Gladbach books last Champions League spot with 2-1 win

Borussia Moenchengladbach capped a successful season by booking a spot in the Champions League, beating Hertha Berlin 2-1 on the final day to finish fourth in the Bundesliga.

Gladbach's Breel Embolo scores the second goal in a Bundesliga game against Hertha Berlin.   -  Reuters Photo

Borussia Moenchengladbach capped a successful season by booking a spot in the Champions League, beating Hertha Berlin 2-1 on the final day to finish fourth in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Jonas Hofmann tapped in after good work from Breel Embolo as Gladbach controlled the game throughout. By the 65th minute they had 17 shots compared to Hertha’s one.

The host also hit the woodwork twice before Embolo turned scorer from a Hofmann assist after he shook off two markers in the 78th.

Vedad Ibisevic cut the deficit in stoppage time but could not stop Marco Rose’s team from earning their third straight league win and booking their ticket for the hugely lucrative Champions League group stage for the first time since 2016.

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“We are already looking forward to hearing the (Champions League) anthem, hopefully soon with fans again,” said Gladbach defender Christoph Kramer.

Clubs are desperate for major cash injections through qualification for Europe’s premier club competition after a sharp drop in revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic that shut the Bundesliga for more than two months. All games are currently being played without fans.

Gladbach, who had leapfrogged Bayer Leverkusen into fourth place last week, finished on 65 points, two ahead of Leverkusen.

The top four teams qualify automatically for the Champions League group stage.

Bayern demolishes Wolfsburg 4-0

Bayern Munich, already crowned Bundesliga champions last week, lifted the league trophy in an empty stadium after crushing hosts VfL Wolfsburg 4-0 on the final matchday.

The Bavarians, who have matched a club record of 25 matches in all competitions without defeat and are unbeaten in the Bundesliga in 2020, went ahead in the fourth minute with Kingsley Coman netting from Thomas Mueller’s 21st assist, a league record.

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Mickael Cuisance then rifled in from 25 metres for a sensational goal in the 37th and the 20-year-old Frenchman earned a penalty, which resulted in Joshua Guilavogui being sent off with a second booking. Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski converted it for his 34th goal of the season.

The Polish striker earned his fifth Bundesliga top scorer award and his third in a row. Mueller then made it 4-0 in the 79th minute as Bayern took their season goal tally to 100, one less than the league record set by them in the 1971-72 season.

For Wolfsburg the defeat denied them a direct Europa League group stage spot, leaving them in seventh place.

Hoffenheim stuns Borussia Dortmund

Andrej Kramaric became the first Hoffenheim player to score four goals in a Bundesliga game, overwhelming Borussia Dortmund with a one-sided 4-0 away victory.

 

The Croatian striker, his club’s top scorer this season, took his campaign tally to 13 as Europa League-bound Hoffenheim moved above VfL Wolfsburg to finish in fifth place on 52 points.

Dortmund were already confirmed as runners-up to Bayern Munich, but after this embarrassing home defeat finished 13 points adrift of Bayern.

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