With the Bundesliga champions already crowned, second spot looking settled, there are two main battles left in Germany’s top flight. One of those is for the remaining European places and the other for relegation. Here is this week’s round up courtesy of Bundesliga365.com
[button color=”eg. black, red, blue, orange, green, light” link=”” target=””]Relegation just a matter of time for Clover Leaves[/button]
Greuther Fürth’s debut season in the Bundesliga has given them little joy this season. They were thumped 6-1 at home by Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. The score was 5-0 at half-time with Mario Götze scoring the first and last goals in the opening 45 minutes. Ilkay Gündoğan helped himself to a brace too but it wasn’t until the 80th minute that Robert Lewandowski put his name on the scoresheet, tapping home from close range following Jakub Blaszczykowski’s cross.
The Polish striker has now scored in 11 consecutive league games. As for for the Clover Leaves, they only have Hannover 96 and SC Freiburg left to play at the Trolli Arena to avoid becoming the first team to fail to win a single home game all season.
1899 Hoffenheim temporarily moved on level points with FC Augsburg who lie in the relegation playoff spot. Markus Gisdol’s side led late in Wolfsburg before allowing Naldo a free header inside the 6 yard box from a corner to score an 86th minute equaliser. The 2008-09 Bundesliga champions are now only 7 points above the relegation playoff spot heading into the final five games of the season.
The following day, on the final game of the weekend, FC Augsburg enjoyed a 2-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt to move 3 points above Hoffenheim and within 3 points of Fortuna Düsseldorf who occupy automatic safety. Striker Dong-Won Ji, on loan from English Premier League side Sunderland scored both goals, one in either half to earn a valuable 3 points for Markus Weinzierl’s side.
Two goals from Stefan Reisinger weren’t enough to pick up 3 points for Fortuna Düsseldorf as they were held 2-2 at home to Werder Bremen. Martin Latka’s own goal 20 minutes from time earned the Green-Whites a valuable point; themselves only 5 points above Augsburg and winless in eight.
VfB Stuttgart’s first home win of 2013 looks to have done enough to prevent them worrying about relegation this season. They were 2-0 winners over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday. First, Álvaro Dominguez turned the ball into his own net before Christian Gentner doubled the Reds’ lead 6 minutes later. The visitors never really got going nor created much in this game and their hopes of Champions League football next season took a blow this weekend.
[button color=”eg. black, red, blue, orange, green, light” link=”” target=””]European places[/button]
Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke 04 shared a point in Saturday’s evening game at the Veltins Arena. The visitors took a 2-0 lead through goals from Simon Rolfes and Stefan Kießling on 39 and 58 minutes respectively. The opening goal, a close range header from the captain came whilst opposition player Ciprian Marica was down inside the penalty area with a head injury. The Romanian striker was given his chance up front due to an injury to Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
The home side were without a number of key players for this match, including Jefferson Farfan, Jermaine Jones, Roman Neustädter and Lars Unnerstall. Their comeback started in the 71st minute when Teemu Pukki capitalised on a spill from Bernd Leno; the finish striker reacting quickly to poke home before the goalkeeper to recover. And with 4 minutes remaining, Ömer Toprak was dismissed for a last-man trip inside the penalty area. Raffael converted the spot kick off the inside of the post to keep Schalke within 4 points of third place Leverkusen and in fourth spot themselves.
SC Freiburg moved to within one point of the Royal Blues with a 3-1 victory over Hannover 96 on Friday night. They were gifted the opening goal when the normally reliable Ron-Robert Zieler got himself in no man’s land from a deep cross, completely missing the ball that then hit team mate Christian Schulz and rolled into the net. Visitors Hannover 96 had equalised when Konstantin Rausch scored his third goal in as many games after unselfish work from Mame Diouf.
A great effort from Max Kruse just before half-time restored Freiburg’s lead. The forward now has 10 goals on the season and has already signed a contract to play for Borussia Mönchengladbach next season. Jonathan Schmid wrapped up the three points as his low attempt somehow squirmed under Zieler and across the goalline. Hannover coach Mirko Slomka had ruled out qualification for Europe before this match and with a tough final five fixtures he looks to be right.
Despite losing to Augsburg, Eintracht Frankfurt are sixth and sit in a Europa League spot with Freiburg.
Hamburg gave themselves a good chance of finishing in a European spot at the end of the season with a 2-1 victory in Mainz. Heung-Min Son smashed home the opening goal off the underside of the crossbar just after the hour mark. Chelsea FC are rumoured to be interested in the South Korean who scored a fine solo effort nine minutes from time to wrap up the points. Shawn Parker did score a late consolation for the home side who failed to have another shot on René Adler’s goal after his 88th minute goal. Mainz drop to 9th – winless in their last four games.
[button color=”eg. black, red, blue, orange, green, light” link=”” target=””]Bayern continue to record-setting pace[/button]
With a number of records still left to be set for the Bayern Munich team of 2012/13, they continued their dominating form with a 4-0 thrashing of FC Nürnberg. The Club had been unbeaten in nine games heading into this one but were well and truly beaten. Jerome Boateng got the score underway with an acrobatic effort on 5 minutes.
A nice finish from Mario Gómez made it 2-0 not long after, and the runaway German champions were 3-0 up on 24 minutes when right back Rafinha scored his second goal of the season. Goalkeeper Tom Starke saved Timmy Simons’ penalty with his head 2 minutes into the second half before Xherdan Shaqiri completed the scoring. Bayern Munich have now won 25 of their 29 Bundesliga games this season.