Unless you spent the weekend camping under the biggest rock money can buy, you will already be aware of the huge Bundesliga news that has got football fans (even those not generally interested in the Bundesliga) chattering: Bayer Leverkusen have leapfrogged Wolfsburg to make it back in to the top six. Leverkusen sit just one point ahead of Wolfsburg now. They travel to face VfL Bochum in their final game of the season, while Wolfsburg host Hertha Berlin. In the words of esteemed Irish poet, Ronan Keating, Life is a Rollercoaster.
But if you can peel your eyes away from the race for the Europa Conference League for just one moment, there’s a lot going on at both ends of the table, heading in to the final matchday of the season. At the top of the table, plucky underdogs Bayern Munich were sunk by positively massive RB Leipzig, taking Bayern’s title hopes out of their own hands.
I guess there is no cure for cowardice, but if they ever find one, I hope they bottle it up and send it to Bavaria. We’re having fun guys. I’m such a silly goose.
Here’s how Matchday 33 played out across the league:
Freiburg 2-0 Wolfsburg
Hertha Berlin 1-1 VfL Bochum
Hoffenheim 4-2 Union Berlin
Schalke 2-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
Werder Bremen 1-1 FC Köln
Bayern Munich 1-3 RB Leipzig
Mainz 1-4 VfB Stuttgart
Augsburg 0-3 Borussia Dortmund
Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 Borussia Monchengladbach
Hertha Plummet into the Abyss as Schalke Teeter on the Edge
What’s the German word for winning the league at the same time as your fiercest rivals are being dumped out of it? Because it’s looking increasingly likely that this word will get plenty of use in the Ruhr region next weekend! While Dortmund’s dream is just one win away (and we should continue to do everything we possibly can to not get ahead of ourselves), Schalke have slipped back into the relegation zone, and are in danger of returning to the 2. Bundesliga after just one season back in the big time.
Schalke have actually put up a pretty good fight this season, and for a long time they looked like they might just manage to survive, but unfortunately their chances are looking pretty slim now, as they sit a point behind Bochum and Stuttgart, with an away trip to face RB Leipzig looming on they final match of the season. I would prefer Schalke to stay up, because I’m not from the Ruhr region so the Revierderby is more of a spectacle than something I feel deep in my bones, but failing outright safety, I would love to see a promotion/relegation playoff between Schalke and Hamburg. Two of the biggest teams in Germany with absolutely everything on the line? Yes please.
Meanwhile, Hertha Berlin have finally booked their place in Germany’s second tier, after several seasons circling the drain. Hertha’s final nail came in the form of a lacklustre 1-1 draw with relegation rivals Bochum.
For the most part I have sympathy for any team that suffers relegation, especially if it comes after a long period in a division. It’s not a pleasant experience. But there are teams that deserve it a whole lot more than others, and Hertha Berlin are one of those teams. They’ve been so poorly managed, for a number of years now, that this was a matter of when rather than if. Perhaps they will use this relegation as an opportunity to reset, rebuild, and come back stronger.
Who do you think will get the drop? And which two teams will make up the promotion/relegation playoff?