Eerie silence resounds as Germany ushers in football’s new abnormal | Barney Ronay

Borussia Dortmund’s win over Schalke was a welcome return for a sport that has been reborn as a deeply strange spectacle

In Leipzig the players bumped elbows and grinned like this was all a little bit silly. In Dortmund Erling Haaland scored the first goal of football’s plague times and stood by the corner flag with his teammates around him in a celebratory pastiche of social distancing, a strangely haunting image that will, you suspect, be recycled many times.

Welcome to the new abnormal normal. Which is, needless to say, a fairly strange place to be. And yet for all the oddity of its staging, something did seem to shift over the 90 minutes of Borussia Dortmund’s 4-0 defeat of Schalke at Signal Iduna Park, one of six comeback fixtures to take place in the Bundesliga, two months since football – and that rather less urgent entity, the world – went into standby mode.

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