KENYA BROWN - Tuesday, May 19, 2020
It was a very rough outing for Weston McKennie and Schalke in the Rivierderby while John Brooks and Wolfsburg stole a win as the Bundesliga made its return from a long suspension.
Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Schalke
Schalke surrendered their hold the last Europa League spot as they were thrashed by heated rivals Borussia Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park.
The Rivierderby is always one of the games to watch in the Bundesliga. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic going on around the world, the game went on without the enthusiastic fans from either side. With only 10 days of training prior to the weekend's encounter, there certainly would have been some forgiveness for any rust on the players.
Weston McKennie would be in the starting eleven for Schalke in his preferred box-to-box midfield role. The big news though came from Giovanni Reyna as he was expected to earn his first start for BVB since making his breakthrough to the first team prior to league play being suspended for several weeks. However, the 17-year-old would be scratched from the line-up as he suffered an injury during warm-ups.
Reyna's injury did not stop the host as they went on a tear to keep the pressure on league leaders Bayern Munich for the Bundesliga title.
Erling Haaland, Dortmund's signing winter signing from RB Salzburg, opened the scoring near the half-hour mark when ran onto a cross from Thorgan Hazard and steered the ball past Schalke goalkeeper Marcus Schubert.
Schubert only had himself to blame for allowing the second goal as his poor clearance from the back was intercepted by a Dortmund player, allowing Raphael Guerreiro to slot the ball home.
BVB maintained their momentum in the second half and did not have to wait long to score their third on the day when Hazard, who replaced Reyna in the line-up, scored three minutes after the restart to finish off a counter-attack.
Guerreiro rounded out the scoring just after the hour mark with some great link-up play between him and Halaand.
A resounding win for Dortmund as it looked like they haven't missed a beat despite the long layoff. As for Schalke, they will need to get their act together soon or their pursuit of a Europa League spot will disappear.
Dortmund remains in second place in the standings with 54 points while Schalke drops to eighth with 37 points.
Augsburg 1-2 Wolfsburg
A stoppage-time goal from Daniel Ginczek helped Wolfsburg to all three points and move up to the Europa League spot in their win over Augsburg at the WWK Arena.
John Brooks started the game for the Wolves and went the distance.
It was back-and-forth between the two teams throughout the first half. However, the visitors would breakthrough in the 43rd minute when Renato Steffen was on the spot to power in a header following a cross from teammate Paulo Otavio.
Wolfsburg surrendered their lead in the 54th minute when Tin Jedvaj was credited with the goal following an Augsburg free-kick. However, replays showed that Brooks' head redirected the ball towards his own goal and it actually crossed over the line before the Croatian player got to it.
It looked like the game was destined for a tie until the 91st minute as some excellent dribbling from Kevin Mbabu saw him send a low cross to Ginczek and the German forward was left alone to tap the ball in from close range.
The win moves Wolfsburg up to sixth place in the standings with 39 points.
In other Bundesliga action, Alfredo Morales came off the bench while Zack Steffen did not dress (knee injury) as Fortuna Dusseldorf shared the points with Paderborn following a 0-0 tie.
Tyler Adams and RB Leipzig lost further ground in the title chase as their game with Freiburg ended in a 1-1 tie.
Timothy Chandler came on to play 26 minutes for Eintracht Frankfurt, but they were no match for Borussia Monchengladbach as the fell in a 3-1 defeat.
Josh Sargent came off the bench in the 71st minute as relegation-threatened Werder Bremen were soundly beaten by Bayer Leverkusen by a 4-1 score line.
Down in the 2. Bundesliga, both Julian Green and Timothy Tilman started for Greuther Furth as a stoppage-time goal helped them to salvage a point against Hamburg in a 2-2 tie.