Relegation-threatened Hamburg, Wolfsburg lose in Bundesliga

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Berlin, May 6 (IANS) Eintracht Frankfurt cruised 3-0 past Hamburg to leave the latter on the brink of relegation while RB Leipzig eased past struggling VfL Wolfsburg 4-1 in the 33rd round in the Bundesliga football championship.

Following the 0-3 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, Hamburg are in need of a victory over Borussia Monchengladbach at the last round next week to avoid the club’s first relegation in the German league history, reports Xinhua news agency.

Frankfurt and Hamburg staged a balanced opening period with chances at both ends of the pitch. Gideon Jung defused Sebastien Haller’s promising chance for Frankfurt before the video referee disallowed Hamburg the opener from Tatsuya Ito in the 25th minute.

The hosts broke the deadlock six minutes later after Haller’s through ball found Marius Wolf, who nutmegged Hamburg goalkeeper Julian Pollersbeck from eleven metres.

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After the restart, Hamburg piled on the pressure and pressed forward while Frankfurt defended deep in their territory. However, the visitors lacked penetration and got another goal flagged offside in the 69th minute.

Things went from bad to worse for Hamburg as Frankfurt’s Omar Mascarell hammered home from 13 meters in the 77th minute.

Frankfurt were not done with the scoring and wrapped up a 3-0 victory in the dying minutes of the game through substitute Alexander Meier.

With the defeat, second-bottom Hamburg sit two points adrift of a relegation play-off spot with one match to spare while 7th-placed Frankfurt eye a berth in Europe.

Ademola Lookman’s brace helped to maintain Leipzig’s Champions League ambitions and to increase Wolfsburg’s relegation worries with one round to play and three points to safety.

After four consecutive winless games in a row, Leipzig needed some time to gain a foothold in the clash whereas Wolfsburg came to their chances through Divock Origi and Josip Brekalo early in the game.

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Nevertheless, it were the hosts who scored the opener out of the blue as Jean-Kevin Augustin’s cross found Lookman inside the box in the 24th minute.

Ralph Hasenhuettl’s men went in search for more and were rewarded ten minutes later after Timo Werner slotted home Augustin’s assist from twelve meters.

After the restart, Wolfsburg rallied back and were able to reduce the gap with two minutes into the second half with a goal from Daniel Didavi.

It was a short-lived joy for the hosts though as Lookman restored Leipzig’s two-goal lead five minutes later. To make things worse, Augustin slotted home to make it 4-1 in the 63rd minute.

With the victory, Leipzig stay sixth with two points to a place in Champions League while 16th-placed Wolfsburg continue on a relegation play-off spot.

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Elsewhere, newly-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich came from behind to beat relegated Cologne 3-1.

Runners-up Schalke returned to winning ways and secured their Champions League berth for next season after edging Augsburg 2-1.

Mainz maintain their top flight status after overcoming third-placed Borussia Dortmund 2-1 on the goals from Ridle Baku and Yoshinori Muto.

Newly-promoted Stuttgart increased their chances for a berth in Europe after downing 4th-placed Hoffenheim with ten-men and a brace from Mario Gomez.

Borussia Monchengladbach raised their hopes of a place in Europe after moving 3-1 past relegation threatened Freiburg.

Hannover edged Hertha Berlin 3-1 and Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen settled for a goalless draw.

–IANS

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