Bundesliga return: Reports and highlights as Borussia Dortmund thrash rivals Schalke, Gladbach resume in style and RB Leipzig draw

Celebrations for Raphael Guerreiro (centre) and Borussia Dortmund

Reports and highlights from Saturday's Bundesliga matches, as professional football returned in Germany.

Bundesliga results

  • Borussia Dortmund 4-0 FC Schalke
  • FC Augsburg 1-2 VfL Wolfsburg
  • Fortuna Düsseldorf 0-0 SC Paderborn
  • RB Leipzig 1-1 Freiburg
  • Hoffenheim 0-3 Hertha Berlin
  • Eintracht Frankfurt 1-3 Borussia Monchengladbach

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Major European football made its cautious return on Saturday as Germany's Bundesliga became the first of the big five leagues to resume during the coronavirus pandemic, but amid strange new conventions there were the familiar sights of a dominant Borussia Dortmund performance and VAR controversy.

The voices of players and coaches echoed around empty stadiums, in which players wore face masks in the dressing rooms and during warm-up, respected social distancing on the benches and for the pre-match pleasantries, but then got stuck in on the pitch...

Borussia Dortmund 4-0 FC Schalke

Erling Haaland: Striker opens the scoring for Borussia Dortmund against Schalke

Erling Haaland carried on where he left off before the coronavirus suspension as the teenager kicked off Borussia Dortmund's thumping victory against rivals Schalke 04 in an entertaining, if surreal, return to Bundesliga action.

Rigorous hygiene protocols and regular testing in a country that has handled the Covid-19 pandemic better than some others meant the German top-flight became the first major league to return to action.

All eyes were on the Bundesliga on Saturday and the strangest Revierderby in history was the highlight, with January signing Haaland's 10th league goal setting Dortmund on course for a 4-0 win against Schalke in front of empty stands.

Raphael Guerreiro's brace and Thorgan Hazard's strike sealed the thumping win against David Wagner's men in this 'geisterspiel' - ghost game - at the mammoth Signal Iduna Park.

Millions of extra viewers joined players and stakeholders from leagues across the world in tuning into the resumption of action on what was supposed to be the final weekend of the Bundesliga season.

It was a match that saw nine substitutions as the International Football Association Board is temporarily allowing five changes per team.

That was just one of many of the Covid-19 quirks, along with the way Dortmund's players distanced themselves before celebrating in front of an empty Sudtribune after closing the gap on leaders Bayern Munich to a point.


RB Leipzig 1-1 Freiburg

Third-placed RB Leipzig dropped points at home but were grateful it was only two in a 1-1 draw as Freiburg were denied victory when Robin Koch's stoppage-time goal was disallowed by VAR.

The defender was ruled marginally offside as the visitors were forced to settle for a point after Yussuf Poulsen's 77th-minute header levelled for the hosts, who are now four points behind Bayern.

Manuel Gulde had given Freiburg a 34th-minute lead as they moved up to seventh in the table.


FC Augsburg 1-2 Wolfsburg

Daniel Ginczek struck a stoppage-time winner for Wolfsburg as they snatched a 2-1 victory at Augsburg.

The striker pounced from close range to move the visitors up to sixth in the table after Renato Steffen's opener.

Tin Jedvaj had levelled for Augsburg and Felix Uduokhai's thought his header had put the hosts 2-1 ahead but was disallowed by VAR.


Hoffenheim 0-3 Hertha Berlin

Hertha Berlin seemed at home in Hoffenheim's empty PreZero Arena as a flurry of second-half goals gave them a 3-0 away win as Bruno Labbadia won his first game in charge.

Kevin Akpoguma diverted Peter Pekarik's shot into his own net after 58 minutes before Vedad Ibisevic guided a header home to score against his old club seconds later.

Matheus Cunha made sure of the points as he cut in off the left wing to score a fine solo goal.

Eintracht Frankfurt 1-3 Borussia Monchengladbach

Borussia Monchengladbach celebrate Alassane Plea's goal against Eintracht Frankfurt, which came after 37 seconds

Borussia Monchengladbach kept their title hopes on track by cruising to a 3-1 victory at Eintracht Frankfurt.

They moved above Leipzig and up to third, three points off the top.

Alassane Plea opened the scoring with an angled strike after 37 seconds and Gladbach's flying start continued when Ramy Bensebaini set up Marcus Thuram to net inside seven minutes.

Plea hit the post just before Bensebaini netted from the spot in the 73rd minute before Portugal forward Andre Silva hit a consolation for the home team.


