BUNDESLIGA, Round 31

Bayern and Dortmund are taking the Champions League seriously: despite their impressive midweek performances against the Spanish sides, both squads rested *ten* starters from those victories.

Bayern’s lineup only featured Boateng from midweek (Starke – Rafinha, van Buyten, Boateng, Contento – Tymoshchuk, Luiz Gustavo – Shaqiri, Can – Mandzukic, Pizarro). You’d have expected Freiburg to try and take advantage, maybe to grab a point. But the Breisgauer were apparently shaking in their boots and way too timid. So even the reserves had an easy time. The win moved Bayern to 84 points, breaking Dortmund’s single season point record, established only last season. So all that’s left in the Bundesliga is the goal record (101) from the 1972 Bayern team.

Dortmund also fielded a “B” team in Düsseldorf: (Langerak – Kirch, Felipe Santana, Hummels, Großkreutz – Sahin, Kehl – Hofmann, Leitner, Bittencourt – Schieber). Hummels was the only starter from the Madrid game, perhaps being punished for his “schnitzer” :)
However, it didn’t make much difference as the Neons were in control against a Fortuna squad that it running out of fortuna.

Crisis in Bremen. I didn’t think it was possible a few weeks ago, but Werder is in serious danger of going down, as they keep losing and the lower clubs scrap a point here and there. The Weser guys showed up in Leverkusen with a solid game plan, defensive discpline, but a mistake led to a goal, and they couldn’t get back. The Aspirins had a hard time, but the minimalist win has basically secured Champions League for next season. Speculation is rife that long serving Werder coach Thomas Schaaf is going to get the boot.

Greuther Fürth could be going down with a dubious record. Well, it’s no question that they’re going down (officially relegated), the question is, will they win a home game: 16 tries, no wins, and this one had to be one of the more frustrating ones. The Greuther dominated against Hannover, outshooting them 20-4 and out hustling for every ball. But they end up losing as they lacked focus and the cold-bloodedness of the 96ers.

Augsburg is trying hard to stay up, those Fuggers are fighting for every inch. They played one of the hoitsy-toitsy sides, Stuttgart, and kicked their ass royally, although it took a while, since the Augsburgers don’t really have much technique. Still, their first ever league win against VfB and they have a good chance of what looked like impossible salvation.

Hoffenheim keep their slim hopes alive with a win over Nürnberg. The Hoppers jumped out to a lead and then held off a furious Club comeback with an engaged rear-guard action. It may be too little, too late, but they’re only a win behind the playoff spot. At least you can see a definite turnaround under coach Max Gisdol. FCN woke up and they were down two, and they’re not good enough to recover from that.

Wolfsburg must be thinking what could have been had they not started off with Felix Magath’s Reign of (T)error. The VWs have been playing respectably since he was forced out, and Brazilian playmaker Diego is back to his old form. They also may have discovered annother young talent, offensive midfielder Max Arnold (18), who has just been given a chance, and has responded with 3 goals in 3 games. (However they do have to dump their butt-ugly neon-green puke jersies) Gladbach has been all over the place, and this was a rather lame performance.

Schalke may have secured Champions League for next season. The Blues got a boost with the return of injured Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, and the striker responded with a hat-trick. He had been absent most of the season (even when he wasn’t injured), so it was a timely return to field and form. The Hamburgers are probably now out of Europe, given their crap goal difference.

Mainz and Frankfurt battled in a sold out derby, but it was mostly the goalkeepers that looked sharp. Christian Wetklo did well for the hosts, and the visitors relied on oldie Oka Nikolov, who’s been with the club since 1991 and 376 matches. He’s almost 39 and been the reliable backup for ages. Neither club is helped much by the draw, but for Mainz, any Euro hopes are probably now out the window.

Total attendance 350,948 (avg 38,994), sellouts in München, Augsburg, Düsseldorf, Mainz, Gelsenkirchen (Schalke).

 	
SpVgg Greuther Fürth   -    Hannover 96	           2:3 (1:1)   15,730

                      0:1  Abdellaoue (36., Ya Konan)
                      1:1  Djurdjic (41., Klaus)
                      1:2  Hoffmann (71., Rausch)
                      2:2  Djurdjic (83., Geis)
                      2:3  da Silva Pinto (87., M. Diouf)

Bayern München	       -    SC Freiburg	           1:0 (1:0)   71,000 *

                      1:0  Shaqiri (35., direct free kick)

Bayer 04 Leverkusen    -    Werder Bremen	   1:0 (1:0)   30,210

                      1:0  Kießling (35., penalty, Sam)

VfL Wolfsburg	       -    Borussia M'gladbach	   3:1 (1:0)   25,000

                      1:0  Arnold (34., Diego)
                      1:1  Mlapa (52., Arango)
                      2:1  Olic (61., Diego)
                      3:1  Diego (75., Olic)

1899 Hoffenheim	       -    1. FC Nürnberg	   2:1 (2:0)   28,675

                      1:0  Weis (11., Johnson)
                      2:0  Salihovic (19., Volland)
                      2:1  Simons (58., penalty, Stark)

FC Augsburg	       -    VfB Stuttgart	   3:0 (0:0)   30,660 *

                      1:0  Mölders (61., Werner)
                      2:0  de Jong (83.)
                      3:0  Ji (86., Hahn)

Fortuna Düsseldorf     -    Borussia Dortmund	   1:2 (0:1)   54,000 *

                      0:1  Sahin (20., Leitner)
                      0:2  Blaszczykowski (70., Sahin)
                      1:2  Bodzek (88., Bellinghausen)

Sunday:
1. FSV Mainz 05	       -    Eintracht Frankfurt	   0:0 (0:0)   34,000 *

FC Schalke 04	       -    Hamburger SV	   4:1 (2:1)   61,673 *

                      0:1  Jansen (5., Westermann)
                      1:1  Michel Bastos (9., Huntelaar)
                      2:1  Huntelaar (21., Draxler)
                      3:1  Huntelaar (58., Raffael)
                      4:1  Huntelaar (66.,  Draxler)



 1  Bayern München	  	31    27   3 	1      90:14  +76     84
 2  Borussia Dortmund (M, P)	31    19   7 	5      76:36  +40     64 
 3  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	31    16   8 	7      59:38  +21     56
 4  FC Schalke 04	  	31    14   7 	10     54:47  +7      49
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  Eintracht Frankfurt (N)	31    13   7 	11     43:42  +1      46
 6  SC Freiburg	  	        31    12   9 	10     40:37  +3      45 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  Borussia M'gladbach	  	31    11   11 	9      38:42  -4      44 
 8  Hamburger SV	  	31    13   5 	13     37:50  -13     44 
 9  Hannover 96	  	        31    12   5 	14     54:57  -3      41 
10  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	31    10   10 	11     36:36   0      40 
11  VfL Wolfsburg	  	31    10   10 	11     41:46  -5      40 
12  VfB Stuttgart	  	31    11   6 	14     33:50  -17     39 
13  1. FC Nürnberg	  	31     9   11 	11     34:42  -8      38 
14  Werder Bremen	  	31     8   8 	15     45:60  -15     32 
15  Fortuna Düsseldorf (N)	31     7   9 	15     37:49  -12     30
------------------------------------------------------------------------
16  FC Augsburg	  	        31     7   9 	15     30:45  -15     30
------------------------------------------------------------------------
17  1899 Hoffenheim	  	31     7   6 	18     37:60  -23     27 
18  SpVgg Greuther Fürth (N)	31     3   9 	19     22:55  -33     18


M = Meister, defending Champion
P = Pokal, defending Cup winner
N = Neuling, newly promoted

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

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