Hamburg - Hamburger SV's Bundesliga status hangs in the balance after Mirko Slomka's men were beaten 4-1 by champions FC Bayern München on the penultimate day of the campaign.
Bayern were by no means at their best, and even had Jerome Boateng sent off late on, but a brace from Mario Götze, as well as goals from Thomas Müller and Claudio Pizarro, were enough to leave Hamburg, who pulled one back through Hakan Calhanoglu, marooned in the bottom three with just one game of the season left to play.
Looking to bounce back from Tuesday's UEFA Champions League semi-final exit at the hands of Real Madrid CF, Bayern head coach Pep Guardiola called on Götze and Javi Martinez, with Mario Mandzukic named on the bench and Franck Ribery not even in the matchday squad. As ever, the record German champions were quick to lock down possession but, other than seeing a Müller header rightly ruled out for offside, the Bavarians failed to trouble HSV custodian Rene Adler.
Hamburg, on the other hand, were clearly following Los Blancos' example by forcing the initiative on the counter. A mistake by Manuel Neuer almost let in Ivo Ilicevic, who tickled the side netting under pressure from Martinez, before Calhanoglu broke clear and fired wide. The hosts were playing out of their skins, but returning captain Rafael van der Vaart was unable to make anything of another miscued clearance from Bayern stopper-turned-sweeper Neuer.
As luck would have it, those missed opportunities came back to haunt HSV in the 32nd minute when Götze fired the champions ahead from close range after playing a cute one-two with Arjen Robben. Müller should have made it two moments later, but arrived a fraction late on Bastian Schweinsteiger's dangerous knockdown. To their credit, Hamburg kept plugging away, with only a fine Neuer save keeping out van der Vaart's vicious volley and Ilicevic ballooning wide from 18 yards late in the half.
Ilicevic sent a looping header straight at Neuer early in the second half, but that was about as good as it got for the Bundesliga's only ever-present club. Robben's corner picked out the unmarked Götze, who had all the time in the world to size up Adler's goal, with Müller deflecting the midfielder's low drive into the net from close range. Hamburg hit the self-destruct button soon after, but David Alaba failed to keep his rushed volley down with the goal at his mercy.
Calhanoglu brought the best out of Neuer with Hamburg attempting to restore a measure of pride, before Bayern stretched their lead with 20 minutes left on the Imtech Arena's iconic clock. Adler did well to foil Robben, but Müller had the wherewithal to direct the follow-up to that man Götze, who expertly stuck away his second of the afternoon with aplomb.
Hamburg fans did have something to cheer two minutes later thanks to a trademark, albeit consolation, strike from Calhanoglu, only for Bayern substitute Pizarro to raise the bar with a stunning overhead kick after his first effort had been saved. Jerome Boateng picked up a needless red card at the death, but it was all academic for a Hamburg side who must now match the result of bottom-two incumbents 1. FC Nürnberg and Eintracht Braunschweig away at 1. FSV Mainz 05 on the final day just to stay in the relegation play-off place.
Line-ups and statistics
Check out Pizarro's scissors kick against Hamburg courtesy of the official Bundesliga YouTube channel: