3.Liga, Round 38, FINAL: Haching down

Round 38, May 23

The final round of the 3.Liga had only one question left, and Unterhaching answered with a Bronx-cheer and “claim” the final relegation spot. The mini-Münch(en)kins needed a win on the road at Erfurt, which wasn’t an impossible task, considering that RWE had lost something like 9/10. And Hansa Rostock cooperated by losing at Dresden. However Haching didn’t seem like they were really prepared. Injuries and other factors meant they actually had to start six U19 players, and it took a while to get going. After Erfurt took the lead, they really did nothing until the final 15 minutes, when they created several decent chances. But they failed and get relegated. Probably a good thing for the 3.Liga finances, since Rostock is a big draw and the relegated sides are largely non-interesting. Hansa was at Dresden for a big eastern derby, and despite Dynamo needing nothing, it was hotly contested. Rostock came out strong but started winding down as the match progressed. But since news from Erfurt indicated they would stay up regardless, they probably weren’t too worried.

Mainz-II got a draw against Chemnitz to secure their status.

Bielefeld secured promotion as 3.Liga champion as they won away to Großaspach. Arminia probably should have wrapped things up a couple of weeks ago, but dicked around. Still, overall they deserve the title as the most consistent side, and are back on their elevator ride. The Bavarian side had a strong middle run to secure their stay in the 3.Liga.

Duisburg had some chances to take the title if Bielefeld slipped up, but the Zebras were pretty flat at Wehen and ended up losing. Not that they care too much, since they gained promotion.

Kiel’s warm up for the promotion playoff went south, as they couldn’t break down a disciplined Stuttgarter Kickers defense, and then got caught with their pants down on counters.

Dortmund-II was already relegated by still went out and got a win at Münster, who limped to the finish line. BVB might still have a chance to stay up, although it would be a bit sleazy. 2.Liga relegated side VfR Aalen is going to have serious problems getting an operating license for the 3.Liga, so they could get dumped straight into the Regionalliga, in which case BVB would get a reprieve.

Jahn regensburg said goodbye and biatch-slapped Fortuna Köln. It was an easy win, as the guests were just phoning it in. Jahn never got rolling this season, so the last place finish is warranted.

Total attendance 80,419 (avg 8,042), 47.1% capacity


Energie Cottbus	    -  	VfB Stuttgart II      2:3 (1:3)    6,788
Dynamo Dresden	    -  	Hansa Rostock	      2:1 (1:1)   29,534
Preußen Münster	    -  	Borussia Dortmund II  1:2 (1:1)    5,122
Rot-Weiß Erfurt	    -  	SpVgg Unterhaching    1:0 (1:0)    4,383
Holstein Kiel	    -  	Stuttgarter Kickers   0:2 (0:1)    9,167
SV Wehen Wiesbaden  -  	MSV Duisburg	      1:0 (1:0)    9,000
Jahn Regensburg	    -  	Fortuna Köln	      4:0 (2:0)    3,889
SG S-hof Großaspach -  	Arminia Bielefeld     0:1 (0:0)    3,500
1. FSV Mainz 05 II  -  	Chemnitzer FC	      1:1 (1:0)    1,536
VfL Osnabrück	    -  	Hallescher FC	      2:0 (1:0)    7,500


 1  Arminia Bielefeld (A)	38   22   8  8 	   75:41  +34 	  74 
 2  MSV Duisburg	        38   20  11  7 	   63:40  +23 	  71
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 3  Holstein Kiel	  	38   18  13  7 	   53:30  +23 	  67
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 4  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	38   18  11  9 	   61:47  +14 	  65 
 5  Chemnitzer FC	  	38   17   8  13    44:36  +8 	  59 
 6  Dynamo Dresden (A)	  	38   16   8  14    52:48  +4 	  56 
 7  Energie Cottbus (A)	  	38   15  11  12    50:50   0 	  56 
 8  Preußen Münster	  	38   15   9  14    53:49  +4 	  54 
 9  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	38   15   8  15    54:44  +10 	  53 
10  Hallescher FC	  	38   15   8  15    51:53  -2 	  53 
11  VfL Osnabrück	  	38   14  10  14    49:51  -2 	  52 
12  Rot-Weiß Erfurt	  	38   14   9  15    47:54  -7 	  51 
13  VfB Stuttgart II	  	38   13   8  17    48:57  -9 	  47 
14  Fortuna Köln (N)	  	38   12  10  16    38:47  -9 	  46 
15  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach (N)	38   12  10  16    39:60  -21 	  46 
16  1. FSV Mainz 05 II (N)	38   10  12  16    43:52  -9 	  42 
17  Hansa Rostock	  	38   11   8  19    54:68  -14 	  41
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18  Borussia Dortmund II	38    8  15  15    41:51  -10 	  39 
19  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	38   11   8  19    51:67  -16 	  39
20  Jahn Regensburg	  	38    8   7  23    44:65  -21 	  31


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 37: Everything to play for

Round 37, May 17

Just about everything is still up for grabs going into the final round. Ingolstadt is promoted to the Bundesliga as champion. Aalen drops to the 3.Liga. But two potential promotion and relegation spots each are going down to the wire.

Greuther Fürth got a massive win over Darmstadt. The Greuther desperately needed a result to stave off relegation, and faced a Darmstadt side looking to gain promotion – and their first win in Fürth since 1980. There weren’t a lot of highlights in a tense, hard fought battle, but the Greuther victory means that they can control their own destiny

Karlsruhe got a huge road win at Braunschweig, increasing their promotion options. At the same time, Eintract is done: they desperately needed a win. The hosts attacked fiercely, but KSC was patient and well-organized in defense. They struck on counters and held firm.

A fierce struggle in Aue, as Erzgebirge faced off Kaiserslautern. Both sides needed a win to further their goals. Aue desperately trying to stave off relegation, FCK trying to reach the Bundesliga. The hosts actually looked the better side, pressing born from the desperate relegation threat. FCK was technically superior, but had a hard time holding off the relentless Auers. In the end, the scoreless draw leaves both sides wounded.

A huge crowd for a Bavarian derby, and 1860 got a massive win against Nürnberg. FCN had nothing to play for, but came out strong and dominated the first half. However they wasted lots of chances to perhaps decide the match, and only had a slight lead right at the end. 1860 regrouped and desperately threw caution into the wind in the 2nd period, and were rewarded. Overall, they probably deserved it, since der Club apparently only wanted to try in the 1st period.

Many expected St.Pauli to pack the box against the top-scoring Bochum side. They desperately needed a win, and perhaps a counter would suffice. But the plan failed as Bochum scored at the start. The Paulistas instead now needed to attack, and they furiously assaulted the guests. In a demonstration of “what the season could have been”, the Kiez-kickers ripped Bochum to shreds in a fine offensive display.

Disaster in Bornheim! FSV Frankfurt needed a result and instead got owned by Union Berlin, who had nothing to play for. Instead the Berliners outplayed the mini-HotDogs and came away with an easy win. The late season collapse of form for FSV now leaves them in ruins.

