Erling Braut Haaland continued from where he left off as he scored the first goal for Borussia Dortmund in their Rivierderby against Schalke 04 at the Signal Iduna Park on Saturday. Despite a similar look to the play, everything else seemed different in the post-covid football world.
The Signal Iduna Park, known worldwide for hosting about 80,000 passionate Dortmund fans was absolutely empty even as the players went about their business on the pitch.
The stadium was echoing right from the start and one could hear almost everything being screamed or instructed from the sidelines.
“Mind you, you are going to get a lot of insights today because you can hear absolutely everything being said,” the commentators chuckled as they spoke.
Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke 04. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
Haaland gave Dortmund the lead in the derby in the 32nd minute from what was a typical Dortmund flowing move up front.
Julian Brandt let Thorgan Hazard through on the right wing with a gorgeous reverse flick. Hazard ran up the wing and sent the ball in the middle, where Haaland was right in place to tuck the ball in.
As beautiful as the goal was, what followed was bizarre and hilarious in its own right. Haaland ran close to the corner flag after scoring the goal and did a little jig waving his shoulders while his teammates stood at a fair distance clapping for him.
Amid the covid regulations, one is a no-touch celebration. It looked a weirdly unique visual as Haaland danced on his own while the other Dortmund players couldn’t even go near him and hug him – a FIFAesque celebration, it seemed.
The commentators also mentioned that there was nothing like a home advantage in a situation like this with absolutely no fan backing the home team.
The absence of the famous Yellow Wall was not to be missed but for most, it was simply relieving that football was back!