Paderborn's relegation from the Bundesliga was confirmed when they were beaten 1-0 at Union Berlin on Tuesday.

The bottom side have won just four times all season and their fate was sealed with two matches remaining after Ben Zolinski's first-half own goal.

Just Paderborn's second season in the Bundesliga has ended the same way as their first, having similarly struggled and finished bottom in their previous top-flight tilt in 2014-15.

Union had themselves been sinking towards trouble prior to a crucial win at Cologne on Saturday and now moved 10 points clear of Fortuna Dusseldorf in the relegation play-off spot, clinching their safety.

Paderborn's place in the top tier will be taken by Arminia Bielefeld, who were promoted earlier on Tuesday thanks to results elsewhere in the 2. Bundesliga.

Klaus Gjasula made Bundesliga history during Paderborn's 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Werder Bremen on Saturday.

The midfielder was shown his 17th yellow card of the season for a foul on Josh Sargent in the first half at the Benteler-Arena on Saturday.

Gjasula consequently surpassed the Bundesliga record set by Tomasz Hajto when he was booked 16 times for Duisburg in the 1998-99 season.

Following their defeat to Bremen, Paderborn are guaranteed to finish in the bottom three and sit eight points adrift of the relegation play-off spot with three games remaining.

Timo Werner's underwhelming performance for RB Leipzig in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Bundesliga strugglers Paderborn was not down to the speculation linking him with Chelsea, Julian Nagelsmann insisted.

Media reports relating to Werner's future have intensified in the past few days, with stories suggesting he is close to joining Chelsea.

Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff claimed before the match that Chelsea have not been in touch regarding Werner yet, while he was also adamant the striker has not triggered his release clause.

The Germany international was below-par against rock-bottom Paderborn as Leipzig surprisingly dropped two points.

But Nagelsmann dismissed the idea that "hype" was to blame, pointing out the Stuttgart academy product has had to contend with such pressure since he was a teenager.

"No, it didn't bother him," Nagelsmann said when asked if the Chelsea rumours had affected Werner.

"He was very committed. He was always working out front, like [Paderborn coach] Steffen [Baumgart] said. He was on the run a lot.

"He has a total of 32 or 33 goals this season. Today he missed a few chances, but still set up Patrik [Schick]'s goal.

"I think he would have liked to score with one of his two big chances, but that has nothing to do with the hype about his person. He has known that since he was 14."

The result leaves Leipzig four points adrift of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, but they went three clear of Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen, both of whom suffered defeats this weekend.

Kevin Kampl described team-mate Dayot Upamecano's red card against Paderborn as "completely unnecessary" after RB Leipzig were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw.

Upamecano received a second booking two minutes before half-time on Saturday when he kicked the ball away in frustration after being adjudged to have fouled Streli Mamba.

Leipzig were in front at that stage after Patrik Schick's opener but bottom-of-the-table Paderborn ultimately claimed a dramatic point when captain Christian Strohdiek struck in the 92nd minute.

"It was completely unnecessary," Kampl said to Sky Germany about defender Upamecano's sending off.

"We lead 1-0, have the game under control and then we weaken ourselves.

"This is extremely bitter. A win would have been a huge step towards the Champions League.

"We are most annoyed about the goal in added time. Paderborn played well in the majority of the game - but we can no longer let the game get out of our hands."

Leipzig have now drawn five of their last six Bundesliga home games and have 11 top-flight draws in total this season.

Those dropped points have left them third in the table and involved in a scrap to secure a top-four finish, rather than competing with Bayern Munich for the title.

"We can be happy that the competition has also left us with some points - that's the only positive thing," added Schick, referring to Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen losing to Freiburg and Bayern respectively.

The striker added: "Of course we are just really disappointed after the late equaliser. When we play in Hoffenheim next there is only one option - three points.

"We are still in pole position to reach the Champions League and have to give everything for this goal in the next few weeks."

RB Leipzig were left to rue Dayot Upamecano's first-half dismissal as Christian Strohdiek's stoppage-time equaliser earned the Bundesliga's bottom side Paderborn a 1-1 draw.

Central defender Upamecano received two cautions prior to half-time, the second of which came after he kicked the ball away in anger.

However, it looked as though Leipzig were going to take all three points anyway, with Timo Werner having put all the talk of his impending move to Chelsea to one side to set up Patrik Schick's 27th-minute opener.

Yet Werner missed a late chance that would have made it 2-0 when he grazed the crossbar, and Strohdiek pounced to level after Marlon Ritter's effort was pushed into his path by goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi.

Lucien Favre did not see Jadon Sancho unveil a shirt displaying 'Justice for George Floyd' after scoring during Borussia Dortmund's 6-1 victory over Paderborn.

England international Sancho showed the garment bearing the name of the man who died in police custody in the United States, prompting protests across the country and beyond.

The 20-year-old was shown a yellow card for removing his playing shirt while celebrating the first of his three goals in the Bundesliga game on Sunday.

Dortmund team-mate Achraf Hakimi also displayed a shirt with the same slogan, as the visitors ran out comfortable winners against the team sitting bottom of the table.

"I didn't see it," coach Favre said of Sancho's celebration. "After the game, I heard about him celebrating a goal like that. There was something on a t-shirt.

"What can I say? I don't know why he did that. I didn't see it. I can't judge it."

Dortmund were held scoreless in the first half before Thorgan Hazard broke the deadlock in the 54th minute, setting them on their way to a landslide triumph.

It was a much-needed three points following a midweek loss to Bayern Munich, a result that left them highly unlikely to catch the reigning champions in the title race.

Favre revealed he was not worried by side's failure to score before the break in the absence of Erling Haaland, who missed the game due to a knee injury.

''I only said one sentence during the half-time break: 'We need to keep doing what we're doing'," he said.

"We pressed well, we tired out our opponents, and it was clear that they wouldn't be able to keep up the tempo all the way to the final whistle.

"We wanted to make sure they couldn't hit us on the counter, as they have a lot of pace up top.

"We were able to maintain the intensity we showed in the first half and the only real change we made was some alterations to our wide players' movements."

Jadon Sancho is among the leading players of his generation, according to Borussia Dortmund team-mate Axel Witsel. 

England star Sancho scored a hat-trick in Dortmund's 6-1 thrashing of Paderborn on Sunday, in the process becoming the youngest player in Bundesliga history to reach 30 goals. 

The 20-year-old is also the first English player to register at least 15 goals and the same number of assists in a single season in one of Europe's top five leagues since Matt Le Tissier, who achieved the feat for Southampton in the Premier League 25 years ago. 

Such impressive numbers are the reason Witsel speaks so highly of Sancho, who celebrated his first goal by revealing a t-shirt in tribute to George Floyd, who died while in police custody in the United States on Monday. 

"I think he's one of the best of his generation," said Witsel.

"He still has a lot to improve, to progress, because he is really young.

"But I'm sure in his position, as a winger, he will be one of the best."

Despite their resounding win, Lucien Favre's side sit seven points behind leaders Bayern Munich in the table.

Jadon Sancho broke an English and a Bundesliga record on Sunday, as the Borussia Dortmund winger scored a hat-trick in a 6-1 rout of Paderborn.

Sancho, who revealed a "justice for George Floyd" t-shirt after scoring his first goal in the 57th minute, put Dortmund 2-0 up following Thorgan Hazard's opener.

It took the youngster onto 15 goals for the season, making him the first English player to register at least 15 goals and assists in a single season in one of Europe's top five leagues since the 1994-95 Premier League campaign, when Matt Le Tissier did so for Southampton.

The winger also became the first player to achieve the feat in a Bundesliga campaign, since the start of detailed data collecting in 2004-05.

Sancho was not done there, however, and drilled in a second in the 74th minute before rounding off the win - and his hat-trick - in stoppage time.

Dortmund's victory moves them onto 60 points, four clear of Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen, though seven adrift of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.

Jadon Sancho marked his return to the Borussia Dortmund XI with a hat-trick and a political message as they thumped Bundesliga strugglers Paderborn 6-1 on Sunday.

Sancho was restored to the line-up for the first time since the coronavirus-enforced break after a disappointing midweek defeat to Bayern Munich saw the defending champions move seven points clear at the summit.

That reverse prompted fresh speculation regarding head coach Lucien Favre's future, but Sancho helped his second-placed side get back on track as they look to secure Champions League qualification.

Although Dortmund were frustrated until the 54th minute at the Benteler-Arena, Thorgan Hazard's opener was swiftly followed by a second from Sancho, who would later net again after Uwe Hunemeier brought Paderborn back into the contest, with Achraf Hakimi and Marcel Schmelzer adding gloss to the scoreline.

The England international rounded off his treble in the 92nd minute by capping a rapid Dortmund counter-attack.

Sancho celebrated his first by revealing a T-shirt bearing the message "Justice for George Floyd" in reference to the black American who died in an incident involving a police officer in Minnesota this week, prompting protests across the United States.

Bundesliga colleagues Weston McKennie and Marcus Thuram had similar tributes earlier in a weekend that concluded with Dortmund's return to winning ways.

 

 

Robert Lewandowski is out to end his disappointing goals return against Fortuna Dusseldorf as Bayern Munich look to close in on an eighth successive Bundesliga title.

The prolific Poland striker has scored 229 goals in the German top flight over the past decade, but he has never previously netted against Dusseldorf in five attempts.

Bayern head into this weekend's fixture sitting seven points clear of Borussia Dortmund, who need to quickly respond from their Klassiker defeat when they head to Paderborn.

Elsewhere, third-place RB Leipzig host Cologne on Monday in what will be the first Bundesliga match played in the month of June for 25 years.


FREIBURG V BAYER LEVERKUSEN

- Leverkusen have lost just one of their last nine league encounters with Freiburg and are unbeaten in each of the last five.

- However, Freiburg have not lost any of their last six home Bundesliga meetings with Leverkusen on home soil, with four of the last six finishing goalless.

- Freiburg have won only one of their last seven league games and could go four successive games without a win for the first time this season.


MAINZ V HOFFENHEIM

- Mainz have lost just one of their last seven Bundesliga home games against Hoffenheim, with three of those games ending all square.

- Four or more goals have been scored in eight of the last nine Bundesliga matches between these sides.

- Mainz have conceded a league-high 61 goals this season at a rate of 2.2 per game. They had never previously let in more than 57 across an entire Bundesliga campaign.


SCHALKE V WERDER BREMEN

- Bremen have won more Bundesliga games against Schalke than they have versus any other opponent, claiming victory in 43 of the previous 101 encounters.

- Schalke are winless in 10 Bundesliga games - not since the end of 1996-97, when going 11 games without victory, have they been on a longer-such run.

- Maximilian Eggestein has had a hand in five goals in six league games against Schalke. He has not been directly involved in more than two against any other Bundesliga side.


HERTHA BERLIN V AUGSBURG

- Hertha had gone nine games without defeat against Augsburg prior to their 4-0 loss in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

- However, the capital club are unbeaten in their seven Bundesliga home games with Augsburg - their longest unbeaten run at home in the top flight against one side.

- Hertha's Marvin Plattenhardt has assisted four goals in his last four league outings, which is more than he accumulated in his previous 31 matches combined (three).


WOLFSBURG V EINTRACHT FRANKFURT

- Wolfsburg have won five of their last seven Bundesliga games against Frankfurt, with the only defeat in that run coming in January 2018.

- Frankfurt average 0.83 points-per-game against Wolfsburg in the German top flight - only against Blau-Weiss 90 Berlin (0.5 after two games) do they have a lower return.

- Maximilian Arnold had a hand in three goals for Wolfsburg against Leverkusen in midweek. His 11 goal involvements this term is a personal best for him in a Bundesliga season.

 

A touch of class #Kimmich #BVBFCB #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/Xdgk5CHLSF

— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) May 29, 2020 BAYERN MUNICH V FORTUNA DUSSELDORF

- Dusseldorf are winless in each of their last 11 Bundesliga meetings with Bayern - only against Hamburg (12 matches) have they endured a longer winless run in the division.

- Bayern have scored at least three goals in each of their last six league games against Dusseldorf, netting 24 in total at an average of four per game.

- Lewandowski has scored against 17 of the 18 current Bundesliga sides, the exception being Dusseldorf, having failed to score in his previous 381 minutes against them.


BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH V UNION BERLIN

- Gladbach have yet to beat Union, losing both previous competitive encounters, including a 2-0 loss in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

- Marco Rose's side have tasted defeat in two of their last three league home games - twice as many losses as their previous 11 top-flight matches combined.

- Gladbach have lost only one of their last 19 top-flight home games against promoted sides - 2-1 versus Leipzig in 2016-17 - which is also their only home loss against a Bundesliga debutant this millennium.

 

PADERBORN V BORUSSIA DORTMUND

- Paderborn have failed to win any of their five previous competitive games against Dortmund, a run that includes a 7-1 away loss in the DFB-Pokal four seasons ago.

- However, Dortmund only have a lower win percentage against Bayern (25 per cent) in the entire Bundesliga than they do versus Paderborn (33 per cent).

- Dortmund fired a blank against Bayern are aiming to avoid going back-to-back matches without scoring a Bundesliga goal since March 2015.

 

COLOGNE V RB LEIPZIG

- Out of all the teams Cologne have faced at least twice in the Bundesliga, their loss percentage against Leipzig (60 per cent) is higher than against any other side.

- Cologne are without a win in their last four Bundesliga games - their longest wait for a victory under Markus Gisdol, with all four matches played behind closed doors.

- Leipzig are unbeaten in nine league matches either side of the two-month shutdown, though six of those games have ended in draws.

Erling Haaland will miss Borussia Dortmund's Bundesliga trip to Paderborn on Sunday and Mahmoud Dahoud will be sidelined for the rest of the season.

Haaland and Dahoud were injured in the 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

Young Norway striker Haaland limped off with a knee issue after 72 minutes, while midfielder Dahoud was replaced with five minutes of normal time left after complaining of a knock.

Speaking on Friday, head coach Lucien Favre said: "Unfortunately, Mo Dahoud will miss the rest of the season. Erling Haaland will also be unavailable against Paderborn.

"We found out the day after the Bayern game [about Dahoud]. He felt something and has a little problem. It's not bad, but he can't continue."

Dortmund's defeat to Bayern at Signal Iduna Park means they are seven points behind the leaders with just six games remaining.

They will hope to return to winning ways against Paderborn, who are bottom of the table on 19 points after winning just four league games all season.

After Borussia Dortmund saw their Bundesliga title hopes seemingly end with defeat to Bayern Munich in the Klassiker, Lucien Favre's side could slide to third place on Wednesday.

A victory for RB Leipzig over Hertha Berlin would take Julian Nagelsmann's team up to second spot in the table.

There are some growing winless runs in the German top flight, with worrying times for the likes of Union Berlin and Hoffenheim.

Alarm bells will be ringing at Schalke, however, if their fruitless streak stretches to 10 games. David Wagner's side tackle third-bottom Fortuna Dusseldorf.

RB LEIPZIG V HERTHA BERLIN

- Leipzig usually enjoy this fixture, having won six of their previous seven Bundesliga matches against Hertha – losing the other 3-2 at home in December 2017. They have won more Bundesliga games against Hertha than against any other side, and have scored 26 goals in those seven previous clashes.

- Leipzig have taken 54 points from 27 matches this Bundesliga season, just shy of the 55 they had at this stage of their debut top-flight campaign in 2016-17.

- Striker Timo Werner has had a hand in 31 Bundesliga goals for Leipzig this season, with 24 goals and seven assists, including a hat-trick against Mainz at the weekend. Since detailed data collection began in 2004-05, no other player has been involved in as many goals at this stage of a season.

- Hertha have been rejuvenated under new boss Bruno Labbadia, with a 3-0 win over Hoffenheim followed by a 4-0 victory against city rivals Union Berlin last Friday. Curiously, every goal in those two games came between the 51st and 77th minutes.

UNION BERLIN V MAINZ

- Mainz parted company with head coach Sandro Schwarz after losing 3-2 when these two teams met in November. It was just Union's second win in seven competitive matches against Mainz.

- Union sit 13th in the Bundesliga but have not won in their past four Bundesliga matches, losing their past three, including a 4-0 derby loss to Hertha. It is their longest winless run in the Bundesliga, albeit this is their first season in the league.

- Mainz must set aside their latest Leipzig humiliation. Their 5-0 loss at the weekend followed an 8-0 defeat to the same opposition earlier in the season. The last Bundesliga team to concede 13 goals in a single season against one team were Ulm in 1999-2000 against Bayer Leverkusen.

- Mainz sit 15th and have conceded a league-high 60 goals this season, more than in any previous season in their existence.

AUGSBURG V PADERBORN

- Augsburg have won four of their past six competitive matches against Paderborn (D1 L1), including a 1-0 success earlier this season when Philipp Max's goal made the difference.

- A 3-0 win at Schalke last time out ended Augsburg's run of four Bundesliga defeats in a row and gave them a first clean sheet in 2020.

- Augsburg have a rocky recent record at home against promoted teams, winning five and losing five of their past 10 such fixtures. The last promoted team they beat at home were Paderborn – 3-0 in November 2014.

- Paderborn sit bottom of the Bundesliga with 18 points from 27 matches. No team with 18 points or fewer at this stage of a season have ever avoided relegation from the league.

HOFFENHEIM V COLOGNE

- Rather a favourite fixture for Hoffenheim, they have won each of their past three Bundesliga games against Cologne and are unbeaten in the past seven in their rivalry. They have only managed to string together a longer sequence of Bundesliga wins against one team – winning five in succession against Hannover from 2013 to 2015.

- Hoffenheim will need to buck the trend of their recent 2019-20 season results, however, having not won in their past seven Bundesliga matches (D3 L4), their longest winless run since going eight games without a victory from October to December in 2015.

- Cologne's Jhon Cordoba scored his 11th goal of the season on matchday 27, a late equaliser against Fortuna Dusseldorf on Sunday. He has now netted more goals in his 23 appearances this term than in his previous three Bundesliga campaigns combined (10 goals in 69 games).

FORTUNA DUSSELDORF V SCHALKE

- Schalke have lost only one of their past six competitive matches against Fortuna (W3 D2), but that 4-0 home setback in March 2019 will be fresh in the memory.

- Fortuna sit precariously in 16th place but are unbeaten in their past five games (W1 D4) under Uwe Rosler. They have drawn six of eight games under Rosler – the only other coach in Bundesliga history to draw six of his first eight matches was Thorsten Fink with Hamburg in 2011.

- If Fortuna go ahead, they might not stay ahead, having thrown away a league-high 22 points from winning positions this season. However, they face a slumping Schalke side who have gone nine games without a Bundesliga win, scoring just twice in that dismal run.

Erling Haaland has a chance to create more Bundesliga history when Borussia Dortmund take on Wolfsburg on Saturday.

Cologne's Mark Uth is another striker on a strong run who will be hoping to help his team pick up a victory over relegation-threatened Fortuna Dusseldorf, while Kai Havertz will be out to maintain his impressive second half of the season.

Bayern remained four points clear at the summit following a victory over Union Berlin on the league's return from a two-month coronavirus stoppage last weekend and are up against Eintracht Frankfurt.

