BUNDESLIGA, Round 31: Relegation battles

Round 31, May 2-3

The relegation battle remains the primary focus in The Bundesliga. The bottom five clubs are scrambling to get points, and only Stuttgart seems to be lagging. The fierce battle seems likely to go down to the wire, and even Hertha Berlin, which looked completely safe, may be a bit nervous.

Hamburg might have been given up for dead, but perhaps their latest coaching change came at the right moment. Usually you get a short-term bonus when the new coach comes in, and Bruno Labbadia may be the beneficiary. HSV travelled to Mainz and got a huge away win that lifts them out of the drop. It was a decent performance, never letting Mainz control the match.

Paderborn got a stunning win at Freiburg and have suddenly made themselves relevant again. This is the type of match you’d expect Freiburg to win, given they have lots of experience in relegation battles. Indeed, the Breisgauer dominated the first period, and took the lead as on-loan Nils Petersen stroked home once again. It seemed like they would have no trouble holding on, but Paderborn coach Andre Breitenreiter decided to go for broke. He threw everything into attack and brought on more offensive players – and hos moves worked brilliantly. Lukas Rupp got both goals, Mahir Saglik assisted on the 2nd. Freiburg was stunned an reacted with last minute furious attack that resulted in a shot crashing off the post, but that was it.

Hannover had perhaps their best performance of the year (2015 that is). The 96ers faced off at Wolfsburg in a Niedersachsen derby and should have lost. The VWs are in decent form and the 96ers have stunk. And Wolfsburg was up by two goals at half-time and cruising. However Hannover showed fight that has been lacking since winterbreak and came storming back to salvage a point, the piece-de-resistance a bicycle-kick goal by Sane from almost top of the box. Despite their heroics, the 96ers drop into the relegation zone given the other results.

Stuttgart continues to have no luck. VfB put in a decent performance at Schalke, who have been struggling. The Blues got an early boost as Huntelaar scored – his first in something like 1,100 minutes. But Stuttagrt fought back and surprisingly took the lead. Schalke reacted with gumption, something that has been missing recently. Huntelaar scored again, and then at the death, A Stuttgart own goal gave them the win. It’s not over, but time is running out for VfB.

Normally Bayern München losing would be the headline, but this wasn’t too unexpected. Pep Guardiola wasn’t too happy with the midweek DFB-Cup failure against Dortmund, and decided also to rest some players for Champions League. So teh champs showed up with a make shift side that included youngsters like Gaudino, Weiser and Streider. Dinosaur Claudio Pizarro started, and was eventually replaced by another youngster, Görtler. So a determined Leverkusen side could very well be expected to have some advantage. By and large the Aspirins were the better team, although World Champion Mario Götze wasted a coupe of sitters in embarrassing fashion. Hakan Calhanhoglu brought Leverkusen into the lead with another of his wonderful freekicks, and the home was on their way to victory.

Hoffenheim and Dortmund battled to a fair draw, as both teams try to sneak into Europe. The Neons got a somewhat suspect equalizer, as the first half was rather bereft of chances. The 2nd period was more lively, both teams having chances for a lead, but nothing scored, and both keep their hope for Euroliga alive.

Largely a snoozer in Augsburg, as FCA was unable to turn their positional advanatge into anything against Köln. I think was the 9th 0-0 for the guests, likely a Bundesliga record.

The highlight of the Bremen-Frankfurt match was probably the return of Bremen legend Thomas Schaaf…as coach of Frankfurt. He received a standing ovation from the Werder fans for his almost lifetime of service as a player and coach. The match itself was a bit ragged, neither side able to impose their will, and Bremen ended up winning, probably fair enough given the balance of play.

Gladbach won at Hertha to re-claim the auto-group qualifier for the Champions League. They were the better side and deserved the win. Berlin was too defensive, and really needs to be careful that they don’t slip into the drop zone. They could use a couple of points to be safe, but as perhaps the most boring team in the league, they are relying on their opponents to fall asleep, which may not be a clever strategy.

Total attendance 337,986 (avg 37,554), 94.6% capacity, sellouts in Schalke, Hoffenheim, Bremen, Freiburg, Leverkusen, Mainz

 	
 	
FC Schalke 04	     -   VfB Stuttgart	        3:2 (1:1)   61,973 *

                    1:0  Huntelaar (9.)
                    1:1  Harnik (22., Ginczek)
                    1:2  Kostic (51., Ginczek)
                    2:2  Huntelaar (78., K.-P. Boateng)
                    3:2  Klein (89., own goal, K.-P. Boateng)

VfL Wolfsburg	     -   Hannover 96	        2:2 (2:0)   29,514

                    1:0  Dost (24., De Bruyne)
                    2:0  Perisic (45., De Bruyne)
                    2:1  Briand (47., Prib)
                    2:2  S. Sané (58.)

FC Augsburg	     -   1. FC Köln	        0:0 (0:0)   29,158

TSG Hoffenheim	     -   Borussia Dortmund	1:1 (1:1)   30,150 *

                    1:0  Volland (33., Schwegler)
                    1:1  Hummels (35., H. Mkhitaryan)

Werder Bremen	     -   Eintracht Frankfurt	1:0 (0:0)   42,100 *

                    1:0  Selke (66., Lukimya)

SC Freiburg	     -   SC Paderborn 07	1:2 (1:0)   24,000 *

                    1:0  Petersen (40., Schmid)
                    1:1  Rupp (70., Lakic)
                    1:2  Rupp (80., Saglik)

Bayer 04 Leverkusen  -   Bayern München	        2:0 (0:0)   30,210 *

                    1:0  Calhanoglu (55., direct freekick)
                    2:0  Brandt (81., Bellarabi)

1. FSV Mainz 05	     -   Hamburger SV	        1:2 (0:1)   34,000 *

                    0:1  Baumgartlinger (37., own goal, Westermann)
                    1:1  Malli (76., Jairo)
                    1:2  Kacar (87.)

Hertha BSC	     -   Bor. Mönchengladbach	1:2 (1:1)   56,881

                    0:1  M. Kruse (11., Raffael)
                    1:1  Stocker (13., Kalou)
                    1:2  Traoré (85., Hazard)
 


 1  Bayern München (M, P)	31   24  4  3 	  77:15  +62 	  76 
 2  VfL Wolfsburg	  	31   18  8  5 	  65:34  +31 	  62 
 3  Bor. Mönchengladbach	31   17  9  5 	  47:23  +24 	  60
 4  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	31   16  10 5 	  59:32  +27 	  58
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 5  FC Schalke 04	  	31   12  9  10 	  41:36  +5 	  45 
 6  FC Augsburg	  	        31   13  4  14 	  38:40  -2 	  43
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 7  Werder Bremen	  	31   11  9  11 	  47:59  -12 	  42 
 8  TSG Hoffenheim	  	31   11  8  12 	  46:49  -3 	  41 
 9  Borussia Dortmund	  	31   11  7  13 	  41:38  +3 	  40 
10  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	31    8  13 10 	  43:43   0 	  37 
11  1. FC Köln (N)	  	31    8  12 11 	  30:36  -6 	  36 
12  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	31    9  9  13 	  51:60  -9 	  36 
13  Hertha BSC Berlin	  	31    9  7  15 	  35:48  -13 	  34 
14  Hamburger SV	  	31    8  7  16 	  21:47  -26 	  31 
15  SC Paderborn 07 (N)	  	31    7  10 14 	  29:59  -30 	  31 
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16  SC Freiburg	  	        31    6  12 13 	  32:43  -11 	  30
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17  Hannover 96	  	        31    7  9  15 	  35:53  -18 	  30
18  VfB Stuttgart	  	31    6  9  16 	  36:58  -22 	  27


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

2.Liga, Round 30

Round 30, Apr 24-27

Kaiserslautern took a huge step forward towards promotion as the won away at Bochum. Not any easy place to play, the Red Devils were in control throughout.

