3.Liga, Round 2: Energie on top

Round 2, Aug 1-2

Energie Cottbus sits alone on top, after a hard fought win at Bremen-II. The easterners were the better side, and fully deserved the win.

Somewhat of a festival in Würzburg, as they celebrated a return to professional ranks. They hosted Dresden, one of the promotion favorites, and gave Dynamo all they could handle. Indeed, they were even down a man, but still pressured and eventually took the lead.

Mainz-II discovered that things aren’t going to be as easy as last week at Kiel. They hosted promoted Magdeburg, and the ex-DDR traditional came with about 1,000 fans in tow. FCM had the hosts on the ropes, but a strong 2nd half by Mainz was able to square the match.

Preußen Münster impressed on the road, beating Stuttgart-II. The visitors were down a man most of the match, and still outplayed the mini-VfBers.

Relegated sides Aue and Aalen are not off to the best of starts. Aalen dominated but had to settle for an away draw at Fortuna Köln thanks to some excellent goalkeeping by veteran Poggenborg. Aue was dumped by Sonnenhof and is still waiting for a goal.

Kiel came back strong after a horrible start last week. They were solid and get the win at Halle, who are perhpas the first team in crisis.

Total attendance 50,345 (avg 5,034), 36.1% capacity, sellout in Würzburg

 	
1. FSV Mainz 05 II    -   1. FC Magdeburg	2:2 (0:2)    2,862
VfB Stuttgart II      -   Preußen Münster	1:3 (1:2)    1,450
Fortuna Köln	      -   VfR Aalen	        1:1 (1:0)    1,579
Chemnitzer FC	      -   Hansa Rostock	        1:1 (0:0)    9,112
Werder Bremen II      -   Energie Cottbus	0:2 (0:1)    2,500
Rot-Weiß Erfurt	      -   SV Wehen Wiesbaden	0:0 (0:0)    4,674
Würzburger Kickers    -   Dynamo Dresden	1:1 (0:0)    9,011 *
VfL Osnabrück	      -   Stuttgarter Kickers	1:1 (0:1)    8,633
Hallescher FC	      -   Holstein Kiel	        0:2 (0:0)    7,204
SG So-hof Großaspach  -   Erzgebirge Aue	2:0 (1:0)    3,320


 1  Energie Cottbus	  	2    2 	0  0 	  4:0 	+4 	  6 
 2  1. FSV Mainz 05 II	  	2    1 	1  0 	  6:2 	+4 	  4
-------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  Dynamo Dresden	  	2    1 	1  0 	  5:2 	+3 	  4
-------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Preußen Münster	  	2    1 	1  0 	  4:2 	+2 	  4 
 5  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach	2    1 	1  0 	  3:1 	+2 	  4 
 6  1. FC Magdeburg (N)  	2    1 	1  0 	  4:3 	+1 	  4 
 7  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	2    1 	1  0 	  3:2 	+1 	  4 
 8  Werder Bremen II (N)	2    1 	0  1 	  2:3 	-1 	  3 
 9  Holstein Kiel	  	2    1 	0  1 	  2:4 	-2 	  3 
10  VfR Aalen (A)	  	2    0 	2  0 	  1:1 	 0 	  2 		
11  Chemnitzer FC	  	2    0 	2  0 	  1:1 	 0 	  2 		
12  VfL Osnabrück	  	2    0 	2  0 	  1:1 	 0 	  2 		
13  Würzburger Kickers (N)	2    0 	2  0 	  1:1 	 0 	  2 
14  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	2    0 	2  0 	  0:0 	 0 	  2 
15  Fortuna Köln	  	2    0 	1  1 	  2:3 	-1 	  1 		
16  Hansa Rostock	  	2    0 	1  1 	  2:3 	-1 	  1 
17  Rot-Weiß Erfurt	  	2    0 	1  1 	  1:2 	-1 	  1
-------------------------------------------------------------------
18  Erzgebirge Aue (A)	  	2    0 	1  1 	  0:2 	-2 	  1 
19  Hallescher FC	  	2    0 	0  2 	  0:4 	-4 	  0 
20  VfB Stuttgart II  	        2    0 	0  2 	  2:7 	-5 	  0


A = Absteiger just relegated 
N = Neuling just promoted

1st line: Promotion to 2.Liga
2nd line: Promotion Playoff with 2.Liga 16th place 
3rd line: Relegation to Regionalliga

2.Liga, Round 1

The 2015/16 Zweite Liga started off with a bang as Kaiserslautern immediately establishes themselves as a team to challenge. That was expected, but the Devils did it in an impressive fashion by destroying Duisburg on the road. The Zebras no doubt are hoping to contend as well, but were quickly shown their limits – they have work to do.

Greuther Fürth is hoping to do much better than last season, and they start nicely with a somewhat lucky win over Karlsruhe. KSC of course barely missed on the Bundesliga, and should contend this season as well. But they were very disappointing.

Not too interesting as two “kult” squads met in Hamburg. St.Pauli has just expanded their stadium, and it was rocking. But it was a tight battle with Bielefeld, and both GK were sharp when they needed to be. Neither side really figures to be a contender, although SP could if things go right. Most likely, both sides would be happy in the secured midfield.

The Battle of the Budgets turned out to be quite interesting. Leipzig is of course backed by RedBull, and has deep pockets. FSV consistently has one of the tiniest budgets in professional ranks, but has managed to stay afloat. The favored Rasenbulls had a hard time, and only took the lead through a defensive mistake. FSV piled on pressure but the Redballs remained firm and desperately fended off the Frankfurt attacks.

Paderborn’s return to the 2.Liga wasn’t a success. They faced Bochum in a hard fought battle, but their attack was too lame. Both sides are looking to contend this season, but the Bochumers looked better prepared as they grabbed the lead and then easily held on. Of course, SCP’s ascent to the Bundesliga was a bit of a surprise, and despite a good accounting, they are back and perhaps a weaker side.

Braunschweig is the big loser of the 1st round. The Lions expected a win against Sandhausen, and actually started brightly. But SVS clamped down on defense and proved to be deadly on counters against a disorganized Braunschweig defense. The result is a stunning away win for the villagers. And it’s a huge win, since Sanhausen is penalized 3 points from last season’s financial shenanigans. This unexpected win basically means that they’re back on track.

Two clubs hoping for better outcomes this season met in Berlin. Union and Fortuna Düsseldorf battled to a hard fought draw.

Heidenheim did well in their inaugural 1st season, and upended 1860, who struggled last year and were almost relegated. The home side looked better, and deservedly take all the points. 1860 was too passive and created nothing.

A gala clash in the first “Montagnachtfussball”, as Freiburg took on Nürnberg. It was awild shootout, and the Breisgauers exploded out of the gate with Nils Petersen nailing a hat-trick in the first 13 minutes. Shell shocked Nürnberg gave up yet another before roaring back to make things close. SCF however simply showed that they deserve to be a co-favorite, as they put away the game with a couple more goals.

Total attendance 170,641 (avg 18,960), sellouts in Duisburg and Hamburg

 	
MSV Duisburg	      -  1. FC Kaiserslautern	1:3 (0:3)   30,500 *

                     0:1  K. Przybylko (13., Klich)
                     0:2  Wolze (18., own goal, Zimmer)
                     0:3  K. Przybylko (29., Vucur)
                     1:3  Bajic (81., Janjic)

SpVgg Greuther Fürth  -  Karlsruher SC	        1:0 (0:0)   10,835

                     1:0  Stiepermann (89.)

