Munich - Following a dramatic penultimate weekend of the 2013/14 season, there is still plenty to be decided in the Bundesliga, with the relegation battle becoming even fiercer and the race for Europe twisting and turning apace.
As ever, bundesliga.com had all the latest news and updates from across Germany's top flight.
The main events of Matchday 33:
FC Bayern München eased to a 4-1 win that leaves Hamburger SV on the brink.
Borussia Dortmund came from a goal down to beat free-scoring 1899 Hoffenheim3-2 at Signal Iduna Park.
FC Schalke 04 moved a step closer to securing automatic qualification for the UEFA Champions League courtesy of a 2-0 win away to SC Freiburg.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen remain fourth after recording a hard-earned 2-0 win away at Eintracht Frankfurt.
VfB Stuttgart are safe from the drop, despite going down 2-1 at home to fifth-placed VfL Wolfsburg.
Borussia Mönchengladbach will play in Europe next season after beating UEFA Europa League hopefuls 1. FSV Mainz 053-1.
Schalke's Julian Draxler and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar weren't the only ones to make it a century of Bundesliga appearances for their club last weekend, with skipper Pirmin Schwegler reaching that landmark with Eintracht Frankfurt after featuring in the Hessians' 2-0 loss to Leverkusen:
Badstuber boostHolger Badstuber managed to complete a full training session for the first time since returning from his 17-month spell on the sidelines today. FC Bayern have just tweeted the following:
If you missed anything this weekend, there are several ways to catch up with all the action and reaction: First, you can read our bite-sized piece on the biggest stories of Matchday 33, or why not catch our video round-up highlights. Alternatively, our gallery of photos has all the drama captured in 39 stills. There are also individual highlights of every single game this weekend, which can be found right here.
Thanks to a classy 2-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, Bayer Leverkusen have kept their European destiny in their own hands. After slipping out of the top four, the re-appointment of Sascha Lewandowski got die Werkself back on the straight and narrow, and we analyse the recent transformation at the club, who will look to wrap up the Champions League play-offs on Matchday 34.
could hardly have wished for a better final home match as an SV Werder Bremen player: Not only did he receive a Fair Play Medal by the German Olympic Society for admitting he had not been fouled in a game at Nürnberg earlier this season, he also found the net twice. “The match was incredibly emotional for me,” the three-time Germany international told bundesliga.com. “I’m over the moon that things worked out so well today, not only for me, but also the fans and the whole team.”
FC Bayern and Mario Mandzukic are getting themselves into gear for their final Bundesliga game of the 2013/14 season at home to VfB Stuttgart on Saturday:
Cup euphoria With the DFB Cup final less than two weeks away, and the Bundesliga’s current top sides Borussia Dortmund and Bayern München going head-to-head at Berlin’s Olympiastadion, ticket demand for the clash has been immense. So far, a total of 500,000 requests have been received by the German Football Association, greatly exceeding supply, and BVB have just tweeted that all 14,000 tickets for a public viewing in the capital’s Sommergarten initiated by the Schwarz-Gelben were sold out in less than two hours:
Public Viewing ausverkauft! Nach knapp zwei Stunden waren heute alle 14.000 Karten für den Berliner Sommergarten verkauft. #wiederhier
Hamburger SV’s quest to reach the relegation play-offs has been boosted by the news that leading goalscorer (pictured) and centre-back are likely to return to team training this week and could be available for their final match of the season away to Mainz 05 this Saturday. “We’re positive they’ll make it in time,” said head coach Mirko Slomka.
In an interview with Die Welt am Sonntag, 1899 Hoffenheim coach Markus Gisdol defended his team's gung-ho approach in the wake of the Sinsheim club's 3-2 defeat to Borussia Dortmund. "We know we have exceptional attacking players, so you have to make certain sacrifices in other areas of the pitch," said the 44-year-old. Hoffenheim have scored a massive 69 and conceded just as many in the Bundesliga this term.
A deafening roar erupted from the North Stand of the Imtech Arena following Hamburger SV's defeat to FC Bayern München on Saturday - not in protest, but in support of the HSV fans' heroes, writes Süddeutsche Zeitung. Mirko Slomka's side may have been downed 4-1, but they showed an encouraging performance and remain in 16th place after Nürnberg and Braunschweig both lost. "It's in our hands, we have to beat Mainz," winger Ivo Ilicevic told the paper, while Hakan Calhanoglu added: "The Mainz match will be like a Champions League game for us."
