A chaotic final day in Germany

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This weekend the curtain came down on an incredible season in Germany. Heading into the final game day league winners Leverkusen were already confirmed, however they were still chasing the prospect of an unbeaten season. Xabi Alonso’s side succeeded in this mission as they triumphed 2-1 at home to Augsburg, remaining undefeated and lifting the Bundesliga Meisterschale in front of all their fans.

The European Battle

Saturday brought us the final fixtures as all eighteen Bundesliga sides faced off for the last time this campaign. With Champions League football already confirmed for the top five, the battles left to fight were further down the table. Hoffenheim needed to win to secure a Europa Conference League qualification spot, they sealed this spot in surprising fashion as they came from behind to defeat Bayern Munich 4-2 courtesy of a hat-trick from Andrej Kramarić. This result also meant Stuttgart rose above Bayern to a second place finish after their 4-0 demolition of Borussia Monchengladbach. Frankfurt also confirmed their Europa League spot after a 2-2 draw to RB Leipzig.

The Survival Fighters

Down at the bottom the fight for survival was between Mainz, Union Berlin, and VFL Bochum. Kӧln also had an outside chance of reaching the relegation play-off place, needing Union to lose and them to win as well as a goal difference swing. Unfortunately for Kӧln this wasn’t the case, a 4-1 away loss to Heidenheim sent them to the 2. Bundesliga.

Heading into the games, Union sat in the play-off place, with Mainz and Bochum above them but only three points separating the trio. The task for Mainz and Bochum was win and safety was confirmed, their fate was in their own hands. Union were relying on results to go their way, plus getting three points themselves was essential to escape the play-off spot. Mainz did their job, a 3-1 win over Wolfsburg confirmed their safety.

The battle was between Bochum and Berlin. Union needed a win versus Freiburg and Bochum to lose to Werder Bremen in order to stay up. With Freiburg still in with a chance of European football it was going to be a tough battle. Bremen took the lead early on versus Bochum, and excitement grew in Berlin as the home side were awarded a penalty before half time. Up stepped Josip Juranović, his strike was saved by Noah Atubolu, a massive opportunity spurred. Half-time came, Bochum trailed but Union still required a win to survive.

Heading into the remaining forty-five Union knew what their job was. Benedict Hollerbach gave Union the lead with his wonderful strike from just outside the area in the 68th minute, if it stayed like this in both games Berlin would be safe. With five to go and Bochum 3-1 behind Berlin were struck with a hammer blow, Ritsu Doan scored for Freiburg, 1-1. As the clock struck ninety, with seven added on to play and Bochum 4-1 down, Berlin had to score to survive. 

With five to go Danilho Doekhi was dragged down by Maximillian Eggestein. Another penalty to Union. Up stepped Kevin Volland, looking to score the goal to keep Union alive. He fired the ball towards the bottom right corner, the ball rebounded off the post and found its way to Janik Haberer who reacted quickest to turn the ball home. Union Berlin were safe and the Bundesliga season was over! 

All now is the wait to see if VFL Bochum can get past Fortuna Düsseldorf to stay in the Bundesliga!

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