FC St. Pauli	      -  Arminia Bielefeld	0:0 (0:0)   29,546 *

FSV Frankfurt	      -  RasenBallsport Leipzig	0:1 (0:0)    7,021

                     0:1  Sabitzer (55., Rechtsschuss)


SC Paderborn 07	      -   VfL Bochum	        0:1 (0:0)   13,073

                     0:1  Haberer (61., O. Bulut)

Eintr. Braunschweig   -   SV Sandhausen	        1:3 (1:2)   20,680

                     1:0  Hochscheidt (29., Boland)
                     1:1  F. Hübner (31., Paqarada)
                     1:2  Wooten (41.)
                     1:3  Bouhaddouz (65., Paqarada)

1. FC Union Berlin    -   Fortuna Düsseldorf	1:1 (1:0)   20,786

                     1:0  Kessel (5., Trimmel)
                     1:1  Ya Konan (88., Bebou)

1. FC Heidenheim      -   1860 München	        1:0 (0:0)   14,500

                     1:0  K. Kraus (86., Schnatterer)

Monday:
SC Freiburg	      -   1. FC Nürnberg	6:3 (4:1)   23,700

                     1:0  Petersen (8., penalty, Grifo)
                     2:0  Petersen (11., penalty, Philipp)
                     3:0  Petersen (13.)
                     4:0  Frantz (41., Petersen)
                     4:1  Möhwald (44., Stark)
                     4:2  Behrens (47., D. Blum)
                     4:3  Schöpf (53., penalty, G. Burgstaller)
                     5:3  Philipp (61., Mujdza)
                     6:3  Schuster (90. + 1, Frantz)


 1  SC Freiburg (A)	  	1    1  0  0 	  6:3 	+3 	  3
 2  1. FC Kaiserslautern	1    1  0  0 	  3:1 	+2 	  3 
-------------------------------------------------------------------	  	
 3  VfL Bochum	  	        1    1  0  0 	  1:0 	+1 	  3	
-------------------------------------------------------------------  	
 4  SpVgg Greuther Fürth	1    1  0  0 	  1:0 	+1 	  3
 5  1. FC Heidenheim	  	1    1  0  0 	  1:0 	+1 	  3 	  	
 6  RasenBallsport Leipzig	1    1  0  0 	  1:0 	+1 	  3 
 7  1. FC Union Berlin	  	1    0  1  0 	  1:1 	 0 	  1	  	
 8  Fortuna Düsseldorf	  	1    0  1  0 	  1:1 	 0 	  1 
 9  Arminia Bielefeld (N)	1    0  1  0 	  0:0 	 0 	  1 	  	
10  FC St. Pauli	  	1    0  1  0 	  0:0 	 0 	  1 
11  SV Sandhausen	  	1    1  0  0 	  3:1 	+2 	  0 
12  FSV Frankfurt	  	1    0  0  1 	  0:1 	-1 	  0 	  	
13  Karlsruher SC	  	1    0  0  1 	  0:1 	-1 	  0 	  	
14  1860 München	  	1    0  0  1 	  0:1 	-1 	  0	  	
15 SC Paderborn 07 (A)	  	1    0  0  1 	  0:1 	-1 	  0
-------------------------------------------------------------------  	
16  Eintracht Braunschweig	1    0  0  1 	  1:3 	-2 	  0 	  	
-------------------------------------------------------------------  	
17  MSV Duisburg (N)	  	1    0  0  1 	  1:3 	-2 	  0
18  1. FC Nürnberg	  	1    0  0  1 	  3:6 	-3 	  0 

1st line: Promotion to Bundesliga
2nd line: Playoff with 16th Bundesliga
3rd line: Playoff with no.3 of 3.Liga
4th line: Relegation to 3.Liga

A = Absteiger just relegated 
N = Neuling just promoted

Sanhausen deducted 3 points as penalty for financial irregularities

3.Liga, Round 1

Round 1, July 24-26

The 2015/16 Dritte Liga season started on Friday with an enticing eastern derby as newly promoted Magdeburg renewed their rivalry with Erfurt. A nice crowd showed up and the home side deservedly won the hard fought battle with a strong second half, although it was with only a minute left that they got the winner. Both sides are hoping to play a role in the promotion battle, and figure to have better than average fan support.

Relegated Aue expects to challenge, and faced a stern test in Osnabrück , hoping to improve on last season’s disappointment. Erzgebirge pressed hard, but the visitors defended well and got a point.

The stunner was in Kiel, as Holstein was totally ripped by Mainz-II. Last season Kiel only failed in the promotion playoffs, and Mainz barely survived. This match was a total reversal from what was expected. It’s only the start, but already questions have to be raised on Kiel’s favorite role if they don’t immediately answer in the next few matches.

Dresden expects to challenge, and they started impressively by stomping Stuttgart-II. A strong performance all the way around as Dynamo draws the big crowd as usual. Actually, all the eastern clubs can draw nice crowds, especially if they are doing well. Their numbers are needed to help prop up worthless sides such as the Bundesliga B sides that nobody cares about.

Rostock started off with another downer, as they managed to lose at home to Bremen-II. Expect riots soon unless Hansa gets back on track quickly.

Cottbus started off well with a win against Halle, who had beaten them twice last season. Energie is hoping to contend, given their Bundesliga pedigree.

Total attendance 107,602 (avg 10,760).
This is quite high for 3.Liga, last season the average was around 6,700. Of course, this was Opening Day and none of the Bundesliga-B sides were hosts.

1. FC Magdeburg	     -   Rot-Weiß Erfurt	2:1 (0:1)   21,079
Erzgebirge Aue	     -   VfL Osnabrück	        0:0 (0:0)    8,800
Preußen Münster	     -   SG Son-hof Großaspach	1:1 (0:0)    6,623
Dynamo Dresden	     -   VfB Stuttgart II	4:1 (2:0)   25,300
SV Wehen Wiesbaden   -   Würzburger Kickers	0:0 (0:0)    4,500
Holstein Kiel	     -   1. FSV Mainz 05 II	0:4 (0:3)    5,397
Hansa Rostock	     -   Werder Bremen II	1:2 (1:0)   15,600
VfR Aalen	     -   Chemnitzer FC	        0:0 (0:0)    6,022
Stuttgarter Kickers  -   Fortuna Köln	        2:1 (1:0)    4,975
Energie Cottbus	     -   Hallescher FC	        2:1 (1:0)    9,306 


 1  1. FSV Mainz 05 II	  	1   1  0  0    4:0  +4 	  3 
 2  Dynamo Dresden	  	1   1  0  0    4:1  +3 	  3
-----------------------------------------------------------
 3  Energie Cottbus	  	1   1  0  0    2:0  +2 	  3 	
 4  Werder Bremen II (N)	1   1  0  0    2:1  +1 	  3
-----------------------------------------------------------
 5  1. FC Magdeburg (N)	  	1   1  0  0    2:1  +1 	  3 	  	
 6  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	1   1  0  0    2:1  +1 	  3 
 7  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach	1   0  1  0    1:1   0 	  1   	
 8  Preußen Münster	  	1   0  1  0    1:1   0 	  1 
 9  VfR Aalen (A)	  	1   0  1  0    0:0   0 	  1 	  	
10  Erzgebirge Aue (A)	  	1   0  1  0    0:0   0 	  1	  	
11  Chemnitzer FC	  	1   0  1  0    0:0   0 	  1 	  	
12  VfL Osnabrück	  	1   0  1  0    0:0   0 	  1 	  	
13  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	1   0  1  0    0:0   0 	  1 	  	
14  Würzburger Kickers (N)	1   0  1  0    0:0   0 	  1   	
15  Rot-Weiß Erfurt	  	1   0  0  1    1:2  -1 	  0 	  	
16  Fortuna Köln	  	1   0  0  1    1:2  -1 	  0
17  Hansa Rostock	  	1   0  0  1    1:2  -1 	  0 
-----------------------------------------------------------	  	
18  Hallescher FC	  	1   0  0  1    0:2  -2 	  0 
19  VfB Stuttgart II	  	1   0  0  1    1:4  -3 	  0 
20  Holstein Kiel	  	1   0  0  1    0:4  -4 	  0


A = Absteiger just relegated 
N = Neuling just promoted

1st line: Promotion to 2.Liga
2nd line: Promotion Playoff with 2.Liga 16th place 
3rd line: Relegation to Regionalliga

2014/15 Zuschauer!

The Bundesliga once again had the best attendance in Europe. It was a bit lower perhaps than in some previous years, mainly due to clubs with smaller stadiums. (Paderborn, for example, started with a capacity of 15,000).

Average attendance in top European leagues:

1. German Bundesliga       43,491
2. English Premier League  36,205
3. Spanish Primera Liga    27,031
4. Italian Serie A         22,541
5. French Ligue 1          22,335
6. Dutch Eredivisie        18,696
BUNDESLIGA

                             No.   Min     Max      Total      Average   Capacity %
 1. Borussia Dortmund	      17   79.500  80.667  1.368.338	80.490    99.8
 2. FC Bayern München	      17   71.000  75.000  1.236.000	72.705    96.9 / 100.0
 3. FC Schalke 04	      17   60.607  61.973  1.046.669	61.568    99.3
 4. Hamburger SV	      17   45.968  57.000    902.946	53.114    93.2
 5. Borussia Mönchengladbach  17   37.091  54.100    863.285	50.781    93.9
 6. VfB Stuttgart	      17   40.500  60.000    862.120	50.712    84.5
 7. Hertha BSC Berlin         17   34.636  76.195    853.138	50.184    65.9
 8. 1. FC Köln	              17   42.900  50.000    822.400	48.376    96.8
 9. Eintracht Frankfurt	      17   34.400  51.500    808.900	47.582    92.4
10. Hannover 96	              17   30.500  49.000    738.800	43.458    88.7
11. SV Werder Bremen	      17   30.210  42.100    685.683	40.334    95.8
12. FSV Mainz 05	      17   26.756  34.000    527.139	31.008    91.2
13. Bayer 04 Leverkusen	      17   23.801  30.210    497.941	29.290    97.0
14. FC Augsburg	              17   27.090  30.660    496.407	29.200    95.2
15. VfL Wolfsburg	      17   25.000  30.000    477.449	28.085    93.6
16. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim	      17   22.716  30.150    462.808	27.224    90.3
17. SC Freiburg	              17   23.000  24.000    404.450	23.791    99.1
18. SC Paderborn 07	      17   14.401  15.945    253.643	14.920    93.6

Overall, the Bundesliga’s 306 matches yielded total attendance of 13,308,116 fans, an average of 43,491
Bayern and Paderborn capacity numbers are lower, as the stadium size was increased during the season. Bayern actually had 100%, as all their matches were sell-outs. (Actually, on the road as well). The only sides that did “crappy” were Hertha Berlin and Stuttgart. Hertha is too boring, and doesn’t really seem to capture the hearts of most Berlin fans. Yeah, they’ll show up for an occasional Bundesliga match, but it often depends on the opponent.

 
2. Bundesliga

                             No.   Min     Max        Total    Average
 1. 1. FC Kaiserslautern      17   23.147  49.780    561.222	33.013
 2. 1. FC Nürnberg	      17   25.130  47.501    522.623	30.742
 3. Fortuna Düsseldorf	      17   22.366  41.667    509.063	29.944
 4. RB Leipzig	              17   17.087  38.660    425.417	25.024
 5. FC St. Pauli	      17   21.712  29.063    419.615	24.683
 6. TSV 1860 München	      17   13.800  68.500    372.600	21.917
 7. Eintracht Braunschweig    17   20.200  23.100    367.365	21.609
 8. 1. FC Union Berlin	      17   15.802  21.717    326.708	19.218
 9. Karlsruher SC	      17   11.462  27.771    295.521	17.383
10. VfL Bochum	              17   11.000  25.094    286.450	16.850
11. SV Darmstadt 98	      17    9.200  16.150    240.300	14.135
12. 1. FC Heidenheim	      17   11.000  15.000    213.900	12.582
13. SpVgg Greuther Fürth      17    8.750  17.500    199.900	11.758
14. FC Ingolstadt 04	      17    4.814  15.000    168.164	 9.892
15. FC Erzgebirge Aue	      17    5.600  15.300    154.900	 9.111
16. VfR Aalen	              17    5.015  14.500    128.772	 7.574
17. FSV Frankfurt	      17    4.056  12.542    112.720	 6.630
18. SV Sandhausen	      17    4.023  12.136     99.258	 5.838

Overall, the 2.Liga had 306 matches, for 5,404,498 fans, an average of 17,662

 
3.Liga

                             No.   Min     Max        Total    Average
 1  SG Dynamo Dresden	      19        0  29.652    432.405	22.758
 2  DSC Arminia Bielefeld     19    8.544  25.008    263.605	13.873
 3  MSV Duisburg	      19   10.081  31.002    249.962	13.155
 4  FC Hansa Rostock	      19    5.600  21.600    193.300	10.173
 5  SC Preußen Münster	      19    5.112  14.300    173.714	 9.142
 6  VfL Osnabrück	      19    6.623  15.500    164.033	 8.633
 7  Energie Cottbus	      19    5.426  14.708    143.047	 7.528
 8  Hallescher FC	      19    5.208  12.466    137.593	 7.241
 9  Holstein Kiel	      19    3.698   9.167    118.217	 6.221
10  FC Rot-Weiß Erfurt	      19    3.875  10.676    110.944	 5.839
11  Chemnitzer FC	      19    4.060  10.000    110.274	 5.803
12  SV Stuttgarter Kickers    19    2.155   8.650     85.325	 4.490
13  SSV Jahn Regensburg	      19    2.304   8.742     69.733	 3.670
14  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	      19    2.077   9.000     66.491	 3.499
15  Borussia Dortmund II      19      439   9.999     55.116	 2.900
16  SpVgg Unterhaching	      19    1.200   7.000     49.150	 2.586
17  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach   19      600   7.329     45.438	 2.391
18  SC Fortuna Köln	      19      948   4.912     41.725	 2.196
19  FSV Mainz 05 II	      19      453   3.083     22.057	 1.160
20  VfB Stuttgart II	      19      400   3.210     20.211	 1.063

Overall, the 3.Liga’s 380 matches yielded a total attendance of 2,552,340 fans, and average of 6,717.
Clearly Dynamo Dresden is the biggest club, and one of their matches was even “closed doors” as punishment for fan behavior. With Bielefeld and Duisburg getting promoted, next season attendance might be expected to go down.

BUNDESLIGA REPORT CARD

Summary grades and analysis of the 2014/15 Bundesliga sides. (Better late than never!)

1st Bayern München (M, P) 34 25 4 5 80:18 +62 79

GRADE: A

I’m almost tempted to give Bayern an A-, as they basically phoned things in after the winterbreak. Ostensibly they had wrapped up another title already, and were concentrating on other things. But they ended up failing in the Cup and the Champions League, so their season is almost a ho-hum. “Robbery” (Ribery and Robben) have been outstanding performers for Bayern, but were hampered by injury this season. On the positive side, Lewandowski is scoring, and they’ve got so much firepower that they seemingly can win at will. Motivation is generally OK.

Best: Arjen Robben
The Dutchman was brilliant, although his injury cut his appearances. He scored 17 goals in 21 matches, and had the best marks in the Bundesliga.

Suckiest: Probably Juan Bernat, since he seems to have been Guardiola’s pet. He wasn’t overly impressive on defense, but got a lot of playing time. Dante was equally unimpressive, but the veteran had less playing time.

Manager: Pep Guardiola probably deserves a B. The club seems to have regressed somewhat and he has yet to deliver a Champions League title. On the other hand, at times they were truly overpowering. If his tiki-taka doesn’t win everything next season, his ass needs to be fired. Given this star studded lineup, if you’re at least not doing the double, it’s a failure.

2nd VfL Wolfsburg 34 20 9 5 72:38 +34 69

GRADE: A

A fine season by the VWs, who are back in contention as one of the Bayern chasers. They’ve been here before, lets see if they can keep it going. Ceertainly a very entertaining side.

Best: Kevin de Bruyne
He’s proven himself as one of the best attacking midfielders in the league and is sought after by many clubs, having restablished himself after being tossed aside by Chelski. Honorable mention to Bas Dost, who after some crappy seasons has shown that he can indeed score, notching 16 goals.

Suckiest: Niklas Bendtner
Not much of a surprise. 1 goal in 18 appearances. I forget if he’s still on the books at Arsenal, but he’s been with so many teams now – all sucking – you wonder if he shouldn’t just pack it in and play for some 2nd division Danish club.

Manager: Dieter Hecking, clearly deserves an A. There were some signs that the VWs could have a nice season, but Hecking put the pieces together and gets the kudos.

3rd Bor. Mönchengladbach 34 19 9 6 53:26 +27 66

GRADE: A

Gladbach largely exceeded most expectations, as the young squad developed quickly and impressed. Of course, they’ve been in this position before, and by selling off talent have fallen back into the pack.

Best: A lot of candidates. Patrick Hermann is one of the best young midfielders in Germany. Max Kruse was an effective forward, as was Raffael. GK Yann Sommer was a solid replacement for ter Stegen.

Suckiest: None really, although forward Branimir Hrgota could have shown more.

Manager: Lucien Favre (A). Did a fine job in marshalling talent, they showed steel when they needed too. Favre is certainly repairing his reputation, having had some ho-hum results at other clubs.

4th Bayer 04 Leverkusen 34 17 10 7 62:37 +25 61

GRADE: B+

Leverkusen is often considered one of the clubs that could challenge Bayern, but they almost always flatter to deceive. They had some good results, but often dropped points with lame performances. It doesn’t seem that they have enough to really challenge, but they can be annoying.

Best: Several candidates. Gonzalo Castro was outstanding, but injuries slowed him down. Karim Bellrabi was excellent and has made the jump into the national squad.

Suckiest: None. Perhaps more was expected from veteran Sebastian Boenisch in defense, but he didn’t play very much. A lot of expected solid players were in-and-out of the squad, often due to nagging injuries.

Manager: Roger Schmidt (B) did a decent job keeping the Aspirins on track. Not well known, he managed to keep Leverkusen humming for most of the season, with an occasional strong result.

5th FC Augsburg 34 15 4 15 43:43 0 49

GRADE: B

For much of the season, Augsburg was clearly “A” quality, but towards the end they fell off and limped home.
It’s hard to mark them down, since they appear to be doing it with mirrors. The collective is certainly greater than the sum of the parts.

Best: Raul Bobadilla was excellent in attack, Daniel Baier solid in midfield.

Suckiest: The rest of the attack. Bobadilla could have used some scoring punch to help out.

Manager: Markus Weinzierl (A). It’s hard to imagine anyone doing a better job. He’s brought them into Europe, with a side that could potentially struggle with. He’s kept them steady. motivated and believing that they can achieve.

6 FC Schalke 04 34 13 9 12 42:40 +2 48

GRADE: C

Best: GK Ralf Fährmann had a fine season and seems to have established himself as Germany’s next GK talent. Benedikt Höwedes had a strong campaign in defense

Suckiest: You have to give it to Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sidney Sam, as not only did they suck, but they have been blamed for toxic spill in the team and have basically been kicked out. There are other candidates, but these two take the cake – at least according to Schalke management, who hardly have covered themselves with glory either.

Manager: Jens Keller (C-) was jettisoned after 7 matches. Roberto di Matteo (C-) was basically ineffective. Perhaps his success at Chelski was because he had a bunch of motivated veterans rather than wankers. In any case, the squad look tired and unmotivated.

7 Borussia Dortmund 34 13 7 14 47:42 +5 46

GRADE: C-

The Neons had an almost disastrous season. They were free-falling throughout most of the first half, but eventually solidified after the winterbreak. Injuries were a huge problem, and despite a decent performance in the Champions League, they weren’t able to carry that over into the Bundesliga. The return of Kagawa and Gündogan didn’t bring the desired boost, only flashes of brilliance. High point of the season was probably knocking out Bayern München in the Cup semi-finals, on the road no less.

Best: Pierre Aubemeyang scored 16 times and was consistently good, but he lacked sufficient support. He is however beginning to look like an at least adequate fill-in for Lewandowski. Marco Reus deserves Honorable mention, as he was generally outstanding, but missed a third of the season with his usual injury problems.

Suckiest: The defense. Although they had injuries, and often when they did play, individuals like Hummels and Subotic were quite good, they consistently had brain farts that cost goals at critical moments. I suppose if you were to single out an individual however it would be forward Ciro Immobile, who was generally terrible (only 3 goals)

Manager: Jürgen Klopp accepted responsibility for Dortmund’s struggles and resigned. Overall, he probably deserves a B-, since injuries truly made things difficult with constant lineup changes. But the squad lacked focus and sharpness, which has to come down to the coach as well.

8th TSG Hoffenheim 34 12 8 14 49:55 -6 44

GRADE: B

Hoffenheim is a long way from the “moneybags” squad of the Rangnick era when Dietmar Hopp funded their rise. They now are developing a good nucleus of young players and seem to have established themselves.

Best: Kevin Volland was excellent as an attacking midfielder and ended up leading scorer. His next step is probably a jump into the national squad.

Suckiest: Veteran Sejad Salihovic was disappointing in limited appearances.

Manager: Markus Gisdol (B) has the club playing attractive attacking football. They sometimes seem to lack focus.

9th Eintracht Frankfurt 34 11 10 13 56:62 -6 43

GRADE: C

Frankfurt potentially could do well, but I think they finished about where most expected, mediocre in the middle of the pack.

Best: Alex Meier. Despite not being appreciated by some in management, the veteran led the Bundesliga with 19 goals, despite missing about 25% of the matches.

Suckiest: Too many inconsistent players. Previously reliable Takashi Inui was weak in midfield, defender Tim Chandler often out of his league – but the alternatives were generally worse. The defense had too many holes.

Manager: Thomas Schaaf (C). He joined with a lot of fanfare, but Frankfurt only showed glimpses of getting better, and Schaaf has apparently thrown in the towel.

10th Werder Bremen 34 11 10 13 50:65 -15 43

GRADE: C

Werder was expected to have problems and they sucked out of the gate. However management actually made a good move, brought in a new coach, and things got stabilized. They were pretty decent from then on, and even might have had some slight chances of sneaking into Europe.

Best: Austrian MF Zlatko Junuzovic was excellent, and Argie forward Franco di Santo scored 13.

Suckiest: It has to start with the defense. GK Raphael Wolf wasn’t very good, and eventually got replaced. The defenders were almost all crap, only Jannick Vestergaard looks good for the future.

Manager: Robin Dutt (F) had Bremen in free-fall, but Viktor Skripnik (B) managed to pull things together and get Werder back on track so they were generally floating above relegation.

11th 1. FSV Mainz 05 34 9 13 12 45:47 -2 40

GRADE: C-

Mainz has had outstanding managers in Klopp and Tuchel, but they didn’t follow up with their track records and slipped into trouble, They eventually straightened things out, but I think they were expecting better.

Best: Forward Shinji Okazaki bagged 12 and is the Bundesliga’s all-time leading Japanese scorer. Midfielder Johannes Geis was good. Defender Nico Bungert got the best marks on the squad.

Suckiest: Forward Sami Allagui was disappointing, only scoring twice.

Manager: Kasper Hjulmand (D+) struggled to get Mainz going. Martin Schmidt (C) got them back on track in about 1/3 of the season.

12th 1. FC Köln (N) 34 9 13 12 34:40 -6 40

GRADE: C

You knew Köln would have trouble scoring. But they were very disciplined on defense and fought their way to many a standstill; they set the record for most 0-0 draws.

Best: The defensive collective. GK Timo Horn was excellent, and Kevin Wimmer and Dominick Maroh marshalled a tight defense. MF Mathhias Lehmann was solid. Forward Anthony Ujah did manage 10 goals, pretty amazing considering.

Suckiest: None really. Perhaps more from midfielder Daniel Halfar, but everyone was a workhorse.

Manager: Peter Stöger (C+). He organized well what he had, not clear if the squad can really advance though. Overall, he accomplished the needed to at least survive the first year.

13th Hannover 96 34 9 10 15 40:56 -16 37

GRADE: D

The 96ers were a major disappointment. They expected better, but never really got started. Seemed chaotic and bored at the same time.

Best: Lars Stindl played well in midfield and led with 10 strikes.

Suckiest: Lots of disappointments. Joselu was generally weak, although he did get 8 goals. The defense was full of holes. Perhaps the biggest disappointment was favorite Didier Ya-Konan, who returned from Saudi Arabia but was ineffective, only 1 goal in 7 matches.

Manager: Tayfun Korkut (D) was unable to rally the troops, the players seemingly tuned him out. Michael Frontzceck (B-) had five games to secure the 96ers, and he did.

14th VfB Stuttgart 34 9 9 16 42:60 -18 36

GRADE: C-

Stuttgart had sucked last year, and they would obviously suck this season as well. But they actually played half-way decently at times, only stupid mistakes costing them crucial points.

Best: MF Flip Kostic looks promising. Daniel Didavi was very good in limited action

Suckiest: Too many to blame. GK Sven Ulreich had for him a weak season. Martin Harnik scored some important goals, but was often missing in action. Florian Klein and Daniel Schwab were among the worst defenders in the league. Lots of nagging injuries took their toll.

Manager: Armin Veh (D) got VfB off to a crap start in 12 matches. Looked relegated. Another re-tread, Huub Stevens (B-) put in enough to get them safe.

15th Hertha BSC Berlin 34 9 8 17 36:52 -16 35

GRADE: D

One of the most boring teams in the league, they often seemed like they were trying to bore their opponents to death, although it was usually the fans that went first.

Best: Nobody. Well, the fewer games you played, perhaps the better you looked. Defender Sebastian Langkamp appeared in about half the games, and was good.

Suckiest: Everybody

Manager: Jos Luhukay (D) had brought his “Itchy & Scratchy Fight-Fight-Fight” methods to Berlin. It worked last year, but his methods obviously fell on deaf ears as the players tuned him out this season. Pal Dardai (D+) did better in his 15 matches, but there is a ton of work left to do.

16th Hamburger SV 34 9 8 17 25:50 -25 35

GRADE: F

They sucked! They should have gone down, but they saved their ass in the playoffs. Things started bad and got worse, the club seemed rudderless and the players should have been arrested for “Arbeitsverweigerung” (Refusal to work). Well, at least *some* of the players, others seemed to at least try, but were totally off base.

Best: Nobody, although Heiko Westermann tried to keep the defense together. On paper GK Rene Adler had some good marks, but he made enough errors that he lost his starting job to Pavel Drobny, who was generally weak.

