Five things we learned from the Bundesliga: The shape of football following the pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has completely disrupted normal service in football. With clubs and authorities in Germany trying to protect the players from contracting the virus, a litany of safety rules have to be followed. This weekend, teams arrived in several buses to promote social distancing. All players had to wear masks while entering the stadium. In the weekend’s huge match, the Revierderby, there was an eerie atmosphere at Borussia’s Dortmund's iconic Signal Iduna Park stadium. Notably, Dortmund players saluted the famous Yellow Wall as if was still packed with 25,000 passionate supporters after the final whistle. This order of things will go on for quite some time if the prevailing circumstances don’t change.
Five things we learned from the Bundesliga: Haaland picks up where he left off
While most players in the Bundesliga were suffering from understandable ring rustiness, it seemed like business as usual for free-scoring Dortmund striker Erling Haaland. The Norweigan bagged his tenth Bundesliga goal in just nine appearances. It took just 28 minutes for the forward to get on the scoresheet helping Dortmund win 4-0 against archrivals Schalke 04. Including his goals at Salzburg, Haaland has now netted an incredible 41 times in all competitions this campaign.
Robert Lewandowski milestone
Haaland was not the only one picking where he left off two months ago. Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski scored his 26th league goal of the season as his team won 2-0. In doing so, the four-time Bundesliga Golden Boot winner took his tally to 40 goals across all competitions for the season. He becomes only the third player to reach the 40-goal mark for the fifth successive season. This milestone sees him join an exclusive club of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
RB Leipzig falter
Things could have been worse for RB Leipzig this weekend if Robin Koch’s goal for Freiburg stood. Even so, title hopefuls produced a lacklustre performance in the 1-1 draw. Their title challenge has disappeared. They are now seven points behind leaders Bayern and sit fourth despite having the momentum in the first half of the season. Their performance was far from convincing. It was unrecognisable from the team that outplayed Tottenham Hotspur here back in March.
Downward spiral for Frankfurt
Eintracht Frankfurt suffered their fourth straight defeat in the Bundesliga. Frankfurt have failed to build on their impressive campaign last season where they reached the Europa League semi-finals. However, Adi Hutter’s side lost his two best strikers in Luka Jovic and Sebastien Haller. Their replacements, Andre Silva and Bas Dost are yet to take the scoring load. With a game in hand, they sit 13th, five points above the relegation zone and things could get worse considering they take on Bayern this coming Saturday.