BUNDESLIGA, Round 31

(Details to follow)

Eintracht Frankfurt   -   Hannover 96	        2:3 (1:3)
Borussia Dortmund     -   1. FSV Mainz 05	4:2 (2:1)
Werder Bremen	      -   1899 Hoffenheim	3:1 (1:1)
SC Freiburg	      -   Bor. Mönchengladbach	4:2 (0:1)
FC Augsburg	      -   Hertha BSC	        0:0 (0:0)
Eintr. Braunschweig   -   Bayern München	0:2 (0:0)
Hamburger SV	      -   VfL Wolfsburg	        1:3 (0:2) 

Sunday:
1. FC Nürnberg	      -   Bayer 04 Leverkusen	-:- (-:-)
VfB Stuttgart	      -   FC Schalke 04	        -:- (-:-)


 1  Bayern München (M, P)	31   26  3  2 	  84:20  +64 	  81 
 2  Borussia Dortmund	  	31   20  4  7 	  71:34  +37 	  64 
 3  FC Schalke 04	  	30   17  7  6 	  56:38  +18 	  58
 4  VfL Wolfsburg	  	31   16  5  10 	  56:46  +10 	  53
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 5  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	30   16  3  11 	  50:37  +13 	  51 
 6  Bor. Mönchengladbach	31   14  7  10 	  54:39  +15 	  49
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 7  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	31   14  5  12 	  46:49  -3 	  47
 8  FC Augsburg	  	        31   12  7  12 	  41:45  -4 	  43 
 9  1899 Hoffenheim	  	31   10  10 11 	  67:66  +1 	  40 
10  Hertha BSC Berlin (N)	31   10  8  13 	  38:42  -4 	  38 
11  Werder Bremen	  	31    9  9  13 	  37:59  -22 	  36 
12  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	31    9  8  14 	  39:53  -14 	  35 
13  SC Freiburg	  	        31    9  8  14 	  39:54  -15 	  35 
14  Hannover 96	  	        31   10  5  16 	  41:57  -16 	  35 
15  VfB Stuttgart	  	30    7  7  16 	  45:58  -13 	  28
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16  Hamburger SV	  	31    7  6  18 	  47:65  -18 	  27
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17  1. FC Nürnberg	  	30    5  11 14 	  35:58  -23 	  26 
18  Eintracht Braunschweig (N)	31    6  7  18 	  28:54  -26 	  25


1st line: Champions League
2nd line: Europaliga (+ Cup winner)
3rd line: Playoff with 2.Liga 3rd place
4th line: Relegation to 2.Liga

3.Liga, Round 35: RedBull on tap

The top seems now decided, and one spot in relegation is still “down-for-grabs”…

RedBull money has made it’s mark as the RasenBallsportler have perhaps taken the decisive step to promotion. A large crowd showed up in Leipzig to watch the critical match against Darmstadt. The winner would likely get the auto-promotion spot. The home side actually looked the better team, controlling most of the match. However Darmstadt did make things interesting at the end, as they desperately searched for an equalizer. On the balance, Leipzig deserved the win, and although some may gripe about corporate sponsorship, the players played hard, and the local fans finally have something to cheer about.

Under somewhat quieter circumstances, leaders Heidenheim officially gained promotion with their point and Darmstadt’s loss. It wasn’t easy, as they faced a desperate Elversberg side that is struggling against relegation. SVE not only grabbed a lead, but Heidenheim was down a man at half when veteran Michael Thurk got his ass red carded. But the champions-to-be showed their mettle and managed to come back and salvage a point.

Hardly anyone was watching the match in Stuttgart, but VfB-II took a big step in staying up and dropped Unterhaching back into the zone.

The battle for 4th (and DFB-Cup qualifying) heated up as Duisburg had a somewhat fortunate win over Osnabrück. the Zebras have been strong at hoem recently, and despite some advantages, Osnabrück couldn’t gain anything. Looks like four teams are going down to the wire for this position. Wehen has claimed it for now, with a hard win over Chemnitz. But Duisburg and Kickers Stuttgart are lurking right behind and could seize the opportunity.

Burghausen needed a win, but they were crap against Rostock. That pretty much sends them down.

Kiel got outplayed at home, but managed to hold a draw with Regensburg. Usually the Storks are strong in the Holstein-Stadion, but it was their GK Niklas Jakusch who saved the day with a great performance. Kiel looks pretty safe, becuase their superior goal difference essentially gives them 5 points above relegation.

Rot Weiß Erfurt	     -   Borussia Dortmund II	3:1 (0:0)    5,404
VfB Stuttgart II     -   SpVgg Unterhaching	3:2 (0:0)      935
MSV Duisburg	     -   VfL Osnabrück	        1:0 (0:0)   13,102
Hallescher FC        -   Stuttgarter Kickers	1:1 (0:1)   11,108
Wacker Burghausen    -   Hansa Rostock	        0:1 (0:1)    2,300
RedBullsport Leipzig -   SV Darmstadt 98        1:0 (1:0)   39,147 
SV Wehen Wiesbaden   -   Chemnitzer FC	        1:0 (1:0)    2,565
Holstein Kiel	     -   Jahn Regensburg        0:0 (0:0)    5,339
SV Elversberg	     -   1. FC Heidenheim	1:1 (1:0)    1,886
Preußen Münster	     -   1. FC Saarbrücken	-:- (-:-)


