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Face masks, no celebrations and a VAR controversy - football makes its return as Bundesliga gets under way

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Dortmund's Erling Braut Haaland celebrates with teammates after scoring their first goal as play resumed behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease. Martin Meissner/Pool via REUTERS

Dortmund's Erling Braut Haaland celebrates with teammates after scoring their first goal as play resumed behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease. Martin Meissner/Pool via REUTERS

REUTERS

Dortmund's Erling Braut Haaland celebrates with teammates after scoring their first goal as play resumed behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease. Martin Meissner/Pool via REUTERS

Major European football made its cautious return on Saturday as Germany's Bundesliga became the first of the big five leagues to resume during the coronavirus pandemic, but amid strange new conventions there were the familiar sights of a dominant Borussia Dortmund performance and VAR controversy.

The voices of players and coaches echoed around empty stadiums, in which players wore face masks in the dressing rooms and during warm-up, respected social distancing on the benches and for the pre-match pleasantries, but then got stuck in on the pitch.

Players may still be feeling their way in after two months off, but Dortmund certainly pulled no punches as they put pressure on leaders Bayern Munich with a thumping 4-0 win in the Revierderby against Schalke.

Erling Haaland opened the scoring, stroking home Thorgan Hazard's cross and saluting the empty stands, before Raphael Guerreiro doubled the advantage on the stroke of half-time.

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Footballs are disinfected during the Bundesliga soccer match between Duesseldorf and Paderborn in the Merkur Spiel-Arena. (Sascha Schuermann/AFP pool via AP)

Footballs are disinfected during the Bundesliga soccer match between Duesseldorf and Paderborn in the Merkur Spiel-Arena. (Sascha Schuermann/AFP pool via AP)

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Wolfsburg's Daniel Ginczek and Jerome Roussillon celebrate, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Tobias Hase/Pool via REUTERS

Wolfsburg's Daniel Ginczek and Jerome Roussillon celebrate, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Tobias Hase/Pool via REUTERS

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Hoffenheim's Austrian midfielder Christoph Baumgartner, left, and Hertha's German defender Maximilian Mittelstaedt vie for the ball. (Thomas Kienzle/AFP pool via AP)

Hoffenheim's Austrian midfielder Christoph Baumgartner, left, and Hertha's German defender Maximilian Mittelstaedt vie for the ball. (Thomas Kienzle/AFP pool via AP)

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Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann celebrates with Angelino afte the Germarn Bundesliga soccer match between RB Leipzig and SC Freiburg. (Jan Woitas/dpa via AP)

Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann celebrates with Angelino afte the Germarn Bundesliga soccer match between RB Leipzig and SC Freiburg. (Jan Woitas/dpa via AP)

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A TV crew member has his temperature checked before entering the stadium for the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 in Dortmund, Germany. Martin Meissner/PA Wire.

A TV crew member has his temperature checked before entering the stadium for the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 in Dortmund, Germany. Martin Meissner/PA Wire.

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Schalke substitute players sit on the bench during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 in Dortmund, Germany. Martin Meissner/PA Wire.

Schalke substitute players sit on the bench during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 in Dortmund, Germany. Martin Meissner/PA Wire.

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RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann wearing a protective face mask, as play resumed in the Bundesliga behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease. Jan Woitas/Pool via REUTERS

RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann wearing a protective face mask, as play resumed in the Bundesliga behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease. Jan Woitas/Pool via REUTERS

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A groundsman works on the pitch after FC Augsburg v VfL Wolfsburg, as play resumed in the Bundesliga behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease. Tobias Hase/Pool via REUTERS

A groundsman works on the pitch after FC Augsburg v VfL Wolfsburg, as play resumed in the Bundesliga behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease. Tobias Hase/Pool via REUTERS

REUTERS

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Footballs are disinfected during the Bundesliga soccer match between Duesseldorf and Paderborn in the Merkur Spiel-Arena. (Sascha Schuermann/AFP pool via AP)

Hazard lashed home a third three minutes into the second half before Guerreiro's cheeky finish gave the hosts an unassailable lead.

The win puts Dortmund one point behind Bayern, who face Union Berlin on Sunday.

Third-placed RB Leipzig dropped points at home but were grateful it was only two in a 1-1 draw as Freiburg were denied victory when Robin Koch's stoppage-time goal was disallowed by VAR.

The defender was ruled marginally offside as the visitors were forced to settle for a point after Yussuf Poulsen's 77th-minute header levelled for the hosts, who are now four points behind Bayern.

Manuel Gulde had given Freiburg a 34th-minute lead as they moved up to seventh in the table.

Daniel Ginczek struck a stoppage-time winner for Wolfsburg as they snatched a 2-1 victory at Augsburg.

The striker pounced from close range to move the visitors up to sixth in the table after Renato Steffen's opener.

Tin Jedvaj had levelled for Augsburg and Felix Uduokhai's thought his header had put the hosts 2-1 ahead but was disallowed by VAR.

Hertha Berlin seemed at home in Hoffenheim's empty PreZero Arena as a flurry of second-half goals gave them a 3-0 away win as Bruno Labbadia won his first game in charge.

Kevin Akpoguma diverted Peter Pekarik's shot into his own net after 58 minutes before Vedad Ibisevic guided a header home to score against his old club seconds later.

Matheus Cunha made sure of the points as he cut in off the left wing to score a fine solo goal.

Fortuna Dusseldorf and SC Paderborn will both be grateful for the restart as it gives them at least the hope of climbing out of relegation trouble, though neither could take immediate advantage as they drew 0-0.

Fortuna will be the most frustrated after hitting the frame of the goal four times, the last of them a Steven Skrzybski shot which struck the left upright with nine minutes left.

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