Karlsruhe was one of the “big” winners” this week. By beating down Greuther Fürth, they kept pace. And since Darmstadt slipped up, they now control 3rd place. Fürth put in a decent effort, but their suckiness has gotten to the point that they are a serious drop candidate.

Leipzig kept their small promotion hopes alive and seriously wounded Darmstadt in the process. The hero was Swiss GK Fabio Coltorti, who went forward in injury time and scored the winning goal.

Braunschweig also kept pace, along with their small hopes. They had a hardv time with desperate Erzgebirg Aue, as the guests fiercely battle against the drop. Aue had the lead, but a powerful assault down the stretch in the 2nd half gave the points to the hosts.

Aalen got bad news in that their appeal against the two-point deduction was denied. They could still try a legal maneuver through the courts, but that doesn’t seem likely. However the squad has apparently decided that they will try and do it on the field, and they battled to a draw at FSV Frankfurt, despite being under a fair amount of FSV pressure.

St.Pauli is at the bottom, and you have to think that 3.Liga treasurers are already licking their chops at the prospect of a nice crowd next year. The Paulistas remain one of the top draws in the 2.Liga, as they bring a lot of their own fans (and largely well behaved, albeit a bit weird). Heidenheim was the beneficiary, and FCH responded with a strong performance to keep all the points as well.

1860 and Düsseldorf drew, both GKs were sharp. Obviously, 1860 is happier with the point, as it keeps their head just above water.

Ingolstadt was on their back foot against a motivated Union Berlin. The leaders managed to salvage a draw, but it wasn’t easy. The bad news for the Schanzer is that captain Marvin Matip went down with a season ending injury. Ingolstadt probably has enough of a cushion to weather it though, and should be in the Bundesliga next season.

Total attendance 168,418 (avg 18,713), 60.2% capacity, sellout in Heidenheim


1. FC Nürnberg	    -  	SV Sandhausen	        2:0 (0:0)   25,233

                   1:0  Kerk (75., D. Blum)
                   2:0  G. Burgstaller (90. + 2, Schöpf)

VfL Bochum	    -  	1. FC Kaiserslautern	0:2 (0:1)   19,057

                   0:1  Zoller (31., M. Schulze)
                   0:2  P. Hofmann (76., Demirbay)

RasenBall Leipzig   -  	SV Darmstadt 98	        2:1 (0:0)   25,336

                   0:1  Behrens (77., Kempe)
                   1:1  Klostermann (79.)
                   2:1  Coltorti (90. + 3, Damari)

Karlsruher SC	    -  	SpVgg Greuther Fürth    2:1 (0:1)   15,237

                   0:1  Rapp (13., Wurtz)
                   1:1  Hennings (58., Max)
                   2:1  Hennings (60., Gordon)

Fortuna Düsseldorf  -  	1860 München	        1:1 (0:1)   25,461

                   0:1  Adlung (42., M. Wolf)
                   1:1  Liendl (48., Halloran)

1. FC Union Berlin  -  	FC Ingolstadt 04	2:2 (0:1)   17,761

                   0:1  Matip (5., P. Groß)
                   1:1  Jopek (75., Kreilach)
                   2:1  Jopek (79., direct freekick)
                   2:2  Levels (82., P. Groß)

FSV Frankfurt	    -  	VfR Aalen	        1:1 (1:0)    5,133
 
                   1:0  Aoudia (45. + 2, Huber)
                   1:1  Steinhöfer (64., Quaner)

1. FC Heidenheim    -  	FC St. Pauli	        2:1 (0:0)   15,000 *

                   1:0  Leipertz (62., Niederlechner)
                   2:0  Schnatterer (82., penalty, Leipertz)
                   2:1  Nöthe (90. + 3, Gonther)

Eintr. Braunschweig -  	Erzgebirge Aue	        4:2 (1:2)   20,200 	


 1  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	30   16  11  3 	  48:26  +22 	  59 
 2  1. FC Kaiserslautern	30   14  12  4 	  42:25  +17 	  54
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 3  Karlsruher SC	  	30   13  13  4 	  41:22  +19 	  52
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 4  SV Darmstadt 98 (N)	  	30   12  14  4 	  39:23  +16 	  50 
 5  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N)	30   12  11  7 	  36:24  +12 	  47 
 6  Eintracht Braunschweig (A)  30   14  5  11 	  41:34  +7 	  47 
 7  Fortuna Düsseldorf  	30   10  11  9 	  44:44   0 	  41 
 8  1. FC Heidenheim (N)  	30   10  8  12 	  38:38   0 	  38 
 9  1. FC Nürnberg (A)	  	30   11  5  14 	  35:42  -7 	  38 
10  1. FC Union Berlin	  	30    9  11 10 	  37:48  -11 	  38 
11  SV Sandhausen	  	30    9  10 11 	  26:33  -7 	  37 
12  FSV Frankfurt	  	30    9  9  12 	  37:45  -8 	  36 
13  VfL Bochum	  	        30    7  14  9 	  45:47  -2 	  35 
14  SpVgg Greuther Fürth        30    6  13 11 	  30:37  -7 	  31 
15  1860 München	  	30    7  9  14 	  38:45  -7 	  30
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16  VfR Aalen	  	        30    6  12 12 	  27:36  -9 	  28
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17  Erzgebirge Aue	  	30    7  7  16 	  25:43  -18 	  28 
18  FC St. Pauli	  	30    7  7  16 	  32:49  -17 	  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

BUNDESLIGA, Round 30: Fierce relegation battles, Bayern champs

Round 30, Apr 24-26

All eyes on Hamburg as Bruno Labbadia made his debut as HSV coach. And the Hamburgers responded with fight, jumping out to a quick lead against Augsburg. But soon they were pegged back, and the Fuggers took control, and HSV was in danger of losing the thread. However unlike other matches, HSV bounced back and managed to win the game, which allows them to regain some hope. Labbadia might be also encouraged that his pathetic “attack” looked good, as Olic and Lassogga came to life with the needed goals. AUgsburg has shhown that they are a tough opponent, but uneven results mean that their once secure Euro spot is under serious threat.

Mainz bitch-slapped Schalke to end any relegation worries. And they even have an outside chance of Euroliga, given that they’re only 5 points back. The Blues looked tired and listless, although they had more possesion and shots, they never looked like rocking the boat.

Not very impressive by Dortmund, but Frankfurt was hapless and hopeless. The Neons were in control and if they hadn’t wasted some clear chances, it would have been a rout. Still, the win moves BVB within striking distance of a Euro spot, which would be pretty amazing given their horrible mid season run. Not sure why Eintracht was so toothless, but that pretty much ends any hopes they might have had.

Horrible situation in Hannover might be worse. The 96ers have been sucking for a while – zero wins in 2015! – and under new coach Michael Frontzeck were looking for improvement. Well, they did look a lot better, so I guess you could say the glass is still half-full. But Hoffenheim was clever and grabbed the win, so the emergency alarms continue to go off. Hoffenheim has to be thinking that they can steal one of the Euroliga spots.

