When Mirko Slomka was named coach of Hamburg SV last week he knew that he had a tough job. For the first time since the inception of the Bundesliga, Hamburg is faced with relegation. Slomka is the third coach of the season for Hamburg and his first match would be a test. Borussia Dortmund sat in third place entering the match at Imtech Arena. However, a 3-0 victory for Hamburg would snap a seven-game losing streak and give the team a glimmer of hope to avoid relegation.
Slomka made six changes to the side after five days of training. It seemed as though the mentality had changed as they held the Champions League runner up scoreless. The final goal of the match scored by Hakan Calhanoglu was a stunning free kick from well over 30 yards. Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp gave a sly smile when the long free kick went in and turned his focus to the upcoming Champions League match against Zenit St Petersburg this week.
If Hamburg has truly bought into the ways of Slomka they will avoid relegation, but Dortmund is now in danger of slipping out of a Champions League spot. They need a good showing this week to regain confidence.
Borussia Monchengladbach 2 – Hoffenheim 2
USMNT winger/fullback Fabian Johnson was very visible in Hoffenheim’s draw. They came back from a 2-0 deficit that Gladbach opened up in the first 18 minutes of the match. Johnson earned a penalty kick in the 79th minute after being pulled down by Martin Stranzl. The conversion knotted the match allowing Hoffenheim to keep their distance from the relegation zone.
Johnson has to keep this form as he gets set to leave the team in the summer. It can’t hurt his chances of being a starter in the World Cup either.
Nürnberg 2 – Eintracht Braunschweig 1
Per Nilsson was sent off around the half hour mark putting the pressure on his Nürnberg teammates, but it was keeper Raphael Schäfer that stole the spotlight. In a match that featured three total spot kicks, Nürnberg scored twice in 95 seconds just after halftime to complete their comeback. On penalty attempts, Domi Kumbela and Ermin Bicakcic could not beat Schäfer whose team moves four points clear of relegation. Saving two penalty kicks in one game is a Bundesliga record.
Braunschweig quickly lost all momentum they gained last week and seem destined for relegation.
Bayern Munich 4 – Hannover 0
The table leaders are now 19 points clear after thrashing Hannover. Thomas Muller added two goals after scoring in this past week’s Championship League match. Bastian Schweinsteiger made an impact in his first start in a few months after injury setting up Thiago for the second goal of the match. Hannover played very well for the first 25 minutes, but Bayern were too much. Leverkusen lost 3-1 to Wolfsburg allowing the gap at the top to widen.
At this rate the Bundesliga should be secured within a month’s time.