 1  1. FC Heidenheim	  	35   22  10  3 	   57:23  +34 	  76 
 2  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N)	35   21  7   7 	   56:32  +24 	  70
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 3  SV Darmstadt 98	  	35   19  9   7 	   54:25  +29 	  66
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 4  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	35   14  10  11    38:41  -3 	  52 
 5  VfL Osnabrück	  	35   14  9   12    49:36  +13 	  51 
 6  MSV Duisburg (A)	  	35   13  12  10    41:37  +4 	  51 
 7  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	35   13  11  11    43:40  +3 	  50 
 8  Hallescher FC	  	35   13  8   14    44:48  -4 	  47 
 9  Hansa Rostock	  	35   13  8   14    43:52  -9 	  47 
10  Rot Weiß Erfurt	  	35   13  7   15    50:46  +4 	  46 
11  Preußen Münster	  	34   11  13  10    49:46  +3 	  46 
12  Jahn Regensburg (A)	  	35   12  10  13    50:50   0 	  46 
13  Chemnitzer FC	  	35   11  11  13    40:44  -4 	  44 
14  Borussia Dortmund II	35   11  9   15    43:51  -8 	  42 
15  Holstein Kiel (N)	  	35    9  14  12    38:35  +3 	  41 
16  VfB Stuttgart II	  	35   11  8   16    43:53  -10 	  41 
17  SV Elversberg (N)	  	35   10  8   17    31:50  -19 	  38
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18  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	35    9  10  16    43:62  -19 	  37 
19  1. FC Saarbrücken	  	34    8  7   19    36:54  -18 	  31 
20  Wacker Burghausen	  	35    7  9   19    32:55  -23 	  30


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

DFB-Pokal: Standard final on tap

The semifinals of the German Cup provided no surprises, and the final that folks want to see is on tap.

Borussia Dortmund defeated Wolfsburg in an exciting encounter. Although the VWs had their chances, they generally were too wasteful, whereas Dortmund was brutally efficient when they needed to be. The Neons were never looking like they would drop this match, despite moments of Wolfie pressure.

Defending Cup winner Bayern München was expected to have an easy time against 2.Liga side 1.FC Kaiserslautern. They did. It was over by halftime. FCK tried their best, but were clearly out of their league. If Bayern had really pressed, it could have turned into a slaughter. Bayern did put out a maximum strength squad., perhaps a reaction to their spanking by Dortmund in their last Bundesliga match. The only theoretical weakpoint was at GK, as youth player Lukas Raeder got the start, as both Manuel Neuer and Tom Starke were out injured. Not that it really mattered.

Both matches were sold out, which is a minor surprise, since Cup attendance is often less than capacity for Bundesliga sides hosting…

Borussia Dortmund   -   VfL Wolfsburg           2:0 (2:0)   80,645 *

                   1:0  H. Mkhitaryan (12., Reus)
                   2:0  Lewandowski (43., Reus)


Bayern München	    - 	1. FC Kaiserslautern    5:1 (3:0)   71,000 *

                   1:0  Schweinsteiger (24., Robben)
                   2:0  T. Kroos (32., Robben)
                   3:0  T. Müller (50., penalty, Robben)
                   3:1  Zoller (60., Dick)
                   4:1  Mandzukic (78., M. Götze)
                   5:1  M. Götze (90. + 1, Ribery)

BUNDESLIGA, Round 30: Bayern going down!

OK, hardly that dramatic. But Bayern really got owned for the first time in about 2 years, as they crashed at home against Dortmund. It was a typical Bayern match, with them dominating possession, but the Neons weren’t impressed. They played patient defense and launched quick counter strikes. The visitors were confident, even to the point of not starting Robert Lewandowski, who of course is going to Bayern next season. They really didn’t miss him, as they executed their plan perfectly and played to their capabilities, winning in impressive form.

Stuttgart was the only bottom club that helped themselves out, but it should have been more. VfB was the better team at Gladbach, but wasted some good chances to finish off the match. Instead Gladbach got a late goal to salvage a point that they probably didn’t deserve.

Hannover dominated Hamburg in a tense Nordderby. The 96ers should have put the match away early, but instead found themselves faced with a draw. A late surge finally put them over the top and gives them some breathing space. HSV did squat, although young star Calhanoglu did knock in a direct free kick that almost got them a point.

Wolfsburg fell behind at the start against Nürnberg, but really didn’t seem bothered. The VWs stuck to their plan and gradually overran the visitors, who were shaky in defense and no-shows on offense. So it was only a matter of time until the Wolfs kicked their ass all over the field for an easy win.

Freiburg did enough to get a win in a critical relegation matchup against Braunschweig. However they almost turned off the gas too early. They were coasting along but switched to “off” mode after an hour. Eintracht then dominated the remaining time, but didn’t utilize their chances which might have got them a point. But with the win Freiburg looks almost secure from trouble, Braunschweig is still in it, but time is running out.

Bremen self-destructed early at Mainz and it was over. Luckily for Werder, mainz was a gracious host and didn’t press on in the 2nd half, otherwise it would have been an embarrassing rout.

Leverkusen did enough to get the win against Berlin, although it was hardly impressive. Hertha has been dicking around for about 8 matches (without a win), so it wasn’t a huge challenge. But the Aspirins are trying to hold off Wolfsburg, so every point counts.

Hoffenheim put an end to any Euro hopes for Augsburg. The Fuggers “run,run,run” strategy didn’t impress the Hoppers too much, as they used superior technique to control the match and essentially put it away in the first half.

Total attendance 377,387 (avg 41,932), sellouts in Gelsenkirchen (Schalke), Gladbach, Hannover, Freiburg and München

 	
FC Schalke 04	      -   Eintracht Frankfurt	2:0 (0:0)   61,973 *

                     1:0  M. Meyer (59., Huntelaar)
                     2:0  Farfan (90. + 1, direct freekick)

Bor. Mönchengladbach  -   VfB Stuttgart	        1:1 (0:1)   53,560 *

                     0:1  Didavi (12., Werner)
                     1:1  Arango (89., M. Kruse)

Hannover 96	      -   Hamburger SV	        2:1 (1:0)   49,000 *

                     1:0  Stindl (9., Prib)
                     1:1  Calhanoglu (48., direct freekick)
                     2:1  Ya Konan (86., Rudnevs)

VfL Wolfsburg	      -   1. FC Nürnberg	4:1 (2:1)   28,431

                     0:1  Feulner (8., Kiyotake)
                     1:1  Olic (19., de Bruyne)
                     2:1  Perisic (22., de Bruyne)
                     3:1  Junior Malanda (69., Arnold)
                     4:1  Perisic (82., Olic)

SC Freiburg	      -   Eintr. Braunschweig	2:0 (1:0)   24,000 *

                     1:0  Vrancic (8., own goal, Sorg)
                     2:0  Schuster (48.)