Worst: Too many candidates. The disappointment was Rafael van der Vaart, who is a Hamburg legend, and sucked. Lewis Holtby was once a promising youngster and was horrible. Nicolai Müller may have been the worst regular in the Bundesliga. Pierre-Michel Lassogga was terrible, the Bundesliga’s worst forward (after he had a fine season on loan from Hertha previously)

Manager: Mirko Slomka was canned after 3 matches (F). Josef Zinnbauer was given a chance (D-), they showed some brief life signs, but then was clearly out of his league. Peter Knabel filled in for two matches (F) and Bruno Labbadia (B) rallied the troops and saved the club by a whisker because Karlsruhe had no balls.

17th SC Freiburg 34 7 13 14 36:47 -11 34

GRADE: D

You expect Freiburg to struggle, and they looked like sure drop candidates. But then they put things together and looked like they would slip through, only to fall away at the end.

Best: Swiss GK Roman Bürki was consistently good, but the prize has to go to super-sub Nils Petersen, whose 9 goals in only 12 appearances almost kept the club up.

Suckiest: Hard to pick, as collectively they all tried hard. I suppose I’d pick Christian Günter or Oliver Sorg on defense, since you need to be rock solid.

Manager: Christian Streich probbaly deserves a B-, as he did rally thr troops and almost did the impossible.

18th SC Paderborn 07 (N) 34 7 10 17 31:65 -34 31
GRADE: C-

You can’t really fault Paderborn, as they met everybody’s prediction by going down. However, they fought really hard in almost every match, it’s just that they are a 2.Liga squad. The main knock is perhaps that they really made no attempt to strengthen their team before embarking upon the Bundesliga adventure.

Best: Moritz Stoppelkamp. The midfielder was solid for most of the season. Honorable mention to Suleyman Koc, who was decent, having recently been released from prison, and proved he is Bundesliga material.

Suckiest: Srdjan Lakic. He had a Budesliga pedigree and could have been an addition on attack where they needed goals, but he was crap. A few goals might have saved SCP…

Manager: Andre Breitenreiter deserves a B+. He did the best he could with what he had, a 2.Liga squad. And he impressed others enough as well, as he just got the Schalke job.

Survival playoffs: HSV, 1860 triumphant!

The playoff series ended in dramatic fashion for both the Bundesliga and Zweite Liga.

After first round draws, both HSV (against Karlsruhe) and 1860 München (against Kiel) left drama until the last second to save their lives! The “dinosaurs” prevail…

In the Bundesliga playoff, HSV once again had to fight on against the 2.Liga 3rd place finisher. Last season they barely survived on away goals afater a pair of draws against SpVgg Greuther Fürth. This year was even more dramatic, as the “eternal Bundesliga clock” in Hamburg was within seconds of getting shut down.

Hamburger SV – Karlsruher SC 1-1

The first match in Hamburg was a lucky one for HSV. The home side was largely outplayed by KSC, and Hennings put the visitors in front after only 4 minutes. The 2.Liga club seemed closer to the decisive 2nd goal than the home side, but in the 78th minute Ilicevic was able to equalize. The 56,615 fans in attendance watched nervously as Hamburg struggled throughout the match, coming close to dropping out on a couple of occasions.

Karlsruher SC – Hamburger SV 1-2 aet

The re-match in Karlsruhe was pure drama. The rafters were packed with 27,896 in the Wildpark, and a scoreless draw was all KSC needed. However, this might have been the poison pill for the home side. Coach Markus Kauczinski decided on a overly defensive strategy, withdrawing back and packing the back. At first, the plan seemed to be working, as HSV was totally incompetent to get anything done, and the match went scoreless into the half. On the restart, HSV got a bit bolder and opened up. Taking more chances, they began to create some opportunities that were totally lacking in the 1st half. Ironically, as was true to their whole season, they were caught with their pants down as Yabo scored on a counter for KSC in 78th minute. Karlsruhe withdrew back into their shell, but this proved to be their undoing. HSV was now desperate, launching fierce attacks, and actually coming close – they were deserving a goal, hitting the post, having ball cleared off the line, missing point blank. Then the goal happened. In injury time, the ref gave a somewhat dubious handball freekick, and Marcelo Diaz curled in the direct free-kick for the equalizer. Overtime! After a rather boring first period, HSV counter and Nico Müller got the winner at 115. The ref had another poor call, as he gave KSC a handball penalty (which Adler stopped), but with Karslruhe having now to win outright, it was basically over. A heroic salvation for Bruno Labbadia’s squad, and he certainly made the right move, as all three players that made the winning goal were subs he sent on late in the match. Karlsruhe grumbled about the freekick, but HSV deserved an equalizer. Frankly, KSC blew it with their stupid defensive strategy, kind of like the “prevent defense” in the NFL, so good riddance. The end result means that the eternal clock gets another 3,060 minutes of Bundesliga play added next season…

The 2.Liga playoff was just as dramatic.

Holstein Kiel – 1860 München 0-0

The first match in Kiel didn’t draw huge interest, as only 9,816 fans showed up. Kiel was the dominant side, as 1860 was tight on defense and relying on counters. However the Holsteiners were unable to get much out of their control, as they were weak up front and not willing to take many chances. Therefore it remained scoreless and perhaps 1860 gets an advantage for the rematch.

1860 München – Holstein Kiel 2-1

The München Allianz-Arena wasn’t sold out, but 57,000 did show up to see the decisive match. The home side was completely lame in the first period, but Kiel was another story. The Holsteiners were quick and aggressive, and grabbed a deserved early lead in the 16th minute via Kazior. With the Lions bereft of ideas, things were looking grim. The second half had 1860 running harder, but still without a clue. Kiel had a couple of golden chances to decide the match, but blew it. Then Adlung got the equalizer in the 78th minute for the home side, which started off a furious finish. With the 1-1 result, Kiel would qualify on away goals. The Lions threw everything into a last second assulat…and it paid off. In injury time, Rama danced into the box and placed one off the post, Bülow re-acted fastest and rammed home the rebound. 1860 was saved! The Kielers were stunned and had nothing left in the tank to mount their own desperation attack in the last couple of minutes.

Regionalliga

The 4th division Regionalliga finished up with playoffs to determine who is going up. The unfortunate trend of the U23 sides playing strong roles largely continued, but I suppose you can be conformted by the fact that this adds as feeders of youth talent into the top flight, which of course was the foundation of Germany’s World Cup win.

Things are not quite finished for next season though, as if 1860 München drops from the 3.Liga, then 1860-II will automatically get dumped into the 5th division.

Club home attendance averages are listed in the last column of the final table. Attendance is generally pretty low, with the exception of some “traditionals” that have fallen on hard times.

Regionalliga Nord

 1  Werder Bremen II          34    19  10   5     84:39  +45     67       701
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 2  VfL Wolfsburg II (M)      34    19   7   8     74:40  +34     64       339
 3  Hamburger SV II           34    19   5  10     74:41  +33     62       510
 4  TSV Havelse               34    16   7  11     49:35  +14     55       594
 5  ETSV Weiche Flensburg     34    14  10  10     53:37  +16     52       594
 6  Eintracht Norderstedt     34    16   4  14     47:56  -9      52       554
 7  VfB Lübeck (N)            34    12  14   8     43:44  -1      50     1,722
 8  SV Meppen                 34    13  10  11     50:47  +3      49     1,388
 9  FC St. Pauli II           34    12  11  11     39:43  -4      47       233
10  VfB Oldenburg             34    12   9  13     39:44  -5      45     1,489
11  BSV SW Rehden             34    10  14  10     46:48  -2      44       453
12  Lüneburger SK Hansa (N)   34    11  10  13     41:55  -14     43       918
13  Eintracht Braunschweig II 34    10  12  12     59:56  +3      42       353
14  Hannover 96 II            34    11   8  15     52:48  +4      41     1,331
15  Goslarer SC 08            34    10   9  15     50:60  -10     39       479
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16  BV Cloppenburg            34    10   9  15     44:59  -15     39       504
17  VfR Neumünster            34     8   9  17     37:60  -23     33       525
18  FT Braunschweig (N)       34     2   6  26     22:91  -69     12       334

The Regionalliga Nord was dominated by the U23 sides of the Bundesliga clubs, as none of the “normal” squads had much of a chance. The best known traditionals, such as Lübeck, Meppen and Oldenburg have all had 2.Liga experience, but finished in mediocre mid-table positions.

Attendance: 220,177 in 305 matches, averaging 722
This is the crappiest of all, but a lot of blame has to go to the U23 squads and their puny numbers. The only respectable side is Hannover 96-II. To give some perspective, the Frauen-Bundesliga (Women’s) averages a little over 1,000 per match.

Most interesting club: For me, it’s probably Meppen. This small town lasted in the 2.Liga several seasons. Runner-up would probably be FT Braunschweig, since I’ve never even heard of them.

Most worthless club: Tough choice, but I suppose Werder Bremen II. Dishonrable mention to Wolfsburg-II, maybe it’s the Dasher (or maybe Fox) division of VW.

Regionalliga Nordost

 1   1. FC Magdeburg          28    19   3   6     61:22  +39     60     8,577
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 2   FSV Zwickau              28    16   9   3     45:21  +24     57     1,773
 3   Wacker Nordhausen        28    14   6   8     43:38  +5      48       998
 4   Carl Zeiss Jena          28    12   9   7     46:38  +8      45     3,600
 5   BFC Dynamo Berlin (N)    28    11  12   5     34:26  +8      45     1,702
 6   Hertha BSC Berlin II     28    12   6  10     50:41  +9      42       625
 7   Berliner AK 07           28    13   3  12     36:35  +1      42       635
 8   TSG Neustrelitz (M)      28    11   5  12     46:41  +5      38       935
 9   Germania Halberstadt     28    11   4  13     43:44  -1      37       755
10   1. FC Union Berlin II    28    11   3  14     49:49   0      36     1,102
11   SV Babelsberg 03         28     7  10  11     32:34  -2      31     2,314
12   VfB Auerbach             28     9   4  15     28:56  -28     31       729
13   Budissa Bautzen (N)      28     6   9  13     23:40  -17     27       938
14   ZFC Meuselwitz           28     5   7  16     27:52  -25     22       856
15   Viktoria 1889 Berlin     28     4   8  16     25:51  -26     20       655
16   VFC Plauen                0     0   0   0      0:0     0      0       787

The Nordost is basically regionally the same as the old DDR-Oberliga, with the addition of (West) Berlin. Of course the better ex-GDR sides play higher. Neustrelitz was defending champion, having failed in last season’s promotion, but were not a factor. VFC Plauen basically went into insolvency and withdrew from competition. However the league forced them to play their matches as “friendlies”, not really sure about the logic.

Attendance: 404,289 for 240 matches, averaging 1,687 per game.
A couple of interesting facts is that Plauen didn’t too badly, considering their matches were worthless. Also note that in a direct comparision of the Berlin clubs, Union is more popular than Hertha, as both “B” squads played in the 4th division, and Unions attendance was almost double that of Hertha.

Most interesting side: Tough choice between Magdeburg and Jena, two ex-GDR traditionals. Berliner Athletik-Klub 1907 should change their name to Berliner AK-47. Another candidate is Viktoria 1889, which was one of Germany’s powerhouses in Kaiser days (two titles, two runner up and several semi and quarterfinal appearances in the 1900s up to WWI)

Most worthless side: BFC Dynamo, the old ex-GDR cheater. A bit unfair since the DDR collapsed a long time ago and it’s basically a new club. And of course the players themselves were not to blame anyway. But legacy of this club is a stain on German football. To top things off, today they have a reputation of having the highest neo-Nazi fanbase and are enemies of virtually every other eastern club.

Regionalliga West

 1  Bor. Mönchengladbach II   34    21   6   7     77:43  +34     69        569
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 2  Alemannia Aachen          34    19  11   4     56:20  +36     68     10,724
 3  FC Viktoria Köln          34    19   9   6     70:29  +41     66      1,068
 4  Rot-Weiß Oberhausen       34    15  12   7     54:37  +17     57      2,536
 5  Rot-Weiss Essen           34    16   8  10     58:38  +20     56      8,208
 6  Sportfreunde Lotte        34    13  15   6     55:34  +21     54        770
 7  SC Verl                   34    15   9  10     53:32  +21     54        640
 8  SV Rödinghausen (N)       34    14   7  13     48:44  +4      49      1,218
 9  Fortuna Düsseldorf II     34    14   7  13     39:52  -13     49        481
10  1. FC Köln II             34    11   9  14     38:47  -9      42        724
11  FC Schalke 04 II          34    10  11  13     38:41  -3      41        447
12  SC Wiedenbrück 2000       34    11   7  16     39:54  -15     40        777
13  SG Wattenscheid 09        34    11   6  17     42:58  -16     39        845
14  FC Kray (N)               34     9  12  13     39:61  -22     39        852
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15  KFC Uerdingen 05          34     8  10  16     34:63  -29     34      2,182
16  VfL Bochum II             34     8   6  20     46:58  -12     30        480
17  Sportfreunde Siegen       34     7   9  18     33:56  -23     30      1,436
18  FC Hennef 05 (N)          34     3   9  22     26:80  -54     18        603

Five ex-Bundesliga clubs (can you name them?) clearly make the West one of the more interesting divisions. Unfortunately it was a Bundesliga B squad that took the title, but there is definitely interest in this league…at least at some of the traditional clubs.

Attendance: 585,002 in 306 matches, averaging 1,912
Although the league as a whole was the highest of all the 4th division, obviously Aachen and Essen skew the
numbers. Drop those sides, and the average drops below 1,000.

Most interesting club: Lots of contenders. Obviously Aachen and Essen, two traditional “giants”. Uerdingen could be a contender.

Most worthless side: Probably Schalke-II, given their crappy attendance, but any of the B sides qualify. You can see how they drag down overall financical capabilities of the leagues. It’s good for the “quality”, in the sense that the German top sides have excellent pipelines to bring in young domestic talent. But it sucks for the smaller clubs, because fans don’t won’t to pay to watch B sides.

Regionalliga Südwest

 1  Kickers Offenbach         34    24   7   3     55:22  +33     79      6,396
 2  1. FC Saarbrücken (A)     34    21   6   7     51:27  +24     69      4,400
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 3  SV Elversberg (A)         34    20   5   9     60:28  +32     65      1,338
 4  1. FC Kaiserslautern II   34    18   7   9     57:28  +29     61        533
 5  Wormatia Worms            34    18   4  12     59:44  +15     58      1,199
 6  FC 08 Homburg             34    16   9   9     48:31  +17     57      1,729
 7  SC Freiburg II            34    15   8  11     66:46  +20     53        246
 8  FC Astoria Walldorf (N)   34    15   8  11     51:40  +11     53        682
 9  TSG Hoffenheim II         34    15   6  13     44:46  -2      51        463
10  Hessen Kassel             34    13   8  13     43:35  +8      47      1,782
11  Eintracht Trier           34    11  11  12     31:33  -2      44      1,532
12  SpVgg Neckarelz           34    13   5  16     47:55  -8      44        457
13  Waldhof Mannheim          34    11  10  13     36:33  +3      43      2,891
14  FK Pirmasens (N)          34    11   9  14     40:44  -4      42      1,284
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15  FC Nöttingen (N)          34    11   4  19     50:67  -17     37        806
16  TuS Koblenz               34     6   7  21     24:58  -34     25      1,261
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17  KSV Baunatal              34     5   1  28     22:82  -60     16        688
18  SVN Zweibrücken           34     4   3  27     17:82 - 65     15        419

Objectively speaking, the RWS is the toughest division. Made up of three states, Rheinland-Pfalz, Hessen and Baden-Württemburg, it resents more clubs and therefore receives two playoff spots. Ex-Bundeslga sides like Offenbach, Saarbrücken, Homburg and Waldhof along with attractive traditionals such as Worms, Trier, Kassel make for interesting matches. Offenbach powered through the league and easily claimed 1st. Not too surprising, since they were only dropped down two seasons ago due to financial punishment.

Attendance: 477,390 in 305 matches, averaging 1,565

Most interesting club: Just about all of them.

Most worthless club: Hoffenheim-II. SAP already basically funds the Bundesliga side. Maybe they should give some of their money to Walldorf, after all, that’s where SAP HQ is.

Regionalliga Bayern

 1  Würzburger Kickers        34    24   8   2     67:15  +52     80      2,482
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 2  Bayern München II (M)     34    22   6   6     60:28  +32     72      1,450
 3  1860 München II           34    19   6   9     60:34  +26     63      1,654
 4  TSV Buchbach              34    14  12   8     47:41  +6      54        905
 5  FC Ingolstadt 04 II       34    13  11  10     47:39  +8      50        297
 6  SpVgg Bayreuth (N)        34    14   8  12     48:47  +1      50      1,164
 7  FC Memmingen              34    12  11  11     45:51  -6      47        837
 8  1. FC Nürnberg II         34    12  10  12     39:39   0      46        361
 9  FV Illertissen            34    12   9  13     56:55  +1      45        513
10  FC Augsburg II            34    11  12  11     41:47  -6      45        296
11  Wacker Burghausen (A)     34    11   9  14     36:43  -7      42      1,367
12  SV Schalding-Heining      34    10  10  14     43:52  -9      40        928
13  1. FC Schweinfurt 05      34    10   9  15     46:55  -9      39      1,671
14  SpVgg Greuther Fürth II   34    10   8  16     47:50  -3      38        243
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15  SV Heimstetten            34     8  10  16     40:58  -18     34        458
16  VfR Garching (N)          34     8   9  17     42:64  -22     33        457
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17  SV Seligenporten          34     6  10  18     34:61  -27     28        348
18  FC Eintracht Bamberg 2010 34     4  14  16     38:57  -19     26        788

Nobody really cares about the Bayernliga, as most of the teams are villages..unless they are the “B” squads of bigger teams. As a result, attendance numbers tend to be pretty low.

