Frankfurt slip up against Schalke

A review of the weekend's action in the German Bundesliga, with Eintracht Frankfurt losing ground in the race for Europe.

Last Updated: 17/03/13 at 19:00 Post Comment

Celebrations for Stuttgart at Frankfurt.

Celebrations for Stuttgart at Frankfurt.

Eintracht Frankfurt missed the chance to pull clear of Bundesliga rivals Schalke in the race for a Champions League spot next season after slumping to a 2-1 defeat at home to Stuttgart.

With Schalke losing 3-0 at Nurnberg yesterday, Frankfurt could have moved three points clear of the men from Gelsenkirchen in the battle for fourth place had they beaten Stuttgart on Sunday afternoon.

But the poor recent form which had seen Frankfurt earn just three points from their previous five matches struck again.

Stefan Aigner gave Frankfurt the lead after 17 minutes - their first goal in six weeks - but Vedad Ibisevic equalised with a penalty in the 48th minute and Georg Niedermeier gave Stuttgart the victory with his header 19 minutes from time.

Frankfurt remain fourth on goal difference, ahead of Schalke.

Borussia Monchengladbach climbed two places to seventh, just one point behind Frankfurt and Schalke, thanks to a 1-0 home win over Hannover.

The only goal came in the 36th minute from Luuk De Jong, who clipped a close-range finish beyond Ron-Robert Zieler after taking on a smart short-range pass from Patrick Herrmann.

On Saturday, Bayern Munich gained revenge for a 2-1 defeat at home to Bayer Leverkusen by winning the reverse fixture by the same scoreline at the BayArena.

Mario Gomez put Jupp Heynckes' side in front, but they needed a rather fortunate own goal from Philipp Wollscheid to win the game late on after Simon Rolfes had brought the hosts level.

The win restores Bayern's 20-point cushion at the top of the table with only eight games of the season left while Leverkusen now trail second-placed Borussia Dortmund by four points and remain six clear of Eintracht Frankfurt and Schalke in fourth.

Freiburg conceded five goals for the second game in a row with Borussia Dortmund coming from behind to win 5-1 and reduce the arrears on the runaway league leaders Bayern Munich to 17 points.

Three goals in five minutes helped Dortmund turn the game around after Jonathan Schmid had given the visitors the lead in the 28th minute.

Nuri Sahin got his name on the scoresheet twice as the Westphalians left their opponents no chance and cemented their second place in the table, Robert Lewandowski also netting a brace while Leonardo Bittencourt got a late fifth.

Freiburg's first goal in Dortmund in over 11 years, a close-range volley from Schmid, appeared to sting the home side.

Nurnberg piled more misery on Schalke with a convincing 3-0 win at the Frankenstadion, which lifted them to a safe distance from the relegation zone and left the Royal Blues licking their wounds after a second crushing defeat in five days.

Schalke hit the woodwork twice but it simply was not their day as, after being eliminated from the Champions League by Galatasaray in midweek, they saw their bid for a top-four Bundesliga finish suffer a setback.

Markus Feulner put Nurnberg ahead before half-time with further goals from Alexander Esswein and Mike Frantz earning Michael Wiesinger's side all three points, moving them 10 points clear of the drop zone.

Augsburg boosted their survival hopes with a 1-0 victory in Hamburg which reduced the gap to 15th-placed Stuttgart to just five points and dented the home team's hopes of playing in Europe next season.

Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker scored the only goal of the game in the eighth minute, while Hamburg's woes were compounded by a red card shown to Maximilian Beister late on.

The home side had chances to level and even to win the game, but lacked incision in front of goal, while Augsburg goalkeeper Mohamed Amsif played his part in what could prove to be a crucial win for the Bavarians.

Werder Bremen's troubled season continued as they were held 2-2 at home by bottom club Greuther Furth whose new coach Frank Kramer had an encouraging first game in charge.

Two penalties from Aaron Hunt did not appease the home fans, who vented their anger at yet another lacklustre performance and disappointing home result for the northern Germany side, who can forget about any lingering hope they had of qualifying for Europe next season.

Stephan Furstner and Thanos Petsos accounted for Furth's goals as they picked up their 15th point of the season, remaining 14 points adrift of safety with eight games of the season remaining.

Hoffenheim's Bundesliga future is looking bleaker after they were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Mainz.

With Augsburg beating Hamburg, a point for Hoffenheim leaves them four points behind the Bavarians, who occupy the relegation play-off berth, and nine points adrift of safety with only seven games to go.

Mainz move up to sixth in the table, taking advantage of Hamburg's defeat.

Mainz could have taken the lead in the 17th minute when Nikolce Noveski headed against the post from Alexander Ivanschitz's free-kick.

Wolfsburg and Fortuna Dusseldorf shared the spoils at the VW-Arena as a 1-1 draw left both sides in the wrong half of the Bundesliga.

Mathis Bolly gave the visitors a surprise lead late in the first half, but Wolfsburg's top scorer Ivica Olic earned his side a point in the 51st minute.

After a 5-2 win at Freiburg last weekend, the result will be regarded as a setback for Wolfsburg, who missed the chance to reduce the arrears on the top six to five points.

Fortuna will be pleased with a point which gives them an eight-point cushion over the bottom three.


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