1. FSV Mainz 05	      -   Werder Bremen	        3:0 (3:0)   33,597

                     1:0  Petersen (5., own goal, Geis)
                     2:0  Moritz (16.)
                     3:0  Malli (39., Pospech)

Bayern München	      -   Borussia Dortmund	0:3 (0:1)   71,000 *

                     0:1  H. Mkhitaryan (20., Reus)
                     0:2  Reus (49., Aubameyang)
                     0:3  Hofmann (56., Sokratis)

Bayer 04 Leverkusen   -   Hertha BSC	        2:1 (2:1)   29,377

                     1:0  Kießling (1., Donati)
                     2:0  Brandt (24., Son)
                     2:1  Wagner (38., Cigerci)

1899 Hoffenheim	      -   FC Augsburg	        2:0 (2:0)   26,449

                     1:0  Salihovic (19., direct freekick)
                     2:0  Vestergaard (41.)



 1  Bayern München (M, P)	30   25  3  2 	  82:20  +62 	  78 
 2  Borussia Dortmund	  	30   19  4  7 	  67:32  +35 	  61 
 3  FC Schalke 04	  	30   17  7  6 	  56:38  +18 	  58
 4  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	30   16  3  11 	  50:37  +13 	  51
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 5  VfL Wolfsburg	  	30   15  5  10 	  53:45  +8 	  50
 6  Bor. Mönchengladbach	30   14  7  9 	  52:35  +17 	  49 
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 7  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	30   14  5  11 	  44:45  -1 	  47 
 8  FC Augsburg	  	        30   12  6  12 	  41:45  -4 	  42 
 9  1899 Hoffenheim	  	30   10  10 10 	  66:63  +3 	  40 
10  Hertha BSC Berlin (N)	30   10  7  13 	  38:42  -4 	  37 
11  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	30    9  8  13 	  37:50  -13 	  35 
12  Werder Bremen	  	30    8  9  13 	  34:58  -24 	  33 
13  Hannover 96	  	        30    9  5  16 	  38:55  -17 	  32 
14  SC Freiburg	  	        30    8  8  14 	  35:52  -17 	  32 
15  VfB Stuttgart	  	30    7  7  16 	  45:58  -13 	  28
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16  Hamburger SV	  	30    7  6  17 	  46:62  -16 	  27
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17  1. FC Nürnberg	  	30    5  11 14 	  35:58  -23 	  26 
18  Eintracht Braunschweig (N)	30    6  7  17 	  28:52  -24 	  25



1st line: Champions League
2nd line: Europaliga (+ Cup winner)
3rd line: Playoff with 2.Liga 3rd place
4th line: Relegation to 2.Liga

2.Liga, Round 30

Leaders Köln continue their march to the Bundesliga and mathematically eliminate Union Berlin. Actually, Union had already missed the plane, train and automobile to promotion. They were trying a bicycle, but were down to a unicycle with a flat tire. They’d faded from a promising season several weeks ago. So it was only pride in a sold out Alte Försterei. Union fought hard, and you could say that Köln’s win was somewhat lucky, but the leaders did show the usual solid defense and Patrick Helmes did the rest.

Greuther Fürth managed to hold 2nd in a tough win against Aue. The home side dominated, but were chasing the visitors, who proved a hard nut to crack.

Paderborn took a huge step towards promotion as they defended their spot and won at Ingolstadt, who are very difficult to beat. They actually had their backs against the wall facing the Schanzer, who were pressing to get a win. But the Westfalen showed discipline and will, and got a crucial win. This sets up the massive clash with Greuther Fürth next week, which may decide the assured Bundesliga spot.

Kaiserslautern maintained hope in the promotion race as they won in silly injury time at St.Pauli. It was a wild, hard fought match that probably ended the Hamburgers hopes.

Bielefeld need ed a win against Karlsruhe, but it was a rather lame match with few chances. Things are looking pretty grim for Arminia, with only the playoff as a chance of staying up.

Düsseldorf ended any relegation worries with a solid win over Aalen.

FSV Frankfurt played one of their worst home matches and were shredded by Sandhausen. The visitors were a step quicker and looked like they wanted it, whereas the Bornheimer had no clue. They still are looking nervously over their should, as they could still get caught by one of the bottom three.

Bochum overcame a crap 1st half and pulled out a win over Cottbus. This looks to be just enough to secure their 2.Liga status, and probably drove the final nail in Energie’s coffin.

On Monday, Dresden dumped a lame 1860 squad by blowing them out of the water right at the start. Dynamo did whatever they pleased and 1860 meeked agreed. This is huge for Dynamo, as they are back in range of a safe spot. However it does mean that they’ve pretty much condemned Cottbus to the drop, as even the playoff seems out of reach for the Lausitzer.

 	
1. FC Union Berlin    -   1. FC Köln  	        1:2 (1:1)   21,717 *

                     1:0  Dausch (10., Pfertzel)
                     1:1  Helmes (26., penalty, Peszko)
                     1:2  Helmes (59., direct freekick)

FC St. Pauli	      -   1. FC Kaiserslautern	2:3 (1:1)   29,063 *

                     1:0  Verhoek (15., Rzatkowski)
                     1:1  Lakic (31., direct freekick)
                     1:2  Karl (61., Torrejon)
                     2:2  Kringe (89., Maier)
                     2:3  Jenssen (90. + 7, Karl)

FC Ingolstadt 04      -   SC Paderborn 07	1:2 (1:1)    4,536

                     1:0  Morales (5.)
                     1:1  Bakalorz (36., Krösche)
                     1:2  Kachunga (81.)

