Nuremberg and Braunschweig relegated
By Ciaran Fahey ,AP
May 12, 2014, 12:03 am TWN
BERLIN -- Nuremberg and Eintracht Braunschweig were relegated on the final day of the Bundesliga season Saturday, while Bayer Leverkusen clinched the last Champions League qualification place.
Leverkusen came from behind to beat Werder Bremen 2-1 and secure fourth place immediately above Wolfsburg, which beat sixth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach 3-1.
“We knew we had to win,” Leverkusen striker Eren Derdiyok said.
Hamburger SV got the relegation playoff place despite losing 3-2 at Mainz, which secured Europa League football next season by finishing seventh.
Mainz general manager Christian Heidel said after the game that Thomas Tuchel wanted to resign after five years in charge.
“He has a contract until 2015. We don't want to rescind the contract,” Heidel said. Media reports were linking Tuchel with Schalke.
Neither Nuremberg nor Braunschweig could capitalize on Hamburg's loss. Nuremberg lost 4-1 at Schalke and Braunschweig stayed bottom after a 3-1 loss at Hoffenheim.
It was a Bundesliga record eighth relegation for Nuremberg, while Braunschweig returns to the second division one season after securing promotion.
“When you look back over 34 games we simply didn't get enough points, that's a fact,” Braunschweig midfielder Mirko Boland said.
Hamburg, the only side to have played every Bundesliga season since the league was formed in 1963, now faces home and away games against the third-placed finisher in the second division for a place in the top flight next season.
“On Thursday at home we have to win,” Hamburg coach Mirko Slomka said of the first leg.
Hamburg completed its worst ever league campaign, with 75 goals conceded, more than any other side.
“We still have a chance and we'll give everything we can,” Hamburg midfielder Rafael van der Vaart said.
Robert Lewandowski scored twice in his last game for Borussia Dortmund, a 4-0 win at Hertha Berlin, to finish as the league's top scorer with 20 goals.
The Polish striker opened the scoring in the 41st and Milos Jojic curled a fine effort from the right of the penalty area inside the far post three minutes later.
Lewandowski, who is joining Bayern Munich next season, scored with a brilliant free kick in the 80th, two minutes before Henrikh Mkhitaryan completed the goals.