Bundesliga Matchday 28 roundup | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 31.03.2018
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Bundesliga Matchday 28 roundup

The European battle looks to be going to the wire, with mixed results for the chasing pack. At the bottom, Cologne and Hamburg dropped points to Hoffenheim and Stuttgart respectively as their survival hopes dwindle away.

Werder Bremen 2-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
(Junuzovic 28', Abraham (og) 79' – Jovic 53’)

Weser-Stadion, Bremen

An inexplicable howler from Lukas Hradecky handed Bremen the points in an entertaining Sunday game that saw Frankfurt fall to sixth. The Eintracht keeper somehow dropped a regulation catch from a looping back header from teammate David Abraham and it bounced in to his net.

The sides exchanged chances throughout the game but it was Bremen skipper Zlatko Junuzovic who swept home a low cross to break the deadlock. Bremen continued to push for a second but were wasteful in the final third. They were punished just after the break when Luka Jovic acrobatically slammed home a brilliant backheeled cross from Kevin-Prince Boateng, before Hradecky's moment of madness rendered that meaningless.

Mainz 0-0 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Opel Arena, Mainz

An entirely forgettable match completed the weekend's fixtures as Mainz missed the opportunity to move out of the relegation playoff spot.

A poor first half provided a moment of some controversy right at the end as Gladbach skipper Lars Stindl was denied claims for a penalty. Mainz thought they’d broken the deadlock in the 66th minute when Alexander Hack’s header was tipped on to the underside of the bar and bounced downward but replays showed Swiss keeper Yann Sommer managed to claw it off the goalline and no goal was given.

Schalke 2-0 Freiburg
(Caligiuri 63' pen, Burgstaller 73')
Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen

Schalke won their sixth straight Bundesliga game on Saturday, but the victory did not come without controversy.

Their first goal came from the spot, after Breel Embolo drew a foul from Freiburg defender Manuel Gulde. After Gulde and Nils Petersen pleaded their case to referee Tobias Stieler, Daniel Caligiuri converted the penalty to put Schalke ahead. Stieler then showed Petersen two yellows in quick succession before Freiburg coach Christian Streich was also sent off after a vehment demonstration of his displeasure.

With the man advantage, Schalke doubled their lead when Guido Burgstaller got behind the Freiburg defense and struck from the right side of the penalty area. The victory ensured that Bayern Munich will have to wait at least another week to clinch the title.

Bundesliga 1899 Hoffenheim vs 1. FC Köln Gnabry Jubel (picture-alliance/nordphoto/Fabisch )

Hoffenheim were celebrating a lot on Saturday as they trounced cellar dwellers Cologne

Hoffenheim 6-0 Cologne
(Gnabry 22', 47', Uth 56', Rupp 61', Zuber 73')

Rhein Neckar Arena, Sinsheim

Cologne's survival hopes took a major blow after a disastrous display on Saturday. Serge Gnabry began the rout by wrongfooting defender Dominik Maroh before shifting the ball to his weaker left foot to give Hoffenheim the lead. He doubled it with a similar effort after the break. 

Matters only got worse for Cologne thereafter. Maroh and Dominique Heintz collided while trying to intercept a Hoffenheim pass, leaving the ball far Mark Uth to score the third. Uth was involved in the next three goals as well: he set up Lukas Rupp after another Koziello turnover, finished off a cross from Nico Schulz and teed up Steven Zuber from the goal line to finish the day with two goals and two assists. Cologne remain bottom on 20 points with six matches to play.

Bayern Munich 6-0 Borussia Dortmund
(Lewandowski 5', 44', 86', Rodriguez 14', Müller 23', Ribery 45')

Allianz Arena, Munich

A stunning first half display from Bayern Munich blew Borussia Dortmund away and left the visitors clinging on to a Champions League spot. Robert Lewandowski got things started, latching on to a through ball from a slightly offside position to slam home. Bayern’s second was less controversial, James Rodriguez’s effort beating Roman Bürki for power after David Alaba’s cross.

As it happened: Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund

Thomas Müller volleyed home number three before Lewandowski grabbed his second and Franck Ribery dinked over Bürki to add the fifth. Lewandowski completed his hat-trick and Dortmund’s humiliation in the closing stages with his 26th league goal of the season.

Schalke’s win meant Bayern were unable to wrap up their sixth successive Bundesliga title on Saturday but they are likely to do it against Augsburg next Saturday.

Bundesliga Hannover 96 - RB Leipzig (picture-alliance/Fotostand/Ellerbrake)

Timo Werner (right) set up two goals for Leipzig

Hannover 2-3 Leipzig
(Sane 71', Fullkrüg 78' — Forsberg 16', Orban 54', Poulsen 77')

HDI Arena, Hanover

Hannover's losing streak now extends to five games as as Leipzig picked up their second win on the bounce, despite nearly throwing it away.

Timo Werner, fresh off Germany duty, helped put the visitors ahead early by assisting Emil Forsberg in a perfectly executed counter attack. Leipzig captain Willi Orban doubled his side's advantage, scoring from a free header after a short corner routine between Emil Forsberg and Naby Keita.

Hannover defender Salif Sane put the hosts on the scoreboard with 20 minutes to play, heading in a corner from Pirmin Schwegler. Sane's effort was quickly canceled out by another Leipzig break which saw Werner set up substitute Yusuf Poulsen. 

Niclas Fullkrüg, another replacement, really got the home crowd believing in a comeback. He put the hosts back within one after finishing off a cross from Oliver Sorg, before appearing to have notched the equalizer. But the video assistant referee ruled that he was offside. 

Bundesliga - VfB Stuttgart vs Hamburger SV (Reuters/K. Pfaffenbach)

Mohamed Gouaida receives a ball in the back of the head

Stuttgart 1-1 Hamburg
(Ginczek 44' — Holtby 18')

Mercedes Benz Arena, Stuttgart

For a moment, it appeared Hamburg were going to finally win their first game since the end of November. Lewis Holtby had finished off a deflected save from Stuttgart goalkeeper Ron Robert Zieler, who couldn't handle a Luca Waldschmidt effort. But Hamburg goalkeeper Julian Pollersbeck made a similar error on a shot from Erik Thommy at the end of the first half, setting up an equalizer for Daniel Giniczek just before the break.

Hamburg failed to muster anything positive in the second half, and their winless streak extended to 15 games as a result.

Bundesliga Hertha BSC - VfL Wolfsburg Pyrotechnik (picture-alliance/dpa/J. Kuppert)

Wolfsburg fans set off flares in Berlin, causing the game to be partially delayed

Hertha Berlin 0-0 Wolfsburg
Olympic Stadium, Berlin

Wolfsburg — 15th coming into the matchday — failed to distance themselves from the relegation zone after playing Hertha Berlin to an uninspiring scoreless draw on Saturday night.  

The best chance of the game came five minutes in when Hertha's Mathew Leckie hit the woodwork with a header from a corner. The two teams combined for 12 shots in the contest, only two of which were on target. The only sparks in the game came in the second half when traveling Wolfsburg fans in the away end set off flares, forcing referee Deniz Aytekin to stop play until the smoke cleared. The Wolves were down to ten men by the end of the contest after Joshua Guilavogui received a second yellow.

Leverkusen 0-0 Augsburg
BayArena, Leverkusen

The home crowd jeered at fulltime as Leverkusen failed to dispatch Augsburg. Julian Brandt appeared to have put the home side ahead in the second half with an effort from outside the box after combining with Leon Bailey. However, VAR called the goal back after ruling Bailey offside in the build up. The result was a setback for Leverkusen, who are hoping to return to the Champions League.

Still to come...

Werder Bremen vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (Sunday, 3:30 p.m. CET))

Mainz vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach (Sunday, 6:00 p.m. CET)

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