1,239 days later, Dortmund once again celebrated a derby victory that felt like a derby victory. A crowd of 81,000 spectators, a stadium that was sold out weeks in advance, bubbling emotions and the youngest-ever derby hero. At the age of 17 years and 301 days, Youssoufa Moukoko decided the 159th Ruhr derby in the Black & Yellows' favour.
After Schalke's year-long absence and two more years overshadowed by the coronavirus, this derby once again felt like a derby. And it was as most derbies typically tend to be: tenacious, dogged and intense. Borussia Dortmund were dominant in every respect, but Schalke 04 held their own. BVB eventually broke the deadlock with their 16th shot of the match, with substitute Youssoufa Moukoko making the score 1-0 with 11 minutes remaining. "You dream of it as a kid," he said.
With 15 points from seven games, Borussia Dortmund are averaging slightly over two points per game. And with exactly half of the autumn calendar complete, they are faring well and – if you consider the predicted "bumpy start" – perhaps even very well. BVB are in second place ahead of the international break, ahead of a very, very intense period that will see them play 13 games between 1 October and 11 November: eight in the league, four in the Champions League and one in the DFB-Pokal.
"It was [a bumpy start] in terms of performances. In terms of points, it's been okay. There have been new problems on an almost daily basis, we've had to change many things and could barely establish the fundamentals. The team deserves a huge compliment for that," concluded Edin Terzic, adding: "Nonetheless, I have not forgotten what happened last week. The atmosphere was considerably worse, and rightly so, because we produced a catastrophic performance in Leipzig. We addressed that very clearly within our own four walls. The response to that on Wednesday (editor's note: in Manchester) was very good. We got our reward with a victory against Schalke. They are the sweetest points that we could win in a season."
Like it did in the previous two seasons, BVB's record after the first seven matchdays stands at five wins and two defeats this term too. The big difference: the defence has been much more solid with only seven goals conceded (13 last season). Four of the five wins have been by a 1-0 scoreline. By comparison, the previous 68 matches – in other words, the full 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons – produced only three 1-0 victories.