Sandhausen was beaten at home by Düsseldorf, but the real loss was “am grünem Tisch” (“green table” – basically a judicial or federation based decision). They seemingly had wrapped up salvation with an impressive win at Leipzig last week, but the slamming news was a 3 point punishment for financial irregularities. Perhaps they were still in shock (although I don’t see why, the DFB is pretty adamant on financial rules), and they were simply outplayed at home by Fortuna.

It was probably more nervousness than the opponent, but Ingolstadt struggled against Leipzig. The Rasenbulls grabbed an early lead, but didn’t do much else. The Schanzer looked awkward, but eventually got the result that allowed their fans to celebrate the promotion to the Bundesliga, becoming the 54th club to go up. The Redballsportler probably just want the season to be over so they can figure out why all the money didn’t get them what they wanted.

Aalen needed a win to keep hope alive. They didn’t get it and are relegated. They came out aggressively against Heidenheim and attacked furiously. Problem was, they wasted too many chances. To their credit, Heidenheim didn’t need the points, but it’s a regional derby, so they played like they wanted it. With the hosts wasting opportunities and making defensive mistakes, FCH countered and eventually turned the game on it’s head.

Total attendance 189,681 (avg 21,076), 89.4% capacity, sellouts in Hamburg, Ingolstadt, Aalen, Fürth, Aue
Probably the best attendance capacity wise all season.

Last round deciders:

The top match is Darmstadt hosting St.Pauli. Both sides need a win to ensure their goals: 98ers for promotion, Pauli for salvation. Although based on the table you would think that Darmstadt is the overwhelming favorite, St.Pauli has been in splendid form, so this match is a toss-up.

Not far behind is Karlsruhe hosting 1860. Both sides reach their goals with a win. Anything else *might* allow them to squeak through, but it would be very risky. KSC probably has the edge here.

Kaiserslautern hosts Ingolstadt, who should be relaxed and may phone it in. FCK needs to win and hope that either KSC or Darmstadt don’t. So they could be in the Bundesliga, the playoff or nada…but they can’t control it. You’d expect FCK to win here, simply because they desperately need a result.

Greuther Fürth is at Leipzig, and a win guarantees safety. A draw might suffice, but is risky. Since the Rasenballsportler have nothing to play for and have been phoning it in, the Greuther have a good chance.

FSV Frankfurt travels to Düsseldorf, and only a win will do. Anything else is relegation or at best the relegation playoff. Fortuna has nothing to play for, which is probably the only thing that FSV can hope for. (But note that Fortuna just got a road win at Sandhausen, in a similar “desperation” scenario for their opponent). Hard to see the collapsing Bornheimers getting the result.

Aue is at Heidenheim, who have nothing to play for. Only a win will give Erzgebirge some hope, although if their rivals win, it will be for nothing.

Sandhausen is at Bochum, but their fans (or fan) might be better off visiting nearby Düsseldorf instead. They could drop to the relegation playoff with a loss, but Aue isn’t really a worry: SVS has a decent goal difference, so if FSV Frankfurt can’t win at Fortuna, they’re safe.

 	
Eintracht Braunschweig  -   Karlsruher SC	  0:2 (0:1)   22,335
 
                       0:1  Hennings (43., Nazarov)
                       0:2  Hennings (87.)

SpVgg Greuther Fürth    -   SV Darmstadt 98	  1:0 (0:0)   17,500 *

                       1:0  Stiepermann (61., direct freekick)

1860 München	        -   1. FC Nürnberg	  2:1 (0:1)   68,500

                       0:1  Stark (45., D. Blum)
                       1:1  Vallori (56., Adlung)
                       2:1  Adlung (72., Hand penalty)

FC St. Pauli	        -   VfL Bochum	          5:1 (2:1)   23,584 *
 
                       0:1  Gregoritsch (4.)
                       1:1  Thy (34., Halstenberg)
                       2:1  Halstenberg (45. + 1, Thy)
                       3:1  Buchtmann (49.)
                       4:1  Thy (52., Daube)
                       5:1  Sobota (83.)

FC Ingolstadt 04        -   RasenBall. Leipzig	  2:1 (1:1)   15,000 *

                       0:1  D. Kaiser (4., Poulsen)
                       1:1  Leckie (45. + 1, penalty, Lex)
                       2:1  Lex (77., Morales)

VfR Aalen	        -   1. FC Heidenheim	  2:4 (1:2)   14,500 *

                       1:0  Barth (12., Steinhöfer)
                       1:1  Schnatterer (39., Niederlechner)
                       1:2  Niederlechner (44., Griesbeck)
                       2:2  Ademi (48., Drexler)
                       2:3  Leipertz (76., penalty, Niederlechner)
                       2:4  Niederlechner (86.)

SV Sandhausen	        -   Fortuna Düsseldorf	  0:2 (0:1)    6,109

                       0:1  Hoffer (18., Schauerte)
                       0:2  Liendl (90. + 2, Hoffer)

FSV Frankfurt	        -   1. FC Union Berlin	  1:3 (1:1)    6,853

                       0:1  M. Thiel (10., Polter)
                       1:1  Kapllani (24., Grifo)
                       1:2  Kobylanski (63., Kreilach)
                       1:3  Kreilach (81., Polter)

Erzgebirge Aue	        -   1. FC Kaiserslautern  0:0 (0:0)   15,300 *


 1  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	33   17  12  4 	  52:31  +21 	  63 
 2  SV Darmstadt 98 (N)	  	33   14  14  5 	  43:26  +17 	  56
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 3  Karlsruher SC	  	33   14  13  6 	  44:26  +18 	  55
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 4  1. FC Kaiserslautern	33   14  13  6 	  44:30  +14 	  55 
 5  Eintracht Braunschweig (A)	33   15  5  13 	  44:39  +5 	  50 
 6  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N)	33   12  11 10 	  37:31  +6 	  47 
 7  1. FC Heidenheim (N)	33   12  9  12 	  47:42  +5 	  45 
 8  Fortuna Düsseldorf	  	33   11  11 11 	  46:49  -3 	  44 
 9  1. FC Union Berlin	  	33   11  11 11 	  44:51  -7 	  44 
10  1. FC Nürnberg (A)	  	33   12  6  15 	  40:46  -6 	  42 
11  VfL Bochum	  	        33   9 	 14 10 	  53:55  -2 	  41 
12  SV Sandhausen	  	33   10  11 12 	  32:37  -5 	  38 
13  SpVgg Greuther Fürth	33   8 	 13 12 	  34:40  -6 	  37 
14  FC St. Pauli	  	33   10  7  16 	  40:50  -10 	  37 
15  1860 München	  	33   9 	 9  15 	  41:49  -8 	  36
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16  FSV Frankfurt	  	33   9 	 9  15 	  38:51  -13 	  36
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17  Erzgebirge Aue	  	33   9 	 8  16 	  30:45  -15 	  35 
18  VfR Aalen	  	        33   7 	 12 14 	  33:44  -11 	  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 37: Death knoll for HSV?

