As the first of the top five European leagues to return after the COVID-19 outbreak, the Bundesliga had the world’s eyes watching. But how did it go and what could the Premier League learn?
The biggest result of the weekend came in The Revierderby, as Borussia Dortmund dominated Schalke in an empty Signal Iduna Park, beating their rivals 4-0.
Wonder-kid Erling Braut Håland picked up where he left off two months ago, opening the scoring as Dortmund maintained their pressure on league leaders Bayern.
The Bavarians themselves strolled to a 2-0 win over Union Berlin in the nations capital, after a penalty from Robert Lewandowski and a late goal from Benjamin Pavard.
Elsewhere, Alassane Pléa scored within the first 30 seconds as Borussia Mönchengladbach went on to beat Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 and early season contenders RB Leipzig slipped up once more, drawing 1-1 with mid-table SC Freiburg.
On Monday night, Champions League hopefuls Bayer Leverkusen travel to struggling Werder Bremen. See our Park Life Sport preview here.
The phrase ‘Ghost Games’ has been used to describe this weekend’s action, with no fans in attendance due to the current worldwide pandemic.
There was an eerie quietness around the grounds and this led to many unseen situations. Managers had to rely on had signals instead of shouting their directions and player’s conversations were picked up on microphones, including some abusive language from Schalke defender Jean-Clair Todibo directed at Dortmund scorer Håland.
But empty stadiums were not the only precautions in place. Players were not allowed to celebrate with one another, which lead to a lot of awkward ‘air-hugs’ and elbow touching after goals.
Substitutes were also forced to sit apart from one-another, wearing gloves and face-masks at all times.
Was it a success?
Despite what the Mirror may say, the BT Sport viewing figures show that the weekend was a success with Dortmund vs Schalke peaking at 625k viewers, compared to an average of 400k for the Premier League.
The overall product we saw was not normal and the atmosphere whilst watching from home was obviously different, but given the circumstances of the current pandemic it certainly is as good as we are going to get over the next few months.