Bayern Munich beat Union Berlin in Bundesliga return as Robert Lewandowski and Benjamin Pavard sealed victory in an empty stadium.
With the soon-to-be-familiar echoed calls and eerie silence in the 22,000 stadium providing the backdrop, the Bundesliga continued to lead football’s comeback with all eyes on the late kick-off.
As both Bayern and Union’s substitutes sat scattered in the stands, the German champions took control of their first trip to the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei.
The Union supporters were cruelly denied the chance to support their club as they hosted the Champions League winners for the first time, with the popular promoted side still settling in during their first Bundesliga season.
They had little answer for Bayern’s muscle though, and Serge Gnabry would have been Bayern’s first post-lockdown scorer if an offside Thomas Muller hadn’t tapped in his goal-bound effort after 18 minutes.
They have instead gifted their opener 40 minutes in when ex-Dortmund star Neven Subotic clumsily swiped Leon Goretzka down within 18-yards of the hosts’ goal.
Without the hostile Union fans’ whistles and jeers, Robert Lewandowski reignited his prolific form, stuttering his run-up before firing in the spot-kick for 1-0.
The Pole’s muted celebration saw him merely hand out fist bumps, adhering to protocols banning unnecessary contact.
Bayern never stepped into top gear in the second-half, looking sleepy in midfield under the late-evening sun, grateful for a gentler restart against a hard-working Union who lacked final-third talent.
The win was sealed with 10 minutes to go as Joshua Kimmich’s out-swinging corner was met by Benjamin Pavard’s powerful header, seeing the Frenchman instantly forget social distancing rules and run to embrace his team-mates.
The final whistle was met with tumbleweed rather than a roar, as Bayern moved four points clear of Dortmund yet again after BVB’s 4-0 win over Schalke on Saturday.
Union next faces their city rivals Hertha Berlin in a game that will sorely miss having fans in the stadium, as the underdogs look to continue exceeding expectations by hovering above a relegation battle.