Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Bundesliga Review: Bayern seal title, Stuttgart´s woes worsen

SoccerNews in Bundesliga, General Soccer News 7 May 2016

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Bayern Munich were crowned Bundesliga champions for the fourth season in succession on Saturday, as Stuttgart slumped closer to relegation.

Outgoing Bayern coach Pep Guardiola sealed his third title in three seasons in charge thanks to a 2-1 win at Ingolstadt’s Audi-Sportpark, where Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring from the penalty spot 15 minutes in after Marvin Matip brought down Franck Ribery.

The Poland striker doubled his team’s lead in the 32 minute, collecting a superb pass from Xabi Alonso to score past goalkeeper Ramazan Ozcan.

Alonso then gave away the spot-kick that allowed Moritz Hartmann to get one back for the hosts with three minutes to go in the half, but neither team could find a way through in the second term, leaving Bayern with an insurmountable lead at the top of the table going into the last round of the league season.

Nearest challengers Borussia Dortmund faltered in their attempts to keep pace with the Bavarian giants, as Stefan Aigner netted an early header to seal a vital 1-0 win for relegation-threatened Eintracht Frankfurt, who climbed out of the relegation play-off place and into 15th.

They were replaced by Werder Bremen, who drew 0-0 at Cologne to slip further into trouble and will now host Frankfurt at the Weserstadion in a tense final-day showdown next weekend.

Stuttgart are in grave danger of joining relegated Hannover after giving up the lead to lose 3-1 at home to Mainz.

The result left Jurgen Kramny’s team 17th, two points back from Bremen and three off Frankfurt. Beating Wolfsburg away and clambering into a relegation play-off against the third-placed team in the 2. Bundesliga is the best they can hope for next weekend, barring a big Bremen win and a heavy goal difference swing in their favour.

Borussia Monchengladbach have all-but sealed fourth, carrying with it a berth in the Champions League qualifiers, by winning 2-1 at home to Bayer Leverkusen, who are already guaranteed third place and an automatic route into UEFA’s elite club competition.

A thrilling battle for Europa League qualification will go to the final round, Mainz having climbed to fifth on goal difference at the expense of Hertha Berlin, who gave up the lead to lose 2-1 at home to Darmstadt.

Both Mainz and Hertha are level on points with seventh-placed Schalke, Augsburg having equalised in the 89th minute at Veltins-Arena to deny their hosts an invaluable victory.

Schalke are away to Hoffenheim next Saturday, while Mainz and Hertha meet in a huge contest at Coface Arena.

In the other matches on Saturday, Wolfsburg won 1-0 at Hamburg, while bottom side Hannover managed a consolation 1-0 triumph at home to Hoffenheim.

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