Bundesliga Review: Dortmund and Bayern Slip, Leverkusen and Hannover Rise

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - APRIL 10: Lars Bender of Leverkusen celebrates scoring his teams second goal next to Markus Thorandt of Pauli during the Bundesliga match between Bayer Leverkusen and FC St. Pauli at BayArena on April 10, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Week 29 in the German Bundesliga was as wild as it has ever been. Dortmund decides they want to make things interesting at the top. Bayern lose their grip on third place... and their manager. Plus, Mönchengladbach grab a lifeline!


Frankfurt 1 - 1 Werder Bremen

The Friday "Showcase Event", if you will, featured relegation battlers Frankfurt and Bremen. The first chance of the match fell to Bremen's Sandro Wagner who smashed one off of the post before the ten minute mark. The first half would end scoreless with Frankfurt having more of the possession, but Bremen getting the better chances. Bremen would come out flying to begin the second half, and it would pay off. A Mikael Silvestre free kick would be turned into his own goal by Frankfurt's Halil Altintop. Pushing for at least a point to get some breathing space for his club from the relegation positions, Frankfurt manager Christoph Daum put on Martin Fenin with twenty minutes to go hoping for an impact. In the 83 minute, the Czech would put a beautiful diving header past the Bremen keeper and the home crowd would erupt in jubilation.


Schalke 04 1-0 Wolfsburg

In his return to Gelsenkirchen, Felix Magath walked out of the Veltins-Arena a loser for the sixth time this year. Jefferson Farfan, obviously pleased to be out from under Magath's thumb, provided a beautiful pass that Jose Manuel Jurado was able to slam home past Diego Benaglio. While Schalke have pulled themselves out of the relegation danger, Wolfsburg are sitting right in the playoff spot. Magath's new side has a lot of work to do to ensure that they stay in the Bundesliga next year.

Hamburg 1-1 Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund slipped up in Hamburg. While most people were getting the engraver ready, Dortmund decided that they weren't interested in winning the championship just yet. Ruud van Nistelrooy put the home side ahead from the penalty spot just before halftime. The league leaders appeared destined for a defeat when Jakub Błaszczykowski smashed home an injury time goal to salvage a draw.

Freiburg 3-2 Hoffenheim

Former Liverpool man Ryan Babel scored his first goal for Hoffenheim in this match. A late free kick by Freiburg would be shouldered into the back of the net by Heiko Butscher to seal the victory for Freiburg.

Hannover 96 vs 1. Mainz 05

The miracle season continues for the boys from Hannover. After the devastation of last season, the city of Hannover has reason to celebrate. They now sit one point ahead of Bayern for the third and final Champion's League spot for next season. Mainz manages to hold on to the final Europa League spot for next season, but they are now just a measly 2 points ahead of Nürnberg.

Nürnberg 1-1 Bayern München

Bayern Munich had a great opening five minutes. After that, this was a match they'd like to forget. A horrendous error in the second half by Thomas Kraft gifted a goal to Nürnberg. Kraft went way out of his goal to clear a ball, and it went right to Christian Eigler. Eigler would use his first touch to send the ball 35 yards into an open net and earn a well-deserved draw. Bayern would also lose Arjen Robben for two games after he berated the referee after the match. Louis van Gaal appeared as if he knew the guillotine was coming in his post game press conference. Then it did.

Stuttgart 2-4 Kaiserslautern

Kaiserslautern get a much needed victory to pull them out of immediate threat of the relegation zone. Stuttgart, meanwhile, sit just 2 points out of the relegation playoff spot. Stuttgart has no games left against any of the bottom three, so if they manage to survive relegation they will have earned it.


Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-1 Köln

I'd like to say that I was a genius in predicting that there was some fight left in Gladbach. Well, I didn't predict this. I never saw this coming. I'm not yet convinced this was dominance by Gladbach and not just complete capitulation by Köln. A lifeline was extended to the Foals, and they reached up and wrapped it around their nearly-relegated corpse. Can they stay up? It's going to be a struggle.

Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 St. Pauli

WE HAVE A TITLE RACE! Leverkusen dominated possession against St. Pauli and got second half goals from Stefan Kießling and Lars Bender to pull within 5 points of table-topping Dortmund. The engraver has to put his tools away for now, as Leverkusen can see Dortmund in their sights.

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