Bayern slip ahead of Manchester United clash, Bundesliga report

Bundesliga

Hamburg 2 Bayer Leverkusen 1

Sami Hyypia was relieved of his position as Leverkusen boss on Friday, as his side fell to a 2-1 loss versus relegation threatened Hamburg this weekend.

They were up against it early on, Calhanoglu thundering in a fabulous strike after just four minutes to give his side the lead.

Kießling was the pick of the bunch for Bayer, though Rene Adler was equal to anything that was thrown his way, as Slomka’s side went into the break in front.

Adler’s hard work came undone though on the hour mark, 17 year old Brandt struck a shot straight at him, only to watch as the ball squirmed from his grasp, and nestle in the corner.

The German recovered well from that though, saving marvellously twice to keep the scores level. Mirko Slomka would’ve probably taken the point, but his side took all three points when Westermann reacted best to a Diekmeier cross, sending the home support into raptures as their side put themselves firmly in contention to retain their place in the German top division.

Stuttgart 2 Freiburg 0

Freiburg did themselves no favours on Saturday as they slipped to defeat to relegation rivals Stuttgart, leaving both teams within the bottom four with just five games remaining.

A first half that offered little going forward pretty much summed up Freiburgs season, but they nearly made it 1-0 early in the second period, Mehmedi’s header excellently turned onto the post by Ulreich.

That was the final hurrah for them though, Maxim came on and scored within 10 minutes, linking up with Traore before scoring the easiest of tap-ins.

TImo Werner, who has flown into the spotlight after a superb season, nearly made it 2-0, but his audacious volley cannoned off the bar, leaving the tie well in the balance.

Ulreich then had to be at his best to deny Mehmedi and keep his side in front, before Harnik eased any worries, firing home to ensure the Reds didn’t end the weekend at the foot of the table.

Nurnburg 0 Borussia Moenchengladbach 2

Goals from Arango and Kruse ensured the Foals were the only away victors this weekend, as they took a huge leap towards European football next season.

Arango opened the scoring early on, his free-kick taking a wicked deflection off the wall, leaving the ‘keeper completely wrong footed. The impressive Drmic went closest to equalising, his header thumping the bar.

Kruse had chances to double the lead, but looked off-form, needing a spot-kick to come his way to get on the scoresheet, firing past Schafer coolly.

It was a sixth loss in seven games for Nurnburg, leaving them facing the very real prospect of relegation come next month, while Moenchengladbach took a step closer to the Champions League.

Frankfurt 2 Mainz 0

A third win in four games almost secured survival for the Eagles, as they handed Mainz a hammer blow to their European dreams this weekend.

In a first half that yielded little action, Aigner nearly scored for the hosts, but could only watch as his header came off the foot of the post and back out.

The second half started in better fashion though, as Barnetta’s set-piece came off the woodwork, only for some poor defensive work to leave Joselu with the perfect chance to head home to make it 1-0.

Aigner then had a goal disallowed, before Alexander Meier smashed in a snapshot from the edge of the area to make sure of the points with just five minutes remaining.

Werder Bremen 1 Schalke 1

Schalke dropped vital points in the race for second as then met stern resistance in the form of Werder Bremen on Saturday.

Franco Di Santo was at his best early, slotting home the opening goal after 14 minutes, before nearly doubling the lead as his shot was superbly tipped onto the post minutes later.

The game opened up after that, and the teenage prodigy Leon Goretzka equalised, when his volley flew past Wolf, making it 1-1 at the break. Despite Bremen having little to play for, they pressed and nearly got the winner, Elia’s shot flying inches wide of the target as the clock ticked onto 70 minutes.

There was to be no winner in this, and although a draw kept the Royal Blues unbeaten record up, their chances of finishing the season as runners-up took a huge blow.

Augsburg 1 Bayern Munich 0

Pep Guardiola was left to rue seven changes to his side, as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Augsburg on Saturday, ending an unbelievable 53 games unbeaten for the Bavarians.

Neuer kept his place, and luckily so, as he saved superbly from Ostrzolek and Mölders to keep the game scoreless. That was only until just after the half hour mark though, a mistake from Weiser left Mölders with a superb chance, which he finished superbly to give his side a priceless lead.

The second half was very much one-way traffic, Götze came on and provided a huge spark, crossing for Mandzukic only to see the header fly wide.

Müller then entered the fray and had a chance to equalise, prodding a shot straight at the ‘keeper, shortly before Alaba saw his effort rebound off the woodwork.

After four games without a win, nobody expected that run to end here, but Weinzierl’s team held strong and kept their outside chance of Europe alive with a memorable victory.

Borussia Dortmund 2 Wolfsburg 1

Jurgen Klopp side recovered from being behind at half-time to secure a vital victory in the race for second place.

Wolfsburg started the game in top gear, Olic guilty of missing from close range after just two minutes, before Malanda and De Bruyne also had chances to score the opener.

Olic eventually got that claim, Malanda forcing Langerak into a save, before Olic fired home the rebound. The turning point then came in bizarre form, when Olic attempted to slide the ball home, only to see the ball come off the crossbar, back off himself, then off the bar for a second time.

BVB were visibly changed after the break, a double substitution proving the key as they equaliser within 10 minutes of the restart. Reus’ ball in was slightly behind Lewandowski, but that didn’t stop the Polish directing his header home.

The sides engaged in a frantic end-to-end battle, and it was a matter of time before the deciding goal came. It came in a terrible way for Wolfsburg though, Grun dropped a cross right onto the boot of Reus, who fired home with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Madrid will come here in midweek, and the defending will have to be better, Caligiuri had a great chance to equalise, but his header was poor, as Klopp’s team rather limped over the finish line than cruised to victory.

Braunschweig 3 Hannover 0

The Lions jumped to within two points of safety on Sunday as they inflicted a fourth straight defeat on local rivals Hannover, as their relegation worries intensified.

It was four unbeaten at home, and the tone was set early on, Kumbela capitalising on a mistake from Zieler to tap in the opener after just 14 minutes.

It got worse just seven minutes later, Kessel’s ball finding its way to Nielsen, who cracked home a volley worthy of winning any game, leaving Korkut and his men in disarray.

They were perhaps happy to go into the break just two down, though Rudnves and Ya Konan missed good chances to half the deficit.

Schlaudraff came on at half-time and looked dangerous, but any hope of a revival was shot when Hoffmann inexplicably kicked out at Boland off the ball, leaving the referee no chance but to send him off.

Bellarabi then had a goal chalked off, but the home support got a last cheer when Hochscheidt struck from close range to make it 3-0, and with Hannover fans protesting furiously after the game, 2.Bundesliga football may beckon for the Reds next season.

Hertha Berlin 1 Hoffenheim 1

With both sides locked on 36 points pre-match, it was always going to be a close fought encounter, and although having little to play for, that didn’t stop a competitive battle ensuing on Sunday afternoon.

Hertha struck first in this encounter, Sami Allagui slotting the ball home after just 11 minutes to give the home side the lead. Despite their extremely poor defence, they were always going to cause problems going forward. It was from an unlikely source when it did come; Polanksi picked the ball up and curled a fantastic effort out of the reach of Kraft to level the game.

Most would’ve expected the floodgates to open after a fiery opening half hour, but despite the array of goalscorers on show, just four shots hit the target in the second period, and both goalkeepers held their own as the points were shared.

STANDINGS

140331 - Bundesliga

League table courtesy of FIFA.com

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