Bundesliga, Week 31: Gladbach Ease By Köln 3-0

Borussia Dortmund defeated Schalke in Saturday's Revierderby, while Bayern Munich drew Mainz.

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Freiburg Vs. Hoffenheim, 2012 Bundesliga: Points Shared In Baden-Württemberg Derby

Freiburg and Hoffenheim played to a scoreless draw in the final Baden-Württemberg Derby of the season. Freiburg are now 7 points clear of the relegation zone while Hoffenheim are only 3 points behind Hannover for a Europa League place.

Sebastian Freis had the two best opportunities early for Freiburg, but the Hoffenheim defense was up to the challenge, successfully denying both. Andreas Beck nearly managed to find a goal for the visitors, but he shot wide of the net.

Hoffenheim lost forward Roberto Firmino just after halftime with a serious leg injury. Firmino was taken off the field on a stretcher and replaced with Ryan Babel. The early indications were that Firmino may have suffered a lower leg fracture.

Babel did well in his appearance and nearly found a goal with a shot that just went over the bar. Freiburg's Oliver Baumann was able to breathe a sigh of relief with minutes remaining when Hoffenheim's Daniel Williams smashed a volley into the side net.

Freiburg's defensive performance today surely deserved the draw they earned. They're now on a 8-match unbeaten run.

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Borussia Mönchengladbach Vs. Köln , 2012 Bundesliga: Gladbach Back To Winning Ways

Borrusia Mönchengladbach 3 - 0 Köln

After a string of four matches without a win and a trip looming to Dortmund next weekend, the Borussia Mönchengladbach of earlier this season showed up today in an impressive 3-0 victory over hapless Köln.

Gladbach set the pace early in the match, but lacked the quality in the final third to find the goal. They finally found the back of the net in the 20th minute thanks to a free kick from Juan Arango. The Venezuela international curled a free kick past Michael Rensing after Marco Reus was fouled just outside of the area.

Gladbach would double their lead in the second half thanks to another set piece when Reus' free kick found the head of Tony Jantschke. Reus then added a third goal when he cut through the defense and slotted it into the corner.

The impressive victory keeps Gladbach in 4th place and moves them 7 points ahead of fifth-place Stuttgart. The win also moves them 1 point behind third-place Schalke. The top three finishers in the Bundesliga will automatically qualify for next season's Champions League while the fourth place finisher will go to the final qualifying round.

Köln remains in 16th place with the loss, and they seem destined for the relegation playoff or straight relegation. They're only 1 point ahead of 17th place Hertha Berlin. Augsburg are in 15th place, four points ahead of Köln.

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Bundesliga Week 31, Saturday Scores: Dortmund Win Revierderby, Virtually Lock Up Title

Friday, April 13

Stuttgart 4 - 1 Werder Bremen

Martin Harnik scored a brace, and Stuttgart moved closer to clinching a place in next year's Europa league.

Markus Rosenberg opened the scoring for Bremen, but things went downhill shortly thereafter. Christian Gentner tied the game with a shot high into the far corner beating Tim Wiese. Stuttgart doubled their lead in first half stoppage time when Harnik's header found the back of the net. Harnik got his second goal just after the break when he finished a corner kick from Tamas Hajnal.

After easily swatting away Bremen's attempts to get back into the match, Cacau put the final nail in the coffin in the 89th minute. The win moves Stuttgart to only four points behind 4th place Borussia Mönchengladbach. They're currently unbeaten in their last nine including seven wins in that period of time. Serious question: Can they catch Gladbach?

Saturday, April 14

Kaiserslautern 0 - 2 Nürnberg

Nürnberg followed up their impressive 4-1 midweek victory over Schalke with a relatively easy 2-0 victory at Kaiserslautern.

The victory virtually ensures that Nürnberg will remain in the Bundesliga for next season. Unfortunately for Kaiserslautern, the result all but dooms them to a certain relegation. There's no way they can escape the drop at this point, and the best that they can hope for is the relegation playoff.

Wolfsburg 1 - 2 Augsburg

Augsburg picked up an early goal when Wolfsburg defender Alexander Madlung's attempted clearance deflected off of Augsburg forward Torsten Oehrl and went into the net.

Wolfsburg battled back and found an equalizer thanks to Patrick Helmes. Augsburg fans rejoiced in the 88th minute when Sebastian Langkamp lept above everyone and headed home the winner past Diego Benaglio.

The win moves Augsburg four points clear of the relegation zone.

Schalke 1 - 2 Borussia Dortmund

The 140th Revierderby kicked off with both sides coming off of complete opposite results in midweek. Schalke was able to control the pace of the match early and capitalized with goal in the 9th minute by Jefferson Farfan. The ball struck Dortmund defender Shinji Kagawa before finding its way to the back of the net.

BVB struck back less than ten minutes later when Lukasz Piszczek found the back of the net with an excellent strike. Schalke kept attacking and almost took the lead again just before halftime thanks to Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Sebastian Kehl made a second half appearance as a substitute, and he managed to score the goal to put BVB on top. Kehl pounced on a loose ball on the box after a cross by Ilkay Gündogan struck Schalke defender Christian Fuchs.

The win pushes Dortmund to the brink of repeating as Bundesliga champions. A win or draw next week will clinch their second straight title

Bayer Leverkusen 3 - 3 Hertha Berlin

Hertha Berlin came from two down against Leverkusen to take a lead but were forced to settle for a draw. Had they managed to hold on for the victory, they would be on 30 points and within reaching distance of safety.

The first half wasn't full of many chances, but Leverkusen struck first in the 44th minute when Andre Schürrle put a curling effort past Hertha's Thomas Kraft. Stefan Kießling made it 2-0 after halftime with some impressive dribbling skills before beating Kraft. Pierre-Michel Lasogga pulled one back for Hertha 10 minutes later.

Disaster struck minutes later when Levan Kobiashvili conceded a penalty was sent off for fouling Eren Derdiyok. Thomas Kraft was up for the challenge and made the save on Rolfes' penalty. Hertha somehow turned this into two goals thanks to Tunay Torun.

Just when Hertha thought they were going to leave Leverkusen with all three points, in the 84th minute Kießling headed home the goal that would divide the points at one apiece.

Hamburg 1 - 0 Hannover

Desperate for a win to put some space between themselves and the relegation zone, Hamburg got a goal from Heung-Min Son to give them a victory over Hannover. Son's goal came in the 12th minute when he managed to hold off Steve Cherundolo and beat Ron-Robert Zieler.

Hamburg are now five points out of the relegation zone. If results go their way next weekend, they can seal their safety in the top flight. Hannover are in 7th place and two points ahead of Werder Bremen.

Bayern Munich 0 - 0 Mainz

Bayern Munich changed five starters from midweek's 1-0 loss to Borrusia Dortmund and were only able to manage a 0-0 draw at the Allianz Arena against Mainz. Diego Contento, Rafinha, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger were all inserted into the starting lineup, but they were unable to generate any legitimate chances in the first half.

The second half saw the introduction of Franck Ribery and Mario Gomez and some limited success for Bayern, but they were still unable to find the back of the net.

The point pushes Mainz closer to guaranteeing their place in the first division next season. They currently sit eight points ahead of 16th place Köln with only three matches remaining. Köln will travel to Gladbach on Sunday.

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