Bayern, Dortmund lose; relegation keeps Bundesliga exciting
BERLIN (AP) — Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund lost in the Bundesliga on Saturday. But the real drama was elsewhere.
Hertha Berlin thought it had survival secured until it conceded in injury time to draw at Arminia Bielefeld 1-1 while Stuttgart also scored late to keep the relegation scrap going into the final two games.
Hertha substitutes Luca Wollschläger and Maximilian Mittelstädt should have scored their team’s second goal to secure the win when they had only the goalkeeper to beat in the 88th minute, and Hertha was to rue their gaping miss when Joakim Nilsson equalized for Bielefeld.
Chris Führich scored in the 89th for Stuttgart to draw against visiting Wolfsburg 1-1.
Former Hertha defender John Brooks struck a blow for his old team when he scored in the 13th for Wolfsburg.
But the late goals mean Hertha, Stuttgart and Bielefeld can all still be relegated, while Augsburg is also not yet safe after losing at home to Cologne 4-1.
Bielefeld remained second to last on 27 points, Stuttgart was in the relegation playoff spot with 29, Hertha was on 33 and Augsburg 35 with two rounds remaining.
“It doesn’t change anything,” Hertha forward Prince Boateng said as he looked toward his team’s next game against Mainz. “We have a game at home now in which we can finish the job.”
Bayern, which clinched the league title last weekend, lost 3-1 in Mainz, where the home team also struck the goal-frame four times in a dominant performance.
Mainz had 22 attempts at goal in contrast to Bayern’s seven.
Robert Lewandowski took his league-leading tally to 34 goals for Bayern, which conceded goals to Jonathan Burkardt, Moussa Niakhaté and Leandro Barreiro.
“We always need a certain passion for the game. We didn’t have that today. It’s human when you’ve just become champion. But we still carry the Bayern crest on our chests,” Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann said.
Erling Haaland scored a hat trick for Dortmund, but it wasn’t enough as Bochum came from behind to win 4-3 and secure its survival. That game featured three penalties – all awarded for handball infringements.
Bochum raced into a two-goal lead with Sebastian Polter and Gerrit Holtmann stunning the home fans in the first eight minutes. Haaland responded with two penalties by the 30th. It took the Norwegian’s tally to 60 goals in 65 Bundesliga appearances – no other player reached that mark as fast.
Haaland completed his hat trick in the 62nd, sweeping the ball toward goal with his left boot only to deflect it in with his right knee.
But Jürgen Locadia equalized in the 81st and Milos Pantovic converted the next penalty to complete a famous Bochum win.
“If I look at the table and see 50 goals conceded, then it’s clear what the core issue is,” said Dortmund coach Marco Rose, whose team is all but certain to finish second.
German Cup finalist Freiburg moved to fourth and the last qualification place for the Champions League after beating Hoffenheim 4-3.
Mark Flekken produced a fine one-handed save in injury time to deny Hoffenheim’s Kasim Adams an equalizer with Georginio Rutter sending the rebound over from close range.
Freiburg moved level with third-placed Bayer Leverkusen and a point ahead of Leipzig. Leverkusen plays Eintracht Frankfurt on Monday, when Leipzig visits Borussia Mönchengladbach.
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Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP