Bundesliga: Werder Bremen trump Cologne in relegation six-pointer | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 12.03.2018
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Bundesliga: Werder Bremen trump Cologne in relegation six-pointer

Bremen gave their survival hopes a boost with three points against Cologne, who are running out of games to pull off a great escape. Elsewhere, Bayern maintained their 20-point lead and Dortmund won in the 94th minute.

Werder Bremen 3-1 Cologne, Weserstadion
(Veljkovic 33', Rashica 58', Eggestein 90' — Osako 53')

Werder Bremen picked up another vital win against a relegation rival with three huge points against Cologne, who remain eight points from safety.

Bremen have beaten both Hamburg and Wolfsburg in recent weeks and took the lead in the first half courtesy of Milos Veljkovic, who ghosted into space at a corner to score at the far post.

Yuya Osako rifled in an equalizer for Cologne early in the second half but Bremen stopped the momentum from swinging the visitors' way five minutes later with a second, with Milot Rashica capping a counter-attack with a deft finish to mark his home debut with a goal.

Bremen made sure of the points late on when Maximilian Eggestein added a third, sending Bremen five points clear of Mainz and Wolfsburg, who will continue to fight to avoid the relegation playoff.

Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund Eintracht Frankfurt (Getty Images /Bongarts/L. Baron)

Borussia Dortmund's players salute their fans after a crucial victory

Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Eintracht Frankfurt, Signal Iduna Park
(Russ o.g. 11', Batshuayi 77', 94' — Jovic 75', Blum 91')

Sunday's second match was the pick of Matchday 26, but the two teams left it late for most of the excitement. Michy Batshuayi struck twice in the second half to make the difference for Dortmund. His second was the second of the injury time, three minutes after Frankfurt thought they had earned an important point on the road. This was often a scrappy affair, particularly in a first half when referee Deniz Aytekin brandished the yellow card on five occasions. Marco Russ had put Dortmund ahead with an own goal early, but Frankfurt never gave up, with two of the players coach Niko Kovac brought on in the second half, Luka Jovic and Danny Blum temporarily pulling Eintracht level. In the end Batshuayi's quality in front of goal ensured that the home side would not be denied the three points. 

Stuttgart 0-0 RB Leipzig, Mercedes-Benz Arena

This match wasn’t the easiest on the eye, but the players were definitely up for the occasion. That is, if the amount of hard challenges and other physical encounters are anything to go by.

Stuttgart were the better team in the first half, but the home side failed to make it count. Their best chance came as Christian Gentner received the ball after a bad clearance by RB Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi in the 25th minute, but the Stuttgart captain shot it wide.

Timo Werner, born in the same Stuttgart district as where the Mercedes-Benz Arena is located, was left alone with Stuttgart keeper Ron-Robert Zieler just before the halftime whistle, but the latter managed to push his weak shot away with his leg.

The second half was just as uneventful, with the exception of one Naby Keita shot from outside the box on the 81st minute that went just wide. Both Mario Gomez and Daniel Ginczek had scoring chances of for the Swabians on the 80th and 86th minute respectively, but both of their headers missed the target.

The scoreless draw means that Tayfun Korkut remains unbeaten after six games in charge of Stuttgart, while Leipzig dropped two important points in the fight for Champions League football.

Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Borussia Mönchengladbach, BayArena
(Alario 39', Brandt 90'+3)

Bayer Leverkusen scored a goal in each half to secure a big win over Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Leverkusen were rewarded for their first half dominance when a strong run and cross by the dangerous Leon Bailey reached Kevin Volland, who nodded it down for Lucas Alario to thrash in from close range.

Leverkusen continued to enjoy the best of the game and the chances, but Gladbach almost stole a point late on when substitutes Jonas Hofmann and Josip Drmic combined, but Drmic somehow put his free header wide from close range.

Leverkusen made them pay in stoppage time when substitute Julian Brandt fired in a second to ensure Leverkusen leapfrog Dortmund and Eintracht Frankfurt, who play each other on Sunday, to go third. Gladbach remain ninth.

Read more: Herrlich's Leverkusen show tactical flexibility in victory

Bundesliga - Bayern München gegen Hamburger SV (picture-alliance/dpa/S. Hoppe)

Arjen Robben celebrates his strike against Hamburg.

Bayern Munich 6-0 Hamburg, Allianz Arena
(Ribery 8’, 81’, Lewandowski 12’, 19’, pen 90’, Robben 55’)

Robert Lewandowski scored a hat-trick as Bayern Munich restored their 20-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga with a crushing win over Hamburg, who remain seven points behind 16th-placed Mainz.

Franck Ribery broke the deadlock early, rounding the keeper and finishing well before two goals from Lewandowski — the first a header and the second a tap in — put Bayern three goals to the good inside 17 minutes.

The hosts were made to wait until the second half for their fourth, which came courtesy of a trademark Arjen Robben finish into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Ribery grabbed his second of the game late on when he cut in from the left and forced his way through a crowd of Hamburg bodies before finishing low into the far corner.

Lewandowski chalked up his hat-trick from the penalty spot, after sending his first spot-kick over the bar. But Joshua Kimmich was fouled and Lewandowski made no mistake the second time, completing the rout.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v VfL Wolfsburg - Bundesliga (Getty Images/A. Grimm)

Wolfsburg's last ditch attempts on the line are not enough to stop Nico Schulz opening the scoring for Hoffenheim

Hoffenheim 3-0 Wolfsburg, Rhein-Neckar-Arena
(Schulz 18‘, Gnabry 77‘, Guilavogui og 80‘)

Hoffenheim secured back-to-back wins in the Bundesliga for the first time since September with victory over Wolfsburg.

The hosts led through Nico Schulz but Wolfsburg stayed in the game until Serge Gnabry drove into space on the edge of the box and drilled a low shot beyond Koen Casteels.

Hoffenheim quickly scored a third — an own goal after a ricochet off the unlucky Josuha Guilavogui — to sew up the three points, which sees Julian Nagelsmann’s side put the pressure on sixth-placed RB Leipzig.

Fußball Bundesliga Hannover 96 - FC Augsburg (Getty Images/Bongarts/S. Franklin)

Gojko Kacar celebrates his strike for Augsburg in Hannover

Hannover 1-3 Augsburg,  HDI-Arena
(Sane 37’ — Gregoritsch 26’, 83’, Kacar 45’)

Michael Gregoritsch scored twice as Augsburg ended a four-game winless streak to win in Hannover.

Gregoritsch gave the visitors the lead with a header at the far post, but Hannover equalized in stunning fashion when Salif Sane rifled home a thunderbolt from distance.

Augsburg put their noses back in front on the stroke of half time when Gojko Kacar flicked a header home and Gregoritsch finished a scintillating counter-attack to put the result beyond doubt.

Fußball Bundesliga Hertha BSC SC Freiburg (Getty Images/Bongarts/B. Streubel)

Hertha Berlin and Freiburg was low on chances and low on quality

Hertha Berlin 0-0 Freiburg, Olympic Stadium

Mitchell Weiser had Hertha Berlin's best chances as they were held to a draw by a dogged Freiburg.

Christian Günter had Freiburg's best chance but he could only fire a long-range effort just over the bar.

Hertha have picked up just one win — against Bayer Leverkusen — in their last eight Bundesliga games, while Freiburg are now winless in three.

--- As it happened ---

--- FULL TIME ---
Bayern Munich 6-0 Hamburg
Hannover 1-3 Augsburg
Hoffenheim 3-0 Wolfsburg
Hertha Berlin 0-0 Freiburg

90' GOAL! Bayern Munich 6-0 Hamburg (Lewandowski - pen)
The Pole makes no mistake this time after a foul on Kimmich. Hat-trick for Lewandowski and another humiliation for HSV. Just send them down now and put them out of their misery. 

86' PENALTY MISSED (Lewandowski - Bayern)
Papadopoulos fouls Thiago and the refere points to the spot - but Robert Lewandowski shoots over!

83' GOAL! Hannover 1-3 Augsburg (Gregoritsch)
A fantastic counter-attack from Augsburg wraps up the points! Great combination play down the right wing involving Caiuby, Gregoritsch and Max. Finally, the latter crosses and Gregoritsch slots home his second of the afternoon. It's Gregoritsch's 11th goal of the season and Max's 12th assist. 

80' GOAL! Hoffenheim 3-0 Wolfsburg (Guilavogui OG)
A calamity in the Wolfsburg box as Robin Knoche tries to clear but the ball rebounds comically off Guilavogui and into the net.

80' GOAL! Bayern Munich 5-0 Hamburg (Ribery)
What. A. Goal. The Frenchman cuts inside from the left wing and beats one, two, three HSV defenders before slotting home Bayern's fifth. Too easy.

77' GOAL! Hoffenheim 2-0 Wolfsburg (Gnabry)
Mark Uth squares to Gnabry on the edge of the box and the Bayern loanee takes one touch to control, another to find a shooting position and a third to wrong-foot Casteels. A lovely goal to make it 2-0 and you can't see Wolfsburg getting back into this. 

76' Big chance for Hannover! Jonathas (on for the disappointing Martin Harnik) has a free header only six yards from goal but heads over the bar! That really should have been 2-2. 

70' At the other end, Wolfsburg create their first good chance of the second half as Malli crosses to the back post but Didavi can only find the side-netting. 

65' Hoffenheim are looking to double their lead as Serge Gnabry attacks down the right wing. He squares the ball to Rupp who attempts to flick it on towards Kramaric but Bruma clears at the last minute and Wolfsburg survive.

65' Tolisso has only been on the pitch since half-time but he's had to be helped off the pitch with a problem to his left leg. He's replaced by Sebastian Rudy. 

57' Hannover continue to push for a second equalizer. Fossum latches onto Füllkrug's lobbed through-ball but his shot his blocked in the box - and Bebou completely mis-cues the rebound. 