Stuttgart continues to throw away points, and that may end up costing big time. VfB was in total control in the first half of the southwestern derby with Freiburg, but they let it slip away as Nils Petersen is quickly becoming a “Fussballgott” in the Breisgau. Since coming over from Bremen in winterbreak, he has scored some important goals, and once again he saved the day. SCF is fighting for every point, and although they’re still in extreme danger, you get the feeling that they might pull it off. Obviously Stuttgart needed all points in this relegation six pointer, and have only themselves to blame.

A thrilling Rheinderby in Köln. You’d expect Leverkusen to easily win this, as they are one of the “in-form” squads. But the Aspirins were having a hard time, and nothing was coming easy. Köln GK Timo Horn stopped a penalty by Hakan Calhanoglu right before half, and although the visitors managed to take the lead after an hour, they were still in a dogfight. Köln seized control and attacked furiously, eventually getting the deserved equalizer.

After their Champions League gala performance thrashing Porto 6-1, you might have expected Bayern München to let up on the weekend. And you’d be right. Hertha BSC was able to hang with the champs, and although the hosts dominated as they usually do, Berlin held down the chances and even had a couple of decent ones themselves. Of course, eventually Bayern decided they wanted to win this one too, so a clever run by youngster Mitchell Wesier served up a chance for Bastian Schweinsteiger, and another 3 points in the bag. Hertha probably didn’t expect anything from this match anyway, and they would appear to be safe from relegation, barring total collapse.

On Sunday, Paderborn had a huge opportunity to jump out of relegation. They hosted Bremen, who had fought off relegation worries, and perhaps could sneak into Euro contention. SCP was determined and focused, and jumped to a 2-0 lead, seemingly in control. But Werder fought back to wrest a point and leave Paderborn in dire straights. Much like Stuttgart, they may rue this game at the end of the season.

Gladbach got a last second goal to defeat Wolfsburg and perhaps challenge for 2nd place. The home side probably deserved the win, as they controlled most of the match and generated better chances. The VW loss officially gives the title to Bayern München, not that it wasn’t a formality anyway.

Total attendance 457,935 (avg 50,882), 96.9% capacity, sellouts in Mainz, Dortmund, Hannover, München, Paderborn

 	
1. FSV Mainz 05	     -   FC Schalke 04	        2:0 (2:0)   34,000 *

                    1:0  Bell (28., Bungert)
                    2:0  Bell (31., Geis)
 
Borussia Dortmund    -   Eintracht Frankfurt	2:0 (2:0)   80,667 *

                    1:0  Aubameyang (24., Hand penalty)
                    2:0  Kagawa (32., Aubameyang)

Hannover 96	     -   TSG Hoffenheim	        1:2 (1:1)   46,200 *

                    0:1  Modeste (2., Roberto Firmino)
                    1:1  Stindl (24., penalty, Schmiedebach)
                    1:2  Schipplock (83., Szalai)

VfB Stuttgart	     -   SC Freiburg	        2:2 (2:0)   58,000

                    1:0  Ginczek (24., Harnik)
                    2:0  Harnik (27., Kostic)
                    2:1  Petersen (58., penalty, Schmid)
                    2:2  Petersen (85., Sorg)

Hamburger SV	     -   FC Augsburg	        3:2 (2:1)   51,321

                    1:0  Olic (11., Stieber)
                    2:0  Lasogga (19., Ostrzolek)
                    2:1  Bobadilla (25., To. Werner)
                    2:2  To. Werner (69., Höjbjerg)
                    3:2  Lasogga (71., Stieber)

1. FC Köln	     -   Bayer 04 Leverkusen	1:1 (0:0)   45,600

                    0:1  Brandt (60., Bellarabi)
                    1:1  Finne (83., Ujah)

Bayern München       -   Hertha BSC	        1:0 (0:0)   75,000 *

                    1:0  Schweinsteiger (80., Weiser)

SC Paderborn 07	     -   Werder Bremen	        2:2 (2:1)   15,000 *

                    1:0  Vrancic (25., Stoppelkamp)
                    2:0  Stoppelkamp (27., Koc)
                    2:1  Selke (45., Prödl)
                    2:2  Hajrovic (76., Lukimya)

Bor. Mönchengladbach -   VfL Wolfsburg	        1:0 (0:0)   52,147 


 1  Bayern München (M, P)	30   24  4  2 	  77:13  +64 	  76 
 2  VfL Wolfsburg	  	30   18  7  5 	  63:32  +31 	  61 
 3  Bor. Mönchengladbach	30   16  9  5 	  45:22  +23 	  57
 4  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	30   15  10 5 	  57:32  +25 	  55
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 5  FC Schalke 04	  	30   11  9  10 	  38:34  +4 	  42 
 6  FC Augsburg	  	        30   13  3  14 	  38:40  -2 	  42
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 7  TSG Hoffenheim	  	30   11  7  12 	  45:48  -3 	  40 
 8  Borussia Dortmund	  	30   11  6  13 	  40:37  +3 	  39 
 9  Werder Bremen	  	30   10  9  11 	  46:59  -13 	  39 
10  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	30    8  13 9 	  42:41  +1 	  37 
11  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	30    9  9  12 	  51:59  -8 	  36 
12  1. FC Köln (N)	  	30    8  11 11 	  30:36  -6 	  35
13  Hertha BSC Berlin	  	30    9  7  14 	  34:46  -12 	  34 
14  SC Freiburg	  	        30    6  12 12 	  31:41  -10 	  30 
15  Hannover 96  	        30    7  8  15 	  33:51  -18 	  29
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16  Hamburger SV	  	30    7  7  16 	  19:46  -27 	  28
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17  SC Paderborn 07 (N)	  	30    6  10 14 	  27:58  -31 	  28
18  VfB Stuttgart	  	30    6  9  15 	  34:55  -21 	  27 

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

3.Liga, Round 34

Round 34, Apr 24-26

Großaspach continued their great end run with a win over Osnabrück. That made it 6 wins, 3 draws down the stretch, giving the Sonnenhofer security. Meanwhile, the bitterly disappointing season continues to suck for the Osnabrücker, who had clear expectations of challenging for promotion.

Regensburg had perhaps the last chance, and blew it. Jahn got nothing against Mainz-II, and that pretty much seals their drop. In reality, they would have to make up 8 points with only four games left, virtually impossible. An important point for the mini-Mainzers, but they’re still in trouble.

Rostock may have also condemned Dortmund-II to relegation. Hansa has been quite strong down the stretch, and is secure from the drop. BVB-Bubis needed something, get zero, and have little prospect of staying up.

It’s too late for Cottbus to play in the promotion race, but Energie can be spoilers. And they overpowered Stuttgarter Kickers to hurt the visitors chances, although it’s still open. For Cottbus, they have an outside chance for 4th place, which at least guarantees auto-entry into the main round of the lucrative DFB-Cup.

Münster struggled against Fortuna Köln, but at least stopped their drought (winless in 5). It’s probably too late for the Eagles, they’re in the same boat as Cottbus. Fortuna has no worries, at least on the field.

Kiel had a huge win in a hard fought win over Chemnitz, which allows the Holsteiner to keep 2nd. CFC pressed them, but the hosts were strong enough to grind out a win. Duisburg however keeps up the pressure with a solid win away at Dresden

Eight rounds ago Erfurt was knocking on the door of a promotion. Forward to present, 8 losses in a row, well they’re going nowhere. And the gap to the top was laid bare as they were viciously ripped to shreds by leaders Arminia Bielefeld. The guests were somewhat polite in the first half, holding a deserved lead, but then turned nasty and repeatedly kicked the Rot-Weissen in the balls to start the 2nd period.

