on Sunday against Union Berlin.
RB Leipzig will rue their missed chances as their nearest rivals notched wins, whilst they could only draw 1-1 at home against a resilient Freiburg side. The visitors survived a second-half onslaught after taking the lead in the first half from a corner, before towering striker Yussuf Poulsen eventually equalised with a late header, having squandered easier chances earlier.
Both sides had chances to win it at the death, with Freiburg having a goal narrowly ruled offside by VAR and Patrick Schick missing from close range for Die RotenBullen. Leipzig have now slipped to fourth after Borussia Mönchengladbach played well to beat Eintracht Frankfurt.
Borussia Mönchengladbach's 3-1 win came after Alassane Plea and Marcus Thuram both found the net in the first 10 minutes, before a late penalty and an Andre Silva consolation for the hosts. The score-line could have been worse for Frankfurt if not for Martin Hinteregger’s heroic goal-line clearance. Hinteregger and Thuram were picked as two of Moment's five players to keep an eye on this weekend.
Hertha Berlin continue to pick up points away from home with a surprise 3-0 win at Hoffenheim, whilst the points were shared between relegation battlers Fortuna Dusseldorf and Paderborn. A last-gasp winner from Daniel Ginczek meant Wolfsburg took the spoils away at Augsburg, meaning they move up to sixth in the table.
The return of football in Germany was met with an increased level of coverage in the UK. The return of a major European league has been warmly welcomed, according to Sky Sports.