A dramatic Bundesliga final day saw SV Werder Bremen narrowly avoid automatic relegation, beating 1. FC Köln by six goals to one as Fortuna Düsseldorf fell to 1. FC Union Berlin. Bremen claimed 16th place – the relegation playoff spot – with 31 points, as Fortuna’s loss leaves the side with 30. Florian Kohfeldt’s squad avoided the club’s first relegation since 1980, but safety is not guaranteed. The first leg of the relegation playoff will be played on July 2 and the second leg on July 4, most likely against 2. Bundesliga side 1. FC Heidenheim.
SV Werder Bremen Dramatically Avoid Automatic Relegation as Fortuna Düsseldorf Lose
Werder Bremen Were Favorites For Automatic Relegation
Fortuna Düsseldorf came into the final matchday as favourites to claim 16th place. A win would have guaranteed a place in the relegation playoff, while a draw would most likely have worked as well. Bremen had a goal difference of -32, while Fortuna were at -28. Barring a massive Köln loss, a draw would have been enough for Düsseldorf. Bremen had only won a single match at home all season, and have been anything but prolific goal scorers. Neither Köln nor Union had anything to play for, as both had secured Bundesliga status for next season.
Against all odds, Bremen scored three against Köln in the first half and another three in the second half, while only conceding one goal. That brought the side’s goal difference up to -27. Fortuna’s 3-0 loss saw their goal difference drop to -31 in the second half. This is Bremen’s biggest win of the campaign, and just their second home victory. The final Bundesliga table sees Bremen beating Düsseldorf to 16th place by just one point.
The Relegation Playoff
Werder Bremen have not been relegated since 1980. While the side avoided the drop, for now, it will be for nought if they fall in the relegation playoff. Barring a dramatic final day of the 2. Bundesliga tomorrow, FC Heidenheim will be Bremen’s opponent, a club that have never played top-flight football.