A true, “ho-hum, who cares?” match in Wiesbaden. Wehen overran Halle in the 2nd half in a relatively boring match that neither side appeared interested in playing. HFC should have at least had some motivation, as an away win might have kept hopes for 4th place alive.

Unterhaching had a massive win at Stuttgart-II, allowing them to leap out of the drop zone.

Total attendance 68,910 (avg 6,891), 39.1% capacity


SG S-hof Großaspach -  	VfL Osnabrück	        1:0 (0:0)    1,800
Jahn Regensburg	    -  	1. FSV Mainz 05 II	0:0 (0:0)    3,515
Hansa Rostock	    -  	Borussia Dortmund II	3:2 (2:2)   11,500
Energie Cottbus	    -  	Stuttgarter Kickers	2:0 (2:0)    5,426
Preußen Münster	    -  	Fortuna Köln	        1:0 (1:0)    8,136
Rot-Weiß Erfurt	    -  	Arminia Bielefeld	0:4 (0:1)    5,889
Holstein Kiel	    -  	Chemnitzer FC	        2:1 (1:1)    7,381
SV Wehen Wiesbaden  -  	Hallescher FC	        3:0 (0:0)    2,280
VfB Stuttgart II    -  	SpVgg Unterhaching	1:3 (0:1)      630
Dynamo Dresden	    -  	MSV Duisburg	        0:2 (0:0)   22,353 


 1  Arminia Bielefeld (A)	34   21  5   8 	  69:36  +33 	  68 
 2  Holstein Kiel	  	34   17  12  5 	  46:23  +23 	  63
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  MSV Duisburg	  	34   17  11  6 	  56:37  +19 	  62
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	34   16  10  8 	  53:41  +12 	  58 
 5  Preußen Münster	  	34   15  9  10 	  49:41  +8 	  54 
 6  Energie Cottbus (A)	  	34   14  10 10 	  44:41  +3 	  52 
 7  Hallescher FC	  	34   14  8  12 	  47:46  +1 	  50 
 8  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	34   14  7  13 	  50:39  +11 	  49 
 9  Chemnitzer FC	  	34   14  7  13 	  38:34  +4 	  49 
10  Rot-Weiß Erfurt	  	34   13  7  14 	  44:50  -6 	  46 
11  Dynamo Dresden (A)	  	34   12  8  14 	  38:41  -3 	  44 
12  VfL Osnabrück	  	34   12  8  14 	  45:50  -5 	  44 
13  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach (N)	34   11  10 13 	  36:53  -17 	  43 
14  Fortuna Köln (N)	  	34   11  9  14 	  34:36  -2 	  42 
15  Hansa Rostock	  	34   11  8  15 	  51:61  -10 	  41 
16  VfB Stuttgart II	  	34   11  7  16 	  42:51  -9 	  40 
17  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	34   10  7  17 	  46:58  -12 	  35 
--------------------------------------------------------------------
18  1. FSV Mainz 05 II (N)	34    8  10 16 	  36:48  -12 	  34
19  Borussia Dortmund II	34    5  15 14 	  32:47  -15 	  30 
20  Jahn Regensburg	  	34    7  6  21 	  37:60  -23 	  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

2.Liga, Round 29: Bottom clubs revolt

Round 29, Apr 17-20

The relegation battle was turned up another notch, as the threatened clubs were desperately seeking points. And in fact all bottom four clubs got full points as they show that the battle will go to the bitter end.

St.Pauli set the stage on Friday night, with a tough performance against Nürnberg. The visitors were the better team for most of the match, having better chances and controlling the match. The Paulistas defended desperately and the packed house went nuts when Lars Sobiech headed home the winner in the final minute.

The story had a similar end in München. 1860 was locked in a difficult struggle with Bochum, and an injury time goal gave the Lions a crucial victory.

Aalen hasn’t given up either. They have the point deduction, and that is unlikely to be overturned. Therefore they desperately needed points, and the got them surprisingly against Braunschweig. Although the visiotrs took the lead, Aalen quickly bounced back and got the win in a gritty match.

Aue also got a win, perhaps somewhat easier, since FSV Frankfurt did very little in the whole match. Erzgebirge didn’t exactly impress, but pressured enough to get a deserved win.

Greuther Fürth should have been the fifth club with full points. However the hosts had trouble with Union, who basically defended the whole match. The Greuther fell behind early and spent most of the match chasing.

Ingolstadt can’t be stopped on their Bundesliga quest. The Schanzer were locked in a tough battle with Düsseldorf, and on the losing end until a late goal gave them the equalizer. Then in the 6th(!) minute of added time, Marvin Matip notched the winner for the homeside.

If Darmstadt fails, perhaps they will look back at this match. The 98ers struggled against Heidenheim, and didn’t really look like winners. But then they took the lead on a penalty, and only a couple of minutes later FCH was down a man, as Heise got his second yellow. So it looked all said and done for a Darmstadt victory. But the fellow promoted side from the 3.Liga wasn’t done. Florian Niederlechner came on as a sub, and after only seconds scored the equalizer. The remaining minutes actually had the visitors pressing, despite numerical disadvantage. The final result probably was fair, but Darmstadt seemingly had it in the bag.

Monday night is a huge match, as Kaiserslautern can move 2nd, and Leipzig needs a win if they are to keep their tiny promotion hope alive.

Total attendance 132,645 (avg 14,738), 51.7% capacity, sellout in Hamburg

 	
FC St. Pauli	      -   1. FC Nürnberg	    1:0 (0:0)   23,854 *

                     1:0  L. Sobiech (90., Daube)
 
FC Ingolstadt 04      -   Fortuna Düsseldorf	    3:2 (0:1)   10,606

                     0:1  Pohjanpalo (33.)
                     1:1  Mo. Hartmann (65.
                     1:2  Bebou (74., Bellinghausen)
                     2:2  Leckie (86., P. Groß)
                     3:2  Matip (90. + 6, P. Groß)

SV Sandhausen	      -   Karlsruher SC	            0:0 (0:0)   12,136

1860 München	      -   VfL Bochum	            2:1 (0:1)   16,000

                     0:1  Gregoritsch (16., Sestak)
                     1:1  M. Wolf (56., Adlung)
                     2:1  S. Hain (90. + 2, Vallori)

VfR Aalen	      -   Eintracht Braunschweig    2:1 (0:0)    7,019

                     0:1  Boland (51., Omladic)
                     1:1  Quaner (54.)
                     2:1  Ofosu-Ayeh (69.)
 	