Round 37, May 16

All matches at the same time, as the Bundesliga had exciting matches in several venues on the penultimate day.

The huge match was in Stuttgart, as VfB and Hamburg met in a relegation battle. One of these traditionals is going down, so it was bound to be a bitter fight. VfB was clearly the dominant side, and although HSV grabbed an early lead, Stuttgart continued on and wrested control of the match. They could have won decisively, but wasted too many chances. HSV had some opportunities to save the match, but sucked when they needed to stand up and be counted. Both have prospects to stay up, but it will be difficult.

Paderborn was unlucky, as they were largely the better team at Schalke. They wasted some good chances for the win, but seemed to at least have a point, keeping chances open. But so close to their plan success, they blew it with a late own goal. Now they are probably down, barring a miracle. Meanwhile Schalke backs into the Euroliga in a disgraceful manner

Freiburg got a massive result to vastly improve their chances. The Breigauers beat down champions Bayern München, who continue their recent suckitude. Despite falling behind early, SCF never gave up and once again it was the legend, Nils Petersen, who saved the day. The ex-Bayern, Bremen-loanee came on as a sub in the 86th minute and 3 minutes later grabbed the winner.

Hannover also showed guts and got a huge result. teh 96ers won at Augsburg, who have been limping towards the finishline of Euroliga. They’re probably in given that Dortmund is probably guaranteed and Bremen lost. Hannover stopped their 16 match winless streak, and it couldn’t happen at a better time.

Hertha BSC was lame, and so was Frankfurt. The Berliners needed a win to ensure their safety. But they are way too unimaginative and boring. They probably are going to stay up, unfortunately :)

Gladbach had some nervous moments, but showed their superiority and cold-bloodedness to upend Bremen on the road.

Mainz easily handled Köln, both sides secured in midtable. The highpoint was perhaps the 87th minute, when Mainz captain Nikolce Noveski was subbed off. The Macedonian international has been with the club since 2004, and is retiring. He wept as the crowd cheered him off in his last home match.

Leverkusen one a routine match against Hoffenheim. The Aspirins were in control from the start, and the result really wasn’t in doubt.

Total attendance 370,914 (avg 41,123), 95.8% capacity, sellouts in Gelsenkirchen, Wolfsburg, Bremen, Freiburg, Stuttgart

Relegation prospects:

Let’s start with the easy one. Paderborn is basically down. Even if they win their match against Stuttgart, at 34 points they can at best hope for a playoff. And for that to happen, HSV needs to lose at home to Schalke. Doesn’t seem too likely, as Schalke has zero to play for and HSV needs a win themselves to have any chance. If HSV defeats Schalke, that gives them 35, but crappy goal difference probably means that playoff (for 2nd straight year!) is their best bet to survive if the Hannover/Freiburg match is not decisive. If Hannover/Freiburg is decisive and Stuttgart lose, then they could leapfrog. Stuttgart needs to win at Paderborn, and they stay up. Not impossible, as SCP is basically down. Anything else however, the best they get is a playoff.

Berlin needs a point for safety. Their best bet is that Hoffenheim isn’t motivated, and then even on the road they’re at least in control of their destiny. The 96ers and Freiburg save themselves with a win, but if they draw with each other, that is enough for both if Stuttgart fails to win.

 	
FC Schalke 04	     -   SC Paderborn 07	1:0 (0:0)   61,973 *

                    1:0  Hünemeier (88., own goal, Barnetta)

Bayer 04 Leverkusen  -   TSG Hoffenheim	        2:0 (1:0)   29,072

                    1:0  Calhanoglu (45. + 1, direct freekick)
                    2:0  Kießling (61., Calhanoglu)

VfL Wolfsburg	     -   Borussia Dortmund	2:1 (1:1)   30,000 *

                    1:0  D. Caligiuri (1., De Bruyne)
                    1:1  Aubameyang (11., penalty, Kampl)
                    2:1  Naldo (49.)

1. FSV Mainz 05	     -   1. FC Köln	        2:0 (0:0)   33,702

                    1:0  Koo (47., Okazaki)
                    2:0  Jairo (83., Bengtsson)


FC Augsburg	     -   Hannover 96	        1:2 (1:1)   29,899

                    0:1  Stindl (24., Briand)
                    1:1  Verhaegh (30., penalty, Baba)
                    1:2  Stindl (54., Briand)

Hertha BSC	     -   Eintracht Frankfurt	0:0 (0:0)   60,168

Werder Bremen	     -   Bor. Mönchengladbach	0:2 (0:0)   42,100 *

                    0:1  Raffael (53., M. Kruse)
                    0:2  Raffael (86., Hahn)

SC Freiburg	     -   Bayern München	        2:1 (1:1)   24,000 *

                    0:1  B. Schweinsteiger (13., Weiser)
                    1:1  Mehmedi (33., Klaus)
                    2:1  Petersen (89., Guedé)

VfB Stuttgart	     -   Hamburger SV	        2:1 (2:1)   60,000 *

                    0:1  Kacar (12., van der Vaart)
                    1:1  Gentner (27., Schwaab)
                    2:1  Harnik (35.)



1  Bayern München (M, P)	33   24  4  5 	  78:18  +60 	  76 
2  VfL Wolfsburg	  	33   20  8  5 	  70:36  +34 	  68 
3  Bor. Mönchengladbach	  	33   19  9  5 	  52:23  +29 	  66
4  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	33   17  10 6 	  61:35  +26 	  61
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5  FC Schalke 04	  	33   13  9  11 	  42:38  +4 	  48 
6  FC Augsburg	  	        33   14  4  15 	  40:42  -2 	  46
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7  Borussia Dortmund	  	33   12  7  14 	  44:40  +4 	  43 
8  Werder Bremen	  	33   11  10 12 	  48:62  -14 	  43 
9  TSG Hoffenheim	  	33   11  8  14 	  47:54  -7 	  41 
10  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	33    9  13 11 	  45:45   0 	  40 
11  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	33   10  10 13 	  54:61  -7 	  40 
12  1. FC Köln (N)	  	33    9  12 12 	  32:38  -6 	  39 
13  Hertha BSC Berlin	  	33    9  8  16 	  35:50  -15 	  35 
14  SC Freiburg	  	        33    7  13 13 	  35:45  -10 	  34 
15  Hannover 96	  	        33    8  10 15 	  38:55  -17 	  34
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16  VfB Stuttgart	  	33    8  9  16 	  40:59  -19 	  33
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17  Hamburger SV	  	33    8  8  17 	  23:50  -27 	  32 
18  SC Paderborn 07 (N)	  	33    7  10 16 	  30:63  -33 	  31

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

3.Liga, Round 37: Bielefeld, Duisburg up!

Round 37, May 16

The promotion race is over and two ex-Bundesliga sides are going up. The only question remaining is for the last relegation spot.

