With just three games to go in the 2017/18 Bundesliga, there are still plenty of issues still to be resolved. Cologne and Hamburg look likely to be relegated but, while it is not mathematically confirmed, they will be fighting all the way. Their fights continued this week against Schalke and Freiburg respectively. Mainz managed to drag themselves back amongst the pack also thanks to their controversial win over Freiburg, in which the referee called the players back onto the pitch during half-time to award a penalty. They would face Augsburg on Sunday looking to escape the relegation play-off place. At the other end of the table, Borussia Dortmund needed to get back on track after their lacklustre performance in the Ruhr derby. They would be given the chance if they would defeat top-four rivals Bayer Leverkusen at Signal Iduna Park in the late kick-off on Saturday.
Borussia Moenchengladbach 3-0 Wolfsburg
Gladbach became the latest victims of Bayern Munich last week, going down 5-1 at The Allianz Arena despite taking an early lead. Wolfsburg’s struggles went on though when they failed to breach Augsburg’s net during a goalless draw. This game would be over before half-time and the annihilation of Wolfsburg began on just 8 minutes when Lars Stindl put Dieter Hecking’s men ahead. Raffael would double that lead on 35 minutes before Christoph Kramer would effectively win the game 9 minutes later, in a defeat which did nothing to ease Wolfsburg relegation woes.
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-3 Hertha Berlin
Niko Kovac’s announcement that he would be taking the reigns at Bayern next season was seemingly playing on the minds of his players as they were thrashed 4-1 in Leverkusen. Hertha Berlin, however, dealt a huge blow to Cologne’s survival hopes, beating the bottom side 2-1 at home. A tight game didn’t have its deadlock broken until the 57th minute though, when Davie Selke put Hertha in front from the penalty spot. Matthew Leckie would double the lead for Pal Dardai’s men on 77 minutes, before Makoto Hasebe would be sent off 2 minutes for violent conduct. The game was wrapped up in stoppage time, when Alexander Esswein put the game beyond doubt to consign Frankfurt to a third straight defeat.
Hamburg 1-0 Freiburg
Hamburg were unable to gain ground on those above when they were beaten 2-0 away to Hoffenheim, while Freiburg lost a vital relegation clash with Mainz by the same score away. In this relegation showdown, it would take just one goal to win the game. Lewis Holtby would be the Hamburg hero, scoring a goal on 54 minutes which would move them to within just 5 points of their opponents. Caglar Soyuncu’s sending off on 72 minutes only served to compound Freiburg’s misery.
Hannover 0-3 Bayern Munich
Hannover’s steady 1-1 draw with Stuttgart would have been a welcome result for Andre Breitenreiter’s side. Bayern were much more devastating, beating Gladbach comfortably at home. This was another game which would not have a goal until the second half, when Thomas Muller put Bayern ahead on 57 minutes. Robert Lewandowski would score his 31st Bundesliga goal of the season on 77 minutes to make it 2-0, before Sebastien Rudy would make it 3-0 on 89 minutes to add gloss to the scoreline for the champions.
Red Bull Leipzig 2-5 Hoffenheim
Red Bull Leipzig were unable to get back to winning ways in Bremen, only managing a 1-1 draw against one of the sides fighting for their lives near the bottom of the table. Hoffenheim were able to do just that though, beating Hamburg 2-0 at home. In what would become the game of the weekend, Mark Uth put the away side on 14 minutes before Serge Gnabry doubled that lead for Julian Nagelsmann’s side on 35 minutes. The away side would go in 3-0 up at the break thanks to a goal from Pavel Kaderabek. Things got worse for Ralph Hassenhutl on 47 minutes when Emil Forsberg was sent off for violent conduct. Naby Keita would score a consolation for them though on 59 minutes, but that was quickly forgotten about when Uth headed home a 4th virtually straight from the kick-off. Lukas Rupp made it 5-1 on 64 minutes and Leipzig’s humiliation seemed complete. However, they would have a second thanks to Dayot Upamecano’s 88th-minute strike.
VfB Stuttgart 2-0 Werder Bremen
Both these sides drew 1-1 last week; Stuttgart away to Hannover and Bremen at home against Leipzig. It would be the home side who would take all of the points here though and that began on just 13 minutes when Christian Gentner gave them the lead. The game would become very tight and it would take until the 91st minute for Berkay Ozcan to wrap up the points for Tayfun Korkut’s side.
Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Bayer Leverkusen
BVB put in another shoddy performance against a rival last weekend, going down with a whimper in a 2-0 loss to Schalke. Leverkusen were much more convincing when they put 4 past Frankfurt at the BayArena. Redemption would be served here though and Jadon Sancho started the scoring frenzy on just 13 minutes, scoring his first goal for the club. Marco Reus would then be denied twice; first by VAR ruling Christian Pulisic’s assist offside, and then by stand-in keeper Ramazan Ozcan’s penalty save. He wouldn’t be denied on 55 minutes though, when he doubled the lead for Peter Stoeger’s side. Max Phillipp would make it 3-0 on 64 minutes before Reus got his second of the afternoon on 77 minutes, rounding off a miserable afternoon for Heiko Herrlich back at his old stomping ground.
Augsburg 2-0 Mainz
Augsburg faced Wolfsburg last season but were not able to break one of the worst defences in the Bundesliga this season. Mainz were much more clinical, beating Freiburg 2-0 at home in an eventful encounter dominated by VAR scandal. It would just short of half an hour for the deadlock to be broken, Michael Gregoritsch putting the home side ahead. A desperate Mainz would search for the equaliser but would be punished in stoppage time, when Alfred Finnbogason sealed the points for Manuel Baum’s boys.
Cologne 2-2 Schalke
A loss in the capital last week meant Cologne needed things to go their way this week to live to fight another day. Schalke will have been hoping to seal second place and build on the momentum picked up from their victory in the Ruhr derby last Sunday. Cologne’s search for a miracle got off to a bad start when Breel Embolo gave Domenico Tedesco’s visitors the lead inside just 4 minutes. It went from bad to worse thanks to Yehven Konoplyanka scoring his second in as many games to make it 2-0. Cologne then woke up though and Leonardo Bittencourt struck life back into Stefan Ruthenbeck’s boys just 3 minutes later. After pushing hard for an equaliser, the comeback would be complete on 83 minutes when Marcel Risse struck. Cologne tried to force a winner but, alas, were unable to do so and their relegation will be confirmed next week if they fail to better the result of the sides above them.
Game Week 32 Fixtures
Friday 27th April
Hannover vs. Hoffenheim (19.30)
Saturday 28th April
Bayern Munich vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (14.30)
Hertha Berlin vs. Augsburg
Freiburg vs. Cologne
Schalke vs. Borussia Moenchengladbach
Wolfsburg vs. Hamburg
Bayer Leverkusen vs. VfB Stuttgart (17.30)
Sunday 29th April
Mainz vs. Red Bull Leipzig (14.30)
Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund (17.00).