It was a big weekend in the Bundesliga as teams eye the finish line knowing now is the time to make a move. Many top six teams were facing off with teams in the bottom of the table that are fighting relegation. On paper, this was supposed to be a predictable weekend, but anything goes in the game of soccer. In the end, one team with hopes of a Europa League spot stumbled while another took hold of their chances to stay in the top tier next year. The results in the last few weeks have been anything but expected with three games remaining.
Freiburg 4 – Mönchengladbach 2
Gladbach was holding firm in a Europa League spot but did not have a great performance against Freiburg. Gladbach got out to a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute, but conceded four goals in the second half, including two a minute apart. With the match tied 1-1, Gladbach’s Filip Daems stepped up to the penalty spot only to have his attempt saved by Oliver Baumann. Oliver Sorg scored on a laser shot from 35 yards out to give Frieburg the lead in the 71st minute, and they would go on to crush the sixth-place team.
Gladbach’s hopes of a Europa League spot may be alive given the results of the weekend matches and the match up in the DFB Pokal final. With Bayern Munich facing Dortmund and both already qualifying for Champions League spots, this opens up another position in the Europa League for the Bundesliga. The sixth-place team will enter into the playoffs of the competition while the seventh-placed team in the league will enter into third round qualifying.
Stuttgart 3 – Schalke 1
Stuttgart surprised the third-place team with an important victory on Sunday. Cacau‘s first goal of the season helped Stuttgart pick up a vital three points in the relegation race. Stuttgart jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Schalke tallied, although they did have a goal called back. Schalke stays in third place by four points.
For Stuttgart this win distances them from the bottom three teams that all lost their matches this weekend. They now sit four points clear of the bottom with three matches to play. Hamburg sits in the relegation playoff spot with 27 points. Nürnberg is one point behind them and Braunschweig is two points back in last place. All four teams have matches they can get points from next week.