Stefan Puchner/dpa via AP

Bundesliga wrap: Mainz, Hamburg could send relegation race to wire

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With two matches to play, the Bundesliga’s relegation race is muddled and the European battle is set to go down to the wire.

There’s Bayern at the top, Koln at the bottom, and mostly chaos in between.

[ MORE: Fellaini, Pogba react to late win ]


 

Mainz 3-0 RB Leipzig

A seismic statement from Mainz, who greeted Hamburg’s hot streak with a convincing win that moved it five points clear of automatic relegation and three above the playoff spot.

Pablo De Blasis converted a 29th minute penalty kick to give Mainz an advantage that would later be buttressed by a pair of goals in the final five minutes from Alexandru Maxim and Bote Baku.

Now RB Leipzig, last year’s surprise runners-up, are on the precipice of missing out on European play altogether. Sixth-place Leipzig needs collapses from Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen to finish Top Four, and could finish as low as bottom half with poor performances against Wolfsburg and Hertha Berlin.

Wolfsburg 1-3 Hamburg

The wobbly seasons continue for Wolfsburg, and this one features a massive six-point loss to Hamburg Sunday.

American striker Bobby Wood converted a 43rd minute penalty — U.S. teammate John Anthony Brooks was on the bench for Wolfsburg — and the hosts could never get level in allowing their visitors to get within two points of 16th place.

Elsewhere

Hertha Berlin 2-2 Augsburg
Freiburg 3-2 Koln
Bayern Munich 4-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
Schalke 1-1 Borussia Monchengladbach
Bayer Leverkusen 0-1 Stuttgart
Werder Bremen 1-1 Borussia Dortmund
Hoffenheim 3-1 Hannover 96

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 32 26 3 3 88 23 65 14-2-0 12-1-3 81
 FC Schalke 04 32 16 9 7 50 36 14 9-5-2 7-4-5 57
 Borussia Dortmund 32 15 10 7 62 42 20 9-4-3 6-6-4 55
 1899 Hoffenheim 32 14 10 8 63 45 18 10-4-2 4-6-6 52
 Bayer Leverkusen 32 14 9 9 55 42 13 7-5-4 7-4-5 51
 RB Leipzig 32 13 8 11 47 50 -3 8-4-4 5-4-7 47
 Eintracht Frankfurt 32 13 7 12 42 44 -2 7-4-5 6-3-7 46
 VfB Stuttgart 32 13 6 13 30 35 -5 9-4-3 4-2-10 45
 Mönchengladbach 32 12 8 12 43 49 -6 8-4-4 4-4-8 44
 Hertha BSC Berlin 32 10 13 9 40 37 3 5-7-4 5-6-5 43
 FC Augsburg 32 10 11 11 42 42 0 6-4-6 4-7-5 41
 Werder Bremen 32 9 11 12 35 39 -4 6-6-4 3-5-8 38
 Hannover 96 32 9 9 14 39 50 -11 7-3-6 2-6-8 36
 FSV Mainz 05 32 8 9 15 35 49 -14 7-3-6 1-6-9 33
 SC Freiburg 32 7 12 13 29 53 -24 6-6-4 1-6-9 33
 VfL Wolfsburg 32 5 15 12 31 43 -12 2-8-6 3-7-6 30
 Hamburger SV 32 7 7 18 27 49 -22 5-4-7 2-3-11 28
 1. FC Köln 32 5 7 20 33 63 -30 3-5-8 2-2-12 22

Bundesliga wrap: Relegation playoff race stays tight

Christian Charisius/dpa via AP
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With three matches remaining for all 18 Bundesliga clubs, there’s clarity at the very top and bottom but plenty to sort in the races to qualify for Europe and avoid the relegation playoff.

[ RECAP: Man City 5-0 Swans ]

We focus on the latter here, with all three teams on 30 points losing away from home this weekend, including one to the 17th place side in Germany.

Hamburg 1-0 Freiburg

Lewis Holtby scored a 54th minute goal to keep the hosts’ slim survival hopes alive, and USMNT forward Bobby Wood got into the match for the final 23 minutes as Hamburg scooped up a rare win.

Augsburg 2-0 Mainz

The visitors had more of the ball but couldn’t rebound from a 29th minute Michael Gregoritsch goal, allowing Alfred Finnbogason to seal the result in stoppage time.

Borussia Monchengladbach 3-0 Wolfsburg

Wolfsburg has a hefty edge on Mainz and Freiburg in terms of goal differential, but won’t be feeling too confident after watching Lars Stindl, Raffael, and Christoph Kramer all score before halftime.

