Uberprufung der Bundesliga: Hamburg on the brink as BVB and Leverkusen slip up and Leipzig close In
As is tradition in the Bundesliga, all of this weekend’s games kicked off at 15:30 (14.30 BST) around Germany. Dortmund needed just a point at home to Mainz to guarantee themselves a place in next season’s Champions League. Hoffenheim started the weekend in fourth and knew a win in Stuttgart would give them a great chance of getting another crack at next season’s competition. At the other end of the table, Wolfsburg needed a win against Red Bull Leipzig to escape the relegation play-off place, while Hamburg were looking for a similar result against Eintracht Frankfurt to move into that very spot. Wins for Mainz and Freiburg would all but secure their respective places in next season’s top-flight.
Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Mainz
Dortmund went into this game knowing a point would seal Champions League qualification for them and will have been wanting to go one better than their 1-1 draw in Bremen last weekend. Mainz needed a result to boost their challenge of staving off relegation, an aim which they took a huge leap towards with their 3-0 home win over Red Bull Leipzig last week. Things started well for Mainz who took the lead on four minutes thanks to Bote Baku. It was 2-0 nine minutes later when Yoshinori Muto doubled the lead for the away side. Max Phillipp would pull one back on sixteen minutes but that would be the end of the scoring. This means that Dortmund’s required point will have to wait for their trip to Hoffenheim next week, while Mainz are now safe.
Cologne 1-3 Bayern Munich
Cologne’s relegation was finally confirmed last Saturday thanks to a last-gasp winner for Freiburg. Bayern continued their mightily impressive season with a 4-1 home win over incoming manager Niko Kovac and his Eintracht Frankfurt side. As is usually the way in these games, Cologne took the lead just after the half-hour mark when Niklas Sule put through his own net. It wouldn’t last though and James Rodriguez equalised on fifty-nine minutes before Robert Lewandowski put Bayern ahead two minutes later, on what could be his final away appearance for the Ligameister. Corentin Tolisso rounded off the scoring on seventy-eight minutes, adding gloss to the scoreline and sending Bayern’s away support home happy for the final time this season.
Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 Hamburg
As mentioned above, Frankfurt’s faltering Champions League push dealt a devastating blow at the Allianz Arena last Saturday, while Hamburg continued towards the great escape with a 3-1 win in Wolfsburg. Christian Titz’s Hamburg have been sensational as of late but got off to a bad start here when Marius Wolf put the home side ahead on thirty-one minutes. It went from bad to worse for Hamburg when Omar Mascarell made it 2-0 on seventy-eight minutes. Alexander Meier came on late to rub salt into the wounds, making it 3-0 in stoppage time. This result means Hamburg need a win next week at home against Gladbach and hope that Wolfsburg lose, otherwise they will automatically be relegated. Frankfurt, on the other hand, need to beat Schalke at the Veltins Arena and hope Red Bull Leipzig are beaten, in order for them to qualify for the Europa League.
Augsburg 1-2 Schalke
Augsburg’s 2-2 draw in Berlin last Saturday saw the team many people tipped for relegation at the beginning of the season secure their place in next season’s Bundesliga. Schalke’s 1-1 draw at home to Gladbach saw them need just a point here to claim second spot. Schalke were on track to do just that when Thilo Kehrer put them ahead on twenty-three minutes. Phillipp Max equalised for the home side four minutes later, but Kehrer struck again to ultimately win the game on thirty-four minutes.
Hannover 3-1 Hertha Berlin
Hannover were well-beaten at the Imtech Arena thanks to an Andrej Kramaric hat-trick, while Hertha Berlin threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Augsburg at the Olympic Stadium. Martin Harnik gave Hannover the start they were looking for when he opened the scoring inside just four minutes at the HDI-Arena. Salif Sane doubled the home side’s lead on forty minutes before Niklas Fullkrug made it 3-0 just two minutes later. Davy Selke would pull one back late on for Pal Dardai’s men, but it was too little too late and Hannover ended their home campaign on a high.
Borussia Monchengladbach 3-1 Freiburg
Gladbach’s 1-1 draw at the Veltins Arena kept their slim hopes of Europa League football for next season alive, while Freiburg’s last-minute winner during their 3-2 victory over relegated Cologne gave their survival campaign a massive shot in the arm. Freiburg would fall behind here though when Thorgan Hazard gave Dieter Hecking’s men the lead on eighteen minutes, Nico Elvedi made it 2-0 on fifty-seven minutes, although Tim Kleindienst would pull one back two minutes later to give Freiburg hope. Josip Drmic would put the game beyond the away side though on sixty-four minutes, who, discounting an unlikely nine-goal swing next week, are all but safe thanks to results elsewhere.
Red Bull Leipzig 4-1 Wolfsburg
Ralph Hassenhutl’s Leipzig side were disappointingly beaten 3-0 in Mainz last week, while Bruno Labbadia’s Wolfsburg are now in deep trouble near the relegation zone thanks to their 3-1 home defeat at the hands of rivals for the drop Hamburg. Things started very badly for them here though when on-loan Ademola Lookman gave the hosts the lead on twenty-four minutes. Jean-Kevin Augustin would double that lead on thirty-one minutes before Timo Werner scored a third for Leipzig two minutes later. Daniel Didavi pulled one back for Wolfsburg on forty-seven minutes but Lookman would strike again five minutes to put the game beyond them. This result leaves Wolfsburg in a perilous position, needing to avoid defeat next week against Cologne just to stave off automatic relegation, although the play-off seems certain now. As for Leipzig, they need to better the results of Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen respectively when they travel to Berlin.
VfB Stuttgart 2-0 Hoffenheim
Tayfun Corkut’s Stuttgart continued their fine first season back in the top-flight with a 1-0 win in Leverkusen last week. Julian Nagelsmann’s future has been the subject of much speculation with some of Europe’s top jobs becoming available in the summer, but that didn’t affect his players who easily defeat Hannover 3-1 at home last Friday night. The home side were ensured a happy final home game when Mario Gomez gave them the lead on twenty-five minutes. He would double that lead, and his tally, seventy-four minutes to send the fans home happy. Hoffenheim not just need to match the results of Leverkusen and Leipzig to seal their Champions League place when they welcome Dortmund to Sinsheim next week.
Werder Bremen 0-0 Bayer Leverkusen
Bremen were able to claim a point from their 1-1 home draw with Dortmund last week secured their survival, along with results elsewhere. Leverkusen’s claim for a Champions League place has slipped away dramatically as of late and their 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Stuttgart meant they will have to work hard during their last two games to get a seat at Europe’s top table next season. Neither side was able to break the deadlock here though meaning Leverkusen couldn’t holt their recent poor spell. They now have to beat Hannover at the BayArena next Saturday and hope Hoffenheim lose at home to Dortmund in order to qualify for the Champions League.
Game Week 34 Fixtures
Saturday 12th May
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hannover 96 (14.30)
Bayern Munich vs. VfB Stuttgart
Hamburg vs. Borussia Moenchengladbach
Hertha Berlin vs. Red Bull Leipzig
Hoffenheim vs. Borussia Dortmund
Mainz vs. Werder Bremen
Freiburg vs. Augsburg
Schalke vs. Eintracht Frankfurt
Wolfsburg vs. Cologne.