Football Article

German League Campaigns Finish

German League Campaigns Finish Photo: TT
German league campaigns finish

They were the first major European leagues to resume after the Covid-19 outbreak, and now the first and second divisions of the German Bundesliga have concluded their league seasons.

With the destiny of the league titles in both divisions already long decided Bayern Munich are champions for the 30th team, whilst Arminia Bielefeld secured their promotion from the second tier with games to spare, the main outstanding interest was who would secure the remaining Champions League places, and who would be relegated.

Borussia Dortmund were already assured of runners-up spot, so their home defeat to Hoffenheim proved irrelevant. Meanwhile, Timo Werner, who is about to join Chelsea, scored the two goals for RB Leipzig that not only enabled them to beat Augsburg away from home and seal third place, but also ensure that he leaves the club as their all-time top scorer.

Borussia Mnchoengladbach squeezed past Bayer Leverkusen to take the final Champions League place with a 2 -1 home win over Hertha Berlin, meaning Bayer Leverkusen and Hoffenheim will have to content themselves with Europa League football next season.

The real drama though was reserved for the bottom, where Werder Bremen beat FC Kln at home 6 1 to earn a dramatic reprieve and a chance to stay in the league this season. Four times Bundesliga champions Werder were in danger of being relegated for only the second time in their history, but that win enabled them to leapfrog Fortuna Dusseldorf, who have now been definitely relegated alongside Paderborn.

Instead Werder will go into a two-legged play-off with the third placed team in the Bundesliga 2, which, after another afternoon on Sunday, was confirmed as being Heidenheim.

A small regional club who only gained promotion to Bundesliga 2 for the first time six years ago, they lost 3 0 to Arminia Bielefeld on the final day. However, that was still enough for them to finish ahead of Hamburg, one of the great sides of German football and former European Champions, who must now spend a third season at least in the third tier, as they were thrashed at home by Sandhausen.

History favours Werder to win the play-off. In the past ten seasons, it is the team from the Bundesliga who has beaten their lower league opponents on eight of ten occasions.

Apart from the play-offs, the season is not quite over for some teams. Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen still have to contest the German Cup final in Berlin next month, and Bayern and Leipzig are still involved in the Champions League. In addition, four sides Leverkusen, Eintracht Frankfurt, Hoffenheim and Wolfsburg still have Europa League interest.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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