Fortuna Düsseldorf 0-0 Paderborn

Fortuna Dusseldorf and SC Paderborn will both be grateful for the restart as it gives them at least the hope of climbing out of relegation trouble, though neither could take immediate advantage as they drew 0-0.

Fortuna will be the most frustrated after hitting the frame of the goal four times, the last of them a Steven Skrzybski shot which struck the left upright with nine minutes left.


HOW THE BRITS FARED

Via the PA news agency

  • Jonjoe Kenny (Schalke)

The England Under-21 international has impressed for David Wagner's men since joining on a season-long loan from Everton, but this was not his or Schalke's best day. The video assistant referee cleared penalty appeals for handball against him early into what would be a 4-0 loss to bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund. Unable to make much of an impact on the right side, the defender endured a tough afternoon and was replaced with three minutes left.

  • Rabbi Matondo (Schalke)

The former Manchester City flyer had to make do with a place on the bench at Signal Iduna Park. Matondo would be brought on at half-time in place of Benito Raman in a bid to add some much-needed impetus to Schalke's attack. There were a few promising moments but a frustrating afternoon was epitomised by the late challenge on Achraf Hakimi that saw him booked.

  • Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)

The star British name in the Bundesliga was among the substitutes for the Reveirderby, with Lucien Favre reportedly deciding against risking him due to a minor injury. The England international had to wait until the 79th minute to be brought on and did not have much time to make an impact with the sting taken out of proceedings.

  • Ademola Lookman (RB Leipzig)

With Wales international Ethan Ampadu out through injury, Lookman was the only British player in the Leipzig squad against Freiburg. The title-chasing side found themselves a goal behind at the break and Julian Nagelsmann brought on the former Everton man at half-time. Lookman had a great chance to level shortly after his introduction, only to somehow turn wide. Leipzig would level as it ended 1-1.

  • Jordi Osei-Tutu (Bochum)

There was an English goalscorer in Germany on Saturday in the shape of Bochum's 21-year-old loanee. Osei-Tutu started as right winger and produced a fine display, scoring the second goal in Bochum's 3-0 win against in Heidenheim in 2.Bundesliga. He was taken off in the 80th minute with victory secured.


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Odds correct at time of publication on 16/05/20


In the build-up to the return, Sporting Life has put together an in-depth pack containing everything you need ahead of the Bundesliga resuming.

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Inside the title race

Read: We assess the title race in the Bundesliga

Bayern Munich have ruled Germany for the past seven seasons, but the 2019/20 campaign sees them under pressure from four other teams.

Just eight points separates Bayern in first and Bayer Leverkusen in fifth, whereas the Premier League sees a 25-point gap between first and second while nine points separates first and third in LaLiga.

The German top-flight boasts the most exciting title race among Europe's elite leagues. Bayern are the favourites to retain their crown, but those in the chasing pack have demonstrated their potential to de-throne the Bavarian giants.

Nine games of the campaign remain but it is all to play for with a number of fixtures involving the top-five sides coming up against each other.

Who will win the Bundesliga title? Tom Carnduff assesses the chances of the five teams involved.


How to watch it

English rights owners BT Sport will be broadcasting all nine games, across their platforms as they do with Champions League coverage.

See the details below...


Team of the Season (So Far)

Read: We pick out our Bundesliga Team of the Season

There are a number of stars in the Bundesliga this season.

Bayern, Leipzig and Dortmund boast a host of top players given their current position in the league but there are others who stand-out elsewhere in the division.

With football set to be resume in Germany, Tom Carnduff picks out his Bundesliga Team of the Season so far.


Specials betting preview

Read: We pick out the best specials bets for the next nine games of the Bundesliga season

Tom Carnduff picks out his best specials bets for the remaining nine gameweeks.

They include:

  • A top goalscorer suggestion at 8/1
  • A top goalscorer suggestion at 33/1
  • Backing Jadon Sancho at 7/1
  • An outsider in the title race at 25/1

Nine key fixtures

Read: We look at the key fixture in each of the remaining nine Bundesliga gameweeks

With nine sets of fixtures remaining, the league table could completely change with a number of teams still having something to play for.

With that in mind, Tom Carnduff looks at each of the gameweeks and picks out the key fixture with its potential impact on the standings.

We also make our predictions for the outcome of each game. A bold move at this point as form changes, but it gives an indication of how both teams look at this current time.


