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Bowen's Bundesblog

Bundesliga Roundup: Two legends bow out in style at the end of a thrilling campaign

We start off with the most important game at this stage of the season; with the title all wrapped up and both automatic relegation spots confirmed, all we needed to know now was who would be in the relegation playoff. Well thankfully that was going to be decided in one fixture; Hamburg taking on Wolfsburg. A draw wouldn’t be enough for HSV to leapfrog Wolfsburg so only a win would do. Things started off dreadfully for Hamburg as Robin Knoche put the Wolves ahead, but that slender lead only lasted 11 minutes as Filip Kostic equalised for the home side. As things stood, Hamburg would be going down. That was until the 88th minute when Luca Waldschmidt sent the home side into raptures. Hamburg won the game 2-1 with two minutes to go and moved above their opponents. The final whistle went and Hamburg once again have escaped by the skin of their teeth, however, a dreadful season for the Wolves mean they will have to face a playoff to ensure their Bundesliga survival. Surely it is unthinkable that they could be relegated!

FC Koln took on Mainz in a game where, if the home side won and Freiburg would slip up at Champions Bayern, then European football would be confirmed for FC Koln. Things started well for the home side but it wasn’t until the 43rd minute before Jonas Hector put them ahead. Things stayed tight for a while but the game was put to bed and European football was confirmed when Yuya Osako rounded off the 2-0 victory.

It was a great start for Schalke against Ingolstadt as Donis Avdijaj opened up the scoring after two minutes. Pascal Groß bowed out on his and Ingolstadt’s final game in the Bundesliga with the equaliser and the game finished 1-1. It was confirmed that Groß would sign for newly promoted Brighton next season. Schalke will be looking for big improvements next year, but will Markus Weinzierl be there to manage them?

Hoffenheim and Augsburg drew a blank which doesn’t say a lot really. Hoffenheim have endured an epic campaign and will be looking to strengthen upon their Champions League debut next year. Augsburg, who will feel pleased that they have survived, will want to ensure they aren’t in this predicament again next year.

With Frankfurt having one eye on next week’s Pokal final with Dortmund, Leipzig came along to try and spoil the party and confidence beforehand. Marcel Sabitzer opened up the scoring for Leipzig, followed by Yussuf Poulsen to make it two. Things stayed as they were up until the 83rd minute when Jesus Vallejo pulled one back. Then in the 90th minute, Danny Blum equalised for Frankfurt, securing a point and giving his side some hope and fight ahead of next week’s final.

Thorgan Hazard put Gladbach ahead against Darmstadt in a game that didn’t mean anything except pride. Sven Schipplock levelled things up but that was until Raffael put restored Gladbach’s lead three minutes later. Marcel Heller spoiled the Foals party by equalising in the 90th minute, finishing it up 2-2.

A goal fest in Berlin in a game which saw European qualifiers Hertha against a poor Leverkusen side who just avoided relegation. Chicharito put Leverkusen ahead and that was followed by goals from Stefan Kießling and a brace from Kai Havertz. Leverkusen, who have been dreadful all year, were 0-4 up and only on the 71st minute did Hertha do anything as Mitchell Weiser pulled one back for the home side. Things weren’t over there as Charles Aranguiz scored Leverkusen’s 5th. Sami Allagui pulled another back for Hertha and Joel Pohjanpalo does what he has done so often this year and scored in the 90th minute. Things ended 2-6!

Another thriller and once again Werder Bremen were involved. Dortmund, the hosts, picked up a 4-3 win against Bremen to confirm an automatic Champions League place. A brace from Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw off Bremen. Aubameyang subsequently won Bundesliga top scorer because of this brace and finished on 31. For Bremen, the goals came from Zlatko Junuzovic, Fin Bartels and Max Kruse in a real ding dong battle. Could it be Tuchel’s last game in charge of BVB? Only time will tell.

We finish off at home with the Champions as they took on Freiburg. The game was overshadowed by it being the final games for Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso before they both retire. Both were substituted and got an incredible reception from their grateful fans. Both have had outstanding careers and will go down as legends at the club. Arjen Robben opened things up with a trademark goal of his, he does it so often but teams just cannot stop him. Arturo Vidal doubled Bayern’s lead but not long after the Bundesliga’s most prolific substitute Nils Petersen pulled one back for Freiburg. As they pushed for an equaliser to try and get into Europe, Bayern countered and once again scored more than one in stoppage time, the first by Franck Ribery and the second by potential Lahm replacement Joshua Kimmich. The game finished 4-1 and the spectacular celebrations went on, not only for their 5th consecutive Bundesliga title, but in memory of Lahm and Alonso, Lahm especially will be remembered as an icon.

So that rounds things up for this thrilling campaign, all that is left is next week’s Pokal between Frankfurt and Dortmund, as well as the relegation playoff where we now know that Wolfsburg will face off against local rivals Eintracht Braunschweig on Thursday 25th and Monday 29th. Next week’s BundesBlog will return following that second leg where we can confirm who will be in the Bundesliga next season.

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