The most important match at the top of the table on the final weekend came at the Mage Solar Stadium as SC Freiburg and Schalke 04 battled it out in what was essentially a Champions League playoff match.
The home side, back in the Bundesliga for the first time after gaining promotion 12 months ago were 2 points behind opponents Schalke 04 who occupied fourth place and the final Champions League spot.
Jens Keller’s side look in control throughout most of the match and took the lead on 20 minutes when Julian Draxler cut in from the left hand side of the area and blasted into the far corner from 20 yards. Goalkeeper Oliver Baumann was too late to react to the effort whilst the defence did a poor job in closing the young forward down.
Schalke took the 1 goal lead into half-time but were pegged back less than 10 minutes in the second half. Freiburg hit the visitors on a counter attack following a Schalke corner. Jonathan Schmid tapped home from close range after Timo Hildebrand could only parry Jan Rosenthal’s effort.
Freiburg were only level for 3 minutes as Schalke retook the lead when Jermaine Jones’ low effort from inside the penalty area, heading wide, was deflected into his own net by Julian Schuster.
The own goal appeared to take the belief out of the home side, despite 30 minutes remaining lacked any real chances to score the 2 goals needed to finish fourth. Schalke were happy to sit back and see out the victory, needing just a draw to finish in the top 4.
Despite the loss, SC Freiburg still qualified for the Europa League-high
Heading into the weekend Eintracht Frankfurt needed one point to guarantee European football next season, will they achieve their goal? Visitors VfL Wolfsburg were guaranteed a mid-table finish but looking to extend their nine-game unbeaten streak.
It was the visitors who made the better start when Jan Polak headed home a corner at the near post on 8 minutes.
Takashi Inui would then have two one-on-one opportunities to equalise for the Eagles. The first he hit narrowly wide and the second off the inside of the post.
Those misses look set to haunt the hosts who fell two behind on 19 minutes when Wolfsburg hit Frankfurt on the break. The move ended with Diego having times and space inside the box to coolly slot home a 2-0 lead for the Wolves.
Takashi Inui’s third one-on-one would prove to be the gamer changer the home side needed. The Japanese midfielder failed to get the ball fully in his control but was clumsily brought down by Makoto Hasebe who would concede a penalty and be sent off in the same action.
Alex Meier tucked home the resulting spot kick for his 16th Bundesliga goal of the season.
The man advantage was not appearing to pay off but Eintracht Frankfurt got the equaliser they needed in the 90th minute through bizarre circumstances. Miscommunication at the back between Ricardo Rodriguez and his goalkeeper saw the defender head the ball from a long ball up field into his own net from 18 yards. Queue joyous scenes from the home supporters and players. Whatever the coming season holds, you’ll need all the betting tips you can get your hands on…
[button color=”eg. black, red, blue, orange, green, light” link=”” target=””]Full list of results from the final matchday of the 2012-13 Bundesliga season:[/button]
FC Augsburg 3-1 Greuther Fürth
Borussia Dortmund 1-2 1899 Hoffenheim
Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-4 Bayern Munich
Eintracht Frankfurt 2-2 Wolfsburg
SC Freiburg 1-2 Schalke 04
Hamburger SV 0-1 Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Hannover 96 3-0 Fortuna Düsseldorf
FC Nürnberg 3-2 Werder Bremen
VfB Stuttgart 2-2 Mainz 05