Attendance: 275,866 in 306 matches, averaging 902.
Actually, both the big München clubs did quite well.

Most interesting club: Schweinfurt, because of the great name. Honorable mention to Würzburg and perhaps Bayreuth, who have seen better days.

Most worthless club: Everybody else.

Promotion playoffs

The first match was on Wed 5/27, with return game on Sun 5/31
The winner of each series is promoted into the 3.Liga.

After the first match, there was still all to play for.

Würzburg had a dose of luck, getting a huge away win on a 37th minute goal by Nico Herzig. Saarbrücken will feel hard done by as they had the tying goal disallowed near the end of the match. TV replays showed that Peter Chrappan pushed the ball over the line in the 4th minute of injury time, and it was then cleared away by a defender. No goal-line technology, so too bad for FCS. On the other hand, it also seemed like Chrappan may have been offside, and that was also missed.

The hardest match is probably Magdeburg and Offenbach, and a large crowd watched FCM eek out a win over the Kickers. The replay in Offenbach – the Bieberer Berg was sold out – turned into a scandal. The Kickers equalized the series after 24 minutes, but Magdeburg quickly seized control in the next 10 minutes and scored twice, giving them an almost unbeatable advantage. They wrapped things up early in the 2nd period and near the end, the match turned into a scandal. About 40 Kicker-Hooligans climbed the fences and invaded the pitch with smokebombs and fireworks, causing a 20 minute interruption as the FCM players fled to the locker rooms. The police finally chased down the delinquents and hopefully introduced them to a billy-club. But Offenbach undoubtedly will face some huge fines when the case is reviewed. FCM moves up to the 3.Liga for the first time, a nice improvement for the DDR’s only European success (1974 Euro Cup Winners Cup)

Nobody really cares which Bundesliga-B gets promoted, although more than the usual showed up. Perhaps they had a free beer night. In the rematch, a respectable 10,000+ showed up. Both matches ended scoreless in regulation time. Bremen scored twice in overtime to gain promotion

Promoted sides: Würzburg, Magdeburg, Bremen-II

	
1. FC Saarbrücken    -   Würzburger Kickers	0:1 (0:1)   10,247
Würzburger Kickers   -   1. FC Saarbrücken	0:1 (0:0)   10,540
Würzburg wins 5-4 on penalties. 			

1. FC Magdeburg	     -   Kickers Offenbach	1:0 (1:0)   23,139
Kickers Offenbach    -   1. FC Magdeburg	1:3 (1:2)   20,500		

Werder Bremen II     -   Bor. M'gladbach II	0:0 (0:0)    3,785
Bor. M'gladbach II   -   Werder Bremen II	0:0 (0:0)   10,217 	
Bremen wins 2-0 in overtime

DFB Cup Final: Wolfsburg triumphant

VfL Wolfsburg crowned a fine season with a solid 3-1 victory against Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokalfinale.
This ruined what could have been a glorious end to coach Jürgen Klopp’s Dortmund reign, but the VWs deserved the win.

The Neons got a dream start as Kagawa fired in a quick cross to an open Aubameyang, who finished easily.
Wolfsburg wasn’t bothered too much by the early goal, and quickly forced Langerak to make a couple of fine saves. Marco Reus then missed a sitter after another perfect lead-in by Kagawa, but was the last real chance for Dortmund to seize control of the match. The VWs then turned the match in a 15 minute period.

After a thumping Naldo freekick was parried by Langerak, Luiz Gustavo slammed home the rebound as the BVB defense was slow to react. Then Kevin de Bruyne, Wolfsburg’s most brilliant player all season, fired in a rocket for the VW lead.

Dortmund had a couple of decent chances to get back in the 2nd period, but Wolfsburg was also denied from finishing off the match by Langerak and a save off the line.

At the end, a deserved win for Wolfsburg, their first DFB-Pokal title. Of course the VWs are already directly qualified for the Champions League group phase as Bundesliga runner-up, so the Euroliga spot is left behind. Dortmund receives the spot, but since they don’t go as winners, they have to go into the Euroliga qualification, which is probably as worthless as the old Intertoto. (Not to mention that the Euroliga itself is totally worthless). Ironically, since Dortmund drops to qualification, their rival Schalke gets bumped up into the Euroliga group phase.

Borussia Dortmund:
Langerak - 
Durm, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - 
Kehl, Gündogan - 
H. Mkhitaryan, Kagawa, Reus - 
Aubameyang    

Subs:
68. Blaszczykowski ("Kuba") for Kehl
68. Piszczek for Durm
79. Immobile for Reus

VfL Wolfsburg:

Benaglio - 
Vieirinha, Naldo, Klose, Rodriguez - 
Arnold, Luiz Gustavo - 
Perisic, De Bruyne, D. Caligiuri - 
Dost    

Subs:
74. Guilavogui for Perisic
81. Schürrle for Arnold
85. Träsch for D. Caligiuri

Scoring:

1:0  Aubameyang (5., Kagawa)
1:1  Luiz Gustavo (22., Naldo)
1:2  De Bruyne (33., D. Caligiuri)
1:3  Dost (38., Perisic)


Yellow cards:

Dortmund: H. Mkhitaryan, Schmelzer
Wolfsburg: De Bruyne, Vieirinha

Referee: Dr. Felix Brych (München)

Attendance: 75,815 (sold out), Olympia-stadion, Berlin

2.Liga, Round 34: FINAL

Round 34, May 24

Last day drama, but very few surprises. All the promotion contenders were at home, and all the relegation candidates were on the road. Only FSV Frankfurt got the needed away result to change their destiny.

Darmstadt completed their sensational march to return to the Bundesliga. Two years ago, the 98ers were relegated into the Regionalliga. But they were saved at the last minute because Kickers Offenbach had incompetent accountants and were forcibly relegated. They got promoted, and now have amazingly made it into the Bundesliga. Since basically all the lower sides were losing as well, St.Pauli managed their own mini-miracle, staying up due to their strong endspurt of the season.

Karlsruhe claimed the promotion playoff spot with Hamburg as they easily beat 1860. The Lions needed a result to avoid the drop, but they were completely flat. They’ll have another chance as they face Kiel in a playoff.

Kaiserslautern is the odd man out, but they didn’t get the help they needed. They had their chances to win against champions Ingolstadt, but in reality, it wouldn’t have mattered. Darmstadt had a better goal difference, and it was unlikely that even a 98er loss would have changed that enough. And KSC got the early goal that pretty much left Lautern in the cold.

FSV Frankfurt was the only bottom side that seized the moment. The Bornheimers had been in free-fall into the drop zone, and in desperation had fired long standing coach Benno Mohlmann. The Mini-Hot Dogs came through with a hard fought win at Düsseldorf, who despite having nothing to play for tried hard to win outright. A late goal by Slovenian international Zlatko Dedic assured their survival, although as events happened, a draw would have just been enough.

Erzgebirge Aue needed a win at Heidenheim, but were in trouble. The hosts built up a lead, and the “Veilchen” desperation comeback was too late, and they only got a draw. It wasn’t enough and they go down.