RB Leipzig fell further off the pace and would no doubt welcome a repeat of their Timo Werner-inspired 8-0 thrashing of Mainz from earlier this season when the pair meet again on Sunday.

Ahead of the next round of Bundesliga fixtures, we bring you the best Opta Facts.

FRIDAY
Hertha Berlin v Union Berlin
- Hertha lost 1-0 in the previous meeting in November 2019, which was the first time the two clubs faced each other in the Bundesliga. Hertha have never lost two Berlin derbies in a row in professional football.
- Union have won two of their past three Bundesliga away games (2-0 against Werder Bremen and 2-1 against Eintracht Frankfurt), picking up more wins and points than in their first 10 top-flight away matches this season (one win, five points).

SATURDAY
Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayer Leverkusen
- Leverkusen have lost each of their last three Bundesliga games against Gladbach – they only ever lost four in a row against the Foals across 1980 and 1981.
- Havertz has recorded 10 of his 13 Bundesliga goal involvements this season in the Ruckrunde. He has had a hand in at least one goal in each of his last five top-flight games (four goals, three assists).

Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund
- Wolfsburg have only taken one point from their past nine Bundesliga games against Dortmund – a goalless draw at Signal Iduna Park in January 2018.
- Haaland needed just nine games for his first 10 Bundesliga goals – only Paco Alcacer and Gert Dorfel required fewer matches (both eight). Haaland will equal the top-flight's record with an 11th goal in his 10th outing.

Freiburg v Werder Bremen
- Bremen have a higher winning percentage (56 per cent) and average more goals per game (2.2) against Freiburg than they do against any other current Bundesliga side.
- Werder's 18 points from 25 games represents their worst Bundesliga season. In league history, all of the 37 teams that have had 18 points or fewer after 25 games have been relegated.

Paderborn v Hoffenheim
- Paderborn have failed to score in all five of their competitive matches against Hoffenheim – they have only ever endured a longer barren streak in professional football against Kaiserslautern (six games between 2006 and 2010).
- Paderborn are six points behind 16th-place Fortuna Dusseldorf. Since the introduction of the three-points-per-win rule in 1995-96, no Bundesliga team has made up such a deficit after 26 games.

Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt
- Bayern have won each of their last 10 Bundesliga home games against Frankfurt – their longest winning run at home to any current top-flight side.
- Frankfurt are the weakest team away from home in the Bundesliga this season, picking up just seven points. They have lost nine of their 12 away games this term and have yet to keep a clean sheet on the road.

SUNDAY
Schalke v Augsburg

- Schalke have scored just two goals in their past eight Bundesliga games, fewer than any other side in this time frame. They have equalled a negative club record from 1965-66 with just four goals in nine Ruckrunde games.
- Augsburg's Florian Niederlechner has scored four goals in six Bundesliga games against Schalke – more than he has netted against any other top-flight team.

Mainz v RB Leipzig
- At least three goals have been scored in each of the seven Bundesliga meetings between Mainz and Leipzig.
- Mainz have 27 points and a goal difference of -19, which represents their second-worst Bundesliga campaign at this stage – they were only worse off after 26 games in 2017-18 (25 points).

Cologne v Fortuna Dusseldorf
- It has been nearly 31 years since Dusseldorf's last win away to Cologne in the Bundesliga - they celebrated a 3-1 victory in October 1989.
- Uth has had a hand in a goal in each of his eight Bundesliga games for Cologne (five goals, four assists); his longest such run in the competition.

The same, but different. It seems the best we can hope for in this new normal that nobody wanted.

For the first time since the 2013 Champions League final between Bayern Munch and Borussia Dortmund, the Bundesliga was at the centre of the football world on Saturday.

Tentative steps taken elsewhere, most notably in Korea, meant the global audience tuning in knew much of what to expect in terms of oddities - from players and staff arriving in masks, to their voices echoing around cavernous stadia.

