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Hamburg drop out of Bundesliga after 55 years
Hamburg were relegated on Saturday from the Bundesliga after 55 consecutive seasons in the German top flight. To have had any chance of survival Christian Titz’s men needed to beat Borussia Moenchengladbach and Wolfsburg had to lose to Cologne.
Hamburg fulfilled their part of the deal with a 2-1 win over Moenchengladbach at the Volkparkstadion.
However Wolfsburg thrashed already relegated Cologne 4-1 to finish third from bottom. Wolfsburg will next face second division Holstein Kiel in a two leg play-off for a place in next season’s Bundesliga.
Hamburg were the only side to have been in the Bundesliga since its creation in 1963. The feat earned them the nickname ‘the dinosaurs’. But that accolade will, like the creatures of yore, become obsolete.
The club could even face the new season in the second tier with sanctions after some of the 57,000 supporters threw flares and fireworks onto the pitch in Hamburg with a few minutes remaining.
The match was halted for 15 minutes while police restored order. It restarted and, with both sides aware of the score between Wolfsburg and Cologne, the players went through the motions before referee Felix Brych blew the final whistle.
At the other end of the table, Hoffenheim claimed third place and a berth in next season’s Uefa Champions League as they beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1.
Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Buerki gifted Hoffenheim possession with a dreadful clearance on 26 minutes, allowing Andrej Kramaric to fire the home side in front.
Marco Reus equalised for Dortmund after half-time but goals from Adam Szalai and Pavel Kaderabek allowed Hoffenheim to surge into Europe's most prestigious club competition along with Dortmund who finished fourth.
Schalke, long assured of second place, ended the season with a 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt who play next week in the final of the German Cup against Bayern Munich.
Thoughts of that showdown at the Olympia Stadion in Berlin are likely to be given as the reason for Bayern’s 4-1 loss a home to Stuttgart.
Daniel Ginczek gave the visitors the lead in the fifth minute at the Allianz Arena. Corentin Tolisso levelled for the hosts mid way through the first-half. Anastasios Donis and Chadrac Akolo scored either side of the break to put Stuttgart in command before Ginczek bagged his brace.
After the thrashing, Bayern were presented with the Bundesliga trophy for the sixth season in a row.
Coach Jupp Heynckes, who came out of retirement to take over from Carlo Ancelotti in October, led the celebrations. The 73-year-old will be replaced next season by his Eintracht Frankfurt counterpart Niko Kovac.