SpVgg Greuther Fürth  -   Erzgebirge Aue	2:1 (1:1)   12,310

                     0:1  Luksik (17., direct freekick)
                     1:1  Brosinski (38.)
                     2:1  Azemi (58., Pledl)

Arminia Bielefeld     -   Karlsruher SC	        0:0 (0:0)   14,349

Fortuna Düsseldorf    -   VfR Aalen	        3:1 (1:0)   28,377

                     1:0  Halloran (44.)
                     2:0  Benschop (65., penalty, Bodzek)
                     3:0  Golley (74., Benschop)
                     3:1  Junglas (83., Traut)


FSV Frankfurt	      -   SV Sandhausen	        0:3 (0:2)    6,847

                     0:1  Jovanovic (27., Achenbach)
                     0:2  Adler (44., Achenbach)
                     0:3  Jovanovic (66., Adler)

VfL Bochum	      -   Energie Cottbus	2:1 (0:1)   11,779

                     0:1  Takyi (28., Jendrisek)
                     1:1  Kreyer (61., Fabian)
                     2:1  Sukuta-Pasu (74., penalty)


Monday:
Dynamo Dresden	      -   1860 München	        4:2 (4:1)   27,344

                     1:0  Kempe (5., direct freekick)
                     2:0  Ouali (11., Poté)
                     3:0  Koch (20., Poté)
                     3:1  Losilla (26., own goal, Osako)
                     4:1  Koch (44., Ouali)
                     4:2  Adlung (89., Vallori)
 	


 1  1. FC Köln	  	        30   17  10 3 	  45:16  +29 	  61 
 2  SpVgg Greuther Fürth (A)	30   15  8  7 	  53:34  +19 	  53
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 3  SC Paderborn 07	  	30   15  7  8 	  55:45  +10 	  52
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 4  1. FC Kaiserslautern	30   13  8  9 	  45:32  +13 	  47 
 5  FC St. Pauli	  	30   13  7  10 	  41:39  +2 	  46 
 6  Karlsruher SC (N)	  	30   11  12 7 	  40:27  +13 	  45 
 7  SV Sandhausen	  	30   12  8  10 	  29:26  +3 	  44 
 8  1. FC Union Berlin	  	30   11  9  10 	  44:39  +5 	  42 
 9  Fortuna Düsseldorf (A)	30   10  10 10 	  32:40  -8 	  40 
10  1860 München	  	30   10  8  12 	  31:38  -7 	  38 
11  VfL Bochum	  	        30   10  7  13 	  27:34  -7 	  37
12  Erzgebirge Aue	  	30   10  7  13 	  38:46  -8 	  37 
13  VfR Aalen	  	        30    9  10 11 	  29:37  -8 	  37 
14  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	30    9  9  12 	  29:32  -3 	  36 
15  FSV Frankfurt	  	30    9  7  14 	  39:47  -8 	  34
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16  Dynamo Dresden	  	30    5  16 9 	  32:42  -10 	  31
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17  Arminia Bielefeld (N)	30    7  7  16 	  32:53  -21 	  28 
18  Energie Cottbus	  	30    6  6  18 	  33:47  -14 	  24


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

3.Liga, Round 34: Haching makes a move

Unterhaching got the huge win in the relegation battle with Elversberg. The two sides met in this critical six pointer in the München suburbs, and the home side really dominated the match and came away with a solid win. This allows them to vault over the Saarland side by a single goal-difference margin.

Saarbrücken showed signs of life and blasted a lame Halle squad. It’s really “too little, too late”, as it seems like the relegation train already left the station.

Darmstadt took 2nd on Saturday by upending Burghausen. With key striker Domink Stroh-Engel on a card ban, the 98ers struggled to make their pressure pay off, it took almost an hour. They were never in jeopardy, as Wacker is too crap, but they would have certainly added several more if their goal-getter had been playing.

Leipzig barely held onto 2nd place. The RedBulls were in trouble against Dortmund’s U23. Perhaps because coach Jürgen Klopp was watching, the youngsters were out to impress, and were all over the favored moneybaggers. It took a fine comeback late from the RasenBallsportler to avoid defeat and giving up 2nd place to Darmstadt.

Leaders Heidenheim continue to march. Kiel hoped to catenaccio their way out, and things got more difficult when they went down a man after 40 minutes. Eventually the pressure caused the exhausted Holsteiners to collapse and they got slapped. They still need to be worried about the relegation struggle.

Chemnitz likely said goodbye to any relegation worries with a powerful ass-kicking of a surprisingly lame Erfurt squad.

Total attendance 60,193 (avg 6,019)

 	
Stuttgarter Kickers  -   MSV Duisburg	        2:0 (1:0)    4,150
1. FC Saarbrücken    -   Hallescher FC	        3:0 (2:0)    4,553
VfL Osnabrück	     -   VfB Stuttgart II	3:0 (1:0)    8,059
SpVgg Unterhaching   -   SV Elversberg	        2:0 (2:0)    2,800
1. FC Heidenheim     -   Holstein Kiel	        3:0 (0:0)   11,000
Jahn Regensburg	     -   SV Wehen Wiesbaden	3:0 (1:0)    2,868
SV Darmstadt 98	     -   Wacker Burghausen	1:0 (0:0)   10,200
Hansa Rostock	     -   Preußen Münster	2:4 (1:1)    6,500
Chemnitzer FC	     -   Rot Weiß Erfurt	4:0 (3:0)    6,024
Borussia Dortmund II -   RedBull Leipzig	3:3 (2:1)    4,039


 1  1. FC Heidenheim	  	34   22  9  3 	  56:22  +34 	  75 
 2  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N)	34   20  7  7 	  55:32  +23 	  67
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 3  SV Darmstadt 98	  	34   19  9  6 	  54:24  +30 	  66
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 4  VfL Osnabrück	  	34   14  9  11 	  49:35  +14 	  51 
 5  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	34   13  10 11 	  42:39  +3 	  49 
 6  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	34   13  10 11 	  37:41  -4 	  49 
 7  MSV Duisburg (A)	  	34   12  12 10 	  40:37  +3 	  48 
 8  Preußen Münster	  	34   11  13 10 	  49:46  +3 	  46 
 9  Hallescher FC	  	34   13  7  14 	  43:47  -4 	  46 
10  Jahn Regensburg (A)	  	34   12  9  13 	  50:50   0 	  45 
11  Chemnitzer FC	  	34   11  11 12 	  40:43  -3 	  44 
12  Hansa Rostock	  	34   12  8  14 	  42:52  -10 	  44 
13  Rot Weiß Erfurt	  	34   12  7  15 	  47:45  +2 	  43 
14  Borussia Dortmund II	34   11  9  14 	  39:45  -6 	  42 
15  Holstein Kiel (N)	  	34    9  13 12 	  38:35  +3 	  40 
16  VfB Stuttgart II	  	34   10  8  16 	  40:51  -11 	  38 
17  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	34    9  10 15 	  41:59  -18 	  37
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18  SV Elversberg (N)	  	34   10  7  17 	  30:49  -19 	  37 
19  1. FC Saarbrücken	  	34    8  7  19 	  36:54  -18 	  31 
20  Wacker Burghausen	  	34    7  9  18 	  32:54  -22 	  30