Sunday 4 May
That brings an end to our live coverage of Matchday 33 for today. Join us again on Monday for the reactions across the country to the latest events, before attentions turn to the build-up to the final day of the season in the top flight and Bundesliga 2 - Judgement day!
FC Bayern's win at Hamburger SV came at just the right time, as far as coach Pep Guardiola was concerned. Find out what he and his coaching colleagues made of the weekend's dramatic twists and turns in our summary of the coaches' quotes from Matchday 33.
Many clubs paraded their new kits for next season on Matchday 33, but FC Bayern fans will have to wait just a few more days to discover what their heroes will be wearing next term...
It was a weekend of tearful farewells, with not only Stuttgart (see below) paying tribute to parting legends. Borussia Dortmund gave striker Robert Lewandowski a moving send-off ahead of his move to FC Bayern in the summer, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen could not hold back the tears as he ended 18 years at Borussia Mönchengladbach in front of his fans.
1. FC Köln received their reward for dominating Bundesliga 2 this season by gaining possession of the prized champions' trophy on Sunday following their 4-0 win over FC St. Pauli. Check out our photo gallery from the ceremony inside the RheinEnergieStadion.
A string of good performances between the Schalke 04 sticks have earned a long-term contract with the Royal Blues, tying the 25-year-old goalkeeper to the club until June 2019. “We’re glad he’s committed his future to Schalke,” said sporting director Horst Heldt. “He’s been key to our good results in the second half of the current campaign.” Fährmann was equally excited: “I’m living a dream and it’s about to become even better. I’m already looking forward to spending the next years with Schalke.”
was a happy man indeed after scoring Wolfsburg’s winner in the 2-1 victory at Stuttgart to keep the Wolves‘ hopes of qualifying for the Champions League play-offs alive. "Bayer Leverkusen may be in the driving seat, but that also puts them under pressure," said the Belgian attacker. “We’re in a comfortable position. We’re still in with a chance to reach fourth place next week.”
1. FC Köln's fans bid farewell to departing former Canada defender Kevin McKenna prior to the Rhinelanders' home game against FC St. Pauli:
Get to grips with Arjen Robben’s take on yesterday’s proceedings at the Imtech Arena in this bundesliga.comexclusive, where Bayern’s Dutch winger also looks back at his side’s Champions League struggle against his former side Real Madrid and looks ahead to the upcoming DFB Cup final against Borussia Dortmund.
Farewell: Cacau (r.; joined Stuttgart in 2003, destination unknown), Arthur Boka (bottom l.; 2006, destination unknown) and Ibrahima Traore (2011, Mönchengladbach-tied) were all involved in their final home game for VfB on Saturday afternoon...
Hello and welcome to another exciting day full of reaction to the penultimate round of the 2013/14 campaign in the German top flight, as well as the latest action from Bundesliga 2, where all 18 sides will be involved from 13:30 GMT/15:30 CET. To start with, we'd like to congratulate FC Schalke 04, one of the Bundesliga's biggest sides, on their 110th anniversary today.
RB Leipzig will indeed be plying their trade in the second tier of German football next season after putting Saarbrücken to the sword earlier this afternoon. There's now just one round of fixtures remaining in the Third Division, but promoted league leaders Heidenheim's 1-0 loss at Osnabrück means the destination of the title will be decided next weekend on the final day of the campaign. More on that right here.
This afternoon marks Robert Lewandowski's final game at Signal Iduna Park as a Borussia Dortmund player, before the Pole moves to FC Bayern in the summer. The 25-year-old has scored 101 goals over the course of a four-year spell at the club, with BVB head coach Jürgen Klopp duly asking the fans to show their appreciation against 1899 Hoffenheim this afternoon...
It looks like we all better get ready to welcome RasenBallsport Leipzig into the Bundesliga 2 next season. The third tier's second-placed club are absolutely flying against relegated 1. FC Saarbrücken, already leading 4-0 with just over 35 minutes played, and now trail promoted league leaders 1. FC Heidenheim by just a point in the race for the title.
