Bundesliga Wrap: Hoffenheim make miracle escape
By Football News
Hoffenheim completed a miracle escape from relegation with a 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund on the final day of the Bundesliga season.
Markus Gisdol's side went into Saturday requiring an unlikely away win against the UEFA Champions League finalists while hoping that either Augsburg or Fortuna Dusseldorf tripped up.
Things did not look good for the Sinsheim outfit as Robert Lewandowski put the hosts ahead in the sixth minute, but they were given a lifeline when Sejad Salihovic converted a penalty toward the end of the second half.
Just five minutes later Salihovic scored again from the spot after goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller was dismissed for a clumsy challenge, and the visitors survived a late offside goal to clinch a shock three points.
Dusseldorf's 3-0 defeat to Hannover ensured that they instead ended in 17th place and automatic relegation, while Hoffenheim will now face Kaiserslautern in a battle for a place in the Bundesliga next season.
Augsburg, meanwhile, moved clear of that relegation play-off with a 3-1 win over bottom-of-the-table Greuther Fuerth at the SGL arena.
Elsewhere, Jupp Heynckes signed off his final domestic campaign with Bayern Munich by overseeing a thrilling 4-3 away victory against Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Lucien Favre's men carved out a two-goal lead within six minutes and, though they were pegged back by Javi Martinez, were 3-1 up after just 11.
However, a brace from Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben's clever finish on the hour mark ensured that the champions would round off an incredible campaign with a win, pushing their record points total to an incredible 91.
In the battle for the final Champions League qualification place, Schalke edged out Freiburg 2-1 away from home with a Julian Schuster own goal in the second half cruelly proving the decisive blow.
Freiburg will be joined in the UEFA Europa League next season by Eintracht Frankfurt, after they earned a 2-2 draw against Wolfsburg thanks to yet another own goal - this time from Ricardo Rodriguez.
A point for Frankfurt ensured they could not be caught by Hamburg, but Thorsten Fink's men were the victims of a 90th-minute winner against Leverkusen anyway.
Stefan Kiessling provided the strike to help his side to a 1-0 victory, and ends the season as the Bundesliga's top scorer with 24 goals.
Wolfsburg will perhaps be pleased that the campaign has ended now, as they suffered a 3-2 defeat to Nuremberg which marks their 13th consecutive game without a win.
Meanwhile, Stuttgart and Mainz will finish the campaign in 12th and 13th respectively, after they played out a 2-2 draw in which all the goals came in the first half.