Duisburg and Kiel faced off in the auto-promotion playoff in front of a large crowd. Both teams had been in fine form, and the match lived up to it’s billing. Kiel jumped out to a great start, but MSV didn’t show that they were worried. Instead they pressed hard and were equal within 10 minutes. They continued their Kraftakt (“power display”) and proceeded to slam the Storks in a seven minute period that decided the match. From then on the Zebras merely stayed firm, and although the Holsteiners tried very hard to get back into the match, they weren’t able to recover. Duisburg therefore goes back to the 2.Liga, and could even go as champion. Kiel still has a chance, as they will playoff against the no.16 of the 2.Liga.

Arminia Bielefeld also celebrated their promotion. A large crowd was on hand to celebrate, and it should have been easy, as they faced off against already relegated Regensburg. But Arminia has been dicking around for the last few weeks, resting on their laurels. In fact, after grabbing the lead, they already started partying, and Jahn had enough. Two late goals, and Bielefeld was staring at an embarrassing home defeat. But Pascal Testroet came on and scored a late equalizer and got Bielefeld the necessary point. Main thing, they’re going up immediately after last year’s relegation, so perhaps the champion title is really secondary.

At the bottom, Dortmund-II is joining Regensburg. The BVB-Bubis needed a win against Dresden to stay alive, but a home defeat (in front of a somewhat decent crowd for U23 sides, 10x what was in Stuttgart) sends them down. Dortmund-II was generally a difficult opponent, but basically just good enough to lose.

Mainz-II got a huge win to stay alive and actually give them the best chances. They defeated Halle on the road, and that puts them in 16th. With a superior goal difference, they basically need a draw at home against Chemnitz to secure their status.

Unterhaching kept barely alive by defeating Münster. Anything but a win would have sent them down. They are still in the drop zone, but they have a chance. They will need to win on the road at Erfurt. That’s not impossible, as RWE has been the worst team in the league since winter, just recently ending a nine game losing streak. They have nothing to play for, so the mini-Münch(en)kins could pull off a win.

Rostock is suddenly worried. Hansa had been doing OK, but took a tail dive right near the end, and are in trouble. If Unterhaching wins at Erfurt, it will be red-alert. Rostock lost a bitter struggle at home to Cottbus and finish up with another ex-DDR rivalry: at Dresden. I’m sure that Dynamo and their fans would love to send Rostock down. A draw may not be enough for Rostock either, since Mainz needs only one point, and thumping Haching win would recover the goal difference. So to be sure, Hansa needs to win at Dresden.

The rest of the matches were pretty ho-hum. Chemnitz defeated Großaspach, underlining their good post-winterbreak form. Stuttgarter Kickers knew their season was basically over, so a point was all that was needed against Erfurt (who *really* want their season to end, given their collapse from promotion to mediocrity). Fortuna Köln basically is trying to beat Großaspach to “best promoted side” and got the win against Wehen.

Total attendance 104,311 (avg 10,431), 56.5% capacity


VfB Stuttgart II      -   VfL Osnabrück	        0:0 (0:0)      400
Hallescher FC	      -   1. FSV Mainz 05 II	1:2 (0:0)    6,217
Chemnitzer FC	      -   SG Sonhf Großaspach	2:0 (0:0)    6,081
Arminia Bielefeld     -   Jahn Regensburg	2:2 (1:0)   25,008
Fortuna Köln	      -   SV Wehen Wiesbaden	2:1 (0:0)    1,573
MSV Duisburg	      -   Holstein Kiel	        3:1 (3:1)   31,002
Stuttgarter Kickers   -   Rot-Weiß Erfurt	0:0 (0:0)    4,730
SpVgg Unterhaching    -   Preußen Münster	1:0 (1:0)    3,600
Borussia Dortmund II  -   Dynamo Dresden	2:3 (1:2)    4,100
Hansa Rostock	      -   Energie Cottbus	0:1 (0:0)   21,600


 1  Arminia Bielefeld (A)	37   21  8   8 	    74:41  +33 	  71 
 2  MSV Duisburg	  	37   20  11  6 	    63:39  +24 	  71
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 3  Holstein Kiel	  	37   18  13  6 	    53:28  +25 	  67
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 4  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	37   17  11  9 	    59:47  +12 	  62 
 5  Chemnitzer FC	  	37   17  7   13     43:35  +8 	  58 
 6  Energie Cottbus (A)	  	37   15  11  11     48:47  +1 	  56 
 7  Preußen Münster	  	37   15  9   13     52:47  +5 	  54 
 8  Dynamo Dresden (A)	  	37   15  8   14     50:47  +3 	  53 
 9  Hallescher FC	  	37   15  8   14     51:51   0 	  53 
10  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	37   14  8   15     53:44  +9 	  50 
11  VfL Osnabrück	  	37   13  10  14     47:51  -4 	  49 
12  Rot-Weiß Erfurt	  	37   13  9   15     46:54  -8 	  48 
13  Fortuna Köln (N)	  	37   12  10  15     38:43  -5 	  46 
14  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach (N)	37   12  10  15     39:59  -20 	  46 
15  VfB Stuttgart II	  	37   12  8   17     45:55  -10 	  44 
16  1. FSV Mainz 05 II (N)	37   10  11  16     42:51  -9 	  41 
17  Hansa Rostock	  	37   11  8   18     53:66  -13 	  41
--------------------------------------------------------------------
18  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	37   11  8   18     51:66  -15 	  39 
19  Borussia Dortmund II	37    7  15  15     39:50  -11 	  36 
20  Jahn Regensburg	  	37    7  7   23     40:65  -25 	  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 32: Bottoms up!

Round 32, May 8-10

The relegation battle is red-hot, and the troubled sides had a major uprising: all underdogs on the road, they all had impressive wins. But even at the top, things are really exciting.

Aalen had an easy time at Düsseldorf, as Fortuna was completely flat an seemingly uninterested. This allowed the bottom side to control the match and bring home an important victory. Aalen certainly wishes they had a taken Accounting 101 at university, but they would still be last even without the point deduction. Nevertheless, this huge win gives them a realistic chance of surviving.

1860 also got a huge victory at Frankfurt. FSV was the dominant side, but couldn’t break through against teh desperate Lions. Then a beautiful pass from Adlung led to a late 1860 goal and hope for salvation. For the Bornheimers on the other hand, they’ve been dragged back into the relegation mire – they need some points to be sure of surviving. 1860 was looking pretty weak, but this win was huge.

Aue was impressive in winning at Union Berlin. Erzgebirge started well and eventually powered to a lead, but Union fought back and controlled the match down the stretch. The visitors held on for a crucial win.

St.Pauli got a huge away win at Kaiserslautern. The hosts generally dominated the match, but the Hamburgers patiently defended and waited for their chances. FCK wasted too many chances, and their promotion battle just got a lot tougher.

So basically the bottom four sides all had massive results on the road no less.

It really didn’t mean much in the tables, as neither side is going anywhere. But there was some interest in the Leipzig-Sandhausen clash. The RedBalls have the most money, Sandhausen are one of the poorer sides, and Leipzig got their ass ripped, at home no less. Aziz Bouhaddoud hit a hat-trick as the villagers romped home.
Also of interest is that Thierry Henry was in the audience. Not sure what the hell he was in Leipzig for on a Friday night, perhaps the Rasenbullsportler bribed him to show up.