Julian Draxler and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar each look set to make it a century of appearances in the famous royal blue colours of FC Schalke 04 against SC Freiburg later today. Get the pre-match skinny on that one right here...
Only once before in the Bundesliga's 51-year history have a team boasting an average attendance of at least 50,000 per home game been relegated to the second tier. That ignominious tag goes to Hertha Berlin (2011/12), but Hamburger SV could well be about to follow suit. The Red Shorts welcome FC Bayern to the Imtech Arena this afternoon, with bottom-two clubs Braunschweig and Nürnberg also in action at 15:30 CEST.
Friday 2 May
So all the match previews are ready, and the anticipation is rising ahead of the penultimate round of matches in the 2013/14 Bundesliga season. We will be back on Saturday morning to get you in the mood for all nine games, which kick off together at 13:30 GMT/15:30 CEST.
There could be a lot of travelling on the agenda for Borussia Mönchengladbach and 1. FSV Mainz 05 next season, and their meeting on Saturday will go some way to determining where those travels could take them. Meanwhile, one man who is no stranger to clocking up the air miles also gets a crack at Bundesliga history. Find out more in our match preview.
Saturday could see Julian Draxler reach a new milestone in record time. The FC Schalke 04 midfielder is on the brink of his 100th Bundesliga appearance, but he's not the only one. Find out who could join him in as a fellow Schalke centurion this weekend in our preview of the Royal Blues' trip to care-free SC Freiburg.
Saturday will see an exciting afternoon of Bundesliga action, but the weekend does not end there. On Sunday, there is a full round of Bundesliga 2 games with the promotion chase hotting up. Check out who could be moving into the big time next season in our handy promotion guide.
Bayern, the 2014 Bundesliga champions, have a lot to be proud of as the disappointment of their midweek UEFA Champions League elimination is attenuated by the positives from the past 12 months...
Friday night not only saw Karl Hopfner elected as FC Bayern's new president, but the club's Chief Executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had good news for the club's fans by announcing that goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has extended his contract until 2019.
Two teams, one common goal: European football. On Saturday, Borussia Mönchengladbach and 1. FSV Mainz 05 can get their passports stamped in preparation for a tour of the continent next season, although the hosts may not find out exactly what kind of a European excursion they may be going on until the final day of the season if they emerge triumphant. Let our match preview explain the stakes and permutations.
If you want to find out more about Saturday's big north versus south, top versus (almost) bottom clash, check out our match preview of what promises to be a mouthwatering, emotional occasion at the Imtech Arena - certainly not one for the faint-hearted.
Bayern were beaten 4-0 on their own patch by the Spanish Cup winners after being caught out numerous times on the counterattack and making little of their dominance of possession. Guardiola accepted criticism for the defeat, saying it was part and parcel of being a coach, before declaring that next season, he will be able to "play 100 per cent with my own ideas."
.@FCBayern's Guardiola: "After the @realmadrid game, I'm even more convinced by my system. We didn't play properly with the ball." #FCB
FC Bayern München face a trip north to Hamburger SV on Saturday, and the Bavarians are most definitely hurting from Tuesday's Champions League semi-final thrashing at the hands of Real Madrid CF. "It was a heavy defeat for us, and heavy defeats stay in your head longer," admitted Guardiola. However, the 43-year-old vehemently rebuffed criticism of his possession-based style of football, saying, "I won't change my ideas. After the Real game, I'm even more convinced by my system."
Borussia Dortmund already have second place sewn up this season, but their match against 1899 Hoffenheim will be a special occasion for one man in particular, Robert Lewandowski, who is set to play his last game at Signal Iduna Park before leaving for FC Bayern München in the summer. "Robert's been a brilliant striker for us," said head coach Jürgen Klopp in his pre-match press conference, which is fairly accurate considering the Pole's record of 72 goals in129 Bundesliga games.
Hello and welcome to bundesliga.com's live text coverage of Matchday 33 in the Bundesliga. Today is Friday and normally we'd be building up to a game this evening to open the weekend. However, as we're now into the final two weekends of the season, the powers that be have decided, as ever, that all 18 clubs will kick off at the same time, which for these two rounds of matches is Saturday afternoon at 13.30 GMT/ 15.30 CEST. Nine top-flight encounters being played simultaneously - what more could you want?!
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