Your weekly Bundesliga round up courtesy of Bundesliga365.com
Defending German Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund were able to delay the inevitable this weekend with a 2-1 victory in Stuttgart that meant the earliest Bayern Munich can be confirmed as the 2013/14 champions is next weekend.
[button color=”eg. black, red, blue, orange, green, light” link=”” target=””]Delayed celebrations[/button]
Borussia Dortmund were 2-1 winners at VfB Stuttgart on Saturday afternoon, meaning Bayern Munich knew they would not be lifting the Bundesliga shield in the evening kick off at home to Hamburg. Lukasz Piszczek gave the Borussians a half hour lead flicking in Marco Reus’ free kick.
The inconsistent Stuttgart equalised just after the hour mark through Alexandru Maxim, but saw Georg Niedermeier sent off just 6 minutes later. Jürgen Klopp’s side took advantage of their extra man when Robert Lewandowski tapped home from close range in the final 10 minutes. The Polish striker, who scored his first goals of his 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign against San Marino on Tuesday set a club record by scoring in his ninth consecutive Bundesliga game.
Whilst Lewandowski was making it nine games in a row with at least one goal, Bayern Munich scored nine goals in a single game on Saturday. The 20-point leaders will head into their Tuesday evening Champions League quarter-final first leg against Italian Serie A leaders Juventus full of confidence.
Claudio Pizarro scored four goals against René Adler who has otherwise had a solid season. Arjen Robben helped himself to a brace, whilst Xherdan Shaqiri, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Franck Ribéry each helped themselves to a goal. It was 8-0 before the visitors scored twice in the final 15 minutes, either side of Ribéry’s goal.
Bayern Munich can claim the title next weekend when they travel to Eintracht Frankfurt, in between their two fixtures with Juventus. They are two points away from securing their 22nd league title – meaning either a victory or Borussia Dortmund failing to beat FC Augsburg would hand Jupp Heynckes’ side the title.
[button color=”eg. black, red, blue, orange, green, light” link=”” target=””]Champions League race[/button]
Borussia Dortmund’s victory means they have a comfortable 10-point lead over fourth spot with seven games remaining. Bayer Leverkusen kept themselves within four points of the defending champions with a 4-1 victory in Fortuna Düsseldorf. Andre Schürrle scored two goals in the second half, either side of a goal in each half from Stefan Kießling. The scoreline had been 1-1 after 45 minutes.
Schalke 04 moved up into the final Champions League spot, moving above Eintracht Frankfurt on goal difference with a 3-0 thrashing of relegation-threatened 1899 Hoffenheim. The home side left it until the final 20 minutes to break the deadlock. It came through Marco Höger who finished well from 18 yards after Jefferson Farfán squared the ball to the midfielder.
Raffael finished well from 6 yards before Teemu Pukki made the score 3-0 with a good finish of his own into the corner. Hoffenheim remind 4 points adrift of the relegation playoff spot with a home game against Fortuna Düsseldorf on Friday.
In the final game on Sunday, Eintracht Frankfurt kept on level points with the Royal Blues following a 3-2 victory at bottom of the league Greuther Fürth. Alex Meier scored his 13th league goal of the season whilst the Cloverleaves scored only their 17th and 18th goals of their debut Bundesliga season.
[button color=”eg. black, red, blue, orange, green, light” link=”” target=””]European battle[/button]
Mainz 05’s push for a Champions League place has hit a wall since January, winning just one of their last eight. Their 1-1 draw at home to Werder Bremen this weekend was a sixth during this run. They are however within 3 points of fourth spot. Adam Szalai opened the scoring inside 60 seconds before Aaron Hunt’s equaliser 20 minutes from time. The Green-White’s move seven points clear of the drop zone with seven games remaining.
SC Freiburg moved up to seventh spot only below Mainz on goal difference by winning for the first time in five games. Max Kruse scored a second half brace against the team he has been rumoured to be signing for in the summer in a 2-0 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach. Defeat leaves the Foals directly below Freiburg and 4 points off the top four.
With defeats for both Gladbach and Hamburg, Hannover moved closer to the top half with a 2-0 victory at Augsburg. Konstantin Rausch scored both goals in the final half hour as Mirko Slomka’s side keep up their hopes of a third successive season in the Europa League.
[button color=”eg. black, red, blue, orange, green, light” link=”” target=””]Bottom trio[/button]
Defeats for the bottom trio, Greuther Fürth, 1899 Hoffenheim and FC Augsburg failed to improve their chances of survival. Greuther Furth remain 5 points below Hoffenheim and 9 points short of the relegation playoff with just seven games remaining. A return to the 2. Bundesliga looks more likely week on week for the side who have won just two games this season.
Hoffenheim are still within 4 points of Augsburg and the relegation playoff spot and with a home game against Düsseldorf on Friday night who are sitting directly above the playoff, 5 points above Augsburg. Only the top two had picked up more points than Augsburg heading into this weekend’s fixtures. They head to Borussia Dortmund next weekend looking to avoid relegation in their second Bundesliga season. FC Nürnberg fought back from a two-goal deficit at Wolfsburg on Sunday to share a point between the mid-table pair.