Braunschweig has probably dropped out of promotion hopes. The Lions were outplayed by Nürnberg, who had a crappy season, but looked more like a team hoping for a return to the Bundesliga. For Braunschweig, they’re pretty much done pending the KSC-Darmstadt result. The fact is that they simply lose too many matches, twice as much as the top competition.

Ingolstadt looked ready to celebrate their promotion, as the were in control and dominant at Bochum. However they’ll have to postpone the celebrations. (Of course, maybe they intend to celebrate at home). First the hosts were awarded a dubious penalty just before half. Then in the 2nd period, Bochum showed “what could have been” (not unlike Nürnberg) and proceeded to press the Schanzers back to the wall. They eventually broke through for a solid victory.

Greuther Fürth apparently missed the message that there is a desperate relegation battle going on…and they’re participating. They sucked at Heidenheim, and were down at half, and then compounded the mess by giving up a penalty and red-card right after the restart. Right now, a single goal is keeping them up, so they’ll desperately need improvement next match.

Monday was the huge battle of Karlsruhe hosting Darmstadt. Winner leaps over Kaiserslautern into 2nd. It was a hard fought match, but a clever counter-attack led to Darmstadt grabbing the victory and a huge advantage in the promotion sprint. They don’t have an easy run-in though, as they will face two desperate sides. First at Greuther Fürth, and then home to St.Pauli. Both their opponents may need full points to stay up, so it will be tough. Lautern has an easier time, tough match in Aue, but the finale at home against an Ingolstadt side that is probably already promoted. KSC is at Braunschweig, whose season is over, and then home to 1860, who will need points. KSC has to win both to have a chance.

Total attendance 197,082 (avg 21,898), 65.1% capacity, sellout in Karlsruhe

 	
Fortuna Düsseldorf    -   VfR Aalen	        0:2 (0:1)   23,366

                     0:1  Ademi (27., Steinhöfer)
                     0:2  J. Gjasula (70., penalty, Drexler)

FSV Frankfurt	      -   1860 München	        0:1 (0:0)    6,679

                     0:1  Rama (84., Adlung)

RasenBall Leipzig     -   SV Sandhausen	        0:4 (0:1)   18,904

                     0:1  Thiede (36.)
                     0:2  Bouhaddouz (54., Thiede)
                     0:3  Bouhaddouz (59., Achenbach)
                     0:4  Bouhaddouz (74., Wooten)

1. FC Kaiserslautern  -   FC St. Pauli	        0:2 (0:0)   45,035

                     0:1  Kalla (47.)
                     0:2  Halstenberg (55., penalty, Buchtmann)

1. FC Union Berlin    -   Erzgebirge Aue	1:2 (0:1)   21,035

                     0:1  Mugosa (23., Wood)
                     0:2  Fandrich (62., Benatelli)
                     1:2  Kobylanski (64.)

 	
1. FC Nürnberg	      -   Eintr. Braunschweig	3:1 (1:0)   27,985

                     1:0  Reichel (32., own goal, Pinola)
                     2:0  D. Blum (52.)
                     3:0  G. Burgstaller (67., Schöpf)
                     3:1  Berggreen (68., Zuck)

VfL Bochum	      -   FC Ingolstadt 04	3:1 (1:1)   12,611

                     0:1  Hinterseer (32., Leckie)
                     1:1  Gregoritsch (45. + 1, penalty, Cwielong)
                     2:1  Forssell (72., Celozzi)
                     3:1  Tasaka (83., Losilla)

1. FC Heidenheim      -   SpVgg Greuther Fürth	3:0 (2:0)   14,000

                     1:0  Göhlert (25.)
                     2:0  Heise (42., Schnatterer)
                     3:0  Schnatterer (49., penalty, Leipertz)

Karlsruher SC	      -   SV Darmstadt 98	0:1 (0:0)   27,467 *

                     0:1  Kempe (66., Heller)
 			


 1  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	32   16  12  4 	   50:30  +20 	  60 
 2  SV Darmstadt 98 (N)	  	32   14  14  4 	   43:25  +18 	  56
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  1. FC Kaiserslautern	32   14  12  6 	   44:30  +14 	  54
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Karlsruher SC	  	32   13  13  6 	   42:26  +16 	  52 
 5  Eintracht Braunschweig (A)	32   15  5   12    44:37  +7 	  50 
 6  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N)	32   12  11  9 	   36:29  +7 	  47 
 7  1. FC Heidenheim (N)  	32   11  9   12    43:40  +3 	  42 
 8  1. FC Nürnberg (A)	  	32   12  6   14    39:44  -5 	  42 
 9  VfL Bochum	  	        32    9  14  9 	   52:50  +2 	  41 
10  SV Sandhausen	  	32   10  11  11    32:35  -3 	  41 
11  Fortuna Düsseldorf	  	32   10  11  11    44:49  -5 	  41 
12  1. FC Union Berlin	  	32   10  11  11    41:50  -9 	  41 
13  FSV Frankfurt	  	32    9  9   14    37:48  -11 	  36 
14  SpVgg Greuther Fürth	32    7  13  12    35:49  -14 	  34
15  FC St. Pauli	  	32    9  7   16    35:49  -14 	  34
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Erzgebirge Aue	  	32    9  7   16    30:45  -15 	  34
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  1860 München	  	32    8  9   15    39:48  -9 	  33 
18  VfR Aalen	  	        32    7  12  13    31:40  -9 	  31

 

Aalen deducted two points for being wankers, err, financial shenanigans.

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 32: Bayern loses again

Round 32, May 8-10

The real news is the life-and-death battle in the relegation zone, but whenever Bayern München loses, it’s news, and given the champs recent suckiness, it becomes headlines. Certainly the heat is turned up a bit on Pep Guardiola, as there is no excuse to losing at home to the likes of Augsburg. Reserve GK Pepe Reina decided to try out a Neuerism, so after 13 minutes he ran out a chopped down Bobadilla outside the box, for which he received a red. What a doofus, only Neuer can do stuff like that. Nevertheless, Bayern again tikki-taka’d their way to total dominance, but Augsburg woke up and kicked them in the balls for a famous victory.

Stuttgart was a huge winner. Anything but a win against Mainz probably condemns VfB to the drop, and they pressed hard against the guests. But despiet the pressure, they weren’t able to break through, until Didavi grabbed the lead with some lame goal-keeping from Karius. A second goal then gave VfB relief and the needed points. Still dead last, but only a single point
Hamburg kept their head above water – barely. HSV was getting outplayed at home by Freiburg, and the relegation-six-pointer seemed to be going the Breisgauer’s way. But SCF wasted a couple of decisive chances, and were losing steam as HSV mounted a desperate last quarter assault. They were rewarded by Gojko Kacar, who also got the winner last week against Mainz. His last minute header saved HSV a point.

