Hamburg on the brink

  • Last Updated: April 27 2014, 18:49 BST

A review of the weekend's action in the German Bundesliga.

Hamburg plunge closer to the drop with defeat at Augsburg
Hamburg plunge closer to the drop with defeat at Augsburg

Hamburg's first ever relegation from the Bundesliga moved a step closer as a brace from Halil Altintop helped Augsburg to a 3-1 win on Sunday.

The Turkish international midfielder scored the first two, before Andre Hahn added a third by half-time.

Heiko Westermann got the final scrappy touch to a set-play from Hakan Calhanoglu to reduce the arrears.

But Hamburg's woes continue as the relegation zone sees no change with them five points from safety with only two matches remaining.

At the other end of the table, Borussia Monchengladbach revitalised their Champions League hopes with a 1-0 win at third-placed Schalke in the only other game on Sunday.

Patrick Herrmann's 35th-minute goal decided the contest, moving the visitors up to sixth place, three points behind Bayer Leverkusen in fourth.

Schalke have a four-point cushion over Wolfsburg in fifth.

Bayern Munich sent a warning Real Madrid's way with a 5-2 win over Werder Bremen at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.

Despite going behind twice to goals from Theodor Gebre Selassie and Aaron Hunt, cancelled out by Franck Ribery and Claudio Pizarro respectively, Bayern cruised to an easy victory as they warmed up in style for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final in midweek.

Pizarro added Bayern's third before Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben completed the rout, with Bayern having put 12 goals past Bremen home and away this season.

Bayern coach Pep Guardiola made changes to the side who were beaten 1-0 by Real in midweek, giving a rest to Robben, Philipp Lahm and Mario Mandzukic in view of the second leg with the Spaniards on Tuesday.

Wolfsburg's hopes of playing in the Champions League next season suffered a setback as they were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Freiburg, who practically secured their top-flight status.

Ivan Perisic scored twice for the Wolves, but Admir Mehmedi and Marco Terrazzino replied for Christian Streich's men, who will be guaranteed their place in the Bundesliga next season if Hamburg fail to win at Augsburg on Sunday.

Wolfsburg, meanwhile, are now reliant on Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke dropping points if they are to stay in the chase for a top-four finish.

Bayer Leverkusen failed to take full advantage of Wolfsburg's slip-up at home to Freiburg as they were held to a 2-2 draw against Borussia Dortmund which gives them only a slender advantage in the race for fourth.

All the goals came in the first half as Lars Bender gave the home team the lead, but Oliver Kirch levelled for second-place Dortmund.

Gonzalo Castro restored Leverkusen's advantage but a Marco Reus penalty denied them maximum points and kept the race for the Bundesliga's fourth Champions League berth wide open going into the final two weekends of the season.

Eintracht Braunschweig's survival hopes were left hanging by a thread as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at Hertha Berlin.

Goals from John Anthony Brooks and Sami Allagui ensured victory for Berlin which consolidates their 11th place in the standings while leaving Braunschweig now certain of a finish inside the bottom three.

That means the only way Torsten Lieberknecht's men can now survive is by finishing 16th and earning a play-off against the side who finish third in the 2. Bundesliga, and two wins out of two are likely to be required for that to be possible.

Mainz closed in on Europa League qualification and pushed Nurnberg a step closer to relegation with a 2-0 win at the Coface Arena.

Shinji Okazaki became the most prolific Japanese player in a single Bundesliga season as he put Thomas Tuchel's men in front after half an hour with his 15th goal of the campaign.

Christoph Moritz added a second to seal the points and earn them a seven-point advantage over eighth-placed Augsburg, who now need to respond against Hamburg on Sunday to have any chance of denying Mainz a place in Europe.

But, after a ninth defeat in their last 10 games which left them six points from safety, Nurnberg look destined for the drop under new coach Roger Prinzen.

Hoffenheim drew a rare blank in a goalless draw with Eintracht Frankfurt at the Rhein-Neckar Arena.

Hoffenheim who have scored fewer only than Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga this season, and conceded more than any other side in the top flight, had the best chance to win the game late on when Roberto Firmino had a penalty saved.

They ended the game with 10 men, though, when Anthony Modeste was shown a straight red card with just five minutes remaining.

Hannover and Stuttgart fought out a 0-0 draw on Friday night as both sides continued their positive runs of form.

Despite the energy-sapping tempo throughout, chances were a rarity in either penalty box as the pair looked to mathematically secure their safety from the drop.

Hannover's crucial back-to-back wins over Hamburg and Eintracht Frankfurt has all but ensured their survival, while Stuttgart's four unbeaten keeps them out of the drop zone.


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