Today, our Schwarzgelben played their first game of 2023, warming up for the remainder of the season with a comfortable 5-1 stroll past Fortuna Düsseldorf. Felix Passlack opened the scoring inside 4 minutes, only for Kownacki to equalise moments later from the penalty spot. From then on, it was largely plain sailing, as Karim Adeyemi put us back in front before half-time, and a late salvo put the result beyond all doubt. Donyell Malen shocked all by scoring not once, but twice—with shots into the far corner(!)—and we got to see several players return from injury, including Marco Reus, Mo Dahoud, and Marius Wolf.
The best news, however, is that Sebastian Haller finally made his return to the football pitch after a lengthy spell out with testicular cancer.
Big Seb came on in the 74th, and, despite (understandably) not looking his sharpest, got involved offensively. Seeing him getting minutes in a black and yellow shirt is brilliant; we’ve all been waiting for this moment for a while now, and it’s great to see his hard work paying off after what must have been an incredibly tough time for him. If he can regain enough fitness to feature off the bench regularly, this could prove vital to our attack, as his height and physicality definitely add something that we don’t currently have. Looking forward to seeing him regain fitness during the Rückrunde!!
How happy are you to see Seb on the pitch? Were you surprised to see Donny go for the far corner? Which returning player are you most excited to see? Let us know in the comments!