Hannover failed to get the result they needed against Bremen. The hard fought northern derby was generally controlled by the 96ers, but they couldn’t finish off Werder. And then when Junuzovic equalized, Hannover seemed stunned and almost ended up losing.

Paderborn was the “loser” in the drop zone, as they couldn’t get anything against Wolfsburg. SCP tried hard, and created a few chances, but the VWs were clearly the superior side an easily wrapped up a win. Paderborn has teh worst goal difference, so that could hurt, but with everything so close, they still have a good chance to save themselves.

Dortmund completely dominated Berlin and got an easy victory. BVB probably should have scored a half-dozen, but were content to get a win. Hertha might as well have stayed home, as they only managed two shots and were in general uninterested, apparently figuring they weren’t going to get a point anyway.

Gladbach was impressive against Leverkusen. They hadn’t beaten the Aspirins at home in 26(!) years, but they got a huge win. This also broke the Aspirins 10 match unbeaten streak. The match actually was pretty even, Leverkusen perhaps having the edge, but Gladbach was cold blooded in front of goal when they needed to be. This gives them almost certain qualification into the group stage of the Champions League, and a good position to battle for second.

Frankfurt ended any worries of slipping into the relgation zone as they easily overpowered Hoffenheim in a regaional derby. They came out strong and ended the match by half-time Hoffenheim was generally listless early, and by the time they woke up, the match was over.

Köln are also mathematically safe after outplaying Schalke. The Blues are limping to the end, and are hoping to hold off Dortmund for the final Euro spot.

Total attendance 481441 (avg 53,493), 98.5% capacity, sellouts in Hamburg, München, Dortmund, Gladbach, Hannover, Köln

 	
Hamburger SV	     -   SC Freiburg	       1:1 (0:1)   57,000 *

                    0:1  Mehmedi (25., Guedé)
                    1:1  Kacar (90., Olic)
 
Bayern München	     -   FC Augsburg	       0:1 (0:0)   75,000 *

                    0:1  Bobadilla (71., Höjbjerg)

Borussia Dortmund    -   Hertha BSC	       2:0 (1:0)   80,667 *

                    1:0  Subotic (9., H. Mkhitaryan)
                    2:0  Durm (47., H. Mkhitaryan)

Bor. Mönchengladbach -   Bayer 04 Leverkusen   3:0 (0:0)   53,715 *

                    1:0  M. Kruse (50., Herrmann)
                    2:0  Herrmann (81., Kramer)
                    3:0  Traoré (88., F. Johnson)

Hannover 96	     -   Werder Bremen	       1:1 (1:0)   49,000 *

                    1:0  Stindl (21., Briand)
                    1:1  Junuzovic (78.)

Eintracht Frankfurt  -   TSG Hoffenheim	       3:1 (3:0)   50,600 

                    1:0  Oczipka (18., direct freekick)
                    2:0  Seferovic (27., Stendera)
                    3:0  Chandler (34., Oczipka)
                    3:1  Volland (51., direct freekick)

VfB Stuttgart	     -   1. FSV Mainz 05       2:0 (0:0)   54,300

                    1:0  Didavi (66., Serey Dié)
                    2:0  Kostic (78.)

SC Paderborn 07	     -   VfL Wolfsburg	       1:3 (0:2)   14,659

                    0:1  Klose (16., Rodriguez)
                    0:2  Dost (25., Perisic)
                    0:3  Dost (82., Arnold)
                    1:3  Rupp (90. + 1)
 
1. FC Köln	     -   FC Schalke 04	       2:0 (1:0)   46,500 *

                    1:0  Risse (34., Nagasawa)
                    2:0  Gerhardt (89.)
 	


 1  Bayern München (M, P)	32   24  4  4 	  77:16  +61 	  76 
 2  VfL Wolfsburg	  	32   19  8  5 	  68:35  +33 	  65
 3  Bor. Mönchengladbach	32   18  9  5 	  50:23  +27 	  63 
 4  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	32   16  10 6 	  59:35  +24 	  58
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  FC Augsburg	  	        32   14  4  14 	  39:40  -1 	  46 
 6  FC Schalke 04	  	32   12  9  11 	  41:38  +3 	  45
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  Borussia Dortmund	  	32   12  7  13 	  43:38  +5 	  43 
 8  Werder Bremen  	        32   11  10 11 	  48:60  -12 	  43 
 9  TSG Hoffenheim	  	32   11  8  13 	  47:52  -5 	  41 
10  1. FC Köln (N)	  	32    9  12 11 	  32:36  -4 	  39 
11  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	32   10  9  13 	  54:61  -7 	  39 
12  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	32    8  13 11 	  43:45  -2 	  37 
13  Hertha BSC Berlin	  	32    9  7  16 	  35:50  -15 	  34 
14  Hamburger SV	  	32    8  8  16 	  22:48  -26 	  32 
15  SC Freiburg	  	        32    6  13 13 	  33:44  -11 	  31
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Hannover 96	  	        32    7  10 15 	  36:54  -18 	  31
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  SC Paderborn 07 (N)	  	32    7  10 15 	  30:62  -32 	  31 
18  VfB Stuttgart	  	32    7  9  16 	  38:58  -20 	  30

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

3.Liga, Round 36: Decisions postponed to next week

Round 36, May 8-10

Nothing is completely decided, but it’s down to the last spot on both ends.

Bielefeld isn’t going up just yet. They’re in a commanding position to get auto qualification, but they were only able to draw at Wehen, so they couldn’t finish things off. However next week they face Regensburg at home and should wrap up the promotion.

Duisburg has continued their good run, five in a row. They’ve set up the “final” with Kiel next week for the automatic spot. Their win in Erfurt was routine.

Kiel kept their options open as they blasted Fortuna Köln. The Holsteiners seem ready for their clash with Duisburg, but they probably need to win.

Stuttgarter Kickers are probably out, despite a decent effort at Preußen Münster. The silver lining is that they’ve pretty much wrapped up 4th place, barring getting slaughtered in the next couple of matches. The 4th place at least means automatic seeding into the lucrative main round of next year’s DFB-Cup.

Dortmund-II was impressive in grabbing their last chance and thumping Energie Cottbus away. The BVB-Bubis still could sneak through, as they trail Mainz by two points. Mainz got a point against Osnabrück, so they remain with an advanatge for the lone safety spot remaining.

Unterhaching looked like they’re going down. The mini-Münch(en)kins were ripped at Dresden, and their inferior goal difference leaves them at a disadvantage. But it’s only two points, so a win next week could still give them a chance. Justin Eilts nailed a hat-trick for Dynamo.

Rostock still needs to be careful, as their loss at Stuttgart-II still leaves them mathematically risky. The VfB U23 however has secured their survival.

