Dortmund fans celebrate Bundesliga restart
Borussia Dortmund fans follow their team's 4-0 win over local rivals Schalke 04 in a bar as the Bundesliga restarts behind closed doors after being suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SHOWS: DORTMUND, GERMANY (MAY 16, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.
VARIOUS BORUSSIA DORTMUND FANS CELEBRATING BUNDESLIGA RESTART WITH SPARKLERS AT BAR 2.
FANS WATCHING SOCCER DERBY AGAINST SCHALKE 04 IN BAR 3.
FANS IN BAR 4.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) BORUSSIA DORTMUND FAN JULIA KLEINE-LOETGE, SAYING: "A derby is fun anyway and if you are around with the right people, fewer people but still it works.
The mood is great, celebrating with sparklers and everything." 5.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) BORUSSIA DORTMUND FAN SARAH SCHALUECK, SAYING: "It's nice to see that it goes on now again.
We could celebrate and be out for a bit.
We are pleased with it." 6.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) BORUSSIA DORTMUND FAN RAPHAEL LEWANDOWSKI, SAYING: "You have just asked me about the fun factor.
If you would have asked me 61 minutes ago I would have said I am not sure, but now as we are in the lead 3-0, I think it's awesome.
Of course it's not the same as being at the stadium with 83,000 other fans, but I think the result will compensate for it and I am quite sure we will come out as the derby winner today." 7.
VARIOUS OF FANS IN BAR 8.
WAITRESSES WEARING FACEMASKS 9.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) MANAGING DIRECTOR OF BVB-BAR 'MIT SCHMACKES', CHRISTOPHER REINECKE, SAYING: "Normally the bar would be packed by 10 o'clock today.
Regardless of the turnout, the feeling is different.
People are tense, looking forward especially to the derby, this time this is all missing." 10.
VARIOUS OF FANS WATCHING MATCH 11.
VARIOUS OF WOMEN PLAYING SOCCER IN FRONT OF STADIUM AND SECURITY STAFF WATCHING 12.
EXTERIOR OF STADIUM 13.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) DORTMUND POLICE SPOKESPERSON OLIVER PEILER, SAYING: "It's suprisingly quiet.
We had expected and calculated various scenarios, but we didn't expect that only a few fans would come to the stadium and the city centre.
Apparently the pleas by the city and police to stay and watch the match at home have worked out.
We are very pleased by this in order to avoid infections." 14.
SECURITY STAFF 15.
DORTMUND BANNER AT STADIUM 16.
EXTERIOR OF STADIUM STORY: Borussia Dortmund fans were watching at home or at the bar under the new health restrictions to see their team provide a much-needed firework display with a 4-0 demolition of bitter rivals Schalke 04 on Saturday (May 16) after the German league restarted in front of empty stands following a two-month suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bundesliga is the first major soccer league to return to action since the virus earlier this year shut down sports, and its return in a country that still has hundreds of positive virus cases a day is being closely watched by other leagues.
With a strict health protocol governing the fragile restart, which includes no fans, face masks for everyone but the players, no handshakes and no group celebrations, it was up to title hopefuls Dortmund, who face leaders Bayern Munich in 10 days time, to find a spark badly missing in the eerily empty ground.
The Ruhr valley club, in second place, scored the first goal of the matchday after nearly half an hour when teenager Erling Haaland connected with a Thorgan Hazard cutback.
The exciting 19-year-old Norway striker, who knocked in his 13th goal in 12 appearances for Dortmund in all competitions, picked up exactly where he left off in March.
He has already gone to the top of the transfer wish list of every major European club and, with an expected audience of a billion for the Bundesliga this weekend, his immediate return to scoring will have only enhanced his already stellar reputation.
Portuguese midfielder Raphael Guerreiro added two more goals and Belgium international Hazard also got on the scoresheet as Dortmund climbed to 54 points, one behind defending champions Bayern, who are in action at Union Berlin on Sunday (May 17).
When Schalke brought on Timo Becker to replace Jonjoe Kenny in the 87th minute at the 80,000-capacity Signal Iduna Park it was the first time in Bundesliga history a team had made five substitutions after FIFA announced the temporary rule change.
Fans across the country followed police orders to stay away from the stadiums, including at the Ruhr derby, as the league tries to finish the season for contractual reasons by June 30.
With a poll for German state broadcaster ARD showing 56% of Germans consider the restart at this stage to be wrong, the league will aim to complete the last eight Bundesliga matchdays with as few problems and controversies as possible.
(Production: Andreas Kranz, Petra Wischgoll, Ulrike Heil)