Elsewhere
RB Leipzig 2-5 Hoffenheim
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-3 Hertha Berlin
Stuttgart 2-0 Werder Bremen
Hannover 96 0-3 Bayern Munich
Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Bayer Leverkusen
Koln 2-2 Schalke — USMNT’s McKennie goes 90

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 31 25 3 3 84 22 62 13-2-0 12-1-3 78
 FC Schalke 04 31 16 8 7 49 35 14 9-4-2 7-4-5 56
 Borussia Dortmund 31 15 9 7 61 41 20 9-4-3 6-5-4 54
 Bayer Leverkusen 31 14 9 8 55 41 14 7-5-3 7-4-5 51
 1899 Hoffenheim 31 13 10 8 60 44 16 9-4-2 4-6-6 49
 RB Leipzig 31 13 8 10 47 47 0 8-4-4 5-4-6 47
 Eintracht Frankfurt 31 13 7 11 41 40 1 7-4-5 6-3-6 46
 Mönchengladbach 31 12 7 12 42 48 -6 8-4-4 4-3-8 43
 Hertha BSC Berlin 31 10 12 9 38 35 3 5-6-4 5-6-5 42
 VfB Stuttgart 31 12 6 13 29 35 -6 9-4-3 3-2-10 42
 FC Augsburg 31 10 10 11 40 40 0 6-4-6 4-6-5 40
 Werder Bremen 31 9 10 12 34 38 -4 6-5-4 3-5-8 37
 Hannover 96 31 9 9 13 38 47 -9 7-3-6 2-6-7 36
 VfL Wolfsburg 31 5 15 11 30 40 -10 2-8-5 3-7-6 30
 FSV Mainz 05 31 7 9 15 32 49 -17 6-3-6 1-6-9 30
 SC Freiburg 31 6 12 13 26 51 -25 5-6-4 1-6-9 30
 Hamburger SV 31 6 7 18 24 48 -24 5-4-7 1-3-11 25
 1. FC Köln 31 5 7 19 31 60 -29 3-5-8 2-2-11 22

Mainz beats Hertha to boost chances of Bundesliga survival

@1FSVMainz05 4h4 hours ago
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BERLIN (AP) Swedish midfielder Robin Quaison scored twice as Mainz beat Hertha Berlin 2-0 for a boost in its fight against Bundesliga relegation on Friday.

[ MORE: Mahrez back for Leicester ]

Hertha had been hoping to close in on the qualification places for European football next season, but the side disappointed in front of its own fans as it slumped to its first loss in five games.

There was further bad news for Hertha with forward Vedad Ibisevic going off early with what assistant coach Rainer Widmayer said at halftime was a broken nose.

Mainz had several chances in the first half, and the visitors duly went ahead minutes before the break when Quaison eluded four Hertha defenders to score inside the left post. The ball went between two of the players’ legs.

Quaison grabbed his second midway through the second half after latching onto a simple ball over the top from Jean-Philippe Gbamin and firing through goalkeeper Rune Jarstein’s legs.

The home fans responded with whistles for their team’s lackluster performance.

Mainz remains in the relegation playoff spot ahead of the rest of the 23rd round, level on points with Werder Bremen and one behind Stuttgart and Wolfsburg.

Bundesliga wrap: RB Leipzig slips; USMNT’s Chandler scores

Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images
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There’s congestion at the top and bottom of the Bundesliga table, as RB Leipzig fell to Freiburg and Koln continued its long climb back from a horrible start to the season.

[ RECAP: Man City 3-1 Newcastle ]

Schalke can go second with a Sunday win, while Bayern’s table lead could be as much as 16 if it wins its match.

Freiburg 2-1 RB Leipzig

The hosts moved further clear of relegation danger and put the race for second place into severe congestion with a comeback win against third place RB Leipzig.

Timo Werner had put the visitors ahead in the 65th minute, but Janik Haberer and Robin Koch scored four minutes apart to boost all three points for the hosts.

Freiburg is now seven points clear of the relegation playoff spot, while RBL’s 31 points makes it one of six teams within one point between second and seventh.

Mainz 3-2 Stuttgart

Yoshinori Muto scored on both sides of halftime as Mainz came back from 1-0 down and held on to move four points clear of 16th while Stuttgart is ahead of the victors by a single goal of differential.

Wolfsburg 1-3 Eintracht Frankfurt

American midfielder Timmy Chandler scored for the first time in three Bundesliga seasons and Eintracht Frankfurt pulled into a tie for fifth place with a win at Wolfsburg. Sebastien Haller and Luka Jovic also scored for the visitors.

