Ivica Olic celebrated what could prove to be a valuable goal for Wolfsburg in their 2-1 win over VfB Stuttgart
Ivica Olic celebrated what could prove to be a valuable goal for Wolfsburg in their 2-1 win over VfB Stuttgart

Wolves on course; Nürnberg and Braunschweig on the brink

Munich - VfB Stuttgart can breathe a sigh of relief after their survival was confirmed on Matchday 33, but Eintracht Braunschweig and 1. FC Nürnberg’s top-flight hopes are hanging by a thread after another afternoon of high drama and unbeatable tension on the penultimate day of the season.

VfB Stuttgart 1-2 VfL Wolfsburg

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A late Ivica Olic goal kept VfL Wolfsburg's hopes of UEFA Champions League qualification alive after a 2-1 win at VfB Stuttgart, who are now definitely safe despite the defeat.

In-form midfielder Ivan Perisic headed over for the Wolves with the first opening of the game, before the deadlock was broken by Kevin De Bruyne, who drilled a shot into the top corner from the edge of the box that left Sven Ulreich no chance. Ibrahima Traore had Stuttgart's first opportunity to level, but Diego Benaglio saved, before Cacau then fired wide for VfB.

Olic on point

Just before half-time, Rodriguez had Ulreich at full stretch to tip his curling free-kick over, before the hosts grabbed a deserved leveller, Christian Gentner advancing into the penalty area to finish coolly past Benaglio.

After Traore had struck a wonderful effort against the woodwork, Cacau held back the tears as he was given a standing ovation on his final appearance at the Mercedes-Benz-Arena as a Stuttgart player. Olic's goal made it defeat no. 17 for VfB, but the home fans went home happy nonetheless, with Hamburger SV's defeat to FC Bayern München ensuring the Swabians will play in the top flight next season.

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Eintracht Braunschweig 0-1 FC Augsburg

Eintracht Braunschweig were dealt a devastating blow in their battle to avoid the drop after FC Augsburg stole a 1-0 win at the Eintracht-Stadion with the last kick of the game.

The visitors’ Daniel Baier stung keeper Daniel Davari’s palms with a fierce effort early on, before Davari did brilliantly to palm away a deflected Tobias Werner free-kick, with Marcel Correia heading the rebound off the line. The hosts were living dangerously but managed to hold out until half-time, possibly buoyed by news that both relegation rivals Hamburger SV and 1. FC Nürnberg were losing.

Total dejection for Eintracht

The pattern of the game remained the same after the restart, with the Bavarians on top and peppering the hosts’ goal with shots, but the atmosphere and expectation in the stadium gradually rose as news filtered through that both Hamburg and Nürnberg had fallen further behind, meaning a win for the hosts would put them into the play-off spot.

The Lions threw everything forward in the final stages and thought they had the all-important strike when substitute Salim Khelifi controlled in the box and bore down on goal, but Augsburg keeper Marwin Hitz pulled off a stunning reflex save to cruelly deny Torsten Lieberknecht’s men, before substitute Raul Bobadilla’s broke the home side’s hearts with a deft chip win the final kick of the game.

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1. FC Nürnberg 0-2 Hannover 96

1. FC Nürnberg slipped to a sixth successive defeat that leaves their already frayed hopes of Bundesliga survival hanging by a solitary thread after losing 2-0 at home to Hannover 96.

Der Club desperately needed a victory going into this game but were visibly nervous as soon as the ball was rolling, a state of affairs the visitors ruthlessly sought to take advantage of. They did so with just five minutes on the clock when Mike Frantz carelessly gave the ball away in midfield, allowing Szabolcs Huszti to initiate a rapid counter-attack and tuck in the opener from close range after an unselfish past from Artjoms Rudnevs.

Black day for Nürnberg

The afternoon soon went from bad to worse for the side coached by Roger Prinzen after the break when Manuel Schmiedebach made it 2-0, rounding Raphael Schäfer to score for the first time in 120 Bundesliga matches. From then on Hannover shifted down a gear and were content to compactly defend their lead.

The lack of fighting spirit shown by Nürnberg was alarming given their present plight and they never looked like scoring in a must-win game. Their last hopes of securing the relegation play-off spot next week in an already-daunting fixture away to FC Schalke 04 also suffered a huge blow as Timothy Chandler, Javier Pinola and Marvin Plattenhardt all picked up bookings that leave them suspended.

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SV Werder Bremen 2-0 Hertha Berlin

Departing midfielder Aaron Hunt scored twice as SV Werder Bremen eased to a 2-0 victory over Hertha Berlin.

Despite having leading scorer Adrian Ramos back in the starting line-up following injury, Hertha struggled to create anything of note over the course of a low-key first half. Hunt's 50th competitive goal in a Bremen shirt soon livened things up, though, with the former Germany international guiding Franco Di Santo's cute pass beyond Thomas Kraft within five minutes of the restart.

Hunt's parting gift

The goal inevitably forced the visitors to come out of their shell, albeit without once testing Bremen goalkeeper Raphael Wolf. Die Grün-Weißen's well-drilled back four continued to frustrate the capital club, who almost fell further behind to Sebastian Prödl's rising 77th-minute drive.

Norwegian Player of the Year Per Skjelbred then stuck out a boot to foil Hunt, who was not to be denied his second of the afternoon on his final appearance in a Bremen shirt at the Weser Stadion. Clemens Fritz provided the final ball following a blistering counter, with the hosts' outbound hero dancing free and wrapping up the points in injury time.

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