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 29: Köln almost there

Köln is marching to the Bundesliga, and they eventually overpowered a desperate Bielefeld side. The leaders dominated the 1st half and deserved their lead. Arminia came out in the 2nd half with all guns blazing and seemed close to equalizing. But Köln weathered the storm and finished off their relegation threatened visitors, and may have sealed both their fates. Köln’s success is largely due to their superb defense. Usually the promoted sides have much better attacks than the other clubs, but the leaders have basically been able to stop opponents from scoring – only 15 goals allowed in 29 matches!

Paderborn laid an egg as they lost at home against Düsseldorf. It was a hard fought match, as Fortuna is trying to get the points to secure their 2.Liga status. The homeside couldn’t control the match, and was mostly dangerous in dead ball situations. Düsseldorf kept on coming like a bad dream and eventually crapped all over Paderborn’s parade. This loss opened the door for others to hop back into the promotion race, while the win probably gives Fortuna the security for next season.

St.Pauli took advantage of Paderborn’s patzer, and got back in the promotion race. But it took a desperate comeback at in-form Sandhausen, where they were on the brink of defeat. A hard fought match and a furious endspurt gave the Paulistas a crucial away win.

Kaiserslautern missed their chance to get back into the promotion race. FCK had some possession advatange against struggling Bochum, but the guests actually had the better chances. Overall, a draw makes sense, and the Devils may rue this performance. For Bochum, with a little more ambition they could have all 3 points. As it is, they remain six points above the drop zone, almost safe.

1860′s coach Friedhelm Funkel announced his leaving at and of season, and based on today’s performances, he’s not missing much. Visiting Karlsruhe totally outplayed the toothless Lions, and Rouwen Hennings even got a hat-trick.

Aue ended any relegation worries with a win in the eastern derby with Berlin. The main talking point in this one was that all three penalties were somewhat dubious. Overall though, it was a pretty exciting game and Erxgebirge gets some kudos for getting the win.

A rare full house in Cottbus, for the ex-DDR derby against Dresden. Both sides desperately needed the win in the relegation battle, so it makes sense that neither side gets it. The relegation battle is almost over now.

 	
Energie Cottbus	   -   Dynamo Dresden	        0:0 (0:0)   18,500 *

VfR Aalen	   -   FSV Frankfurt	        2:1 (1:0)   11,128

                  1:0  Lechleiter (33., Traut)
                  1:1  Roshi (61., Leckie)
                  2:1  Reichwein (85., Leandro)

SC Paderborn 07	   -   Fortuna Düsseldorf	1:2 (0:1)   14,788 *

                  0:1  Halloran (42., Liendl)
                  1:1  Meha (53., direct freekick)
                  1:2  Hoffer (76., Golley)

1. FC Köln	   -   Arminia Bielefeld	2:0 (1:0)   48,900

                  1:0  D. Halfar (12.)
                  2:0  Ujah (75., Finne)
   	  	
SV Sandhausen	   -   FC St. Pauli	        2:3 (0:0)    8,050

                  1:0  D. Blum (50., Linsmayer)
                  1:1  Gonther (55., Maier)
                  2:1  Adler (70.)
                  2:2  Schachten (76., Halstenberg)
                  2:3  Rzatkowski (79.)

 	
1. FC Kaiserslautern  -   VfL Bochum	        1:1 (1:1)   26,916

                     0:1  Sukuta-Pasu (43., Latza)
                     1:1  Idrissou (45., Matmour)

1860 München	      -   Karlsruher SC	        0:3 (0:2)   19,100

                     0:1  Hennings (19., penalty, Gordon)
                     0:2  Hennings (32., Klingmann)
                     0:3  Hennings (53., Park)

Erzgebirge Aue	      -   1. FC Union Berlin	3:2 (2:2)   12,000

                     0:1  Mattuschka (24., penalty, Puncec)
                     1:1  Sylvestr (30., penalty, Löning)
                     2:1  Nickenig (33., Benatelli)
                     2:2  Skrzybski (40., Mattuschka)
                     3:2  Sylvestr (72., penalty, S. Okoronkwo)

FC Ingolstadt 04      -   SpVgg Greuther Fürth	0:0 (0:0)    7,236			 



 1  1. FC Köln	  	        29   16  10  3 	  43:15  +28 	  58 
 2  SpVgg Greuther Fürth (A)	29   14  8   7 	  51:33  +18 	  50
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  SC Paderborn 07	  	29   14  7   8 	  53:44  +9 	  49
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  FC St. Pauli	  	29   13  7   9 	  39:36  +3 	  46 
 5  Karlsruher SC (N)	  	29   11  11  7 	  40:27  +13 	  44 
 6  1. FC Kaiserslautern	29   12  8   9 	  42:30  +12 	  44 
 7  1. FC Union Berlin	  	29   11  9   9 	  43:37  +6 	  42 
 8  SV Sandhausen	  	29   11  8  10 	  26:26   0 	  41 
 9  1860 München	  	29   10  8  11 	  29:34  -5 	  38 
10  VfR Aalen	  	        29    9  10 10 	  28:34  -6 	  37 
11  Erzgebirge Aue	  	29   10  7  12 	  37:44  -7 	  37 
12  Fortuna Düsseldorf (A)	29    9  10 10 	  29:39  -10 	  37 
13  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	29    9  9  11 	  28:30  -2 	  36 
14  FSV Frankfurt	  	29    9  7  13 	  39:44  -5 	  34 
15  VfL Bochum	  	        29    9  7  13 	  25:33  -8 	  34
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Dynamo Dresden	  	29    4  16  9 	  28:40  -12 	  28
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  Arminia Bielefeld (N)	29    7  6  16 	  32:53  -21 	  27 
18  Energie Cottbus	  	29    6  6  17 	  32:45  -13 	  24



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

BUNDESLIGA, Round 29: Bayern loses!