Total attendance 233,507 (avg 25,945), 75.7% capacity, sellouts in K’lautern, Karlsruhe, Berlin, Heidenheim, Darmstadt

1. FC Nürnberg	      -   VfR Aalen	        2:1 (1:0)   30,433

                     1:0  Bulthuis (28., Schöpf)
                     1:1  J. Gjasula (50., Chessa)
                     2:1  G. Burgstaller (87., Kerk)

1. FC Kaiserslautern  -   FC Ingolstadt 04	1:1 (1:0)   49,780 *

                     1:0  Er. Thommy (41., Löwe)
                     1:1  Christiansen (82., P. Groß)

Karlsruher SC	      -   1860 München	        2:0 (1:0)   27,750 *

                     1:0  Bülow (9., own goal, Torres)
                     2:0  Torres (69., Valentini)

Fortuna Düsseldorf    -   FSV Frankfurt	        2:3 (2:2)   30,000

                     0:1  Kapllani (11., Grifo)
                     1:1  Schmitz (13., Hoffer)
                     2:1  Bebou (19.)
                     2:2  Kapllani (21.)
                     2:3  Dedic (83., Golley)

1. FC Union Berlin    -   Eintr. Braunschweig	2:0 (0:0)   21,717 *

                     1:0  Schönheim (48.)
                     2:0  Polter (59., M. Thiel)

VfL Bochum	      -   SV Sandhausen	        0:0 (0:0)   15,560

1. FC Heidenheim      -   Erzgebirge Aue	2:2 (0:0)   15,000 *

                     1:0  K. Kraus (55., Heise)
                     2:0  Leipertz (72., Morabit)
                     2:1  Schönfeld (80., penalty)
                     2:2  Männel (88., Alibaz)

RasenBall. Leipzig    -   SpVgg Greuther Fürth	2:0 (2:0)   27,117

                     1:0  Frahn (29., Poulsen)
                     2:0  D. Kaiser (45., direct freekick)

SV Darmstadt 98	      -   FC St. Pauli	        1:0 (0:0)   16,150 *

                     1:0  Kempe (71., direct freekick)



 1  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	34   17  13  4 	   53:32  +21 	  64 
 2  SV Darmstadt 98 (N)	  	34   15  14  5 	   44:26  +18 	  59
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 3  Karlsruher SC	  	34   15  13  6 	   46:26  +20 	  58
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  1. FC Kaiserslautern	34   14  14  6 	   45:31  +14 	  56 
 5  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N)	34   13  11  10    39:31  +8 	  50 
 6  Eintracht Braunschweig (A)	34   15   5  14    44:41  +3 	  50 
 7  1. FC Union Berlin	  	34   12  11  11    46:51  -5 	  47 
 8  1. FC Heidenheim (N)        34   12  10  12    49:44  +5 	  46 
 9  1. FC Nürnberg (A)	  	34   13   6  15    42:47  -5 	  45 
10  Fortuna Düsseldorf	  	34   11  11  12    48:52  -4 	  44 
11  VfL Bochum	  	        34    9  15  10    53:55  -2 	  42 
12  SV Sandhausen	  	34   10  12  12    32:37  -5 	  39 
13  FSV Frankfurt	  	34   10   9  15    41:53  -12 	  39 
14  SpVgg Greuther Fürth	34    8  13  13    34:42  -8 	  37 
15  FC St. Pauli	  	34   10   7  17    40:51  -11 	  37
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16  1860 München	  	34    9   9  16    41:51  -10 	  36
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17  Erzgebirge Aue	  	34    9   9  16    32:47  -15 	  36 
18  VfR Aalen	  	        34    7  12  15    34:46  -12 	  31



Aalen deducted two points for being wankers, err, financial shenanigans.
Sandhausen deducted 3 points for same issue. 
If Sandhausen survives in 2.Liga, they get subtracted 3 points next season as well

1st line: Promotion to Bundesliga
2nd line: Playoff with 16th Bundesliga
3rd line: Playoff with no.3 of 3.Liga
4th line: Relegation to 3.Liga

A = Absteiger just relegated 
N = Neuling just promoted

BUNDESLIGA, Round 34, FINAL: HSV has another chance, shock for Freiburg

Round 34, May 23

Drama in the last round as the relegation battles feature great escapes and tears.

Hamburger SV was a winner as they still are alive, and will face the 2.Liga 3rd place finisher Karlsruhe in a playoff. Last year they did the same, barely surviving over Greuther Fürth.

The big loser was Freiburg. The Briesgauer travelled to hannover needing only a draw. In reality, the way things turned out, the 96ers could have settled for a point as well. But they didn’t know that at the start, and immediately jumped out to the lead. Things went back and forth until a late own goal sealed SCF’s fate. Nils Petersen pulled one back in injury time, but it wasn;t enough and SCF takes the bitter road down.

Stuttgart was the big winner, and Daniel Ginczek the hero keeping them in the Bundesliga. In the match at Paderborn, it was clear that the loser was going down, and Paderborn jumpe first getting the goal that kept hope alive. Stuttgart equalized, and the rest of the match was a tense battle, since a draw meant both were finished. In the end, VfB grabbed the win and a miracle escape.

Hertha lost in Hoffenheim, but events made the result moot. Berlin survives barely, mainly because Hannover and Freiburg didn’t draw.

Borussia Dortmund had an entertaining match against Bremen, as the fans said goodbye to Sebastian Kehl and coach Jürgen Klopp. The Neons attacked like in old times, Bremen countered like they have done most of the season.

Bayern München had an easy time winning against Mainz, neither having anything to play for.

Gladbach laid an egg against Augsburg. They had already done the hard work for Champions League, and were pretty flat. The Fuggers needed a result to ensure their Euroliga status, and went out and grabbed it. Despite trailing, the visitors came to life when Gladbach’s Nordveit got his ass tossed after an hour, and the home side lost the lead and the match.

Big crowds for the final week of action:
Total attendance 461,527 (avg 51,281), 99.8% capacity. Only match not a sellout in Köln!

 	
Bayern München	      -   1. FSV Mainz 05	2:0 (1:0)   75,000 *

                     1:0  Lewandowski (25., Hand penalty)
                     2:0  B. Schweinsteiger (48., Lewandowski)

Borussia Dortmund     -   Werder Bremen	        3:2 (3:1)   80,667 *

                     1:0  Kagawa (15., Gündogan)
                     2:0  Aubameyang (17., Kagawa)
                     2:1  Öztunali (26., Junuzovic)
                     3:1  H. Mkhitaryan (42., Kagawa)
                     3:2  Gebre Selassie (85., Junuzovic)

Bor. Mönchengladbach  -   FC Augsburg	        1:3 (1:0)   54,010 *

                     1:0  Raffael (36., Herrmann)
                     1:1  Höjbjerg (72.)
                     1:2  Matavz (77., S. Parker)
                     1:3  Mölders (90. + 5, Matavz)

TSG Hoffenheim	      -   Hertha BSC	        2:1 (1:0)   30,150 *

                     1:0  Modeste (8., Roberto Firmino)
                     1:1  Beerens (72.)
                     2:1  Roberto Firmino (80., Abraham)

Hannover 96	      -   SC Freiburg	        2:1 (1:0)   49,000 *

                     1:0  Kiyotake (3., Albornoz)
                     2:0  Krmas (84., own goal, Briand)
                     2:1  Petersen (90. + 2, Mitrovic)

Eintracht Frankfurt   -   Bayer 04 Leverkusen	2:1 (2:1)   51,500 *

                     1:0  Seferovic (4., Russ)
                     1:1  Bellarabi (6., Brandt)
                     2:1  Madlung (39.)

Hamburger SV	      -   FC Schalke 04	        2:0 (0:0)   57,000 *

                     1:0  Olic (49., Djourou)
                     2:0  Rajkovic (58., Holtby)

1. FC Köln	      -   VfL Wolfsburg	        2:2 (1:2)   49,200

                     1:0  Osako (3., Risse)
                     1:1  Luiz Gustavo (8., Perisic)
                     1:2  Perisic (15., D. Caligiuri)
                     2:2  Knoche (61., own goal, Risse)

SC Paderborn 07	      -   VfB Stuttgart	        1:2 (1:1)   15,000 *

                     1:0  Vucinovic (4., Lakic)
                     1:1  Didavi (36.)
                     1:2  Ginczek (72., Maxim)



 1  Bayern München (M, P)	34   25   4  5 	   80:18  +62 	  79 
 2  VfL Wolfsburg	  	34   20   9  5 	   72:38  +34 	  69 
 3  Bor. Mönchengladbach	34   19   9  6 	   53:26  +27 	  66
 4  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	34   17  10  7 	   62:37  +25 	  61
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  FC Augsburg	  	        34   15   4  15    43:43   0 	  49 
 6  FC Schalke 04	  	34   13   9  12    42:40  +2 	  48
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  Borussia Dortmund	  	34   13   7  14    47:42  +5 	  46 
 8  TSG Hoffenheim	  	34   12   8  14    49:55  -6 	  44 
 9  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	34   11  10  13    56:62  -6 	  43 
10  Werder Bremen	  	34   11  10  13    50:65  -15 	  43 
11  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	34    9  13  12    45:47  -2 	  40 
12  1. FC Köln (N)	  	34    9  13  12    34:40  -6 	  40 
13  Hannover 96	  	        34    9  10  15    40:56  -16 	  37 
14  VfB Stuttgart	  	34    9   9  16    42:60  -18 	  36 
15  Hertha BSC Berlin	  	34    9   8  17    36:52  -16 	  35
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16  Hamburger SV	  	34    9   8  17    25:50  -25 	  35
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17  SC Freiburg	  	        34    7  13  14    36:47  -11 	  34 
18  SC Paderborn 07 (N)	  	34    7  10  17    31:65  -34 	  31


M = Meister, defending Champion
P = Pokalsieger, Cup winner
N = Neuling, just promoted