54' Good save from Marwin Hitz! Ihlas Bebou feeds Felix Klaus but the Hannover forward can't beat the Augsburg keeper and it remains 2-1. Meanwhile, Niclas Füllkrug is perhaps fortunate to still be on the pitch. He saw yellow for an unnecessary challenge on Daniel Baier but it could have been red ... 

55' GOAL! Bayern Munich 4-0 Hamburg (Robben)
Substitute Corentin Tolisso (on for Arturo Vidal) looks like he wants to shoot but Arjen Robben takes over - and it was a good decision, as the Dutchman fires a left-footed rocket into the back of the net. 

Bundesliga - Bayern München gegen Hamburger SV (Reuters/M. Rehle)

The flying Dutchman: Arjen Robben scored a stunning fourth goal for Bayern Munich

50' A first sight of goal for Freiburg in Berlin as Christian Günter fires a long-range effort just over the bar. Hertha dominated proceedings in the first half but the visitors from the south have made a better start to the second half.

48' Almost a fourth goal in Munich as Franck Ribery crosses towards Thomas Müller but the German's clever flick goes just wide.

--- KICK OFF --- 
The second halves are underway!

--- HALF TIME ---
Bayern Munich 3-0 Hamburg
Hannover 1-2 Augsburg
Hoffenheim 1-0 Wolfsburg
Hertha Berlin 0-0 Freiburg

45' GOAL! Hannover 1-2 Augsburg (Kacar)
Augsburg's corner is cleared but only as far as Caiuby. The Brazilian pulls off a clever turn in the box before sending a cross-cum-shot towards goal which Gajko Kacar heads over the line! Two assists for Caiuby, the man of the match so far here. 

Fußball Bundesliga Hannover 96 - FC Augsburg (picture-alliance/dpa/S. Pförtner)

Michael Gregoritsch (right) celebrates his goal for Ausgburg

40' The latest chance for Hoffenheim as Denis Geiger sends Andre Kramaric through one-on-one with Casteels - but the Wolfsburg keeper does well to save. Wolfsburg have a chance to advance ahead of Mainz here after their defeat to Schalke but they don't look like they want to take it. 

37' GOAL! Hannover 1-1 Augsburg (Sané)
Augsburg clear from a Hannover free-kick but the ball falls to Salif Sané on the edge of the box who volleys home spectacularly. What a finish! 

31' Goalmouth scramble in Hoffenheim! Serge Gnabry's shot comes back down off the bar and Wolfsburg throw bodies in the way to block the rebound. They somehow survive and it remains 1-0 ... 

26' GOAL! Hannover 0-1 Augsburg (Gregoritsch)
It's been a fairly even start in Hannover but the hosts fell apart then. First, a long ball up field from goalkeeper Marwin Hitz finds Caiuby in acres of space on the left. The Brazilian sends a looping cross towards the back post where Gregoritsch, also with all the space in the world, heads home. Terrible defending. 

23' Hertha come close again! Lazaro crosses dangerously across the face of goal where Ibisevic gets a touch but can't direct it over the line! 

19' Another chance for Weiser! The German U21 international shoots just wide of the post.

19' Hertha Berlin have made a good start in the Olympic Stadium, the best chance so far falling to Mitchell Weiser - but Schwolow in the Freiburg goal got down well to his left to tip the ball around the post. 

19' GOAL! Bayern Munich 3-0 Hamburg (Lewandowski)

19' GOAL! Hoffenheim 1-0 Wolfsburg (Schulz)
Serge Gnabry cuts the ball back and Nico Schulz is on hand at the back post to put the home team ahead.

12' GOAL! Bayern Munich 2-0 Hamburg (Lewandowski)
Kimmich's cross, Lewandowski's header. Another shrug. 

8' GOAL! Bayern Munich 1-0 Hamburg (Ribery)
Well, that didn't take long. Franck Ribery dribbles into the box, dances around Mathenia and prods it home. The goal is greeted with a general shrug across Germany. 

6' After a crunching challenge on Robert Lewandowski from Douglas Santos, David Alaba sends a first free-kick sailing over the bar for Bayern. 

--- KICK OFF ---
We're underway across the four games

- With Bruno Labbadia, Wolfsburg are already onto their third coach of the season after dismissing Andries Jonker and Martin Schmidt. And having not won in six, they find themselves in a battle to avoid a second consecutive relegation play-off. In Labbadia however, they have a coach who has experience down the bottom - he saved Hamburg in dramatic fashion in 2015. They travel to inconsistent and unpredictable Hoffenheim

- Hamburg are staring relegation in the face after failing to beat Mainz at home last week and today they face what many are calling a "Mission Impossible" away at champions-elect Bayern. In their previous seven visits to Munich, HSV have lost by a combined total score of 44-3. 

- Guten Tag! Welcome to DW's coverage of Matchday 26 in the Bundesliga. Today's fixtures:

Bayern Munich vs. Hamburg
Hoffenheim vs. Wolfsburg
Hannover vs. Augsburg
Hertha Berlin vs. Freiburg

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach (18:30 CET)