Schalke relegated and Stuttgart face play-off as Bochum and Augsburg survive
Schalke were relegated to Bundesliga 2 with a 4-2 defeat at RB Leipzig on the final day, while Stuttgart were held 1-1 at home to Hoffenheim and now face a play-off...
Hoffenheim were joined by Bochum and Augsburg in securing their safety in the Bundesliga for another season, while Schalke were relegated and Stuttgart must contest a play-off. bundesliga.com recaps all of the drama on a nail-biting final day battle for survival...
Hertha's relegation to the second tier was confirmed on Matchday 33 as they conceded a last-minute equaliser to draw 1-1 with Bochum. While they only had pride to play for on the final matchday, they certainly gathered some of that by taking their second away win of the season on the final day against a Wolfsburg side chasing sixth place and a certain European qualification spot. Ibrahim Mazza and Marco Ricther struck in a great second-half comeback.
Hertha's fate was confirmed with a 1-1 draw against Bochum during Matchday 33. - IMAGO/nordphoto GmbH / Engler/IMAGO/Nordphoto
Schalke had nine points on the board after 17 matches, but their 22 from a possible 51 in the second half of the season was not quite enough to complete a spirited survival bid. Having clawed their way back from 2-0 down in Leipzig on the final day to level at 2-2, hopes were raised again before late goals from Poulsen and Nkunku sealed their fate of relegation to Bundesliga 2.
Stuttgart enjoyed a new coach bounce under Sebastian Hoeneß, beating Bochum,holding Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen before rising out of the danger zone with an impressive 4-1 win at Mainz on the penultimate weekend. They could not use a glut of chances in their final day home showdown with Hoffenheim to take any more than a point, however, with Tiago Tomas levelling after they fell behind. Stuttgart are to now contest a relegation play-off against the side finishing third in Bundesliga 2 - Hamburg or Heidenheim.
Augsburg survived by the skin of their teeth after a 2-0 defeat at Gladbach on the final day that could have sent them into a play-off had Stuttgart won. Robert Gumny was sent off at the end of a difficult first-half for Augsburg in which they had already fallen two behind - and they raised little resistance but were ultimately relieved to have sealed their top-flight survival.
Germany international Mergim Berisha's nine goals this season have helped Augsburg stay afloat so far. - IMAGO/nordphoto GmbH / Straubmeier/IMAGO/Nordphoto
Bochum were the big winners on the final day thanks to a commanding 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen. An early sending off for Leverkusen's Amine Adli gave the hosts a boost, and first-half strikes from Philipp Förster and Takuma Asano left Bochum in command before Kevin Stöger capped the vital victory that secured safety in front of the delighted Bochum fans.
Schalke are torn apart again on a quick attack, but the Leipzig attacker is denied by the woodwork.
No sign of an Augsburg comeback
Gladbach seem to be heading for victory, with Hofmann almost scoring a spectacular third for the hosts from 40 metres out. Augsburg have to hope Stuttgart don't score a second goal!
GOAL FOR LEIPZIG! 3-2 v Schalke
That could just be the goal that sends Schalke down, I'm afraid. Poulsen converts after Nkunku cuts the ball back on a quick attack.
GOAL FOR STUTTGART! 1-1 v Hoffenheim
Substitute Tiago Tomas receives the ball well from a long pass and sets up a stylish drive past Baumann. Another goal and the hosts could clinch their safety!
Millot hits the bar!
More frustration for Stuttgart as Millot smashes the ball from inside the box straight into the crossbar.
GOAL FOR HOFFENHEIM! 1-0 v Stuttgart
Angelino crosses and Bebou heads in to give Hoffenheim the lead against the run of play. Stuttgart are still destined for a play-off, as things stand.
13 shots for Stuttgart
Tiago Tomas has the latest effort from a tight angle. It's still goalless against Hoffenheim though with the fans desperately wanting to see a goal from their team!
The blazing sunshine across Germany is perhaps having an impact - we haven't seen any goals in our four games for a while. Stuttgart continue to push but still haven't found a way to break the deadlock - they are heading for a relegation play-off, as things stand.
Clock ticking for Schalke
It has been an extremely spirited performance away at a Leipzig side assured of their top four spot. Schalke have just over 20 minutes to find a desperately needed winner!
Wirtz hits the post
Leverkusen are really pushing for a goal back. Florian Wirtz beats Riemann but is denied by the woodwork.
Führich fires over
A big chance for Stuttgart. Führich took the ball around the outrushing Baumann, but then blasted over.
The visitors are throwing caution to the wind as they chase the three points they need to have any hope of staying up.
Augsburg up against it
Augsburg have hit just two shots so far, to Gladbach's 16. They will stay up as things stand, but a Stuttgart win could send them into the relegation play-off.
The Stuttgart attacker worms his way across the goalmouth with a lovely run, but Brooks clears for Hoffenheim.
AS IT STANDS
A point would not be enough to lift Schalke out of the automatic relegation spots. If they were to win though, and Stuttgart were fail to win (0-0 v Hoffenheim still), then Schalke would rise to a play-off spot.
Big chance for Leverkusen
Wirtz finds himself one-on-one in the area but can't beat Riemann and Diaby then gets to it but hesitates. Bochum clear, remain 2-0 up and on course to secure their safety.
GOAL FOR SCHALKE! 2-2 v Leipzig
Schalke draw level just after the restart in an incredible twist - as Willi Orban puts the ball into his own net.
Alex Kral clips a dangerous cross in. Schalke still want to win this.
Back underway in Leipzig
The first of our four relegation-battle fixtures restarts, and the other three will follow shortly.
Half-time in all four matches
The whistle finally sounds in Mönchengladbach after that VAR drama. Bochum are the big winners of the first-half, moving to safety as things stand.
No penalty, but RED CARD for Augsburg (v Gladbach)
A review determined that Gumny made the foul outside the box, and his yellow card has been upgraded to a red to cap a sorry first half for Augsburg.
Penalty for Gladbach (v Augsburg)
Gumny brings down Stindl and the referee points to the spot.
Sigh of relief for Schalke
Leipzig almost made it 3-1 as Dani Olmo slid the ball across for Christopher Nkunku. The Frenchman was brought down just in front of goal before he could strike it in, but after a VAR check, no penalty was awarded.
GOAL FOR GLADBACH! 2-0 v Augsburg
Jonas Hofmann scores a brilliant goal after a tidy one-two with Stindl to double Gladbach's lead. Augsburg will be left hoping other results go their way if they lose that one.
Stuttgart's top scorer sends their best chance of the match just wide on a quick attack.
End to end in Leipzig
It's been a thrilling first half for neutrals, although that is unlikely to settle any nerves from Schalke fans with relegation looming for now. Zalazar had a chance to level with a header. Schalke have had six shots and Leipzig three so far.
Bochum are bouyant!
Takuma Asano has fired their second in a dominant first-half showing against Bayer Leverkusen.
Schalke would go down automatically (1-2 v Leipzig), Stuttgart would face a play-off (0-0 v Hoffenheim) while Augsburg and Bochum would be safe. A goal in any of the four matches could change things completely, however.
Chance for Gladbach
Lainer plays it to Netz, who is blocked. Augsburg are still finding it hard to get into the game.
The hosts are looking confident against ten-man Leverkusen, but the visitors are still offering a threat on the break.
Schalke strike back! 1-2 v Leipzig
They haven't given up! Kaminski gets a chunky header on a corner to put Schalke right back into the game.
Stuttgart remain on top, with Führich having a shot deflected behind for a corner.
GOAL FOR BOCHUM! 1-0 v Leverkusen
Philipp Förster has fired Bochum in front against ten-man Leverkusen with a stunning volley. That goal would lift them out of the relegation zone, as things stand!
GOAL FOR LEIPZIG! 2-0 v Schalke
Schalke had been pushing for a way back in, but their survival hopes are left hanging by a thread as Christopher Nkunku finishes in style on a break after playing a one-two with Dani Olmo.
Gladbach dominated the opening ten minutes and could have possibly extended their 1-0 lead, although the past five minutes have been quieter.
Vagnoman fires over
Stuttgart have their first shot of the game against Hoffenheim, with Josha Vagnoman firing over in the box on the half volley.
