Borussia Dortmund manager Lucien Favre expressed satisfaction after his team thrashed FC Schalke 4-0 on the resumption day of Bundesliga 2019-20, but admitted that playing without fans was “very strange”.

The Bundesliga became the first major European football league to restart the 2019-20 season after the suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Revierderby between Dortmund and Schalke the most important match among the first weekend’s set of fixtures.

“4-0 against Schalke, that’s quite good. The key was that the team played well together, also defensively. That was very, very special. You shoot at the goal, make a top pass, a goal – and nothing happens. That’s very, very strange,” Goal.com quoted Favre as saying.

“It was a completely different game than usual. It’s hard to judge how good the game was. I had the feeling that it wasn’t as committed as planned. The players were very focused on their task,” the manager added.

Dortmund’s young Norwegian superstar Erling Braut Haaland had opened the scoring with his 29th-minute strike. Raphael Guerriero with a brace and Thorgan Hazard was the other scorers of the day against their crosstown rivals.

However, it was not a usual sight for the players or for the fans watching on TV or streaming online. The footballers were not allowed to celebrate their gaols keeping in mind the importance of social distancing as the sport woke up to a new dawn after months of isolation.

The silence inside the stadium was deafening as crowd chants were replaced by the voice of managers shouting instructions to their respective players. Every now and then, the referee’s whistle broke the monotony of ball crashing against the boots of players. But then, even this would have seemed a dream a few weeks back when life was at risk even if you stepped out of your house.