The best of German football from the Bundesliga and beyond
Steve McClaren's career is really starting to rebuild itself quite nicely.
Fresh from winning the Dutch Eredivisie with FC Twente - the clubs' first ever title victory – the miraculously Dutch-sounding Englishman has now moved to last season's Bundesliga champions, VfL Wolfsburg, to replace coach Lorenz-Guenther Kostner.
Kostner, at least, signed off his half-year tenure at the Volkswagen Arena with a 3-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt, as striker Edin Dzeko grabbed his 22nd league goal of the campaign to put him one ahead of Leverkusen's Stefan Kiessling in the scoring charts.
Kiessling, having failed to score in Leverkusen's 1-1 draw with Munchengladbach, ends the season in second place in the race for the Bundesliga’s golden boot. That's now 48 league goals for Dzeko in two seasons – an incredible haul, especially with his team struggling this season to finish anywhere near a respectable position.
Not even a brace in Bayern Munchen's 3-1 win at relegated Hertha Berlin could keep Arjen Robben in contention for the honour, as the Oranje winger ended the season on 16 league strikes; still, a fantastic achievement for a winger (although didn't Cristiano Ronaldo play on the wing for Manchester United last season?).
Bayern's title winning celebrations can be found here. Well-deserved, it must be said. And they're still on for the treble, with the DFB final against Bremen on Saturday, and the Champions League final against Inter Milan a week later.
Schalke's season-long search for a maiden Bundesliga success ended in disappointing fashion, with a drab stalemate away at Mainz.
Kevin Kuranyi, tipped by many to play a part in Germany's World Cup campaign until coach Jogi Low put an end to that by leaving him out of the squad last week, has since agreed a move to Russia to join Dynamo Moscow, having previously been linked with Juventus.
The consolation for Schalke, of course, is an automatic place in next season's Champions League, meaning a minimum €20 million boost to their currently decimated finances.
But this weekend gone by was all about the relegation battle, and who would follow Hertha Berlin out of the Bundesliga.
Well, the answer is Bochum, as they turned in a performance fully worthy of relegation to the 2. Bundesliga, going down 0-3 at home to fellow battlers Hannover.
And with Hannover's victory comes FC Nurnberg's 16th place finish – meaning a two-legged playoff with 2. Bundesliga third-placed team FC Augsburg for the spot in the top league next season.
I'm going with Nurnberg to stay up, just.
So, in effect, it didn't really matter what Nurnberg did on Saturday with Hannover's victory, but they won nonetheless, against a FC Koln team seemingly already on their summer holidays. 1-0 to the home team, goal scored by Bayern Munchen loanee Andreas Ottl.
SC Freiburg ended the season on a high by beating Dortmund 3-1, and they'll be hoping to take their end of season good form into 2010/2011 – 10 points from their last five games allowed them to go into the matchday 34 with absolutely no concerns for their Bundesliga future.
And the big derby game up north, Werder Bremen at home to Hamburger SV at the Weserstadion, ended up a stalemate, but a stalemate good enough to put the home team into the qualifying stages of the UEFA Champions League next season.
Leverkusen will be gutted to only end up in the Europa League after their pre-Christmas form, but only have themselves to blame as Bremen took full advantage of their drop in form to secure third place with two points to spare.
Ruud van Nistelrooy, who it's fair to say hasn't really enjoyed the sort of maiden Bundesliga season that he'd have hoped for, scored Hamburg's equalising goal, taking his tally to five league goals for the season. Rather disappointing for the once-prolific ex-Manchester United frontman.
The only other game, Hoffenheim against Stuttgart, ended up 1-1, with neither team having anything to play for apart from putting on a good show for their fans, although they obviously weren't that bothered about that, either!
That’s probably a bit harsh on Stuttgart’s Brazilian striker Cacau, who scored a spectacular opening goal where following a quick succession of slick passes, as Stuttgart took the ball from the edge of their area to the back of the Hoffenheim net within about 15 seconds. Great goal, more of that at the World Cup please, Cacau.
Definitely the Bundesliga goal of the week.
BUNDESLIGA RESULTS Sat 08 May Hertha Berlin 1-3 FC Bayern Munchen, 1899 Hoffenheim 1-1 VfB Stuttgart, Werder Bremen 1-1 Hamburger SV, SC Freiburg 3-1 Borussia Dortmund, FSV Mainz 0-0 Schalke 04, Borussia M’gladbach 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen,VfL Bochum 0-3 Hannover 96, FC Nurnberg 1-0 FC Koln, VfL Wolfsburg 3-1 Eintracht Frankfurt.This week's fixtures, along with The Fundesliga's predictions:
WednesdayRelegation playoff, first leg.FC Nurnberg 2-1 FC AugsburgSaturdayDFB Pokal finalFC Bayern Munchen 3-1 Werder BremenSundayRelegation playoff, second leg.FC Augsburg 1-1 FC Nurnberg
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