Hamburger SV relegated amid chaotic scenes in Bundesliga
BERLIN (AP) This time, there was no miraculous escape.
Hamburger SV was finally relegated from the Bundesliga amid chaotic scenes on Saturday.
The only ever-present since the league was founded in 1963, ”der Dino” went down fighting after 54 seasons by beating Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1.
The game ended with lines of police on the pitch after fans behind one of the goals lit flares and pyrotechnics, throwing some onto the pitch and sending a huge cloud of black smoke over that side of the stadium.
Most fans reacted with anger to the disturbances, chanting ”We are the people of Hamburg and you’re not!” and ”Get them out!”
After flirting with relegation in recent seasons, Hamburg needed a win and a favor from already relegated Cologne against Wolfsburg to maintain hope of another escape.
But Wolfsburg’s 4-1 victory left Hamburg two points short of the relegation playoff place.
”We experienced miracles in the last years but miracles don’t go on forever,” Hamburg great Uwe Seeler said.
Instead, Wolfsburg will play Holstein Kiel, which finished third in the second division, in a two-leg playoff to determine which side plays in the top flight next season.
Some Hamburg players broke down and cried after referee Felix Brych finally ended the game after a long hold up due to the disturbances.
”It was just a few who have no business in a stadium,” said Christian Titz, Hamburg’s third coach of the season. Titz reinvigorated the side over his eight games in charge.
Freiburg secured its survival beating Augsburg 2-0.
EUROPEAN TICKETS BOOKED
Hoffenheim reached the Champions League with a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund, which also qualified despite the loss in fourth place.
Bayer Leverkusen might have pipped Dortmund to Europe’s top competition on goal difference but fell short in a 3-2 win over Hannover and must be content with fifth place and Europa League qualification.
Leipzig also reached the Europa League after defeating Hertha Berlin 6-2.
Bayern Munich, which sealed the title with five rounds to go, celebrated with the trophy and medals despite losing at home to Stuttgart 4-1.
League president Reinhard Rauball handed the trophy to goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who hasn’t played since September due to injury and faces a race against time to be fit for the World Cup.
Stuttgart boosted its chances of Europa League qualification by taking seventh place, enough to qualify if Bayern wins the German Cup final against Eintracht Frankfurt.
The cup winner qualifies for the Europa League, but Bayern has already reached the Champions League.
Frankfurt lost at second-place Schalke 1-0 and finished eighth, two points behind Stuttgart.
Also, Werder Bremen won at Mainz 2-1.