 	
SpVgg Greuther Fürth  -   1. FC Union Berlin	    2:2 (0:1)   11,080

                     0:1  M. Thiel (8., Kreilach)
                     1:1  Freis (50., Stiepermann)
                     1:2  Parensen (79., Schönheim)
                     2:2  Wurtz (89., Gießelmann)

Erzgebirge Aue	      -   FSV Frankfurt	            1:0 (0:0)    7,650

                     1:0  Benatelli (59., Alibaz)

SV Darmstadt 98	      -   1. FC Heidenheim	    1:1 (0:0)   14,300

                     1:0  Stroh-Engel (64., penalty, Sulu)
                     1:1  Niederlechner (77., Titsch-Rivero)

1. FC Kaiserslautern  -   RasenBall Leipzig	    1:1 (1:1)   30,000

                     0:1  Poulsen (16., Forsberg)
                     1:1  Zoller (20., Stöger)
 



 1  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	29   16  10  3 	  46:24  +22 	  58 
 2  1. FC Kaiserslautern        29   13  12  4 	  40:25  +15 	  51
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  SV Darmstadt 98 (N)	  	29   12  14  3 	  38:21  +17 	  50
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Karlsruher SC	  	29   12  13  4 	  39:21  +18 	  49 
 5  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N)	29   11  11  7 	  34:23  +11 	  44 
 6  Eintracht Braunschweig (A)	29   13  5  11 	  37:32  +5 	  44 
 7  Fortuna Düsseldorf	  	29   10  10  9 	  43:43   0 	  40 
 8  SV Sandhausen	  	29    9  10  10   26:31  -5 	  37 
 9  1. FC Union Berlin	  	29    9  10  10   35:46  -11 	  37 
10  VfL Bochum	  	        29    7  14  8 	  45:45   0 	  35 
11  1. FC Heidenheim (N)	29    9  8  12 	  36:37  -1 	  35 
12  FSV Frankfurt	  	29    9  8  12 	  36:44  -8 	  35 
13  1. FC Nürnberg (A)	  	29   10  5  14 	  33:42  -9 	  35 
14  SpVgg Greuther Fürth	29    6  13 10 	  29:35  -6 	  31 
15  1860 München	  	29    7  8  14 	  37:44  -7 	  29
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  FC St. Pauli	  	29    7  7  15 	  31:47  -16 	  28
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  Erzgebirge Aue	  	29    7  7  15 	  23:39  -16 	  28 
18  VfR Aalen	  	        29    6  11 12 	  26:35  -9 	  27


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 29: Klopp era over

Round 29, Apr 17-19

This wasn’t a great week for the Bundesliga, as Bayern was stunned in Porto for Champions League – although they still have a chance of overcoming that. Furthermore, high flying Wolfsburg was embarrassed at homeby Napoli, and almost zero chance of turning that around.

However, the big news midweek, was Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp announcing that he would resign from Borussia at the end of the season. He has been there 7 years, and probably built Dortmund’s greatest teams, winning back-to-back title, playing in the Champions League, basically having outstanding seasons after coming over Mainz, whom he had put on the map. Certinly the last couple of years have been trying, and he seemed a bit baffled, frustrated and tired, but he remains one of the best football minds on the planet. Interestingly enough, he has also stated “that he could come back to Borussia some day”. However after the win, BVB announced that Thomas Tuchel will be taking over next season. This is interesting in that not only is Tuchel considered one of German football’s brightest minds, he is a protege of Klopp. He followed Klopp at Mainz and continued, perhaps even raised the bar for the club. Now he will try and do the same at Dortmund.

Frankfurt and Gladbach battled to draw which keeps both sides aspirations alive. Gladbach of course would prefer automatic qualification for the Champions League, but they’ll be in it next season. Frankfurt is trying to sneak in to Europe, and they could have used a win. They were a bit better than Gladbach, but the draw is probably correct.

The Neons took a while to get fully in gear, but totally dominated Paderborn in what is Klopp’s “goodbye tour”. It looked like old times as BVB controlled the match and left the opponents with nothing.

Leverkusen is certainly in top form these days. The Aspirins easily crushed a hapless Hannover side, getting their 7th straight Bundesliga win, a club record. The 96ers decided to blame their coach, Tayfun Korkut, who was fired shortly afterwards, and replaced by Michael Frontzcek.

Hoffenheim had some chances against leaders Bayern, but in the end the champs were able to hold on for another win. Guardiola’s team has a lot of injuries, so it was a bit of a makeshift lineup, but it was still good enough to get eth job down. Especially in the first half Hoffenheim had some decent chances, but failed to convert and were ultimately punished.

Hertha and Köln have done enough work to stay up, and they “celebrated” their achievement with a dour, boring, defensive draw. Splitting an extra point gives each side a bit more comfort. Köln also set a dubious club record, this was their 8th scoreless draw of the season.

Mainz are like the annoying guest who shows up at your party, gets drunk and ruins everything. Freiburg certainly was hoping to grab some key points and give themselves some breathing room. And the Briesgauers did create a lot of chances, but wasted them. Instead, Shinji Okazaki added to his tally as the Bundesliga’s all-time leading Japanese goal scorer (37), reaching a respectable 12 this season. The Mainzers of course also needed something to allow them to not worry about getting dragged into relegation, and got the result.

Stuttgart largely outplayed hosts Augsburg, but wasted too many chances. The Fuggers on the other hand seized their opportunities and got a win that keeps them in Europe. Stuttgart really should have won this, which would have allowed them to leap out of the drop zone. Instead they remained mired in the dreck for another week at least.

Hamburg remains last as they lost the 102nd Northern Derby at Bremen. It was a typical derby atmosphere, hard fought, with not too many chances. HSV was close to a point, despite being on the back foot for most of the match. But then Behrami was whistled for a foul in the box, and di Santo knocked home the penalty. This was Bremen’s 500th Bundesliga home win, but more importantly it’s another stab that could send HSV down, which should provide a fair amount of glee for the Werder fans. Bremen has turned around their season since Viktor Skripnik took over. HSV had just appointed Bruno Labbadia as their new boss. Their effort was there (which was usually missing in previous matches), but he clearly has his hands full.

Wolfsburg dominated Schalke, but teh Blues defending fiercely and drew blood on a counter. The VWs finally broke through to equalize, but were unable to get anymore. Obviously a better result for the visitors, as they look to secure their Euro spot. Wolfsburg is secure in 2nd, and will be more worried about whether there is continued fallout from their ass-whupping from Napoli.

Total attendance 369,762 (avg 41,085), 93.4% capacity, sellouts in Frankfurt, Dortmund, Hoffenheim, Freiburg, Augsburg, Bremen, Wolfsburg – 7 of 9 venues!

 	
Eintracht Frankfurt  -   Bor. Mönchengladbach	0:0 (0:0)   51,500 *

Borussia Dortmund    -   SC Paderborn 07	3:0 (0:0)   80,667 *

                    1:0  H. Mkhitaryan (48., Aubameyang)
                    2:0  Aubameyang (55., Ginter)
                    3:0  Kagawa (80., H. Mkhitaryan)

Bayer 04 Leverkusen  -   Hannover 96	        4:0 (2:0)   29,482

                    1:0  Toprak (20., Calhanoglu)
                    2:0  Brandt (40., Kießling)
                    3:0  K. Papadopoulos (49., Kießling)
                    4:0  Kießling (70., L. Bender)

TSG Hoffenheim	     -   Bayern München	        0:2 (0:1)   30,150 *

                    0:1  Rode (38., Lewandowski)
                    0:2  Beck (90. + 3, own goal, T. Müller)

Hertha BSC	     -   1. FC Köln	        0:0 (0:0)   51,203

SC Freiburg	     -   1. FSV Mainz 05	2:3 (0:2)   24,000 *

                    0:1  Okazaki (39., Jairo)
                    0:2  Okazaki (45., Noveski)
                    1:2  Mehmedi (81., Schmid)
                    1:3  Malli (84., Brosinski)
                    2:3  Schmid (90. + 1, Petersen)

FC Augsburg	     -   VfB Stuttgart	        2:1 (1:1)   30,660 *

                    1:0  To. Werner (7., Esswein)
                    1:1  Ginczek (22., Kostic)
                    2:1  Bobadilla (73., To. Werner)
 	
 	
Werder Bremen	     -   Hamburger SV	        1:0 (0:0)   42,100 *

                    1:0  di Santo (84., penalty, Junuzovic)

