Bayern Munich returned to familiar territory with their first win in four league matches to kept Eintracht Braunschweig at the wrong end of the table, while Dortmund guaranteed their place in next season’s Champions League group stage after beating Thomas Tuchel’s Mainz squad in an entertaining encounter in matchday 31 Bundesliga action. Relegation zone sides Hamburg and Nürnberg failed to take advantage of home support as both clubs slumped to defeat against European hopefuls Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen respectively. Freiburg come from a goal down to steal all the points against ‘Gladbach, and Werder Bremen look safe and sound after a comprehensive win to end Hoffenheim’s unbeaten run. Augsburg and Hertha played out the only goalless match of the weekend, as the capital club’s winless streak extends to nine matches, while Stuttgart earned three points against a Schalke side that may keep the Swabians from sliding down to Germany’s second division.
Hannover eased the pressure at expense of Frankfurt
Hannover put their awful form on the road aside to come out victorious last Thursday at fellow relegation-threatening Eintracht Frankfurt. The match got into a perfect start with four goals coming in the first half hour, as the visitors benefitted from Christian Pander’s pin-point crosses to take a two goals cushion in the break. Frankfurt saw much of the ball in the first half, but they were second best in every department after the break, while Tayfun Korkut’s side easily could have doubled their day’s tally to a half-dozen goals. But it was the guests who are able to reduce the deficit through a sumptuous header. Despite outgoing coach Armin Veh remained vociferous until the final whistle, the Eagles squandered a perfect opportunity to claim their league status for another season, while Hannover leveled in points with their hosts and reclaimed their momentum after a bad run of results.
Freiburg and Werder steer clear of the danger zone
Admir Mehmedi once again stepped up to help the Black Forest side earn a crucial three points in their battle to avoid relegation, as Borussia Mönchengladbach’s hopes for a Champions League return suffered a huge blow after squandering an early lead to the vibrant Freiburg side. Werder Bremen were also at their very best to demolish mid-table Hoffenheim and open up a nine-point gap from the playoff spot with only three matches left to play for.
Bayer and Wolves fighting over the fourth place
Sascha Lewandowski maintained his perfect record since taking over for his former companion in Bayer Leverkusen’s dugout with 4-1 success at Nürnberg. All the goals were scored by defenders, with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s skipper Emir Spahic opening his Bundesliga account with a brace, and Sebastian Boensich and Roberto Hilbert also scoring their first goals of the season. Wolfsburg are still at the heels of Die Werkself with the in-form attacking players Ivan Perisic, Ivica Olic and Kevin de Bruyne all on target at Hamburg, the latter scoring his first goal since signing for the Lower Saxony club in the winter. The only bad news for Dieter Hecking’s side is that Luis Gustavo picked up his third red card since joining the Green-and-Whites from Bavaria.
Huub shows no mercy for his beloved club
Stuttgart had the luxury of knowing fellow relegation sides results before kicking off their fixture against third-placed Schalke, and they rose to the task with an emphatic win over the Royal Blues, leaving them four points clear of sixteen-placed Hamburg. Club legend Cacau, 33, scored his first of the season as a healthy Vedad Ibisevic was not named to the starting XI for the first time since his January, 2012 transfer to Stuttgart, while one of VfB’s best performers of late, Martin Harnik, grabbed a brace. Stuttgart coach Huub Stevens was selected as Schalke’s manager of the century by the club’s fans, but there was no place for mercy toward his former employers with his Swabians fighting desperately to keep their 37-years league status.
Dortmund raring to go for the cup final
Look no further for the renovate side of the Bundesliga. Borussia Dortmund have found the right formula in the closing stage of the season after struggling too often this season. Jurgen Klopp’s side were up against the flexible Mainz side on Saturday, and in a six-goals thriller, they picked up their six consecutive victory in all competition. Shinji Okazaki equaled former Dortmund star Shinji Kagawa’s record tally for Bundesliga goals scored by a Japanese players with a brace against BvB, but the Yellow-Blacks responded with their mesmerizing attacking quartet promised to serve a mouth-watering DFB-Pokal final at Berlin against Bayern Munich, who will pay a visit to Real Madrid on Wednesday for their first-leg semi-final Champions League tie.
Header photo courtesy of bundesliga.com
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