No matter what else happened this weekend, it’s Bayern losing that is the headline. For this first time in 53 Bundesliga matches, the champions went down – against Augsburg!!

Bayern of course didn’t start their A squad – they had 3 players from their youth setup in the lineup – but it was still a pretty strong team. Augsburg did their usual run-till-you-drop effort, and despite dominant possession from München, they kept things under control and withstood constant Bayern pressure after Sascha Mölders gave the Fuggers the lead. Overall, a great win for Augsburg, certainly their best campaign in club history. I suppose Bayern could give a hoot, looking ahead to Champions League matches. Still, it’s nice to see them stopped in the Bundesliga.

Hamburg got a critical win as they upended Leverkusen, who have been sinking fast. The Aspirin’s board took stock of their recent string of failures and fired coach Sami Hyypiä. Rene Adler had looked to throw away the win that HSV had fought so hard, as he let a shot bounce off him into the goal. HSV had been the better team until then, but the visitors smelled blood and went for the win. But veteran Heiko Westermann saved HSV by organizing the defense in the critical minutes, and then scored the winner himself at the end. Huge points, although Hamburg still remains in the relegation playoff. Leverkusen has now been passed by Gladbach for the Champions League, and have others breathing down their neck for even Europe.

Stuttgart got a huge win in a relegation battle in a regional derby with Freiburg. VfB had been total crap, but they came out strong in the 1st half. However, they got nothing, and SCF was beginning to take control in the 2nd period. The difference was when Romanian international Alex Maxim entered after an hour, as he quickly scored and then setup the decisive goal at the end.

Nürnberg dominated the first half against Gladbach. In fact, it was somewhat of an insult that the visitors had the lead. But der Club missed some promising chances and was in trouble. You might have expected them to try even harder after the restart, but instead they were oddly flat, and Borussia began to equalize the match. Max Kruse finished them off on a penalty, and a huge loss was sealed for Nürnberg.

Dortmund holds 2nd with a comeback win over Wolfsburg. It happened in a semi-tragic manner. VW GK Max Grün (in for the injured Benaglio) secured the ball off a cross, but his own defender ran into him, and the ball popped out. Marco Reus didn’t even bother to say “Dankeschön” and knocked in the garbage. Wolfsburg had totally outplayed the Neons in the first half, had a lead and even could have finished off the match – Olic hit the crossbar twice. But you waste, and you get punished. Dortmund re-grouped and laid siege to the visitors goal in the 2nd period. Wolfsburg probably deserved at least a draw. But you have to credit Dortmund for re-focusing. They looked shell-shocked from their ass-whupping in Madrid, and were getting run over on the autobahn by the Volkswagens. But they woke up in time to salvage the match and open up an advantage over Schalke.

Schalke was in a difficult match in Bremen. Werder can be total crap or quite decent. They were the latter today, and played a strong match. There really wasn’t much more to gain for Schalke, as the hosts fully deserved the point in this hard fought duel.

Frankfurt has probably done enough for salvation as they blanked Mainz in a regional derby. The Mainzers had been decent, but looked flat. Frankfurt heroes Joselu and Meier got the goals that give Eintracht some breathing space, a deserved victory.

The critical match on Sunday was the Niedersachsen derby between neighbors Braunschweig and Hannover. Braunschweig seized their last chance to stay around with a clear win, and Hannover falls back into the relegation mire. The Lions grabbed an early lead, and the 96ers were totally incompetant, so it ended up a relatively easy victory for Eintracht.

In the “who cares?” dept, Berlin and Hoffenheim played to a draw. It actually was a pretty good match, both sides showing initiative and eventually petering out to a draw.

Total attendance 429,079 (avg 47,675), sellouts in Bremen, Nürnberg, Augsburg, Dortmund and Braunschweig

 	
Hamburger SV	     -   Bayer 04 Leverkusen	2:1 (1:0)   49,575

                    1:0  Calhanoglu (4., van der Vaart)
                    1:1  Brandt (58., Spahic)
                    2:1  Westermann (82., Diekmeier)

VfB Stuttgart	     -   SC Freiburg	        2:0 (0:0)   58,500

                    1:0  Maxim (69., Traoré)
                    2:0  Harnik (89., Maxim)

Werder Bremen	     -   FC Schalke 04	        1:1 (1:1)   42,100 *

                    1:0  di Santo (15., Elia)
                    1:1  Goretzka (33.)

1. FC Nürnberg	     -   Bor. Mönchengladbach	0:2 (0:1)   50,000 *

                    0:1  Arango (18., direct freekick)
                    0:2  M. Kruse (79., penalty, M. Kruse)

FC Augsburg	     -   Bayern München	        1:0 (1:0)   30,660 *

                    1:0  Mölders (31., Baier)

Eintracht Frankfurt  -   1. FSV Mainz 05	2:0 (0:0)   50,400

                    1:0  Joselu (52., S. Jung)
                    2:0  Meier (85., Aigner)
	
 	
Borussia Dortmund    -   VfL Wolfsburg	        2:1 (0:1)   80,645 *

                    0:1  Olic (34., Junior Malanda)
                    1:1  Lewandowski (51., Reus)
                    2:1  Reus (77.)