VfL Wolfsburg	     -   FC Schalke 04	        1:1 (0:0)   30,000 *

                    0:1  L. Sané (53.)
                    1:1  De Bruyne (78., D. Caligiuri)


 1  Bayern München (M, P)	29   23  4  2 	  76:13  +63 	  73 
 2  VfL Wolfsburg	  	29   18  7  4 	  63:31  +32 	  61 
 3  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	29   15  9  5 	  56:31  +25 	  54
 4  Bor. Mönchengladbach	29   15  9  5 	  44:22  +22 	  54
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  FC Schalke 04	  	29   11  9  9 	  38:32  +6 	  42
 6  FC Augsburg	  	        29   13  3  13 	  36:37  -1 	  42 
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  Werder Bremen	  	29   10  8  11 	  44:57  -13 	  38 
 8  TSG Hoffenheim	  	29   10  7  12 	  43:47  -4 	  37 
 9  Borussia Dortmund	  	29   10  6  13 	  38:37  +1 	  36 
10  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	29    9  9  11 	  51:57  -6 	  36 
11  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	29    7  13 9 	  40:41  -1 	  34 
12  1. FC Köln (N)	  	29    8  10 11 	  29:35  -6 	  34 
13  Hertha BSC Berlin	  	29    9  7  13 	  34:45  -11 	  34 
14  SC Freiburg	  	        29    6  11 12 	  29:39  -10 	  29 
15  Hannover 96	  	        29    7  8  14    32:49  -17      29
--------------------------------------------------------------------
14  SC Paderborn (N)            29    6  9  14	  25:56  -31 	  27
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  VfB Stuttgart	  	29    6  8  15 	  32:53  -21 	  26 
18  Hamburger SV	  	29    6  7  16 	  16:44  -28 	  25
	
M = Meister, defending Champion
P = Pokalsieger, Cup winner
N = Neuling, just promoted

3.Liga, Round 33: Tighter at top and bottom

Round 33, Apr 17-19

Things continue to stay packed for both promotion and relegation. In both cases it now looks like there are 4 teams battling. On the top, one will be left out. On the bottom, one gets the prize of staying up.

Unterhaching had a huge win against Rostock in a critical relegation six pointer. The Mini-Münch(en)kins were on the back foot early, but Hansa failed to take advantage. A hard fought second period gave the home side the much needed points. Hansa still needs to look over their shoulder, but their recent good work might be enough.

The Kickers kept their hopes alive of the Stuttgart derby next season being more attractive. This time it was a hard fought match against VfB-II, but with some luck, it could be against VfB-I next year.

Großaspach has probably secured the final points needed to stay up, and are sending Regensburg down. Realistically, Jahn has little chance of surviving now. They needed a win, tried hard, but a late goal left them with nothing.

A huge Westfalen derby in Bielefeld leaves Arminia still in control and ends Münster’s chances for promotion. The visitors had an early edge, but Bielefeld seized control in the 2nd half and the Preußen were unable to hold them off. Arminia has a slight cushion at the top, but can’t afford to get complacent.

Duisburg had a similar result. The Zebras held onto the playoff spot and ended Cottbus minor chance for promotion. Kiel was in a tough battle at Halle, and was losing 0-2 to HFC. The Holsteiners mounted a comeback as their captain Rafael Kazior netted a brace to salvage a difficult point. With both Duisburg and Kickers Stuttgart breathing down their neck, this could be a huge point.

Total attendance 80,033 (avg 8,003), 44.7% capacity

 	
SpVgg Unterhaching   -   Hansa Rostock	        2:1 (0:0)    5,000
Stuttgarter Kickers  -   VfB Stuttgart II	2:1 (1:1)    8,100
VfL Osnabrück	     -   Borussia Dortmund II	1:1 (1:0)    7,637
SG S-hof Großaspach  -   Jahn Regensburg	2:1 (1:1)    1,900
1. FSV Mainz 05 II   -   SV Wehen Wiesbaden	1:1 (1:0)    1,024
Chemnitzer FC	     -   Rot-Weiß Erfurt	2:1 (0:0)    7,077
Arminia Bielefeld    -   Preußen Münster	2:1 (0:1)   25,172
Fortuna Köln	     -   Dynamo Dresden	        1:0 (1:0)    3,284
MSV Duisburg	     -   Energie Cottbus	3:2 (1:1)   12,556
Hallescher FC	     -   Holstein Kiel	        2:2 (1:0)    8,283


 1  Arminia Bielefeld (A)	33   20  5   8 	  65:36  +29 	  65 
 2  Holstein Kiel	  	33   16  12  5 	  44:22  +22 	  60
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  MSV Duisburg	  	33   16  11  6 	  54:37  +17 	  59
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	33   16  10  7 	  53:39  +14 	  58 
 5  Preußen Münster	  	33   14  9  10 	  48:41  +7 	  51 
 6  Hallescher FC	  	33   14  8  11 	  47:43  +4 	  50 
 7  Chemnitzer FC	  	33   14  7  12 	  37:32  +5  	  49 
 8  Energie Cottbus (A)	  	33   13  10 10 	  42:41  +1 	  49 
 9  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	33   13  7  13 	  47:39  +8 	  46 
10  Rot-Weiß Erfurt	  	33   13  7  13 	  44:46  -2 	  46 
11  Dynamo Dresden (A)	  	33   12  8  13 	  38:39  -1 	  44 
12  VfL Osnabrück	  	33   12  8  13 	  45:49  -4 	  44 
13  Fortuna Köln (N)	  	33   11  9  13 	  34:35  -1 	  42 
14  VfB Stuttgart II	  	33   11  7  15 	  41:48  -7 	  40 
15  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach (N)	33   10  10 13 	  35:53  -18 	  40 
16  Hansa Rostock	  	33   10  8  15 	  48:59  -11 	  38 
17  1. FSV Mainz 05 II (N)	33    8  9  16 	  36:48  -12 	  33
--------------------------------------------------------------------
18  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	33    9  7  17 	  43:57  -14 	  32 
19  Borussia Dortmund II	33    5  15 13 	  30:44  -14 	  30 
20  Jahn Regensburg	  	33    7  5  21 	  37:60  -23 	  26

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

Round 28, Mar 10-14

Karlsruhe remains in the promotion hunt, as they thumped St.Pauli. The key was ex-Paulista Rouwen Hennings, who bagged a quick brace to put KSC in commanding position.

Aalen was unlucky to get only a point at Union. They played well and seemed to be on the way to a crucial away win, but a late penalty have the Berliners the draw.

Braunschweig had an easy time with 1860. They scored quickly and then played around before finishing things off against the toothless Lions.

Ingolstadt looks set for the Bundesliga as they get a routine win at Heidenheim. The Schanzer would really have to collapse not to get promoted.

Darmstadt was somewhat fortunate to get a draw at Nürnberg. The 98ers were largely outplayed, but FCN couldn’t finish things off.

Leipzig got their first road win of the year at Bochum, largely deserved.

