The opening game of the weekend saw FC Koln take on the in-form Werder Bremen, both looking to finish the season strongly and gain a European spot. It was a ding-dong affair with FC Koln taking the points and finally ending Bremen’s run. Anthony Modeste and Leonardo Bittencourt put Koln two up but Fin Bartels and Theodor Gebre Selassie had other ideas and levelled the tie. Things weren’t finished there as Simon Zoller put Koln back in front just before the break, then Modeste got his second just after the interval. Serge Gnabry scored for Bremen but Koln managed to hold them off and this fascinating game ended 4-3 to Koln.
With Darmstadt needing to win all remaining games to maintain hope of survival, they visited newly crowned champions Bayern. Inevitably, Bayern got the win and Darmstadt’s fate was confirmed. After a two-year spell in the Bundesliga, they are now relegated to the 2. Bundesliga. The only goal of the game was scored by Juan Bernat after a weaving run and finish.
Dortmund took on Hoffenheim in a clash of 3rd and 4th, and the winner would take pole position in the race for the remaining automatic Champions League spot, while for the loser, 4th place and the qualification round to get into the competition. Marco Reus scored within four minutes with a very controversial goal, with Reus being a country mile offside. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all but confirmed the win in the 82nd minute, that was until BVB conceded a penalty a few minutes later and Andrej Kramaric put it away making the last few minutes more nervy than they should have been for Dortmund, but they held on to take pole position.
Ingolstadt and Leverkusen, down at the bottom, both needed the points, neither wanting to lose. Just when you think the worst couldn’t happen to the unstable Leverkusen, Sonny Kittel opened things up for Ingolstadt. For Leverkusen’s fortunes youngster Kai Havertz headed home the equaliser but once again Leverkusen were poor and celebrated that goal like they had won a cup. They know how desperate they are and they shouldn’t be in that position. It’s up to them to get themselves out of it now. For Ingolstadt, they aren’t down yet but they must win both their remaining games otherwise they will follow Darmstadt.
Mario Gomez and Daniel Didavi inspired Wolfsburg to a massive three points over Frankfurt. Considering the results in and around the relegation zone this week, these three points were massive for the Wolves. Do they have enough to stay up?
Augsburg looked destined for three massive points when Alfred Finnbogason’s goal was cancelled out when ex-Augsburg man Andre Hahn got the equaliser in the 94th minute. A crushing blow for Augsburg but still a point toward safety, will it be enough?
Leipzig confirmed their automatic Champions League spot with a thumping 4-1 win over a very poor defensive display from Hertha Berlin. Timo Werner with a brace, the second of which was gifted to him from a dreadful slip from the Hertha goalkeeper following another poor attempt to play out from the back. Rani Khedira scored an own goal with five minutes left which should have made for an exciting end to things. Things didn’t go the way Hertha would have hoped as substitute Davie Selke scored two in the last three minutes, it finished off 1-4.
Hamburg and Mainz, a relegation battle where both have everything to lose and so much to gain; a win is essential, a draw not good enough, defeat, well, not worth thinking about. Shame the game didn’t live up to that intro, neither side showed any ounce of guts to take the game to one other, neither wanted to lose more than they did win. A poor 0-0 that made me come away thinking that both deserve to go down after that display.
Florian Niederlechner’s brace saw Freiburg’s incredible return to the Bundesliga continue. They beat Schalke 2-0 and with that win move back into contention of a European place, what an achievement that would be for them if that happens. It’s safe to say Schalke can’t wait for this campaign to be over so they can rebuild in the summer.
The race for Europe and safety continues, Leverkusen are not safe yet, it’s looking tough for Ingolstadt but not impossible. Effectively it’s one from five that could end up in the playoff spot if Ingolstadt lose. That being said, if the impossible does happen then it’s two from six, so Mainz and Hamburg should be incredibly worried.