Sunday:
Eintr Braunschweig   -   Hannover 96	        3:0 (2:0)   23,325 *

                    1:0  Kumbela (14., Reichel)
                    2:0  Nielsen (21., Kessel)
                    3:0  Hochscheidt (89., Bellarabi)

Hertha BSC	     -   1899 Hoffenheim	1:1 (1:1)   43,874

                    1:0  Allagui (11., Skjelbred)
                    1:1  Polanski (30., Volland)
		 



 1  Bayern München (M, P)	29   25  3  1 	  82:17  +65 	  78  
 2  Borussia Dortmund	  	29   18  4  7 	  64:32  +32 	  58 
 3  FC Schalke 04	  	29   16  7  6 	  54:38  +16 	  55
 4  Bor. Mönchengladbach	29   14  6  9 	  51:34  +17 	  48
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	29   15  3  11 	  48:36  +12 	  48 
 6  VfL Wolfsburg	  	29   14  5  10 	  49:44  +5 	  47
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	29   13  5  11 	  41:45  -4 	  44 
 8  FC Augsburg	  	        29   12  6  11 	  41:43  -2 	  42 
 9  1899 Hoffenheim	  	29    9  10 10 	  64:63  +1 	  37 
10  Hertha BSC Berlin (N)	29   10  7  12 	  37:40  -3 	  37 
11  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	29    9  8  12 	  37:48  -11 	  35 
12  Werder Bremen	  	29    8  9  12 	  34:55  -21 	  33 
13  Hannover 96	  	        29    8  5  16 	  36:54  -18 	  29 
14  SC Freiburg	  	        29    7  8  14 	  33:52  -19 	  29 
15  VfB Stuttgart	  	29    7  6  16 	  44:57  -13 	  27
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Hamburger SV	  	29    7  6  16 	  45:60  -15 	  27
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  1. FC Nürnberg	  	29    5  11 13 	  34:54  -20 	  26 
18  Eintracht Braunschweig (N)	29    6  7  16 	  28:50  -22 	  25


1st line: Champions League
2nd line: Europaliga (+ Cup winner)
3rd line: Playoff with 2.Liga 3rd place
4th line: Relegation to 2.Liga

3.Liga, Round 33: Relegation battle almost over

The top clubs continue to pull away, and there were some huge wins in the relegation battle.

A last minute goal did in Saarbrücken and pretty much condemns them to relegation. They actually had better chances than the Kickers, but Stuttgart took their chance at the end in a rather weak match. Don’t see how FCS can stave off the drop now.

Burghausen needed a win against Dortmund II, but they didn’t get it. Looks like their lights are about to go out, and they’ll be going down as well.

Holstein Kiel got the win they needed as they crushed Unterhaching in a direct relegation battle. They dominated the match, and the mini-Münchenkins didn’t help themselves by going down a man near the end of the 1st half. With six points plus superior goal difference, Kiel is looking pretty good now.

Elversberg fought off Osnabrück to gain a vital point, giving them the advantage over Haching. Stuttgart II did the same gathering a point at Duisburg, which they probably hadn’t really expected. The Zebras have been in form lately and climbing, so VfB-II is certainly satisfied. They’ve essentially got 5 points on Unterhaching in the drop zone.

Halle won a crazy eastern derby which saw 2 injury time goals. Rostock fired their coach earlier and came out with new purpose, and jumped to a two goal lead, looking to break their crap run. But Halle came roaring back, setting up the wild finish and continuing Hansa’s slide.

Excellent road win for Darmstadt – now 16 unbeaten. The 98ers were in for a tough match at Münster anyway, and things quickly got tougher: star forward Dominik Stroh-Engel was tossed on a double yellow after only 23 minutes. Nevertheless Darmstadt stood firm and actually won the match.

Leipzig won a hard-fought eastern derby with Chemnitz and continues to hold off Darmstadt for 2nd.

Heidenheim keeps on track for the title with a win at Wehen. It was a rather lame match for two top teams, but Heidenheim did what was needed to get the points. Wehen’s worry is to hold onto 4th and the automatic DFB Cup qualifier, and there are several clubs gnawing at them.

Total attendance 68,992 (avg 6,899)

 	
MSV Duisburg	     -   VfB Stuttgart II	0:0 (0:0)   11,296
Stuttgarter Kickers  -   1. FC Saarbrücken	1:0 (0:0)    4,050
Holstein Kiel	     -   SpVgg Unterhaching	4:0 (2:0)    5,115
SV Elversberg	     -   VfL Osnabrück	        2:2 (1:1)    1,035
Hallescher FC	     -   Hansa Rostock	        4:3 (0:1)   11,058
Preußen Münster	     -   SV Darmstadt 98	0:2 (0:0)    8,879
Wacker Burghausen    -   Borussia Dortmund II	0:0 (0:0)    2,500
RedBull Leipzig	     -   Chemnitzer FC	        2:1 (1:1)   17,479
Rot Weiß Erfurt	     -   Jahn Regensburg	2:3 (1:1)    4,980
SV Wehen Wiesbaden   -   1. FC Heidenheim	0:1 (0:1)    2,600


 1  1. FC Heidenheim	  	33   21  9  3 	  53:22  +31 	  72 
 2  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N)	33   20  6  7 	  52:29  +23 	  66
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  SV Darmstadt 98	  	33   18  9  6 	  53:24  +29 	  63
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	33   13  10 10 	  37:38  -1 	  49 
 5  VfL Osnabrück	  	33   13  9  11 	  46:35  +11 	  48 
 6  MSV Duisburg (A)	  	33   12  12 9 	  40:35  +5 	  48 
 7  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	33   12  10 11 	  40:39  +1 	  46 
 8  Hallescher FC	  	33   13  7  13 	  43:44  -1 	  46 
 9  Hansa Rostock	  	33   12  8  13 	  40:48  -8 	  44 
10  Rot Weiß Erfurt	  	33   12  7  14 	  47:41  +6 	  43 
11  Preußen Münster	  	33   10  13 10 	  45:44  +1 	  43 
12  Jahn Regensburg (A)	  	33   11  9  13 	  47:50  -3 	  42 
13  Borussia Dortmund II	33   11  8  14 	  39:45  -6 	  41 
14  Chemnitzer FC	  	33   10  11 12 	  36:43  -7 	  41 
15  Holstein Kiel (N)	  	33    9  13 11 	  38:32  +6 	  40 
16  VfB Stuttgart II	  	33   10  8  15 	  40:48  -8 	  38 
17  SV Elversberg (N)	  	33   10  7  16 	  30:47  -17 	  37
--------------------------------------------------------------------
18  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	33    8  10 15 	  39:59  -20 	  34 
19  Wacker Burghausen	  	33    7  9  17 	  32:53  -21 	  30 
20  1. FC Saarbrücken	  	33    7  7  19 	  33:54  -21 	  28


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 28: Köln almost there

It’s all about six point margins. Leaders Köln have opened a six point gap at the top, and have one foot in the Bundesliga. By winning at 1860. It was a difficult match, as the hosts played decently, although of course they were crap when it counted, blowing chances. Köln was patient and seemed satisfied with a point, but then late decided to take their chance and end up with the win. Unless they completely fall apart, they should be back in the top flight, as their remaining schedule looks reasonable.

