Bundesliga Update: Augsburg, Mainz, Monchengladbach Slip in Top Six Race
With the Bundesliga title officially secured by Bayern Munich, all eyes turn to the battle in the top six and relegation. The midweek matches were brutal for those teams vying for places five and six or the Europa League qualifying positions. The same can be said for three of the contenders to be moved down a tier at the end of the season. With only seven matches left, it is time for teams to take control of their play and show they are worthy of qualification or staying in the Bundesliga.
Bayer Leverkusen 3 - Augsburg 1
Leverkusen put an end to a six-match winless streak and stayed in fourth place in the table. Stefan Kießling‘s sixth goal in as many games against Augsburg opened the scoring before Augsburg tied it around the hour mark. Late Leverkusen goals earned the three points, due in part to head coach Sami Hyypiä making three changes to the starting lineup. Heung-Min Son was the driving force behind the Leverkusen attack all day and scored the game winner. This was the 500th Bundesliga win for Leverkusen.
Eintracht Braunschweig 3 - Mainz 1
The bottom dwellers in the Bundesliga gave their survival chances a shot in the arm. Dominik Kumbela scored twice, including on a fine bicycle kick, to put the stamp on an impressive victory. The winner came before halftime, as the usually stout defense of Mainz failed to clear a corner and Harvard Nielsen slotted a ball through the hands of keeper Loris Karius. The poor defending seemed to be a knock out blow to Mainz, who now sit in seventh place.
Eintracht Frankfurt 1 - Borussia Mönchengladbach 0
Gladbach sit in sixth place by just one point after losing to middle-of-the-table Eintracht Frankfurt. The win put Eintracht eight points clear of the relegation zone, which should grant them security to return to the top tier next year. Gladbach also fell five points behind Leverkusen for the top four. The tables were turned a bit, as Frankfurt were the team with the stronger counter attack. The best attempts for Gladbach came 10 minutes in from Max Kruse, and then late into stoppage time as Marc-Andre ter Stegen came from goal for a late free kick.
Check back tomorrow for a look at the weekend matches coming up in the Bundesliga after a quick turn around into match day 28.