The win was Dortmund’s fifth of the season and all the more important as Bayern Munich lost to Augsburg to send Edin Terzic’s side top of the Bundesliga.
It was the first Revierderby since October 2020 and the first with a home crowd at Signal Iduna Park since April 2019, with the COVID-19 pandemic leaving the stadium empty for the 2020 matches and those at Dortmund’s home ground for the occasion unable to have been happier.
Schalke started without a single player with Revierderby experience and Dortmund looked to teach them a hard lesson early on. Marius Wolff and Donyel Mullen caused constant trouble throughout the first half, each firing warning shots in the opening exchanges.
Aleksandr Shvolov pulled off an outstanding save to deny Jude Bellingham what looked a sure goal, somehow clearing the 19-year-old’s header off the line before Anthony Modest nodded wide from a corner.
Schalke failed to muster a single attempt on goal in a one-sided first 45 minutes, but Dortmund went into the break a little subdued after captain Mark Reus was carried off with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury that could expel him from FIFA. World Championship in November.
Mullen continued his mischief in the second half and almost put Dortmund ahead when he slotted past Henning Matricani on the left and shot across goal, but Shvolov again made a good save.
Gia Reina and Bellingham were also blocked as Dortmund piled forward with waves of near-constant pressure, but they failed to put the finishing touches on any of their chances.
Schalke started to grow in confidence as a result, even if it wasn’t until the 62nd minute that they had their first shot of the game when Kenan Karaman’s low shot was blocked by Niko Schlotterbeck.
Terzic introduced Mukoko and Karim Adeyemi in an attempt to break the deadlock and the youngsters’ pace immediately caused problems for the visitors, forcing Schalke’s defense to take a back seat.
The change proved inspired when Mukoka grabbed the headlines by meeting Wolff’s pinpoint cross from the left, which he headed past Shvolov and cemented his place in Dortmund and Revierderby folklore as the youngest goalscorer and what turned out to be the match-winner, aged 17 years and 301 days.