Mon, May 14, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Hamburger SV relegated as chaos disrupts play


Hamburg SV fans throw flares and smoke bombs onto the pitch as riot police line up during the team’s Bundesliga match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday.

Photo: Reuters

This time, there was no miraculous escape.

Hamburger SV were on Saturday finally relegated from the Bundesliga amid chaotic scenes.

The only ever-present since the league was founded in 1963, der Dino went down fighting after 54 seasons by beating Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1.

The game ended with lines of police on the pitch after fans behind one of the goals lit flares and pyrotechnics, throwing some onto the pitch and sending a huge cloud of black smoke over that side of the stadium.

Most fans reacted with anger to the disturbances, chanting: “We are the people of Hamburg and you’re not!” and “Get them out!”

After flirting with relegation in recent seasons, Hamburg needed a win and a favor from already-relegated Cologne against VfL Wolfsburg to maintain hope of another escape.

However, Wolfsburg’s 4-1 victory left Hamburg two points short of the relegation playoff place.

“We experienced miracles in the last years, but miracles don’t go on forever,” Hamburg great Uwe Seeler said.

Instead, Wolfsburg are to play Holstein Kiel, who finished third in the second division, in a two-leg playoff to determine who plays in the top flight next season.

Some Hamburg players broke down and cried after referee Felix Brych finally ended the game after a long hold-up due to the disturbances.

“It was just a few who have no business in a stadium,” said Christian Titz, Hamburg’s third coach of the season.

Meanwhile, SC Freiburg secured their survival by beating Augsburg 2-0.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim reached the Champions League with a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund, who also qualified despite the loss in fourth place.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen might have pipped Dortmund to Europe’s top competition on goal difference, but fell short in a 3-2 win over Hannover 96 and must be content with fifth place and Europa League qualification.

RB Leipzig also reached the Europa League after defeating Hertha BSC 6-2.

Bayern Munich, who sealed the title with five rounds to go, celebrated with the trophy and medals despite losing at home to VfB Stuttgart 4-1.

League president Reinhard Rauball handed the trophy to goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who has not played since September last year due to injury and faces a race against time to be fit for the World Cup.

Stuttgart boosted their chances of Europa League qualification by taking seventh place, enough to qualify if Bayern wins the DFB-Pokal Final against Eintracht Frankfurt.

The winner qualifies for the Europa League, but Bayern has already reached the Champions League.

Eintracht Frankfurt lost 1-0 at second-place Schalke 04 and finished eighth, two points behind Stuttgart.

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