But how would the football look in this setting? Would there be a pre-season feel as one of Europe's elite leagues punched below its weight?

In each of the five Saturday afternoon kick-offs, there was evidence of players feeling their way in amid peculiar circumstances.

In the Revierderby, Schalke enjoyed more territory than Dortmund during the opening minutes, attacking a Yellow Wall without a single one of its howling bricks at Signal Iduna Park.

At the Red Bull Arena, the other side rivalling Bayern for the title, RB Leipzig looked not to have missed a beat as the slickly set about Freiburg.

Those early suggestions were entirely deceptive. Never mind your latest Netflix series, the Bundesliga has you covered for sneaking, snaking plot twists.

This was a slow burning drama, with almost half an hour passing before a goal was scored. When it arrived, it came from a superstar member of the cast.

Erling Haaland's 29th-minute opener was a beautiful goal, immaculately constructed. Julian Brandt, who schemed wonderfully to befuddle the Schalke defence for much of the match, sent a cute flick into Thorgan Hazard's path.

The Belgium international's clipped cross allowed Haaland to open his body and coolly finish left footed for a 10th goal in nine Bundesliga outings. Much as crowd noise was wanting, the crunch of the ball hitting the netting was a sound to enjoy everywhere apart from Gelsenkirchen. It's still nice to see, hear and feel nice things.

Haaland's choice of celebration was a swaggering dance at an acceptable distance from his team-mates. This jarred a little, only because the teenager had just got involved in penalty area confrontation with Jean-Clair Todibo at close quarters.

Incidentally, the lack of fans meant Todibo could be heard suggesting Haaland do something unmentionable to this grandmother that would certainly be at odds with social distancing.

Pandemic-aware celebrations elsewhere saw Renato Steffen punch fists with Wolfsburg team-mates after an emphatically thumping header set their 2-1 win at Augsburg in motion, while Freiburg bumped elbows with one another when Manuel Gulde's fortuitous flick stunned Leipzig.

Captain Yussuf Poulsen equalised before Freiburg thought they had a winner, although through Robin Koch's humerus hitting happiness was short-lived due to the looming, all-knowing baddie most people can't abide – VAR, the Carole Baskin of the piece.

The more the action wore on, the easier it felt to immerse yourself in familiar story lines.

Three consecutive draws mean Leipzig's title push is spluttering, while Dortmund's is powering through the gears. Their other goals in the 4-0 shellacking of Schalke were just as easy on the eye as Haaland's.

Raphael Guerreiro was on target twice, either side of Hazard as Brandt continued to slice the visitors apart on a day when their goalkeeper Markus Schubert could scarcely have looked less composed.

At the other end of the table, Fortuna Dusseldorf hit post and bar on three occasions as they drew 0-0 with bottom club Paderborn – profligacy they will hope does not haunt them in the final analysis.

After half-time, the goals piled up alongside some clanging errors. Perhaps a by-product of fitness levels still needing to be sharpened, but maybe just football being football.

No element of the Leipzig lockdown could be blamed for Ademola Lookman's howling close-range miss, a moment when the English youngster was probably thankful no fans could offer helpful pointers.

Ihlas Bebou erred with the goal similarly at his mercy for Hoffenheim and the Dietmar Hopp financed outfit crashed further, unable to reboot from Kevin Akpoguma's own goal as Hertha Berlin stormed to a 3-0 away victory.

By contrast, Wolfsburg left it late and Daniel Ginczek gave the Bundesliga's return a stoppage-time winner.

Overall, the distraction of the strange settings did not stop this being a nice distraction. So long as risks to the health and welfare of those involved are at a minimum – and the Bundesliga has been rigorous – that feels okay.

Wonderful goals and dreadful errors, beauty and comedy, a Bundesliga title race and a relegation scrap. The same, but different and a welcome addition to the new normal.

After a two-month absence due to the coronavirus crisis, football in one of Europe's major leagues returns on Saturday as the Bundesliga resumes.

