Bundesliga Bulletin: Hamburg down, Hoffenheim hit new heights | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 13.05.2018
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Bundesliga Bulletin: Hamburg down, Hoffenheim hit new heights

Hamburg have been relegated from the Bundesliga. Borussia Dortmund also experienced an underwhelming end, losing to Hoffenheim, finishing fourth and qualifying for the Champions League on goal difference alone.

Good week for: Hoffenheim, Stuttgart, final matchday excitement

Bad week for: Hamburg, Peter Stöger, Leverkusen

The lowdown

— It finally happened. After 55 seasons, Hamburg, the only founding member of the Bundesliga never to be relegated,is headed to the second division. They had a good shot at survival, winning four of their last six games, but it ended up being too little too late. At least the clock in the Volksparkstadion is still ticking...

Read more: Hamburg fans show their true colors as relegation becomes fact

— Wolfsburg ultimately were the ones responsible for making Hamburg's relegation official. Their 4-1 victory over Cologne was enough for them to avoid automatic relegation. However, the Wolves, who won the German Cup three years ago, are set to play their second relegation playoff in as many seasons, this time against Holstein Kiel.

— In the end, Peter Stöger did his job. He guided Borussia Dortmund, who were in eighth place when he took over, back into the Champions League. But Dortmund didn't secure their spot in the most convincing manner, picking up just four points from their final five games. Stöger announced afterwards that he would not coach the team next season, suggesting the club needed a fresh face to lead them.

Read more: Dortmund need to rebuild after scraping back into the Champions League

— Trailing 3-1 to Hoffenheim, Dortmund were still at risk of surrendering their Champions League spot to Leverkusen who, with a 3-0 lead over Hannover, were two goals away from rising above Dortmund on goal difference. But Leverkusen conceded two goals late, much to the relief of the BVB brass.

— Hoffenheim secured third place with their 3-1 win over Dortmund, their highest ever finish. The players celebrated the accomplishment as if they had won a trophy, hounding their coach, Julian Nagelsmann, during his post-match press conference. His side's late season surge — they lost just one of their final 11 games — came after their elimination from the Europa League and the German Cup, so the jury is still out as to whether they can be competitive on multiple fronts.

— Lost in the hoopla of the final day was that Freiburg ensured their Bundesliga survival. Christian Streich's side got the victory they needed over Augsburg on Saturday, defeating the Bavarian club 2-0. Freiburg had trouble scoring at the end of the season — seven goals in their final 10 games — underlining their need to find another goal scorer besides club captain Nils Petersen.

— Bayern Munich celebrated as champions on Saturday, but they certainly didn't play like ones. The Bavarians suffered a 4-1 shellacking to Stuttgart, one of the worst defeats they have ever experienced in Allianz. The result had no significance for Bayern, who wrapped up the league title in April. But the win for Stuttgart meant a lot as it vaulted them up to seventh place. If Eintracht Frankfurt lose the German Cup final, Stuttgart will enter qualification for the Europa League.

The stats

— Hamburg head to the second division after spending 54 years and 261 days in the Bundesliga. They won 746 of their 1,866 Bundesliga games and scored 2,937 goals.

— Bayern Munich's 4-1 loss to Stuttgart was the worst Bundesliga loss in Allianz Arena in nearly a decade. They lost 5-2 to Werder Bremen in the Allianz in September 2008.

The quotes

"It is hard to find words. It is a very sad day for us." Defender Gotoku Sakai to Sky television after Hamburg's relegation

"It's not the team's fault. It's the fault of the management who made bad purchases for a lot of money." Hamburg legend Uwe Seeler to Sky.

"It's like a German championship for us." Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann on his side finishing third and qualifying for the Champions League.

"Relief is the right word. We cannot be satisfied." BVB chairman Hans Joachim Watzke to Sky after finishing in fourth place.

"We played like s---." Defender Niklas Süle after Bayern Munich's 4-1 loss to Stuttgart.

The weird

HSV supporters did not hide their discontent when their relegation appeared to be on the horizon. With Hamburg leading 2-1 heading into second-half stoppage time, fans in the northern section of the field lit flares and threw other pyrotechnics onto the field. Police came out in full force as the players left the field. Referee Felix Brych elected not to abandon the game, waiting instead for the commotion to settle down before letting play continue. The game resumed in the 17th minute of stoppage time, and Brych blew for full time shortly after Hamburg goalkeeper Julian Pollersbeck, who had already removed his gloves, booted the ball from his own penalty area.

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