BUNDESLIGA, Round 34 (final)

Holy-smolly, a stunning end to the relegation battle! Not only is Augsburg safe, but Hoffenheim pulls off an amazing win and grabs the playoff spot. Therefore a legendary collapse of Düsseldorf sees them down.

Ah, the irony of the result in Dortmund! The Neons started out strong and were pushing Hoffenheim around, scored early and then proceeded to waste enough chances to win several games. Meanwhile the Hoppers were timidly taking it in the rear, basically given up. But then a curious thing happened near the end, as they ventured forth for the hell of it, and were rewarded with not one but two clumsy Dortmund fouls and penalties – and salvation. Now nobody is suggesting the Dietmar Hopp gave some of his millions to Dortmund, but it is a bit ironic how it turns out. Here is a traditional club, with a massive fan base, that has rebuilt itself with financial responsibility and from within, versus a club that essentially bought their way into the Bundesliga on Hopp’s wallet and almost all German football fans wouldn’t mind seeing relegated. Now to be fair, today’s Hoffenheim is only a shell of the earlier versions (Kind of like Yahoo, hehehe) – mostly made up of nobodies. And they’ve given good effort in the last few weeks under interim coach Markus Gisdol. But this result is certainly something nobody – including Hoffenheim – could have believed. Now they have a chance of staying up, as 2.Liga challenger Kaiserslautern hasn’t exactly set the world on fire.

Augsburg is safe! The Bundesliga’s own “Itchy and Scratchy” team (fight-fight-fight…fight-fight-fight…the Itchy and Scratchy Show!) How’s that for an obscure cultural reference. Well, cultured football is not to be mentioned with the Fuggers. Probably the least talented club in the league, but they survive on 100% effort in every match. And they were deservedly rewarded, as by dumping
Greuther Fürth. (Ironically, this critical match was one of their few home non-sellouts). Things started bad for FCA, but Alex Manninger stopped Prib’s penalty at the 5 minute mark. Eventually the Fuggers took control and beat down the Greuthers.

Gutless and listless. Düsseldorf was easily thumped by hosts Hannover and go down. After their excellent season start, Fortuna kept sliding and now they’re gone. Basically a lame offense did them in. The 96ers weren’t particularily interested in this match, but must have figured “what the hell, lets kick then in the balls” and Fortuna didn’t react.

Schalke wins the “final” for the Champions League spot. I think many felt that the edge went to Freiburg, who have been playing well and are tough especially at home. But teh Blues put in a decent effort and SCF never really got going. They did themselves in with a silly own goal where the defender kicked it in off another. A cold-blooded effort by Schalke to get the potential euros. Freiburg and their fans are probbaly still kicking themselves for the lost opportunity.

An absolutely furious opening 20 minutes in Gladbach, but eventually champions Bayern notched up another deserved win. This was a special match, as it is a fitting retirement for Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes – for those of you not versed in German football history, Heynckes was a brilliant forward in his playing career – 3rd on the all time scoring list – for Gladbach. The hosts jumped out to a blitz start, Bayern pegged them back and eventually their superiority showed and they grabbed the win.

Good drama for the last Euroliga spot as well. HSV was holding off sustained Leverkusen pressure, but they needed a win. They were getting the necessary help since Wolfsburg was winning at Frankfurt. So a HSV goal could have done it. But in the last minute of each game it ended. Kiessling scored for a deserved Aspirin win, and Wolfsburg made an own goal, so Frankfurt fans go home happy.

Stuttgart and Mainz end somewhat disappointing seasons with a draw. VfB still has a chance to redeem themselves with a good effort in the upcoming Cup final against Bayern, but based on this outing, that doesn’t seem likely. Of course, they qualify for the Euroliga spot since Bayern is already in the Champions League. After flirting with Europe for most of the season, Mainz just collapsed down the stretch.

Nürnberg ends with a positive win against Bremen. The guests are entering a new era, as midweek coach Thomas Schaaf either resigned or rather was “mutually agreed seperation”. End of an era, as Schaaf was been with the club 40 years as a player and coach. Werder gave a good effort, catching der Club with their pants down. However FCN got their act together in the 2nd galf and was on the road to victory.

Final day saw sellouts in Dortmund, Gladbach, Hannover, Freiburg, Hamburg and Frankfurt. Total attendance 443,444 (avg 49,272)
This might actually be a record, there weren’t many empty seats this round, despite most of the matches not having too much of interest for the home team.

