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May 3, 2014
• Imtech Arena, Hamburg
Referee: M. Fritz
• Attendance: 57000
H. Çalhanoğlu 72'
M. Götze 32', 69'
T. Müller 55'
C. Pizarro 75'
The final whistle has blown, and it's finished Hamburg 1-4 Bayern Munich! The hosts' Bundesliga fate can now only be decided by a relegation play-off at best, otherwise it's curtains on their 53-year stay in the top tier. The fans know it too, as a banner from the crowd reads 'We'll be back one day'. I've been Livio Caferoglu and it's auf wiedersehen from me!
90' + 1'
John gets a rare sniff of goal as he almost meets a clearance, but Neuer times his run off the line impeccably to clear the ball away.
Two minutes of time have been added on by the referee.
Jiracek creeps in at the back post to meet Rincon's dangerous cross from the right-hand side, but he is only a whisker away from making a connection.
Yellow Card Kerem Demirbay
Red Card Jerome Boateng
... BUT BOATENG IS SHOWN A STRAIGHT RED CARD!!! The defender was expected to see just a yellow, but he then appeared to raise his arm at Demirbay, and the referee was left with no choice but to send the stopper off.
Demirbay shamelessly dives in the area - much to the chagrin of Boateng, who shouts abuse in the face of the youngster for his display of theatrics. The Turkish starlet is rightly shown a yellow card for his role in the handbags.
OH LAHM!!!!! He may not get many shooting opportunities, but he sees his latest opportunity on the volley whistle just over! Gotze performed a wonderful Cruyff turn to get away from Jiracek, before Muller backheeled the ball into the full-back's path.
Hamburg look to have run out of steam here, as they are merely chasing shadows. Bayern are well on top and could even extend their lead at this rate.
It promises to be an exciting last matchday in the 2013-14 Bundesliga season, if the scores stay as they are. With Nurnberg losing and Braunschweig due to play later, the top-flight representative for the relegation playoff is yet to be decided!
Goal Claudio Pizarro
Pizarro comes off the bench to make it six goals in his last five appearances against Hamburg, as his initial strike is saved by Adler, but it loops in the air and he executes a fine overhead kick to finalise Bayern's victory in style!
BAYERN ARE BACK IN BUSINESS - IT'S NOW 4-1!!!!!
Assist Kerem Demirbay
Goal Hakan Calhanoglu
It's that man Calhanoglu, who brings down a diagonal pass with his chest before firing home a tenacious drive from the edge of the box, with Neuer only able to pick the ball out of the net!
GOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL FOR HAMBURG!!!!!!!!!!!!
Assist Thomas Müller
Goal Mario Götze
GOTZE STRIKES AGAIN!!!!!! Robben surges towards the box at breakneck speed and finds Gotze, who, at the far post, touches the ball over the line for his second of the afternoon - not his third! It's since emerged that Muller was culpable for the goal that made it two to Bayern.
Rafael van der Vaart
Hamburg desperately need to involve Calhanoglu more often. The attacking midfielder is set to leave Hamburg in the summer but can only boost his prospects of joining a major European outfit by scoring against the German champions.
WHAT A STRIKE!!!! Calhanoglu, from the left, homes in and rifles an unstoppable effort which Neuer defies by brilliantly parrying over the bar!
Yellow Card Javi Martínez
Bayern take a short corner with Lahm, but it's all too pedestrian as it's closed down in an instant.
Dennis Diekmeier sees his nightmare start to the second half abruptly ended, as Ola John is thrown on in his place. It's a brave move from Hamburg boss Mirko Slomka - damage limitation is certainly out of the question now!
OH ALABA!!! 'The hosts almost self-destruct as Diekmeier horribly skews a clearance in the box, with Alaba on speed dial to sweep up the loose ball, but the full-back sees his volleyed effort soar into the orbit!
Assist Mario Götze
Goal Thomas Müller
GOTZE GRABS HIS SECOND!!!!! A corner is played into the box by Robben, and it falls to the ex-Dortmund starlet, who hits a half-volley low and hard into the bottom-left corner of Adler's net! It may have taken a nick off a Hamburg shirt, but the fact remains - Hamburg are behind by two goals.