Five predictions

Read: We make five predictions for the remainder of the Bundesliga season

Just eight points separates Bayern in first and Bayer Leverkusen in fifth, whereas the Premier League sees a 25-point gap between first and second while nine points separates first and third in LaLiga.

Schake's poor form has opened up the potential of a top-six finish for those other teams in the top-half, with Wolfsburg and Freiburg just a single point behind.

At the other end, Paderborn and Werder Bremen will be hoping to drag themselves out of relegation trouble, although the bottom club have a ten-point gap between themselves and the safety of 15th.

Tom Carnduff makes five predictions for what he expects to happen over the next nine gameweeks.


The scouting report

Read: We look at six players who could be of interest to Premier League clubs

The Premier League has seen a number of stars join its ranks from the Bundesliga in previous years.

Kevin De Bruyne, Lukas Podolski, Edin Dzeko and Vincent Kompany, to name a few, have proven to be success stories after switching the German top-flight for those clubs in England.

It's becoming an increasingly travelled road between the two leagues, with English youngsters now seeing first team opportunities and developing their careers with Germany's elite.

Tom Carnduff picks out six names who don't always feature among the transfer gossip, but could be success stories if they made the switch to the Premier League.


Kit quiz

Quiz: We put your German kits knowledge to the test in our quiz

It's time to put your Bundesliga knowledge to the test as we ask you to work out the German club from their former kit.

Sounds easy enough, right? Well, we've taken off the badges to really make you think.

That's right, all you have to do is work out the 15 kits below from their colour, style and sponsor without that crucial logo in the top corner.

We've made a combination of home and away kits from previous seasons, some are easily identifiable given the history associated with that campaign, while others may well catch you out.

Some are recent, some are from the 1990s, we've created a real mix to make it as testing as possible.


Jadon Sancho analysis

Read: Paul Macdonald's statistical analysis of Jadon Sancho's impact

People who don’t follow the Bundesliga regularly may be hearing about Jadon Sancho’s links to Manchester United and assume that he’s performing well for Dortmund.

It's a good example of a young player having the confidence to prove his talent outside of England.

This is somewhat inaccurate: he’s not performing well. Sancho’s numbers in 2019/20 are such that we should be seriously discussing him among the very best footballers in the world right now. He’s in the Kylian Mbappe conversation as it stands.

Paul Macdonald takes a deeper look.


Erling Haaland analysis

Read: Joe Townsend analyses Erling Haaland's impact

Erling Braut Haaland is one of the most talked about strikers in world football and rightly so.

Incredibly the teenager has already made three transfers in a professional career that only started in 2015 - yes he was playing in the Bryne first-team at just 15-years-old.

Such has his impact been in a few short months in Dortmund that he is already the subject of near constant speculation about where his fourth move in a little over four seasons will be.

Just how good is the Norwegian, and do his stats stack up against best? Joe Townsend investigates.


Philippe Coutinho analysis

Read: Joe Townsend looks at Philippe Coutinho's career since leaving Liverpool

Philippe Coutinho is the third most expensive footballer in history.

When the deal for Philippe Coutinho to join Barcelona was finally announced following a protracted saga stretching back almost a year, there was a feeling that Liverpool had done great business on a player signed from Inter Milan five years earlier for just £8.5m.

They had squeezed every penny out of Barca, ultimately receiving a fee way in excess of what had been offered in the previous transfer window.

Joe Townsend charts his journey before and since making that £142m move from Liverpool to Barcelona in January 2018.


Timo Werner analysis

We look at the stats behind Timo Werner and who he should sign for this summer

Timo Werner is a name on the lips of a number of Premier League fans with the likes of Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea all said to be interested.

The prolific RB Leipzig man has been angling for a move to Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool though, but will he get his wish to move to Anfield?

Paul Higham looks at the German's stats and style of play and sees if he could challenge Klopp's front three, or whether he'd be better of looking for a move to Manchester or west London.

And don't rule out Spanish giants Barcelona...


Serge Gnabry analysis

Read: A look at Serge Gnabry's impact at Bayern Munich

In 2015/16, Serge Gnabry played 12 minutes of league football. The promising German, sent out on loan by Arsene Wenger to gain experience, was deemed ‘not ready for the Premier League’ by Tony Pulis at West Brom.

Pulis has been predictably condemned for letting what appears to be a superb talent slip through his fingers, but, in fairness, Wenger also had his doubts, saying on BeIn Sports last year that he felt Gnabry ‘lacked a bit’, a clear reference to his application.

He is now one of the stars of this Bayern Munich side. Paul Macdonald looks at the numbers behind Gnabry's performances.


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