Borussia Dortmund      -    1899 Hoffenheim	   1:2 (1:0)   80,645 *

                      1:0  Lewandowski (6., Blaszczykowski)
                      1:1  Salihovic (77., penalty, Volland)
                      1:2  Salihovic (82., penalty, Schipplock)

Borussia M'gladbach    -    Bayern München	   3:4 (3:2)   54,010 *

                      1:0  Stranzl (4., Arango)
                      2:0  Hanke (5., Hrgota)
                      2:1  Javi Martinez (7., Ribery)
                      3:1  Nordtveit (10., Herrmann)
                      3:2  Ribery (18., T. Müller)
                      3:3  Ribery (53., Lahm)
                      3:4  Robben (59., Ribery)

VfB Stuttgart	       -    1. FSV Mainz 05	   2:2 (2:2)   51,020

                      0:1  Ede (16., N. Müller)
                      1:1  Wetklo (22., pwn goal, Harnik)
                      2:1  Boka (33., Ibisevic)
                      2:2  N. Müller (42., Pospech)

Hannover 96	       -    Fortuna Düsseldorf	   3:0 (1:0)   49,000 *

                      1:0  M. Diouf (36., Cherundolo)
                      2:0  Ya Konan (61., M. Diouf)
                      3:0  Ya Konan (76., Stindl)

1. FC Nürnberg	       -    Werder Bremen	   3:2 (0:1)   46,157

                      0:1  de Bruyne (37., Junuzovic)
                      1:1  Nilsson (61.
                      2:1  Polter (81., Mak)
                      3:1  Pekhart (88., Mak)
                      3:2  de Bruyne (89., Petersen)

SC Freiburg	       -    FC Schalke 04	   1:2 (0:1)   24,000 *

                      0:1  Draxler (20., Huntelaar)
                      1:1  Schmid (54., Rosenthal)
                      1:2  Schuster (58., own goal, J. Jones)

FC Augsburg	       -    SpVgg Greuther Fürth   3:1 (1:0)   30,112

                      1:0  Werner (30., direct freekick)
                      2:0  Callsen-Bracker (55., Werner)
                      2:1  Trinks (62.)
                      3:1  Ji (75., Ostrzolek)

Hamburger SV	       -    Bayer 04 Leverkusen	   0:1 (0:0)   57,000 *

                      0:1  Kießling (90., Rechtsschuss, Sam)

Eintracht Frankfurt    -    VfL Wolfsburg	   2:2 (1:2)   51,500 *

                      0:1  Polak (8., Rodriguez)
                      0:2  Diego (19., Olic)
                      1:2  Meier (36., penalty, Inui)
                      2:2  Rodriguez (90., own goal, Schwegler)

 1  Bayern München	  	34    29   4   1    98:18  +80 	   91 
 2  Borussia Dortmund (M, P)	34    19   9   6    81:42  +39 	   66 
 3   Bayer 04 Leverkusen	34    19   8   7    65:39  +26 	   65
 4  FC Schalke 04	  	34    16   7  11    58:50  +8 	   55
 5  SC Freiburg	  	        34    14   9  11    45:40  +5 	   51 
 6  Eintracht Frankfurt (N)	34    14   9  11    49:46  +3 	   51
 7  Hamburger SV	  	34    14   6  14    42:53  -11 	   48 
 8  Borussia M'gladbach	  	34    12  11  11    45:49  -4 	   47 
 9  Hannover 96	  	        34    13   6  15    60:62  -2 	   45 
10  1. FC Nürnberg	  	34    11  11  12    39:47  -8 	   44 
11  VfL Wolfsburg	  	34    10  13  11    47:52  -5 	   43 
12  VfB Stuttgart	  	34    12   7  15    37:55  -18 	   43 
13  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	34    10  12  12    42:44  -2 	   42 
14  Werder Bremen	  	34     8  10  16    50:66  -16 	   34 
15  FC Augsburg	  	        34     8   9  17    33:51  -18 	   33
16  1899 Hoffenheim	  	34     8   7  19    42:67  -25 	   31
17  Fortuna Düsseldorf (N)	34     7   9  18    39:57  -18 	   30 
18  SpVgg Greuther Fürth (N)	34     4   9  21    26:60  -34 	   21

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

5 thoughts on “BUNDESLIGA, Round 34 (final)

  1. I think this was the only Bundesliga / Pokal game where they conceded three goals. The only other one that comes to mind is the Duesseldorf game where they conceded two.

  2. Thank you, “Abseits,” for the BL updates, info and commentary this season. With GolTV disappearing from Comcast, your weekly summaries became indispensable (though I did discover 90elf.de after the telecasts vanished).

    My second year of following Die Fohlen and they ended up where they deserved — in the middle of the pack. More than a handful of wins slipped through their fingers, but overall, about the finish most would have expected after losing so much talent.

    Dankeschoen and keep up the great work.

  3. Ironic that Comcast dropped Gol tv mid-season and we now have an all Bundesliga final with la liga teams thrashed in the semis.

  4. And so Hoppenheim live to fight another day. I thought they might drop given their very poor season, but 5-2 against 1FCK on aggregate proves me wrong.

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