Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich defeated Union Berlin in a closed-door encounter as the league returned to action despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Goal celebrations were muted and most people off the pitch wore masks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Thanks to Robert Lewandowski's goal in the 40th minute from a penalty following a foul by Neven Subotic on Leon Goretzka, Bayern was able to take the lead during the first half. This was Lewandowski's 40th goal in 34 games this season.

Before Lewandowski scored the opener, Thomas Muller's goal was ruled offside by the video assistant referee.

The 31-year-old Polish star became the third player after Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to score 40 goals in five consecutive seasons.

Bayern's second goal came in the 80th minute when Benjamin Pavard headed in the ball from Joshua Kimmich's corner.

While Bundesliga became the first elite league to return to action, the match between Bayern and Union Berlin gave an indication of what the sport might look like in the near future, especially until a vaccine for the coronavirus is discovered.

The substitutes and coaches maintained social distancing on the bench. Some of the staff members and footballers were also using the front rows of the empty stands to ensure that they adhere to the Bundesliga guidelines.

The ball boys kept disinfecting the footballs. Instead of handing them over directly to the players, the boys left the balls in certain areas around the pitch.

Goal celebrations were also relatively muted. However, Pavard hugged David Alaba after his late goal, which went against Bundesliga's social distancing norms.

Bayern captain Manuel Neuer said, "We are happy to have controlled the game and to have brought the three points home. In games without fans, the minutes are very long until the final whistle."

Bayern only had three shots on target, and still, they won comfortably.

Last week, players and coaches were quarantined in their team hotels and they underwent regular testing for the virus. According to BBC, the only time they left the hotel was during the training hours.

Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski

This is Union Berlin's first-ever season in the Bundesliga top-flight. They earned the promotion after beating VfB Stuttgart in the relegation play-offs in 2019.

Union Berlin coach Urs Fischer missed this game because he had to break quarantine due to the death of his father-in-law.