BERLIN: Erling Haaland scored as Borussia Dortmund beat its old rival Schalke 3-0 in the Bundesliga to steady the ship after a damaging loss to Lazio in the Champions League.
Back from a period in isolation following a positive coronavirus test, Manuel Akanji made the breakthrough for Dortmund when he scored on a rebound in the 55th minute against a hyper-defensive Schalke.
Haaland made it 2-0 six minutes later with a flick over the goalkeeper and celebrated his fifth league goal of the season with a leap into the air. Mats Hummels added a third with a header at a corner.
A win was sorely needed for Dortmund, which had lost three of its last five games including the 3-1 defeat to Lazio and needs to shore up its European hopes against Zenit St. Petersburg on Wednesday.
Having been beaten 8-0 by Bayern Munich and 4-0 by Leipzig already this season, Schalke started against Dortmund with little apparent ambition other than sitting deep and waiting out the 90 minutes. Schalke reached halftime at 0-0 but with just 28per cent of possession.
The three-goal margin of victory was arguably the minimum expected for Dortmund since Schalke last won a league game in January. Schalke is mired in financial problems exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic and has a goal difference of -17 after five games.
A game which is normally one of Germany’s most colorful and fiercest rivalries was played in front of just 300 spectators selected from Dortmund's members and season-ticket holders. Despite those measures, one fan in a Schalke shirt was spotted in the stands.
BAYERN CRUISES TO BIG WIN
Robert Lewandowski scored a hat trick to help Bayern Munich continue where it left off in the Bundesliga with a 5-0 rout of Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
The Poland star didn’t score in Bayern’s 4-0 defeat of Atlético Madrid in their Champions League opener on Wednesday and evidently felt the need to atone as he took his tally to 10 goals in five Bundesliga games.
Bayern suffered an early blow when Alphonso Davies went off with what looked a bad ankle injury in the third minute. Lucas Hernández replaced the 19-year-old Canadian.
The Lewandowski show started soon after. After his hat trick goal in the 61st, Lewandowski was taken off.
Leroy Sané went on for his injury comeback and marked the occasion with a fine goal inside the far post five minutes later, and the 17-year-old Jamal Musiala wrapped up the scoring in the last minute.
LEIPZIG STAYS TOP
Marcel Sabitzer’s late penalty was enough for Leipzig to stay atop the league after beating Hertha Berlin 2-1.
Jhon Cordoba fired Hertha into an early lead, but Dayot Upamecano showed persistence to provide a quick response.
Hertha sent on Deyovaisio Zeefuik at the break. The Dutch defender was booked almost straight away and sent off with his second yellow card in the 50th.
Cordoba conceded the penalty for a foul on Willi Orban and Sabitzer decided the game in the 77th.
Leipzig stayed one point clear of Bayern after five games.