GOAL FOR LEIPZIG! 1-0 v Schalke
A bad start for Schalke's final day survival bid. Dani Olmo charges down the right and his cross is punched by Fährmann into the path of Konrad Laimer - who taps in to put Leipzig in front.
RED CARD for Leverkusen (v Bochum)
Amine Adli has been given an early red card for an off-the-ball incident with Heintz. Bochum now don't only have their fans behind them, they also have an extra man for the remaining 80 minutes or more.
Stuttgart controlling the play
With visitors Hoffenheim effectively safe, Stuttgart have taken the initiative, passing the ball around well without creating any chances yet.
GOAL FOR GLADBACH! 1-0 v Augsburg
Augsburg have conceded an early goal. Marcus Thuram took hold of a long ball and fed Hofmann, who cut it across to Luca Netz to fire in. That could help the three teams below Augsburg.
Schalke chasing hard
It's been a spirited start for Schalke, who are pressing Lepzig hard - until Konrad Laimer and Christopher Nkunku almost strike on the break.
They're off in Leipzig, Stuttgart, Bochum and Mönchengladbach!
The teams are out
Four matches are about to kick off that will mean so much to the four clubs still embroiled in the battle for survival!
The Stuttgart fans are singing along to a live rendition of their club anthem now.
Sea of white in Stuttgart
The fans are out in their droves in the southern German sunshine. A win would ensure safety, and cap a great job from coach Sebastian Hoeneß, who took charge in April with the side embroiled in the relegation scrap.
30 minutes till kick-off!
The grounds are filling up. Bochum and Stuttgart can rely on some boisterous home support as they chase priceless wins. Schalke and Augsburg have their away followings in tow, though.
Team news: Schalke starting XI (A v Leipzig)
Fährmann (c) - Brunner, van den Berg, Kaminski, Matriciani - Latza, Kral - Drexler, Zalazar, Bülter - Polter
Suitably for the situation, all four teams involved in the relegation battle today have issued social media rallying calls this morning. Bundesliga futures are at stake today so expect frayed nerves and plenty of nail-biting both in the stands and all over the world. Unbearable tension incoming.
Set the alarms
As we begin to settle in for a day high on drama, it's worth doing a little housekeeping. Team news will drop at approximately 2.30pm CEST, an hour prior to our 3.30pm kick-off. We'll be here to take you through all the action as we see how the chips fall and, if you're in the Bundesliga App, you can click the little alarm bell to turn on notifications and not miss a kick of any of today's games.
There's a lot of moving parts in this most dramatic of final days, but coming into the weekend it's Stuttgart and Augsburg who have their fates in their own hands. Bochum and Schalke need results themselves if they are to guarantee their safety, but their points tallies and also vastly inferior goal differences mean they may need other results to go their way too.
Who will survive?
Hertha are already down and will finish last after drawing last week with Bochum, who kept themselves a single point above Schalke in the final automatic promotion spot. Stuttgart are in the last safe berth on goal difference, while Augsburg are also at risk only three points ahead of Schalke and two away from Bochum in the play-off spot. Whoever finishes there will play either Heidenheim or Hamburg for the right to play in the Bundesliga next season.
While the Meisterschale mission understandably tops the bill, there is also much else still to play for on Matchday 34. At the bottom, four clubs are scrapping to the last to stay up, including traditional heavyweights VfB Stuttgart and Schalke. At the other end, a huge underdog success story is about to be written with the allocation of the final ticket to the UEFA Champions League – but will it go to Union Berlin or Freiburg? With some huge personalities bowing out as well, we’re all set for one emotional matchday.
All the relegation action in one place
It's up to you how you follow the relegation battle on Saturday. You can choose to follow our individual blogs of the four relevant games (Leipzig vs. Schalke, Gladbach vs. Augsburg, Bochum vs. Leverkusen and Stuttgart vs. Hoffenheim), or you can keep across all the thrills and spills from every game in one place through this live blog.
A final day battle for survival!
Welcome along to coverage of the final matchday of the 2022/23 Bundesliga season as Schalke, Bochum, VfB Stuttgart and Augsburg all look to avoid following Hertha Berlin through the trapdoor and down into Bundesliga 2.