Total attendance 169,147 (avg 18,794), 67.9% capacity


Karlsruher SC	    -  	FC St. Pauli	        3:0 (2:0)   23,359

                   1:0  Hennings (3., Yamada)
                   2:0  Hennings (19., Valentini)
                   3:0  Gulde (69., Valentini)

1. FC Heidenheim    -  	FC Ingolstadt 04	0:1 (0:1)   13,600

                   0:1  P. Groß (27., Morales)

1. FC Nürnberg	    -  	SV Darmstadt 98	        1:1 (1:0)   30,648

                   1:0  G. Burgstaller (34.)
                   1:1  Sailer (73., Bregerie)

Eintr. Braunschweig -  	1860 München	        2:0 (1:0)   22,050

                   1:0  Zuck (5., Hochscheidt)
                   2:0  Hochscheidt (47., Nielsen)

FSV Frankfurt	    -  	SpVgg Greuther Fürth	1:1 (1:0)    4,745

                   1:0  Kauko (20., Huber)
                   1:1  Gießelmann (58., direct freekick)
 	 	
1. FC Union Berlin  -  	VfR Aalen	        1:1 (0:0)   18,622

                   0:1  Quaner (71., Ludwig)
                   1:1  Polter (83., penalty, Skrzybski)

Erzgebirge Aue	    -  	SV Sandhausen	        0:1 (0:0)    9,250

                   0:1  Bieler (74.)

VfL Bochum	    -  	RasenBall Leipzig	1:2 (0:1)   18,529

                   0:1  Poulsen (13., Forsberg)
                   1:1  Terodde (62., Gregoritsch)
                   1:2  D. Kaiser (67., direct freekick)

Fortuna Düsseldorf  -  	1. FC Kaiserslautern	1:1 (0:1)   28,344

                   0:1  Zoller (8., Karl)
                   1:1  Liendl (90., penalty)
 	


 1  FC Ingolstadt 04 	  	28   15  10  3 	  43:22  +21 	  55 
 2  1. FC Kaiserslautern 	28   13  11  4 	  39:24  +15 	  50
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  SV Darmstadt 98 (N)	  	28   12  13  3 	  37:20  +17 	  49
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Karlsruher SC 	  	28   12  12  4 	  39:21  +18 	  48 
 5  Eintracht Braunschweig (A) 	28   13  5  10 	  36:30  +6 	  44 
 6  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N)	28   11  10  7 	  33:22  +11 	  43 
 7  Fortuna Düsseldorf 	  	28   10  10  8 	  41:40  +1 	  40 
 8  SV Sandhausen 	  	28    9  9  10 	  26:31  -5 	  36 
 9  1. FC Union Berlin	  	28    9  9  10 	  33:44  -11 	  36 
10  VfL Bochum 	  	        28    7  14  7 	  44:43  +1 	  35 
11  FSV Frankfurt	  	28    9  8  11 	  36:43  -7 	  35 
12  1. FC Nürnberg (A)	  	28   10  5  13 	  33:41  -8 	  35 
13  1. FC Heidenheim (N) 	28    9  7  12 	  35:36  -1 	  34 
14  SpVgg Greuther Fürth 	28    6  12 10 	  27:33  -6 	  30 
15  1860 München 	  	28    6  8  14 	  35:43  -8 	  26
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  FC St. Pauli	  	28    6  7  15 	  30:47  -17 	  25
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  Erzgebirge Aue 	  	28    6  7  15 	  22:39  -17 	  25 
18  VfR Aalen 	  	        28    5  11 12 	  24:34  -10 	  24

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 28: HSV continues to s(t)ink

Round 28, Apr 10-12

Hamburg may finally have to turn off the “eternal Bundesliga clock”. They might be the only original Bundesliga founder to never get relegated, but based on recent results, that may be ending. In a crucial northern derby against Wolfsburg, they stunk. The VWs did whatever they pleased, and should have really wrapped things up by halftime. But they were perhaps enjoying their Hamburg vacation, so took things easy. Meanwhile, HSV failed to get a single shot on target. Their pathetic offense – consider this: Alex Meier (19) and Arjen Robben (17) have already scored more than the whole HSV *team* – and sometimes chaotic defending doesn’t bode well for survival. Wolfsburg is of course coasting in the knowledge that they are the dominant no.2 this season, which is pretty respectable.

Paderborn finally picked up some critical points. And it was against their fellow “Itchy-and-Scratchy” side (“Fight, fight fight! Fight, fight fight!”) Augsburg. SCP desperately needed something, as they hadn’t scored in ages, and at least a half dozen home matches without a win. But they wanted this one more than Augsburg, who might yet play themselves out of the last Euro spot.

Most eyes this weekend were on the Borussia derby, as neighbors Gladbach and Dortmund met. The host Gladbachers dominated really, although the Neons had more possession and shots, as they usually do. But their pressure was clumsy, and Gladbach constantly broke out with dangerous counters that cuased consternation in the visitors disorganized defense. Given a blitzstart with a goal after 27 seconds, Gladbach was in complete safety from the start. BVB ran around like chickens with their heads cut off and were easily handled. With a major sell off rumored, perhaps this crappy season will become the norm for future Dortmund seasons. Gladbach could have a bright future, although their young squad will undoubtedly be torn apart as they all transfer to Bayern.

A gritty relegation battle in Hannover, as neither the 96ers or visiting Hertha conceded an inch. So it’s somewhat fair that it ended with a pint split, which probably helps Berlin a lot more. They’re not safe yet, but have a cushion. Hannover continues with no margin for error.

Bayern München likes playing Frankfurt. Well, I suppose you could argue that Bayern enjoys playing any German side, since they usually win. But Frankfurt is especially nice, since they never score. For the 6th straight time Eintracht fails to score against the champs, and were suitably beaten without too much effort. Not much else to say about this one.

Schalke hardly looks like a Euro favorite. The Blues struggled against Freiburg, as both goalies were busy with strong efforts. The visitors had a chance to win, but captain Julian Schuster blasted a penalty over the goal. Neither side really deserved to win this one though, so a draw is fair. An excellent away point for the Freiburgers, keeping their head barely above water.

Leverkusen impressed by seizing control at Mainz, and only a couple of late penalties for the hosts made the result respectable. The Aspirins and the VWs, because of their corporate sponsorship, are perhaps clubs that can keep their talent from Bayern poaching, and at times can be an annoyance to the Bavarian juggernaut. But they don’t have staying power. Mainz could have used a result to increase their cushion against relegation, which is still worrisome.

Köln got an important win over Hoffenheim to keep a nice cushion in the relegation battle. It was an entertaining game that the hosts might have lost control of due to a red card, but they recovered nicely to get the win.

Maybe Stuttgart has a chance. Or they are a team of destiny. Their match against Bremen might be a sign from above… VfB was playing well, but the usually reliable Martin Harnik was having the worst day in ages. He missed a couple of 100% sitters, that could have decided the match. Then he got his ass tossed for a double yellow, minutes later Bremen equalized and the game seemed over. But in injury time Daniel Ginczek pulled out the win for VfB that lifts them off the bottom, and gives them a chance to stay up.

Total attendance 435,865 (avg 48,429), 95.6% capacity, sellouts in München, Hamburg, Mönchengladbach


Hannover 96	     -   Hertha BSC	        1:1 (0:0)   46,000

                    1:0  C. Schulz (75.)
                    1:1  Stocker (83.)
 
