Robert Lewandowski Equals Gerd Muller Record Whilst Bundesliga Relegation Race Goes Down to Wire
Lewandowski Equals Record
Standing over a penalty 26 minutes into Bayern Munich’s tie against Freiburg, Lewandowski was one strike away from history. After an almost faultless campaign so far, the Polish captain’s 39 goals this season was one behind the all-time record of 40 set by another Bayern legend, Gerd Muller.
Lewandowski’s calm penalty slotted into the bottom right corner equalled the record, leaving the 32-year-old with one remaining fixture to surpass Muller. Already champions, Bayern and Lewandowski can finish their season on a high when they host Bavarian rivals Augsburg in the final match of the campaign.
Bundesliga Relegation Race Heats Up for Three Sides
After coming from behind to beat already-relegated Schalke in midweek, Hertha Berlin knew a point against fellow strugglers Koln would ensure their Bundesliga status, should other results go their way. Without much in the way of chances for either side, Hertha left Berlin’s Olympiastadion the happier of the two sides, having earned the point that kept them up.
For Koln, the goalless draw represents a missed opportunity, as a win would have taken them out of the bottom three going into the final week of the season.
Still marooned in 17th, the Billy Goats will need to win their last match against Schalke and hope either Werder Bremen or Arminia Bielefeld fail to pick up points if they’re to stay up automatically.
Bielefeld and Bremen Miss Chances
Arminia Bielefeld, who go into the final weekend outside of the drop zone, also missed a chance to take a step closer to safety, only managing a 1-1 draw away to Hoffenheim.
Bundesliga 2 champions last season, Frank Kramer’s side were amongst the favourites for the drop, but they head into Matchday 34 of the Bundesliga outside the relegation zone and the play-off spot. Hopeful of consecutive seasons in the top-flight for the first time since 2008, Arminia host Stuttgart on the last day.
Perhaps the biggest losers in this weekend’s relegation battle are Werder Bremen, who were beaten 2-0 by ten-man Augsburg. Having finished in the relegation play-offs last season, Werder are set for a second consecutive 16th finish.
Following the defeat, Florian Kohfeldt was sacked by Bremen and Thomas Schaaf was appointed in his place. Schaaf made 281 appearances during his stellar career as a Bremen player, whilst steering the club to the 2003/04 Bundesliga title as manager.
Borussia Dortmund in Pole Position for Top Four
A comfortable 3-1 victory ensured this season’s quarter-finalists and the 1997 winners of the competition would be playing in the Champions League next season.
Beating Borussia Dortmund at the Westfalenstadion in early April, Eintracht Frankfurt were seven points ahead of Edin Terzić’s side. Just two wins in their last six since has dented Adi Hutter’s men hopes of a first-ever Champions League appearance. With Hutter having already announced his departure, the 2019 semi-finalists will enter the Europa League next season under new management.
Union Berlin Holding Out for European Football
In only their second ever Bundesliga campaign, Union Berlin enter the final weekend of the season knowing a win would secure European football. Urs Fischer’s side had the chance to leapfrog Bayer Leverkusen in sixth above them, moving into the Europa League places in the process. The two played out an entertaining 1-1 draw, which confirmed Leverkusen’s finish above the Berlin club.
Union can still feature in the inaugural edition of the Europa Conference League, should they equal or better the result of Borussia Mönchengladbach on the final Bundesliga matchday. A difficult task awaits Union, who host Leipzig, whilst Mönchengladbach will travel to relegation-threatened Werder, also desperate for three points.
Remarkably, Union have featured in Europe before, after finishing as runners-up in the 2001 DFB Pokal final against Schalke. However, they were knocked out in the second round of the UEFA Cup, losing to Bulgarian side Litex Lovech 2-0 across two legs.
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