Total attendance 58,474 (avg 5,847), 35.2% capacity

VfB Stuttgart II    -  	Hansa Rostock	       3:2 (2:1)    1,200
1. FSV Mainz 05 II  -  	VfL Osnabrück	       1:1 (0:1)      844
Energie Cottbus	    -  	Borussia Dortmund II   0:3 (0:0)    7,386
Dynamo Dresden	    -  	SpVgg Unterhaching     5:1 (2:0)   20,202
Preußen Münster	    -  	Stuttgarter Kickers    2:3 (1:0)    6,096
Holstein Kiel	    -  	Fortuna Köln	       4:0 (1:0)    8,411
SV Wehen Wiesbaden  -  	Arminia Bielefeld      1:1 (1:1)    5,667
Jahn Regensburg     -  	Chemnitzer FC	       0:1 (0:0)    2,304
Rot-Weiß Erfurt	    -   MSV Duisburg	       0:2 (0:1)    4,864
SG S-hof Großaspach -  	Hallescher FC	       2:1 (0:1)    1,500


 1  Arminia Bielefeld (A)	36   21   7  8    72:39  +33 	  70
 2  MSV Duisburg	  	36   19  11  6 	  60:38  +22 	  68
-------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 3  Holstein Kiel	  	36   18  13  5 	  52:25  +27 	  67
-------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 4  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	36   17  10  9 	  59:47  +12 	  61 
 5  Chemnitzer FC	  	36   16  7  13 	  41:35  +6 	  55 
 6  Preußen Münster	  	36   15  9  12 	  52:46  +6 	  54 
 7  Hallescher FC	  	36   15  8  13 	  50:49  +1 	  53 
 8  Energie Cottbus (A)	  	36   14  11 11 	  47:47   0 	  53 
 9  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	36   14  8  14 	  52:42  +10 	  50 
10  Dynamo Dresden (A)	  	36   14  8  14 	  47:45  +2 	  50 
11  VfL Osnabrück	  	36   13  9  14 	  47:51  -4 	  48 
12  Rot-Weiß Erfurt	  	36   13  8  15 	  46:54  -8 	  47 
13  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach (N)	36   12  10 14 	  39:57  -18 	  46 
14  Fortuna Köln (N)	  	36   11  10 15 	  36:42  -6 	  43 
15  VfB Stuttgart II	  	36   12  7  17 	  45:55  -10 	  43 
16  Hansa Rostock	  	36   11  8  17 	  53:65  -12 	  41 
17  1. FSV Mainz 05 II (N)	36    9  11 16 	  40:50  -10 	  38
--------------------------------------------------------------------
18  Borussia Dortmund II	36    7  15 14 	  37:47  -10 	  36 
19  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	36   10  8  18 	  50:66  -16 	  36 
20  Jahn Regensburg	  	36    7  6  23 	  38:63  -25 	  27


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

Bayern: Emperor has no clothes?

Bayern München has not had a particularily good recent run. After their brilliant destrction of FC Porto, they’ve really sucked. Struggled to win against Hertha BSC, then knocked out of the DFB-Cup at home by rivals Dortmund, disgracefully not being able to make a single penalty. Then pretty much owned by Leverkusen, albiet with a somewhat “Rumpf-elf”. But that was part of the master plan to face off against Barcelona in the Champions League semis. Well, apparently only Manuel Neuer was with it, as he was brilliant, but Leo Messi and Barcelona were relentless and routed the German giants 3-0. Seems unlikely they can make that up in the return.

A lot of fingers are now beginning to point to Pep Guardiola. Remember that Jupp Heynckes won everything, including the Champions League before being essentially “forced” to retire. Bayern got their man, Guardiola, but hasn’t been able to duplicate Heynckes’ success. Furthermore, he has imposed his boring tikki-taka that often puts people to sleep. Bayern is known to be demanding, so chances are that Pep is out unless he wins everything next year. Maybe they replace him with Jürgen Klopp, hehehe.

BUNDESLIGA: Relegation battle

The relegation battle is huge, and is likely to go down to the wire. The clubs listed below are the ones that are fighting for survival. From what I’ve gathered, most clubs figure on cutting budget at least 50% if they go down. And unlike the Premier League, there aren’t those lucrative “parachute payments” from the massive TV contracts around to help out. Most players have clauses that renew their contracts for the 2.Liga, but the better ones can almost always force a transfer, and usually the club can’t afford to turn down an offer.

13th Hertha BSC Berlin 34 pts

Remaining Fixtures:
A Dortmund
H Frankfurt
A Hoffenheim

Berlin is probably safe, although sucking could perhaps drop them into the drop playoff. However they have a home match against Frankfurt, which is basically just dicking around, and that is likely full points. So their prospects are good and they should be around next season.

14th Hamburger SV 31 pts

Remaining Fixtures:
H Freiburg
A Stuttgart
H Schalke

Relegation would be a disaster. HSV is of course the only “eternal Bundesligist”, having been every season since founding in 1963. But the financial and sporting perspectives would be dire as well in the case of a drop. Star players would likely all be gone, as the salary budget would drop about 50%, sponsors have “outs”, and some of their talented non-stars might be able to force moves. As it is, a house cleaning is likely with some of the high-priced underperformers (70% of the squad). However, Bruno Labbadia might just be lucky with his timing as new coach, and the schedule is quite favorable. Two matches against fellow strugglers, and a home match against a less than impressive Schalke give them decent prospects of staying up.

15th SC Paderborn 07 (N) 31 pts

Remaining Fixtures:
H Wolfsburg
A Schalke
H Stuttgart

Paderborn would actually whether a relegation fairly well. Their salary budget was only around 14 million euros, which is half of even somebody like Freiburg, who are the next lowest. Management has already stated that even in the event of relegation, they wouldn’t go back to the previous 2.Liga budget of 8 million, so they could be competitive. They many problem is that the best players that have proven Bundesliga quality, such as midfielder Moritz Stoppelkamp, would probably receive offers. A difficult next two matches, and then perhaps a “final” at home to Stuttgart is also a tough end run.

16th SC Freiburg 30 pts

Remaining Fixtures:
A HSV
H Bayern
A Hannover

Freiburg has been here before. Although their player budget would drop from 28 million to around 14, that would still be decent in the 2.Liga. But some of their best players would likely be offered 1st division transfers. Nevertheless, they are prepared for a bounceback if needed. Their run in is fairly difiicult, since they likely lose their only home tie against Bayern, and the two away matches are at fellow strugglers who will also be desperate for points.

17th Hannover 96 30 pts

Relegation would be a disaster for Hannover. They expected to challenge for Europe and and are on the verge a collapse. The club is not prepared for budget slashing in the 2.Liga, and would lose all their best players in the event of a drop.

Remaining Fixtures:
H Bremen
A Augsburg
H Freiburg

18th VfB Stuttgart 27 pts

Oddly enough, Stuttgart might be able to survive a drop. The club has been planning, and although the salary budget would get slashed and star players like Harnik are likely gone, sponsors have apparently decided to stay, and the club financially would be OK for at least one 2.Liga year (the expectation is for average attendance to be around 30,000+, which seems reasonable.) And they may need it, as they have ground to catch up. They have to win both their home matches and set themselves up for a final in Paderborn. They have the talent to do it, but seem to do something stupid that costs points, so it seems likely they will be going down and test their theory of 2.Liga recovery…

Remaining Fixtures:
H Mainz
H HSV
A Paderborn

If I had to pick, I would say that Paderborn, Freiburg and Stuttgart go down, although any one of those could qualify for the playoff spot.