Bayern München	     -   Eintracht Frankfurt	3:0 (1:0)   75,000 *

                    1:0  Lewandowski (15., T. Müller)
                    2:0  Lewandowski (66., M. Götze)
                    3:0  T. Müller (82., Weiser)

FC Schalke 04	     -   SC Freiburg            0:0 (0:0)   61,471

Bor. Mönchengladbach -   Borussia Dortmund	3:1 (2:0)   54,010 *

                    1:0  Wendt (1., F. Johnson)
                    2:0  Raffael (32., Herrmann)
                    3:0  Nordtveit (67.)
                    3:1  Gündogan (77., Dudziak)

1. FSV Mainz 05	     -   Bayer 04 Leverkusen	2:3 (0:1)   31,578

                    0:1  Son (15., Calhanoglu)
                    0:2  Kießling (60., Hilbert)
                    0:3  Calhanoglu (73., direct freekick)
                    1:3  Koo (78., penalty, Okazaki)
                    2:3  Koo (90. + 1, penalty, Jairo)

SC Paderborn 07	     -   FC Augsburg	        2:1 (0:0)   14,446
 
                    1:0  Kachunga (48., Heinloth)
                    1:1  Höjbjerg (52., Bobadilla)
                    2:1  Lakic (60., Hartherz)

Hamburger SV	     -   VfL Wolfsburg	        0:2 (0:1)   57,000 *

                    0:1  Guilavogui (10., Dost)
                    0:2  D. Caligiuri (73., Dost)

1. FC Köln	     -   TSG Hoffenheim	        3:2 (1:0)   45,000

                    1:0  M. Lehmann (20., penalty, Osako)
                    2:0  Ujah (54., Osako)
                    2:1  Polanski (70., penalty, Modeste)
                    3:1  Hector (78.)
                    3:2  Modeste (88., Rudy)

VfB Stuttgart	     -   Werder Bremen	        3:2 (1:0)   51,330

                    1:0  Gentner (15.)
                    1:1  Selke (50., Fritz)
                    2:1  Ginczek (70., Harnik)
                    2:2  Vestergaard (86., Junuzovic)
                    3:2  Ginczek (90. + 1, Serey Dié)


 1  Bayern München (M, P) 	28   22  4  2 	  74:13  +61 	  70 
 2  VfL Wolfsburg 	  	28   18  6  4 	  62:30  +32 	  60 
 3  Bor. Mönchengladbach 	28   15  8  5 	  44:22  +22 	  53
 4  Bayer 04 Leverkusen 	28   14  9  5 	  52:31  +21 	  51
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  FC Schalke 04 	  	28   11  8  9 	  37:31  +6 	  41 
 6  FC Augsburg 	  	28   12  3  13 	  34:36  -2 	  39
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  TSG Hoffenheim	  	28   10  7  11 	  43:45  -2 	  37 
 8  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	28    9  8  11 	  51:57  -6 	  35 
 9  Werder Bremen 	  	28    9  8  11 	  43:57  -14 	  35 
10  Borussia Dortmund 	  	28    9  6  13 	  35:37  -2 	  33 
11  1. FC Köln (N)	  	28    8  9  11 	  29:35  -6 	  33 
12  Hertha BSC Berlin	  	28    9  6  13 	  34:45  -11 	  33 
13  1. FSV Mainz 05 	  	28    6  13 9 	  37:39  -2 	  31 
14  SC Freiburg 	  	28    6  11 11 	  27:36  -9 	  29 
15  Hannover 96 	  	28    7  8  13 	  32:45  -13 	  29
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  SC Paderborn 07 (N) 	28    6  9  13 	  25:53  -28 	  27
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  VfB Stuttgart 	  	28    6  8  14 	  31:51  -20 	  26
18  Hamburger SV	  	28    6  7  15 	  16:43  -27 	  25 



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

3.Liga, Round 32: Big round for Kiel

Round 32, Apr 10-12

Although they were hardly impressive, Holstein Kiel turned out to be a big winner this weekend. The Storks defeated Mainz-II minimally, but other contenders lost, giving them some cushion in the promotion race. Despite some advantages, Kiel could only pull out a penalty for the win against a side battling against relegation.

Stuttgarter Kickers lost ground as they were dumped in Rostock. Hansa has been playing themselves out of relegation and are now close to security.

MSV Duisburg had a hard time, but were able to leap over the Kickers with a win at Stuttgart-II.

Preußen Münster was another contender that was wounded. The Eagles lost at home to Chemnitz, and really can’t complain too much, as CFC was solid and smarter.

Cottbus continues to flounder, as they were unable to defeat Fortuna Köln. The visitors were happy with the point, which pretty much puts them into safety.

Dresden has been terrible, so it’s a bit ironic that they finally broke their horror streak of 8 losses in 9 matches by defeating leaders Bielefeld in a hard fought match.
Halle is making a late season run that might give them some small chances to play in the promotion sweepstakes. HFC won their 4th in 5 matches, winning at Erfurt, who have dropped like a stone.

Großaspach got a huge away win at Wehen, giving them some additional cushion over the drop zone.

Dortmund-II won a huge match against Unterhaching, which allowed them to jump over the mini-Münch(en)kins. It gives them a chance to stay up in the fierce relegation battle, which looks like its now down to 4 teams, only one of which survives.

Total attendance 70,136 (avg 7,014), 39.8% capacity


Jahn Regensburg	     -   VfL Osnabrück	        1:1 (0:0)    4,300
Holstein Kiel	     -   1. FSV Mainz 05 II	1:0 (1:0)    7,094
SV Wehen Wiesbaden   -   SG S-hof Großaspach	0:1 (0:0)    2,077
Hansa Rostock	     -   Stuttgarter Kickers	1:0 (0:0)   10,600
Energie Cottbus	     -   Fortuna Köln	        1:1 (1:1)    6,555
Dynamo Dresden	     -   Arminia Bielefeld	2:0 (1:0)   21,653
Preußen Münster	     -   Chemnitzer FC	        2:3 (2:2)    8,414
Rot-Weiß Erfurt	     -   Hallescher FC	        1:2 (1:2)    5,848
Borussia Dortmund II -   SpVgg Unterhaching	1:0 (0:0)    2,785
VfB Stuttgart II     -   MSV Duisburg	        1:2 (0:2)      810


 1  Arminia Bielefeld (A) 	32   19  5   8 	  63:35  +28 	  62 
 2  Holstein Kiel	  	32   16  11  5 	  42:20  +22 	  59
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  MSV Duisburg 	  	32   15  11  6 	  51:35  +16 	  56 
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Stuttgarter Kickers 	32   15  10  7 	  51:38  +13 	  55
 5  Preußen Münster 	  	32   14  9   9 	  47:39  +8 	  51 
 6  Hallescher FC 	  	32   14  7  11 	  45:41  +4 	  49 
 7  Energie Cottbus (A) 	32   13  10  9 	  40:38  +2 	  49 
 8  Chemnitzer FC 	  	32   13  7  12 	  35:31  +4 	  46 
 9  Rot-Weiß Erfurt 	  	32   13  7  12 	  43:44  -1 	  46 
10  SV Wehen Wiesbaden 	  	32   13  6  13 	  46:38  +8 	  45 
11  Dynamo Dresden (A) 	  	32   12  8  12 	  38:38   0 	  44 
12  VfL Osnabrück	  	32   12  7  13 	  44:48  -4 	  43 
13  VfB Stuttgart II 	  	31   11  7  13 	  39:44  -5 	  40 
14  Fortuna Köln (N) 	  	32   10  9  13 	  33:35  -2 	  39 
15  Hansa Rostock 	  	32   10  8  14 	  47:57  -10 	  38 
16  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach (N) 32    9  10 13 	  33:52  -19 	  37 
17  1. FSV Mainz 05 II (N)	32    8  8  16 	  35:47  -12 	  32
--------------------------------------------------------------------
18  Borussia Dortmund II 	32    5  14 13 	  29:43  -14 	  29 
19  SpVgg Unterhaching 	  	32    8  7  17 	  41:56  -15 	  29 
20  Jahn Regensburg 	  	32    7  5  20 	  36:58  -22 	  26


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