Though no fans will be present in the grounds, there are sure to be millions watching from home as the German top flight gets back up and running.

The Revierderby between Schalke and Borussia Dortmund is the headline fixture, while title hopefuls RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach are also in action on Saturday.

There is a crunch clash between strugglers Fortuna Dusseldorf and Paderborn, with two places and six points separating the teams.

Elsewhere, Augbsurg host Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim go up against Hertha Berlin.

Using Opta data, we take a look ahead to all of Saturday's Bundesliga fixtures.

 

Fortuna Dusseldorf v Paderborn

10 – Fortuna occupy the relegation play-off place as it stands and have won just one of their last 10 league games against Paderborn, defeating them in April 2014 in the second tier.

22 – Fortuna's tally of 22 points from 25 games represents their second-worst points haul at this stage of a Bundesliga season. They are also without a win in four league matches.

4 – Paderborn have lost their last four Bundesliga games. They last had a similar losing run in September and October this season, when they suffered five defeats on the bounce.

Borussia Dortmund v Schalke

180 – This will be the 180th Revierderby. Dortmund have only won one of the last eight meetings, beating Schalke 2-1 in December 2018. 

1 – Dortmund's 4-2 defeat in their last home clash with Schalke is their only league defeat at Signal Iduna Park under Lucien Favre.

14 – David Wagner's Schalke were only one point behind Dortmund prior to their first meeting this season, but 14 points now separate the sides.

9 – Since signing for Dortmund in January, Erling Haaland (9) has scored more than double the amount of goals Schalke (4) have managed since the mid-season break so far.

387 – Schalke have only managed to score once in their last 387 minutes of Bundesliga action, whereas Dortmund have scored 10 times in the same amount of minutes.

800 – Should Dortmund win, it would be their 800th Bundesliga victory. Schalke, meanwhile, will have let in 2,500 Bundesliga goals should they concede at least once on Saturday.

 

RB Leipzig v Freiburg

2 – Leipzig had not enjoyed the best start to 2020 prior to the suspension of the league. They had won just two of their last seven Bundesliga games, drawing their last two.

43 – Against current Bundesliga teams, Leipzig only have a higher loss percentage against Bayern (50 per cent) than Freiburg (43 per cent).

26 – Leipzig have conceded just 26 goals in the Bundesliga this term, meaning they have the joint-best defence, along with Bayern.

252 – Freiburg's 3-1 win against Union Berlin last time out ended the club's run of 252 minutes without a goal. They netted three times against Union, which is more than in their previous six games combined (2).

 

Hoffenheim v Hertha Berlin

8 – Hoffenheim are unbeaten in their last eight Bundesliga matches against Hertha. They have never managed a longer undefeated run in the top flight against any other side.

5 – However, Hoffenheim have gone their last five Bundesliga games in a row without a win.

48 – Hertha, meanwhile, have conceded 48 goals after 25 Bundesliga games this season. They last let in at least as many at this stage in 1990-91, when they were relegated.

Augbsurg v Wolfsburg

8 – Augsburg's heaviest Bundesliga defeat came against Wolfsburg in May 2019, as they went down 8-1 away from home.

18 – While Wolfsburg have conceded just 17 goals in the second half of Bundesliga matches this season, Augsburg have let in 18 since the winter break.

20 – Only struggling Werder Bremen (21) have dropped more points from winning positions than Augsburg (20) this term.

 

Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Monchengladbach

0 – After winning both Bundesliga matches against Gladbach in 2017-18, Frankfurt have not won any of their last three games against the Foals.

34 – However, Eintracht have beat Gladbach 34 times in the Bundesliga in total. They have only recorded more victories over Bremen.

49 – Gladbach have taken 49 points from the first 25 Bundesliga matches of the season – this is the same as in their title-winning campaign of 1974-75.

100 – Should Oscar Wendt feature in a Gladbach triumph, he would bring up his 100th Bundesliga win, becoming the first foreign-born player to reach the milestone with the club.

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