Bundesliga: Leipzig books Champions League place, Dortmund stakes claim

Saturday May 6th, 2017

BERLIN (AP) Leipzig booked its place in the Champions League by beating Hertha Berlin 4-1, Borussia Dortmund staked its claim for direct qualification, and Darmstadt was relegated from the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Leipzig can finish no worse than third in its debut season after a record 20th win for a promoted side.

''We've achieved something remarkable. We belong among the best teams in Europe,'' said forward Timo Werner, who scored twice.

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Werner opened the scoring early with a header to Marcel Sabitzer's cross and claimed another early in the second half following a costly slip from Rene Jarstein. The Hertha goalkeeper played the ball straight to Yussuf Poulsen, who passed to the grateful Werner for a tap-in.

An own goal from Rani Khedira with five minutes remaining raised Hertha's hopes of a point, but two quick-fire goals from Davie Selke ensured Leipzig's automatic qualification for the Champions League.

Hertha stayed fifth, but Cologne, Werder Bremen, and Freiburg are all close behind.

BORUSSIA DORTMUND 2, HOFFENHEIM 1

With two rounds remaining, Dortmund rose to third, two points above fourth-placed Hoffenheim, which is assured of at least a playoff for the Champions League in its best-ever season.

''It's fundamentally important not to lose the concentration. We want to win three more times this season,'' said Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel, whose side also faces Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Cup final on May 27.

Marco Reus fired the home side into a fourth-minute lead, though Hoffenheim's players were incensed as TV replays showed the Germany attacker was a meter offside for Gonzalo Castro's forward ball.

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Reus was booked for elbowing Steven Zuber, and the visitors had further reason for complaint when Felix Brych awarded Dortmund a penalty early in the first half for an apparent hand-ball by Pavel Kaderabek. Reus used his arm to control the ball before his cross hit Kaderabek's arm.

But Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failed to take advantage, sending the spot kick to the left of the post.

Aubemayang made up for the miss with his joint-leading 28th goal for 2-0 with less than 10 minutes remaining, heading in the rebound from close range after Raphael Guerreiro hit the post.

Andrej Kramaric pulled one back from the penalty spot after Matthias Ginter hauled down Sandro Wagner, but Dortmund held on to move stay six points behind second-placed Leipzig.

BAYERN MUNICH 1, DARMSTADT 0

Bottom-side Darmstadt was finally relegated as its unprecedented three-game winning run was brought to a halt by Bayern, which wrapped up its record fifth straight title last weekend.

Juan Bernat scored early with a quick change of feet and fine shot to the far corner, but Bayern - which was playing with several second-choice players - failed to push on.

Reserve goalkeeper Tom Starke saved a late penalty from Darmstadt's Hamit Altintop.

EINTRACHT FRANKFURT 0, WOLFSBURG 2

Mario Gomez scored one and set up another for Wolfsburg to ease its relegation concerns in Frankfurt. Wolfsburg, which had four defeats in its previous five games, moved three points above relegation rivals Hamburger SV and Mainz ahead of their meeting on Sunday.

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BORUSSIA MOENCHENGLADBACH 1, AUGSBURG 1

Andre Hahn struck in the fourth minute of injury time to leave his former side Augsburg level with Wolfsburg, just three points above Hamburg and Mainz. Hamburg was in the relegation playoff spot on account of its inferior goal difference to Mainz.

INGOLSTADT 1, BAYER LEVERKUSEN 1

Leverkusen produced another lackluster performance in what sporting director Rudi Voeller has called a ''cursed season.'' Ingolstadt remained second from bottom, three points behind Hamburg and Mainz.

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