Matchday 34: Five Talking Points

Bayern Munich collected their second consecutive league title in the final matchday of the season, while Hamburger SV can still maintain their ever-present Bundesliga status beyond this miserable season, as another week passed with all the bottom three clubs failing to grasp a point, meaning Mirko Slomka’s side booked their place in the relegation playoffs. Meanwhile, Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen secured their places in the Champions League, whereas Mainz will be joining Wolfsburg and Borussia Monchenglabach in the Europa League next season. Hoffenheim, Augsburg and Hannover gave proper send-offs to their fans with home wins against bottom of the table Braunschweig, Eintracht Frankfurt and SC Freiburg respectively, salvaging top-ten finishes. Borussia Dortmund will be hoping for more of the same in their next week DFB Pokal final match against Bayern Munich after their comfortable thrashing of Hertha Berlin in the same venue – a result that sums up both sides’ Rückrunde.

Pep Guardiola receives his first league title and traditional Bierdusche

Former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola admitted he was very much looking forward to the German way of celebrating the title before his side awaited their final match and the subsequent presentation of the Bundesliga shield for the record champions. As he expected, Pep enjoyed the celebration throughout, as he was actively involved in the beer showering with the players. Their party was not ruined on the pitch thanks to Claudio Pizarro, whose contract at the Bavarians will expire in the summer, who came off the substitute bench to end the season with a double-figure goal-scoring stat after scoring the only goal of the match to break VFB Stuttgart’s resistance.

Robert Lewandowski picks up his first Torjägerkanone

Making way for the Bundesliga’s all-time leading foreign goalscorer was Mario Mandzukic, whose dream of being the league’s talisman will have to wait for at least another season. After waving a farewell to the vociferous Dortmund fans last week in his final home match for the Yellow-Blacks, Lewandowski helped himself to finish top of the scoring chart with a brace at Hertha Berlin. Provided that Mario Mandzukic stays at with the Bavarians beyond this season, Bayern will have the top two strikers on their roster next campaign.

Not yet over for underachievers Hamburg

Another weekend passed with Hamburg ending up on the receiving end of a defeat, but this time the Red Shorts benefited from the abysmal form of the sides found beneath them in the standings to book their place in the relegation/promotion playoff. Eintracht Braunschweig’s return to the top flight football after decades absence ends with immediate relegation, as a defeat at Hoffenheim sealed their return to the second division. Nürnberg fell short of their fight to avoid the drop, a prospect that looked promising at the start of the Rückrunde, as they suffered automatic relegation in the wake of a heavy defeat at Schalke, who were playing to secure a direct qualification spot for next season’s Champions League. Hamburg faced another European hopeful in the closing encounter of the campaign, and they couldn’t restrict Mainz from registering a double over them with a hard-fought 3-2 win for the M05ers, which was enough for the guests to book their place in Europa League’s qualifying rounds. Hamburg will face Greuther Fürth, a side who endured an awful debut Bundesliga season last time out, in the playoffs to extend HSV’s record-long stay in the Bundesliga.

Bayer Leverkusen scrap into the Champions League

It was far from the second half of the season many die Werkself fans hoped for, but at the end of the season they witnessed their side making it into the Champions League at the expense of vastly improved Wolfsburg side and Borussia Monchengladbach, the Bundesliga’s Hinrude revelation. Sascha Lewandowski’s men received an early setback this weekend when Theodore Gebre Selassie put Werder Bremen in front in the decisive final match of the season, and Wolfsburg beating ‘Gladbach to climb up to the coveted fourth spot. But an equalizing goal from Omer Toprak – who also scored the all important goal in the final Champions League group stage match against Real Sociedad to seal his side a place in last sixteen – and Son-Heyung Min’s tenth strike of the season secured three points and a ticket for the playoff match in Champions League preliminary round for Leverkusen.

Thomas Tuchel and Huub Stevens rounds off the long list of departed coaches

After a season with so many managerial shifts, Mainz and Stuttgart rounded off things by parting ways with their coaches in the wake of the season’s final fixtures played. Thomas Tuchel guided the carnival club to their second European qualification in five years in what appears to be a successful stint at one of the low budget teams in the Bundesliga. Tuchel became known for preparing with details before matches and building a formidable side despite losing key players to top clubs multiple times.

On the other hand, veteran Huub Stevens managed to keep VFB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga, with taking full advantage of the relegation zone sides inability to even come up with a point in their last five fixtures. We might not see both coaches taking another role for a while, as Mainz refused to release Tuchel’s contract at the club, which will only run out at the end of next season, and Huub Stevens hopes to take some time off before listening to offers from other clubs.

The following two tabs change content below.
Eskender born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Despite the geographical differences, he's interested in every detail of German football, if not any kind of football. Wolfsburg's industrious away win at Hamburg started his Bundesliga obsession back in 2005. You can also follow him on Twitter @eskeBMG

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.