Greuther Fürth was able to defend their position with a hard fought draw in Hamburg. St.pauli needed the win and pressed, but after they took the lead, they were pegged back by Greuther counters in a quick one-two punch. The Paulistas did get a a split, but they really needed more to get back in the promotion race.

Paderborn put in a string performance at FSV Frankfurt and get an important win. This moves them even with Greuther Fürth and gives them a six point gap over 4th place. The Greuther have a superior goal difference, so that counts as a point in their favor. However in about 3 weeks Paderborn will host Fürth, and that should decidde the 2nd promotion spot.

Karslruhe and Lautern split the points in a hot match. Neither club had the edge, but for KSC, this pretty much ends any promotion hopes. FCK is still hanging on, but a six point gap is pretty big.

A big win for Bochum against Aue. The first half was very tentative on both sides, but the hosts came out strong after the restart and seized control. They ended up with a deserved win and help themselves in the relegation struggle – it gives them a six point bulge over the playoff spot.

Düsseldorf controlled the match but really couldn’t create much against Ingolstadt. They did create a couple of big chances, but blew them. As a result Fortuna still has to glance over their shoulder. Ingolstadt is now unbeaten in something like 11 straight road games, certainly part of the strength that moved them out of relegation.

Dresden again didn’t help themselves in a lame match against Sandhausen. Dynamo was the better team, but couldn’t really accomplish anything, remaining on the relegation bubble. The visitors did squat, but again, they didn’t have to and continue their impressive season. I don’t think anybody expected them to be this high in the table. They’ve basically done it with disciplined defense, not catenaccio, but good organization and playing within their means.

Bielefeld missed a chance and drops points again. Aalen was largely outplayed, but their GK was sharp. Arminia raised their game in the 2nd half, created some chances, but blew them. Aalen’s point keeps them nicely above the relegation zone, and thats all they’re concerned about right now.

On Monday, Union Berlin stopped their recent slide with a controlled win over Cottbus. Probably too late to do anything but act as a spoiler though. Energie isn’t dead yet, but it’s getting close to the Monty Python’s Holy Grail “Bring out your dead” skit…

Total attendance 191,685 (avg 21,298), sell out in Karlsruhe

 	
Fortuna Düsseldorf  -   FC Ingolstadt 04	0:0 (0:0)   27,351

FC St. Pauli	    -   SpVgg Greuther Fürth	2:2 (0:0)   28,087

                   1:0  Schachten (66.)
                   1:1  B. Röcker (75., Brosinski)
                   1:2  Azemi (78., Brosinski)
                   2:2  Thorandt (85., Gonther)
 
Dynamo Dresden	    -   SV Sandhausen	        0:0 (0:0)   25,153

VfL Bochum	    -   Erzgebirge Aue	        1:0 (0:0)   10,225

                   1:0  Sukuta-Pasu (50., Latza)

Karlsruher SC	    -   1. FC Kaiserslautern	2:2 (1:0)   27,600 *

                   1:0  Torres (26., G. Krebs)
                   1:1  Zoller (53., Dick)
                   1:2  Zoller (67., Orban)
                   2:2  Nazarov (89.)

FSV Frankfurt	    -  	SC Paderborn 07	        1:3 (0:1)    4,532

                   0:1  Kachunga (17., Koc)
                   0:2  Saglik (52., Brückner)
                   0:3  Saglik (55., penalty, Hünemeier)
                   1:3  Bertels (79., own goal, M. Görlitz)

1860 München	    -  	1. FC Köln	        0:1 (0:0)   33,600

                   0:1  Finne (85., Brecko)

Arminia Bielefeld   -  	VfR Aalen	        0:0 (0:0)   13,137

Monday:
1. FC Union Berlin  -  	Energie Cottbus	        2:0 (1:0)   22,000

                   1:0  Brandy (28., Parensen)
                   2:0  Brandy (82., Quiring)
 	



 1  1. FC Köln	  	        28   15  10  3 	  41:15  +26 	  55 
 2  SpVgg Greuther Fürth (A)    28   14  7   7 	  51:33  +18 	  49
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  SC Paderborn 07	  	28   14  7   7 	  52:42  +10 	  49
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  1. FC Kaiserslautern	28   12  7   9 	  41:29  +12 	  43 
 5  FC St. Pauli	  	28   12  7   9 	  36:34  +2 	  43 
 6  1. FC Union Berlin	  	28   11  9   8 	  41:34  +7 	  42  
 7  Karlsruher SC (N)	  	28   10  11  7 	  37:27  +10 	  41 
 8  SV Sandhausen	  	28   11  8   9 	  24:23  +1 	  41 
 9  1860 München	  	28   10  8  10 	  29:31  -2 	  38 
10  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	28    9  8  11 	  28:30  -2 	  35 
11  FSV Frankfurt	  	28    9  7  12 	  38:42  -4 	  34 
12  VfR Aalen	  	        28    8  10 10 	  26:33  -7 	  34 
13  Erzgebirge Aue	  	28    9  7  12 	  34:42  -8 	  34 
14  Fortuna Düsseldorf (A	28    8  10 10 	  27:38  -11 	  34 
15  VfL Bochum	  	        28    9  6  13 	  24:32  -8 	  33
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Dynamo Dresden	  	28    4  15  9 	  28:40  -12 	  27
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  Arminia Bielefeld (N)	28    7  6  15 	  32:51  -19 	  27 
18  Energie Cottbus	  	28    6  5  17 	  32:45  -13 	  23


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