2.Liga, Round 31: Statements at top and bottom

Round 31, May 1-4

Some important “statements” were made in crucial matches at top and bottom. A couple of relegation threatened sides had huge wins against favored teams. A couple of others folded like wimps. One club hoping for promotion took a huge leap in a direct confrontation with a rival to stay alive.

Darmstadt needed a win against Kaiserslautern, whereas the visitors could almost book their Bundesliga ticket with a win. Indeed, the 98ers played like there was no tomorrow and overpowered FCK in the first half. The visitors had been running strong recently, but were simply outplayed by the hungrier team. They still have the edge, but the advantage has shrunk.

Erzgebirge Aue desperately needed something, and they faced Karlsruhe, who could jump into promotion with a win. The Auers outhustled the guests, and although they benefited from some terrible KSC defending, couldn’t get the second goal. Then KSC began to show their technical superiority in the 2nd half and equalized. Erzgebirge wildly threw everything forward, and were again rewarded by sloppy Karlsruhe defending. A huge win that gives them hope.

St.Pauli also made a statement that they want to survive. They faced the antithesis of everything the Paulista fans root for, corporate “Rasenball”. It was a fierce battle, and the Hamburgers came out on top, getting a massive win, pulling themselves out of the drop zone barely.

It was time for Greuther Fürth to “put up or shut up”. They’ve been sliding towards the drop, and desperately needed to apply the brakes. They answered critics with a thumping of Fortuna Düsseldorf. This broke their nine game winless streak and keeps their head barely above water. Fortuna is going nowhere, and they played like a club waiting for summer vacation.

Two threatened sides also made statements. Namely “We suck!”. 1860 was owned by Union Berlin. The Lions seemingly tried, but they were too incompetant, and Union easily got their first road win of 2015, and actually their first in 14 tries against 1860. München is in huge trouble and it is looking grim.

Aalen also got biatch-slapped. They have shown some spark, and you’d expect against a listless Bochum (whole season) they’d have a chance. Instead they got rolled like a joint and kicked in the balls. Both sides had players kicked out after only 18 minutes, but Bochum was the one that woke up and mercilessly dissected the hapless hosts. Aalen tried a late comeback, but that train had left the station..

Braunschweig looked like their last slim promotion chance was slipping away. FSV Frankfurt was fighting hard, and the Lions could get no advantage. But Danish Striker Emil Berggreen scored a double in the 2nd period that gives Eintracht some small hope, at least for the playoff spot. FSV has probably done enough work to stay safe from relegation.

An entertaining game in the “who cares?” match between Sandhausen and Heidenheim. Both clubs worked hard enough through the season to get the points to say up, and can presumably relax…

On Monday, Ingolstadt had a rare sellout as they strengthened their position at the top, splitting the points with Nürnberg.

Total attendance 128,641 (avg 14,293), 59.4% capacity, sellouts in Darmstadt, Hamburg, Ingolstadt

 	
Eintr. Braunschweig  -   FSV Frankfurt	        2:0 (0:0)   21,050

                    1:0  Berggreen (59., Decarli)
                    2:0  Berggreen (69., Boland)

SV Darmstadt 98	     -   1. FC Kaiserslautern	3:2 (3:1)   16,150 *

                    0:1  Demirbay (13., direct freekick)
                    1:1  Bregerie (19., penalty, Heller)
                    2:1  König (22.)
                    3:1  Behrens (40.)
                    3:2  Stöger (88., direct freekick)

SpVgg Greuther Fürth -   Fortuna Düsseldorf	3:0 (1:0)   11,845

                    1:0  Stiepermann (29., Lam)
                    2:0  Zulj (49., Schröck)
                    3:0  Sukalo (66., Stiepermann)

1860 München	     -   1. FC Union Berlin	0:3 (0:1)   18,800

                    0:1  Polter (19., Quiring)
                    0:2  Kreilach (80., Schönheim)
                    0:3  Polter (89., Nebihi)


FC St. Pauli	     -   RasenBall Leipzig	1:0 (1:0)   23,584 *

                    1:0  Thy (45., Kalla)

VfR Aalen	     -   VfL Bochum	        2:4 (0:2)    8,566

                    0:1  O. Bulut (16., Perthel)
                    0:2  Terodde (32., Terrazzino)
                    0:3  Terrazzino (54., Gregoritsch)
                    0:4  Quaner (62., own goal, Celozzi)
                    1:4  Steinhöfer (66., penalty, Quaner)
                    2:4  Ademi (75., Ofosu-Ayeh)

SV Sandhausen	     -   1. FC Heidenheim	2:2 (0:0)    4,546

                    0:1  Niederlechner (54., Heise)
                    1:1  Bouhaddouz (71.)
                    1:2  Niederlechner (75., Heise)
                    2:2  Jovanovic (79., Kulovits)

Erzgebirge Aue	     -   Karlsruher SC	        3:1 (1:0)    9,100

                    1:0  Mugosa (19.)
                    1:1  Torres (71., Meffert)
                    2:1  Mugosa (75., Hertner)
                    3:1  Fandrich (85.)

FC Ingolstadt 04     -   1. FC Nürnberg	        1:1 (0:0)   15,000 * 


 1  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	31   16  12  3 	  49:27  +22 	  60 
 2  1. FC Kaiserslautern	31   14  12  5 	  44:28  +16 	  54
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  SV Darmstadt 98 (N)	  	31   13  14  4 	  42:25  +17 	  53
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Karlsruher SC	  	31   13  13  5 	  42:25  +17 	  52 
 5  Eintracht Braunschweig (A)	31   15  5  11 	  43:34  +9 	  50 
 6  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N)	31   12  11  8 	  36:25  +11 	  47 
 7  Fortuna Düsseldorf	  	31   10  11  10   44:47  -3 	  41 
 8  1. FC Union Berlin	  	31   10  11  10   40:48  -8 	  41 
 9  1. FC Heidenheim (N)	31   10  9   12   40:40   0 	  39 
10  1. FC Nürnberg (A)	  	31   11  6   14   36:43  -7 	  39 
11  VfL Bochum	  	        31    8  14  9 	  49:49   0 	  38 
12  SV Sandhausen	  	31    9  11  11   28:35  -7 	  38 
13  FSV Frankfurt	  	31    9  9   13   37:47  -10 	  36 
14  SpVgg Greuther Fürth	31    7  13  11   33:37  -4 	  34 
15  FC St. Pauli	  	31    8  7   16   33:49  -16 	  31
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Erzgebirge Aue	  	31    8  7   16   28:44  -16 	  31
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  1860 München	  	31    7  9   15   38:48  -10 	  30 
18  VfR Aalen	  	        31    6  12  13   29:40  -11 	  28
	
Aalen deducted two points for being wankers, err, financial shenanigans.

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