Bayern Munich secured Champions League qualification after an 8-1 goal-fest at St Pauli ensured they will finish at least third and relegated their Hamburg-based hosts on Saturday.
Bayern’s rout closes the gap on second-placed Bayer Leverkusen, who drew 1-1 at Hamburg SV, and means Bayern could now finish second when the season finishes on Saturday.
Bayern will need Leverkusen to lose at SC Freiburg on Saturday and pick up a win at home to VfB Stuttgart themselves to claim second, with only the top two teams qualifying for the Champions League automatically.
Third place in the Bundesliga means entry to the Champions League play-off round, the final stage before the group phase.
Fourth-placed Hanover 96’s 2-1 loss at Stuttgart means Bayern cannot finish lower than third, while 2007 champions Stuttgart moved up to 11th.
Fresh from having been confirmed this year’s league winners on May 1, Borussia Dortmund suffered a 2-0 defeat at Werder Bremen, who are now assured of Bundesliga soccer next season.
FSV Mainz 05 will play Europa League soccer next season after their 3-1 win at Schalke 04.
Mainz cannot now finish lower than fifth.
At the bottom of the table, Borussia Moenchengladbach are on course to pull off one of the most remarkable escape acts after they beat Freiburg 2-0.
The win leaves them 16th and they are level with 2009 champions VfL Wolfsburg, whose 2-1 defeat at home to Kaiserslautern has dragged them back into the relegation fight.
Eintracht Frankfurt’s 2-0 defeat at home to Cologne means they are set to be relegated next weekend and 200 fans invaded the pitch after the defeat.
They must beat champions Dortmund at home next weekend and hope results go their way to be sure of survival.
In Saturday’s other game, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim downed Nuremberg 2-1.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER