English League 2

Boothroyd sorry for Bees

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Sat, 27 Apr 2013 21:14:00

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund both rested a host of first-team players ahead of next week's Champions League semi-final second legs, but still claimed Bundesliga victories on Saturday.

Champions Bayern won 1-0 at home to Freiburg thanks to Xherdan Shaqiri's 35th-minute effort.

The Bavarians rested the likes of Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller, with Jerome Boateng the only starter remaining from the 4-0 demolition of Barcelona.

Freiburg's defeat denied them the chance to move about Schalke, who play on Sunday, and into fourth place.

Dortmund left, among others, midweek's four-goal hero Robert Lewandowski on the bench until the 69th minute ahead of their trip to Real Madrid, but still won 2-1 at Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Nuri Sahin opened the scoring after 20 minutes and Jakub Blaszczykowski made it two in the 70th minute, one minute after coming on.

Adam Bodzek got a consolation for the hosts two minutes from time.

Defeat plunged Fortuna back into relegation trouble as the two sides below them both picked up important wins.

Third-bottom Augsburg, in the relegation play-off place, moved level on points with Fortuna thanks to a 3-0 win at home to Stuttgart.

Sascha Molders broke the deadlock in the 61st minute before late strikes from Marcel de Jong and Ji Dong-won sealed the win.

Second-bottom Hoffenheim went to within three points of safety with three games to go with a 2-1 win at home to Nurnberg.

Two goals in the opening 19 minutes from Tobias Weis and Sejad Salihovic put the hosts in control, with Timmy Simons pulling one back from the spot after the break.

Elsewhere, third-placed Bayer Leverkusen win 1-0 at home to Werder Bremen thanks to Stefan Kiessling's 35th-minute penalty.

Wolfsburg beat Borussia Monchengladbach 3-1, Diego scoring one and setting up the other two.

Maximilian Arnold opened the scoring for Wolfsburg in the 34th minute, but

Peniel Mlapa equalised soon after the break.

Ivica Olic put Wolfsburg back in the lead in the 61st minute and Diego finished the match with his strike in the 75th minute.

Needing a final day victory to ensure survival, the Bees were sunk by two second half goals from Roy O'Donovan and Luke Guttridge at Northampton, who now face Cheltenham in the play-offs.

The former Champions League winner, who played at some of Europe's leading clubs during an illustrious career, had turned the club's fortunes around since taking over as head coach. But it wasn't enough in the end as AFC Wimbledon beat Fleetwood 2-1 to climb out of the relegation zone at Barnet's expense.

The former Dutch international said: "It's a bitter pill to swallow and the players are very disappointed but they gave it everything. It wasn't all down to this last game, we had a lot of opportunities during the season but didn't take them.

"It's even more disappointing because we have reached all the objectives that the chairman set and reached the 51 points target but we've still gone down.

"The players can look themselves in the eye and know they have given it everything they had. But you have to be sharp enough to take the chances you create especially against a team like Northampton. They were clinical in the second half.

"Losing a Champions League final was a bad experience for me but I'm aware of the consequences for the club going out of the Football League.

"This is a different experience for me and there will be consequences of playing non-league football for the club next season. As for my position, I will have to sit down with the chairman and discuss things."

Needing a final day victory to ensure survival, the Bees were sunk by two second half goals from Roy O'Donovan and Luke Guttridge as the Cobblers head into Thursday night's play-off showdown with Cheltenham in fine fettle.

"That was us last year fighting relegation," Boothroyd said. "It was very stressful for us but this time we've finished a good few points better off.

"I think we've got what we have deserved this season. It's been a long season, we've had some brilliant performances and some rubbish performances, and Barnet away was one of those.

"We knew we would finish in the play-offs and I want to have everybody 100 per cent fit for the big games we've got coming up.

"It gives everybody an opportunity to stake a claim and to put themselves forward. I'll have lots of players available for training on Thursday night.

"We'll have more or less a full squad available and we need to make sure we make the most of that. I've got some really nice problems."

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