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

3.Liga, Round 35: Zebras leap to promotion spot

Round 35, May 2-3

It’s officially over for Regensburg, as Jahn becomes the first relegated side, losing in Halle. Next year the “Bayern-liga”

Duisburg is driving to the 2.Liga. The Zebras beat down Preußen Münster to vault over Kiel into 2nd. After a near collapse in teh relegation year, MSV has recovered and

Bielefeld was hoping to drive in the final nail for promotion, but was unable to beat down Kiel. The hosts were much improved from the midweek 0-4 Cup drubbing at the hands of Wolfsburg, but despite nursing the lead until the very end, they just weren’t able to put things away. Kiel remains on target, but they will have to battle out with Duisburg for the 2nd promotion spot.

Unterhaching showed great spirit in coming from behind constantly against Cottbus and wringing out a draw. However the fierce relegation struggle remains. Mainz-II got a critical win against in-form Sonnnehof, and was able to leap over the mini-Münch(en)kins

Stuttgarter Kickers are almost done. They needed a win, but were stunned at home by Dresden. Things looked especially grim as they were down 1-3 and down a man. But they put in a last great effort to level the score, only to lose at the end. Even with a point, things were looking grim for promotion, and it is just about finished now.

Dortmund-II took their last slim chance to save themselves and defeated VfB-II. It’s still going to be very difficult, but they have a chance. The Neon Bubis are coached by ex-US international David Wagner.

Erfurt gets a draw! Woo-hoo! OK, there was a tiny reason to celebrate for RWE in their draw at Fortuna Köln. If they had lost Erfurt would have broken the 3.Liga record for consecutive losses at 9 (dubious honor goes to Werder Bremen-II). Of course even this will come with some flak, since they blew a two goal lead and should have had a win…

Total attendance 83,651 (avg 8,365), 46.9% capacity


1. FSV Mainz 05 II   -   SG S-hof Großaspach	3:1 (2:1)      746
Hallescher FC	     -   Jahn Regensburg	2:1 (2:0)    6,054
Chemnitzer FC	     -   SV Wehen Wiesbaden	2:1 (1:1)    5,200
Arminia Bielefeld    -   Holstein Kiel	        2:2 (2:1)   24,249
Fortuna Köln	     -   Rot-Weiß Erfurt	2:2 (2:2)    1,623
Stuttgarter Kickers  -   Dynamo Dresden	        3:4 (1:2)    8,000
SpVgg Unterhaching   -   Energie Cottbus	3:3 (1:2)    3,000 	
Borussia Dortmund II -   VfB Stuttgart II	2:0 (0:0)    2,516
VfL Osnabrück	     -   Hansa Rostock	        1:0 (1:0)    9,500
MSV Duisburg	     -   Preußen Münster	2:1 (1:0)   22,763


 1  Arminia Bielefeld (A)	35   21  6   8 	  71:38  +33 	  69 
 2  MSV Duisburg	  	35   18  11  6 	  58:38  +20 	  65
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  Holstein Kiel	  	35   17  13  5 	  48:25  +23 	  64
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	35   16  10  9 	  56:45  +11 	  58 
 5  Preußen Münster	  	35   15  9  11 	  50:43  +7 	  54 
 6  Energie Cottbus (A)	  	35   14  11 10 	  47:44  +3 	  53 
 7  Hallescher FC	  	35   15  8  12 	  49:47  +2 	  53 
 8  Chemnitzer FC	  	35   15  7  13 	  40:35  +5 	  52 
 9  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	35   14  7  14 	  51:41  +10 	  49 
10  Dynamo Dresden (A)	  	35   13  8  14 	  42:44  -2 	  47 
11  VfL Osnabrück	  	35   13  8  14 	  46:50  -4 	  47 
12  Rot-Weiß Erfurt	  	35   13  8  14 	  46:52  -6 	  47 
13  Fortuna Köln (N)	  	35   11  10 14 	  36:38  -2 	  43 
14  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach (N)	35   11  10 14 	  37:56  -19 	  43 
15  Hansa Rostock	  	35   11  8  16 	  51:62  -11 	  41 
16  VfB Stuttgart II	  	35   11  7  17 	  42:53  -11 	  40 
17  1. FSV Mainz 05 II (N)	35   9 	 10 16 	  39:49  -10 	  37
--------------------------------------------------------------------
18  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	35   10  8  17 	  49:61  -12 	  36 
19  Borussia Dortmund II	35   6 	 15 14 	  34:47  -13 	  33 
20  Jahn Regensburg	  	35   7 	 6  22 	  38:62  -24 	  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

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
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  FC Schalke 04	  	31   12  9  10 	  41:36  +5 	  45 
 6  FC Augsburg	  	        31   13  4  14 	  38:40  -2 	  43
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 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 
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  SC Freiburg	  	        31    6  12 13 	  32:43  -11 	  30
--------------------------------------------------------------------
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
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  Karlsruher SC	  	30   13  13  4 	  41:22  +19 	  52
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 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
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  VfR Aalen	  	        30    6  12 12 	  27:36  -9 	  28
--------------------------------------------------------------------
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
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  FC Schalke 04	  	30   11  9  10 	  38:34  +4 	  42 
 6  FC Augsburg	  	        30   13  3  14 	  38:40  -2 	  42
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 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
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Hamburger SV	  	30    7  7  16 	  19:46  -27 	  28
--------------------------------------------------------------------
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