Stefan Kiessling (l.) is now the Bundesliga's leading scorer on 24 goals. Team-mate Jens Hegeler (r.) grabbed a brace against Hannover
Stefan Kiessling (l.) is now the Bundesliga's leading scorer on 24 goals. Team-mate Jens Hegeler (r.) grabbed a brace against Hannover

Kießling top of the shots - all still to play for at the bottom

Munich - Stefan Kießling moved out on his own at the top of the Bundesliga scoring chart after hitting the net in Bayer Leverkusen's victory over Hannover 96, while Fortuna Düsseldorf and 1899 Hoffenheim both suffered damaging home defeat in their respective battles against the drop.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3-1 Hannover 96 has a comprehensive overview of the best of the rest of the penultimate round of top-flight action this season...

Leverkusen signed off in front of their home fans for the season in appropriate style, with a 3-1 win over Hannover. Two goals from Jens Hegeler and one from Stefan Kießling put Bayer well in control before the hour mark, with Artur Sobiech nabbing the visitors' consolation strike inside the final 20 minutes.

The result leaves the Werkself on 62 points in third place, now ten ahead of Schalke in fourth. The 96ers, already all but mathematically out of the running for a Europa League place, can now definitively start planning for a return to the top table-third next season.

Leverkusen dominant

The hosts hit the ground running, with Jens Hegeler - a substitute no less than 22 times this season - making the most of a rare starting appearance to fire them in front in the sixth minute following a searching run down the left from Andre Schürrle. There was no let-up from Bayer after that, with Hannover keeper Ron-Robert Zieler preventing Hegeler, Schürrle and Kießling all adding to that early advantage before the latter started and finished the move that took him out in front on his own at the top of the Bundesliga scoring chart, heading home Daniel Carvajal's cross for his 24th goal of the campaign.

That was that in terms of goals through to half time and though the visitors made a bright start to the second 45, it was Leverkusen who struck just shy of the hour to put the result to bed, Hegeler sweeping home Lars Bender's cross for his own second. After that, it was all over bar the shouting - and Sobiech's goal for the Hannover road home in the 71st minute.

Line-ups and statistics

1899 Hoffenheim 1-4 Hamburger SV

Hoffenheim passed up a huge opportunity to put their Bundesliga fate back in their own hands, going down 4-1 at home to Hamburg on a day relegation rivals FC Augsburg and Fortuna Düsseldorf also both lost.

The result leaves 1899 two points adrift of the latter duo going into the final round of Bundesliga matches and, with a significantly inferior goal difference, effectively requiring both to lose next weekend while they themselves win at UEFA Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund.

Hamburg in charge

First-half goals from Heung-Min Son and Dennis Aogo left Markus Gisdol's hosts with a mini-mountain to climb after the interval and Petr Jiracek's third on 59 minutes effectively put the Red Shorts out of sight. Kevin Volland pulled one back straight away but by the time Artjoms Rudnevs wrapped up the scoring in the 88th minute, there was little remaining doubt about the outcome. For their part, Hamburg remain seventh and still in with a shout of overhauling Frankfurt and claiming a Europa League place at the last.

Son got the ball rolling for the visitors in the 18th minute, heading home his twelfth goal of the campaign from a Dennis Diekmeier cross. After Hamburg had missed a couple of decent opportunities to increase that lead, they then did so ten minutes before half time, Son turning provider to tee up Dennis Aogo after rounding home keeper Koen Casteels.

Game over for Hoffenheim

With little left to lose, Hoffenheim went on the offensive in the latter part of the first half and at the start of the second, but their sole reward was another goal against, Jiracek the scorer on the hour mark. Volland's swift response gave offered the short-lived hope of a fightback, but for all the home side's subsequent pressing they were unable to further close the gap and sub Rudnevs duly rounded out the scoring near the end.

Line-ups and statistics

1. FSV Mainz 05 2-4 Borussia Mönchengladbach

Gladbach returned to winning ways with a rampant 4-2 victory away to a tired-looking Mainz side.

An entertaining first half ended on level terms despite the hosts' overall dominance. Shawn Parker broke the deadlock with a tidy finish from close range, but Gladbach clawed their way back into the game once Juan Arango's free-kick off the post woke them up. Branimir Hrgota held his nerve from the penalty spot, dinking in a cheeky Panenka-style effort for his maiden Bundesliga goal.

Hero Hrgota

The Swede grabbed a second after the restart, before Mike Hanke put some daylight between the sides with a close-range header. Hrgota scored another outrageous goal to complete his hat-trick late on, scooping a lob over the onrushing Heinz Müller after being played through by Hanke.

Andreas Ivanschitz reduced the arrears for the hosts with a penalty in additional time, continuing his perfect record from the spot in the Bundesliga (seven from seven).

Line-ups and statistics

Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-2 1. FC Nuremberg

Goal difference remains the only thing between Fortuna Düsseldorf and the relegation play-off place after defeat at the hands of 1. FC Nuremberg.

Desperate for the points, Norbert Meier named an attacking line-up for the visit of der Club, with Matthis Bolly and super sub Dani Schahin handed starts. Andreas Lambertz was also back to skipper the side, and it was the Fortuna old hand who made the telling contribution to put the hosts in front, his cross turned into his own net by Hanno Balitsch after 23 minutes.

Different animal

Nuremberg re-emerged after the break an altogether different proposition, with Robert Mak finding a way past Fortuna custodian Fabian Giefer within eight minutes of the restart. Marvin Plattenhardt completed the comeback six minutes later, the second-half substitute whipping an unstopppable free kick into the net from 20 yards.

Fortuna substitute Stefan Reisinger spurned a decent opportunity to restore parity, but it was the visitors who should arguably have stretched their lead but for some fine goalkeeping from Giefer. Winless in eleven, 15th-place Fortuna now go into the final game of the season at Hannover needing a win to be sure of beating the drop.

Line-ups and statistics

Greuther Fürth 1-2 SC Freiburg

Fürth's relegation to Bundesliga 2 may have been set in stone for some time now, but still they refuse to go down without a fight. Yet even though they went in front, the Clover Leaves ultimately failed to record their first home win of the season in their last chance to pick up maximum points in front of their own fans, losing 2-1 to Freiburg.

The hosts took an early lead when Matthias Zimmerman fired them ahead in the third minute. Despite dominating the rest of the half and overpowering Fürth with their non-stop running and swift breaks forward, Freiburg could not find an equaliser against the deep-lying hosts.


That all changed in the second period, as Freiburg cranked the pressure up a notch and ultimately shattered Fürth's resistance. Goals from Jonathan Schmid and Max Kruse turned the game on its head, leaving the hosts on the ropes and unable to muster a fightback.

The defeat means Fürth become the first team in Bundesliga history to go all season without a home win, while their return of 13 losses on home soil is likewise an unwanted record. Meanwhile, Freiburg's haul of 23 points on the road this term is the club's second-best tally ever and has helped all but ensure them a ticket to European football next season.

Line-ups and statistics