With only five rounds of games left going into this weekend there were still plenty of issues to be resolved in the Bundesliga. Bayern Munich’s 6-0 annihilation of Borussia Dortmund last week put them within touching distance of a 28th Bundesliga. They would need a win in Augsburg on Saturday though to clinch the title. At the other end of the table Cologne’s impressive attitude since the arrival of Stefan Ruthenbeck have given them an outside chance of survival but they need as many wins as possible between now and the end of the season to stay up. Their quest would continue this weekend with the visit of Mainz. Elsewhere, there was a fascinating encounter in the fight for second place in Leipzig on Monday night when Leverkusen came to town.
Hannover 2-1 Werder Bremen
Hannover suffered their second straight defeat last week, going down 3-2 at home to Red Bull Leipzig. Bremen continued their renaissance this season beating high-flying Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 at home. Things started well for Andre Breitenreiter’s side here when Martin Harnik gave them a 17th minute lead. Felix Klaus would double that lead 3 minutes before half time to leave Bremen in trouble. Ishak Belfodil would pull one back on 74 minutes to give them hope but it would ultimately prove to be a consolation.
Cologne 1-1 Mainz
Cologne’s slim hopes of survival took a major blow last weekend when they were hammered 6-0 at Hoffenheim. Mainz are perilously close to danger and currently occupy the relegation play-off place, a position they were unable to escape last week despite their goalless home draw with Gladbach. This relegation 6-pointer got off to a great start for Stefan Ruthenbeck and his boys, when Jonas Hector gave them the lead on 7 minutes. That lead lasted until the 50th minute though when Pablo De Blassis equalised for Mainz. Giulio Donati would be sent off deep into stoppage time for the visitors but they would hold on to leave Cologne 7 points adrift of the relegation play-off place with 5 games to go.
Augsburg 1-4 Bayern Munich
Augsburg drew 0-0 with Bayer Leverkusen last week which hurt their chances of qualifying for Europe next season. However this game will have meant more to the away side. A win for Bayern here would clinch a twenty eighth Bundesliga title for them after they move one step closer thanks to a 6-0 battering of Borussia Dortmund at home last Saturday. Augsburg would surprisingly take the lead here when Niklas Sule put through his own net on 18 minutes. However, this is Bayern Munich we are talking about and you write them off at your peril. Corentin Tolisso started the comeback on 32 minutes and James Rodriguez gave Bayern the lead on 38 minutes. Arjen Robben would make it 3-1 on 62 minutes and Franck Ribery would round off the win on 87 minutes, as Bayern clinched the Bundesliga completing an astonishing turnaround to their season under Jupp Heynckes.
Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1 Hertha Berlin
A goalless draw with Mainz last week summed up Gladbach’s season – disappointing in games they really should be winning. Hertha were equally disappointing when they were only able to manage the same scoreline in their game with relegation threatened Wolfsburg. This game got off to a slow start but Salomon Kalou eventually gave the away side the lead on 40 minutes. It looked as if Hertha would hold on until Thorgan Hazard equalised on 75 minutes. Just 4 minutes later Dieter Hecking’s side were given a penalty and Hazard stepped up to complete the comeback, sending Gladbach into the top half in the process.
Freiburg 0-2 Wolfsburg
Freiburg fell further towards the trap door last week when they were beaten 2-0 at the Veltins Arena by Schalke, while Wolfsburg’s 0-0 draw with Hertha will have given them hope of staving off relegation this season. This game got off to a frenetic start when Daniel Didavi gave Wolfsburg the lead inside just 2 minutes. After levelling out into an even game, Didavi would score a decisive goal on 83 minutes to give the away side all 3 points and move them out of the relegation play-off place.
Hamburg 3-2 Schalke
A 1-1 draw in Stuttgart last week meant that Hamburg are now just games away from having their first relegation from the Bundesliga confirmed. Schalke on the other hand are still racking up wins on their way to next season’s Champions League, picking up another three points against Freiburg last weekend. Naldo gave Schalke the lead on 9 minutes but Filip Kostic drew Hamburg level just 8 minutes later. On 52 minutes Lewis Holtby put Hamburg ahead but Guido Burgstaller would equalise 10 minutes later. Just as it looked like the game might end in a draw, veteran striker Aaron Hunt stepped up to thump home a winner for the home side from 20 yards with 6 minutes left to play, keeping alive their hopes of survival.
Borussia Dortmund 3-0 VfB Stuttgart
A despondent Dortmund side were looking to recover from their 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich last week in Der Klassiker, while Stuttgart, seemingly with nothing to play for now this season, were hoping to build on their 1-1 draw with Hamburg. It would be BVB who would get back to winning ways here though and that began on 38 minutes when Christian Pulisic gave Peter Stoeger’s men the lead. Michy Batshuayi made it 2-0 on 48 minutes and Max Phillipp scored his first goal since returning from injury on 59 minutes to round off the socring.
Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Hoffenheim
Frankfurt became the latest victims of Werder Bremen last week, going down 2-1. Hoffenheim also faced relegation candidates but put Cologne to the sword during their 6-0 victory. This was always going to be a tight game and it proved so, with Luka Jovic not breaking the deadlock for home side until the 49th minute. Niko Kovac’s side wouldn’t hold on for the win though and Hoffenheim were able to claim a point through Serge Gnabry just 7 minutes after going behind.
Red Bull Leipzig 1-4 Bayer Leverkusen
Red Bull Leipzig were able to come away from a tricky fixture in Hannover last week with all three points thanks to a 3-2 win. Leverkusen however could only manage a goalless draw in Augsburg to leave them much closer to today’s opponents than they would have liked to have been. Ralph Hassenhutl’s team got off to a good start when Marcel Sabitzer put Leipzig ahead on just 17 minutes. It all went downhill from there for the home side though and it all started when Kai Havertz equalised on the stroke of half-time for Heiko Herrlich’s boys. Julian Brandt would give Leverkusen the lead 6 minutes after the restart and Panagiatos Retsos made it 3-1 on 56 minutes. Kevin Volland would complete the scoring on 69 minutes to compound a miserable night for the home side.
Game Week 30 Fixtures
Friday 13th April
Wolfsburg vs. Augsburg (19.30)
Saturday 14th April
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (14.30)
Hertha Berlin vs. Cologne
Hoffenheim vs. Hamburg
VfB Stuttgart vs. Hannover
Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Moenchengladbach (17.30)
Sunday 15th April
Schalke vs. Borussia Dortmund (14.30)
Werder Bremen vs. Red Bull Leipzig (17.00)
Monday 16th April
Mainz vs. Freiburg (19.30)