“It’s not such a difficult thing whether it’s my right or left, because I can also play with my left,” Chandler joked after the win.

Hamburg 0-2 Koln

Simon Terodde scored his second and third goals in two matches for Koln, and the visitors continued their climb out of the Bundesliga basement with a third-straight win.

Elsewhere
Hertha Berlin 1-1 Borussia Dortmund — Friday
Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0 Augsburg
Hoffenheim 1-4 Bayer Leverkusen
Bayern Munich vs. Werder Bremen — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Schalke vs. Hannover 96 — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 18 14 2 2 40 12 28 7-1-0 7-1-2 44
 Bayer Leverkusen 19 8 7 4 39 27 12 4-4-1 4-3-3 31
 RB Leipzig 19 9 4 6 31 28 3 6-2-1 3-2-5 31
 Mönchengladbach 19 9 4 6 30 30 0 6-2-2 3-2-4 31
 Borussia Dortmund 19 8 6 5 40 25 15 4-2-3 4-4-2 30
 FC Schalke 04 18 8 6 4 29 24 5 5-3-1 3-3-3 30
 Eintracht Frankfurt 19 8 6 5 24 20 4 2-3-4 6-3-1 30
 FC Augsburg 19 7 6 6 28 25 3 4-4-2 3-2-4 27
 1899 Hoffenheim 19 7 6 6 29 27 2 5-3-2 2-3-4 27
 Hannover 96 18 7 5 6 27 28 -1 5-3-1 2-2-5 26
 Hertha BSC Berlin 19 6 7 6 27 27 0 4-3-3 2-4-3 25
 SC Freiburg 19 5 8 6 20 33 -13 4-5-1 1-3-5 23
 VfL Wolfsburg 19 3 11 5 22 24 -2 2-6-2 1-5-3 20
 VfB Stuttgart 19 6 2 11 16 24 -8 6-1-2 0-1-9 20
 FSV Mainz 05 19 5 5 9 24 33 -9 5-1-4 0-4-5 20
 Werder Bremen 18 3 7 8 14 21 -7 2-3-4 1-4-4 16
 Hamburger SV 19 4 3 12 15 28 -13 3-2-5 1-1-7 15
 1. FC Köln 19 3 3 13 14 33 -19 2-1-6 1-2-7 12

Bobby Wood’s Hamburg still in relegation zone after draw with Mainz

Carmen Jaspersen/dpa via AP
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BERLIN (AP) Hamburger SV and Mainz played out a scoreless draw Sunday, leaving both teams in danger of relegation with two rounds of the Bundesliga to go.

“I can imagine that the point could be worth its weight in gold,” said Hamburg coach Markus Gisdol, whose side remained in the relegation playoff spot.

Hamburg’s Christian Mathenia was the busiest of the two `keepers in a scrappy game of few clear-cut chances. Mathenia produced a good save to deny Jhon Cordoba and then Yoshinori Muto from the rebound early on.

A long ball put Bobby Wood in a good position at the other end but Mainz captain Stefan Bell cleared for a corner.

“The relegation fight is dirty. It was a good reaction after Augsburg,” Mathenia said of his side’s performance following last weekend’s 4-0 loss at relegation-rival Augsburg.

Hamburg is the only founding member of the league never to have been relegated. But it faces the prospect of its third playoff in four seasons unless it can claim points from its final games at Schalke and then at home to Wolfsburg.

“You could see that both teams are under enormous pressure,” Mainz sporting director Rouven Schroeder said. “But we’re above Hamburg and that’s what counts.”

Mainz remained above Hamburg on goal difference, four points above Ingolstadt. Augsburg and Wolfsburg were both two points clear of the relegation zone, while last-placed Darmstadt was relegated on Saturday.

Two first-half goals from Florian Niederlechner lifted Freiburg to fifth and all but ended Schalke’s hopes of European football from its inconsistent season.

Markus Weinzierl’s side needs to win both its remaining games against Hamburg and Ingolstadt, and hope for favors from others against Freiburg and Hertha Berlin. Schalke is six points behind Freiburg and five behind Hertha. Even if Hertha and Freiburg do stumble, Cologne, Werder Bremen and Borussia Moenchengladbach are better placed than Schalke to take advantage.

Goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann was the visitors’ best player, and Schalke would be even lower than its 10th place without his interventions during this season.

Promoted last season, Freiburg was leading Hertha by a point. Cologne and Werder Bremen are both a point further back, with two games remaining. Sixth place is the last to guarantee European qualification.