BUNDESLIGA, Round 32: Relegation battle …for playoff

The relegation battle seems almost over, with only the playoff really left to play for. Stuttgart now has 5 points on 16th, and almost a seem safe. They played a rather dull game at Hannover, and actually looked the better team, but ultimately were probably statisfied with another point. The 96ers are officially out of trouble, so no worries there.

The battle for 16th is still on – even though all three contenders lost. Braunschweig might have thought they had a chance at Berlin, since Hertha has been terrible since winterbreak. But they showed nothing and the home side eventually built up enough pressure to break through and win. Nürnberg was pretty much done by halftime at Mainz. Der Club had nothing in the tank, and never looked threatening. Mainz is now serious about Europe. Since Dortmund and Bayern are both going Champions League – but also in the DFB Cup final – the Cup Europe spot will go to the 7th placed team. Mainz is in the driver seat. Hamburg also did squat, and in fact were even worse, as they were getting routed by Augsburg. HSV tightened up, or perhaps the Fuggers loosened up a bit, but the result didn’t change. So the “race” for the relegation playoff is still hot. HSV has a point edge and a goal-difference advantage, but they really haven’t shown much to merit holding on. Of course, neither Nürnberg nor Braunschweig have given indications that they could grab the win that would leapfrog into 16th…

In other matches, perhaps the most significant was Gladbach getting the win at Schalke and opening up a slight chance at Champions League. The visitors simply played better than a disappointing Schalke side. The Blues had some advantage in possesion, but mostly dicked around aimlessly. Gladbach created a few good chances, and at least capitalized on one.

Leverkusen and Dortmund battled in a fierce match that petered out to a draw. The first half was quite exciting, but both teams settled back into a more relaxed mode and were basically satisfied in the 2nd period.

Wolfsburg could only draw against Freiburg, but they missed a chance to leapfrog Leverkusen. The VWs were the stronger side and wasted early chances. Freiburg managed to regroup and fight their way back, and in the end deserved the draw that lets them celebrate ending relegation worries. All things considered, a nice turnaround for the Breisgauers.

Hoffenheim and Frankfurt fought a regional derby that the Hoppers probably should have won (Firmino missed a deciding penalty). But the home side really didn’t have too much to play for, and Frankfurt’s point also ends any relegation worries they may have had.

werder Bremen played a good 45 minutes against Bayern München, but then got rolled. Ex-Werder man Claudio Pizarro did the damage against his old club, and Bayern eventually overpowered the resistance.

Total attendance 386,708 (avg 42,968) sellouts in Hannover, München, Hoffenheim, Leverkusen, Augsburg and Schalke.

Hannover 96	    -  	VfB Stuttgart	        0:0 (0:0)   49,000 *

Bayern München	    -  	Werder Bremen	        5:2 (1:2)   71,000 *

                   0:1  Gebre Selassie (10., Makiadi)
                   1:1  Ribery (20., Pizarro)
                   1:2  Hunt (36., di Santo)
                   2:2  Pizarro (53., T. Müller)
                   3:2  Pizarro (57., Alaba)
                   4:2  Schweinsteiger (61., Lahm)
                   5:2  Robben (74.)

VfL Wolfsburg	    -  	SC Freiburg	        2:2 (1:0)   28,255

                   1:0  Perisic (3., Rodriguez)
                   1:1  Mehmedi (61., Darida)
                   2:1  Perisic (70., Träsch)
                   2:2  Terrazzino (83., C. Günter)

1899 Hoffenheim	    -  	Eintracht Frankfurt	0:0 (0:0)   30,150 *

1. FSV Mainz 05	    -  	1. FC Nürnberg	        2:0 (2:0)   33,507

                   1:0  Okazaki (30., Geis)
                   2:0  Moritz (44.)

Hertha BSC	    -  	Eintracht Braunschweig	2:0 (0:0)   51,953

                   1:0  Brooks (61., Baumjohann)
                   2:0  Allagui (77., Ramos)

Bayer 04 Leverkusen -  	Borussia Dortmund	2:2 (2:2)   30,210 *

                   1:0  L. Bender (7., Kießling)
                   1:1  Kirch (29., Reus)
                   2:1  Castro (35., Brandt)
                   2:2  Reus (39., Hand penalty)


Sunday:
FC Augsburg	    -  	Hamburger SV	        3:1 (3:1)   30,660 *

                   1:0  Halil Altintop (6., Verhaegh)
                   2:0  Halil Altintop (32., Hahn)
                   3:0  Hahn (42.)
                   3:1  Westermann (44., Calhanoglu)

FC Schalke 04	    -   Bor. Mönchengladbach	0:1 (0:1)   61,973 *

                   0:1  Herrmann (35., Raffael)
	



 1  Bayern München (M, P)	32   27  3  2 	  89:22  +67 	  84 
 2  Borussia Dortmund	  	32   20  5  7 	  73:36  +37 	  65 
 3  FC Schalke 04	  	32   17  7  8 	  57:42  +15 	  58
 4  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	32   17  4  11 	  56:40  +16 	  55
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  VfL Wolfsburg	  	32   16  6  10 	  58:48  +10 	  54 
 6  Bor. Mönchengladbach	32   15  7  10 	  55:39  +16 	  52
 7  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	32   15  5  12 	  48:49  -1 	  50
-------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 8  FC Augsburg	  	        32   13  7  12 	  44:46  -2 	  46 
 9  1899 Hoffenheim	  	32   10  11 11 	  67:66  +1 	  41 
10  Hertha BSC Berlin (N)	32   11  8  13 	  40:42  -2 	  41 
11  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	32    9  9  14 	  39:53  -14 	  36 
12  SC Freiburg	  	        32    9  9  14 	  41:56  -15 	  36 
13  Hannover 96	  	        32   10  6  16 	  41:57  -16 	  36 
14  Werder Bremen	  	32    9  9  14 	  39:64  -25 	  36 
15  VfB Stuttgart	  	32    8  8  16 	  48:59  -11 	  32
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Hamburger SV	  	32    7  6  19 	  48:68  -20 	  27
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  1. FC Nürnberg	  	32    5  11 16 	  36:64  -28 	  26 
18  Eintracht Braunschweig (N)	32    6  7  19 	  28:56  -28 	  25


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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