Much better from Hamburg, as Westermann touches the ball in the air just enough to divert Muller's finish away from goal, before Mancienne's sliding tackle on Robben is executed to perfection.
OOOOH... !!! Robben sneaks into the box and ghosts past Mancienne, but he cannot do the same to get beyond Adler, as the goalkeeper spreads his body and smothers the danger.
Calhanoglu charges down the right after being released by Diekmeier, but the pass is slightly overhit and a goal kick is given to Bayern.
PENALTY? Van der Vaart seems to think so, as he sees a cross deflect off the tip of Dante's shoulder in the area, but the appeals are minimal and nothing avails of the Dutchman's finger-wagging.
Tesche is brought down by Martinez on the edge of the box. Van der Vaart's free kick is whipped into a crowded melee of bodies, and Ilicevic jumps highest to head the ball, but it's easily gathered by Neuer.
The referee blows his whistle to signal the start of the second half!
Both teams trudge down the tunnel, with Bayern leading Hamburg 1-0 at half-time. Join me in 15 minutes for the restart!
ILICEVIC... NOOOO!!!! The striker is left kicking himself after meeting Van der Vaart's clever lay-off on the edge of the Bayern box. He fails to hit the target in a promising position, despite being in bundles of space!
It's probably important to note that the team who finishes in the third Bundesliga relegation spot will face the third-placed second-tier side in a playoff. The winner of that particular match would spend next season in the top flight.
WORLD CLASS!!!! Neuer redeems himself with an absolutely terrific save to stop Van der Vaart! The Dutchman turns Boateng on a sixpence and executes a beautiful volley, which is superbly tipped over by the custodian.
HOW DID THEY MISS THAT?!?! Robben flights a free kick towards the right-hand post, and it's brilliantly flicked on by Gotze, but somehow no Bayern player can meet the former Dortmund's touch in the box!
Ilicevic is denied by the linesman twice in quick succession, as the offside flag is raised. Hamburg are looking to pick holes in the Bayern defence, and on both occasions, their through passes have rolled beyond the back four of the visitors.
Alaba plays a fantastic square pass to Gotze on the opposing flank, and he lays it off for Schweinsteiger, who hits the volley into the ground and Adler's grateful gloves.
That's a heartbreaking twist of fate for Hamburg to digest. The atmosphere in the stadium has suddenly died down, with many glum faces in and around the ground. The hosts' 51-year-long stay in the German top flight is quickly edging away from them.
Assist Arjen Robben
Goal Mario Götze
It's a record-breaker for Bayern, who surpass Werder Bremen's 43 away goals in a single Bundesliga season. Gotze pops up in the box, after some good work from Robben to find him, and he coolly places the ball beyond Adler.
BAYERN TAKE THE LEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NEUER!!! The goalkeeper must be thanking his lucky stars as he again rushes off his line to clear Dante's backpass, but he comes out way too far and the ball almost falls to Rincon, who can't get it under his feet properly! He normally inspires confidence in his side's backline, but it's been anything but that this afternoon.
We've passed the the midway point of the first half, with the scores still goalless. Anything other than a victory would consign Hamburg to relegation, and their performance so far suggests that they are more than aware of the permutations.
Ilicevic has no team-mates in vicinity, despite being stationed in an advanced position down the left, and he kicks the ball up into the air and smashes it into the back of Alaba for a cheaply-gained throw-in.
Rincon does extremely well to harry Dante into making yet another hesitant pass back to Neuer between the sticks. The Brazilian defender's form has been rather suspect in recent matches.
Hamburg have well and truly woke up now, but it coincides with Bayern returning to their slow-paced build-up. It's probably an attempt to frustrate the hosts and make them chase the ball.
THE RETURN OF THE... SWEEPER? A long ball from Mancienne evades all other 19 outfield players, except goalkeeper Neuer, who heads the ball away, having charged 20 yards from his goalline!
Kroos holds onto the ball for far too long in his own half and is fortunate to see his pass blocked into a team-mate's path. That could have gone anywhere!
CALHANOGLU!!!!! The wantaway midfielder receives the ball on the left-hand side of the area and unleashes a low shot, which beats Neuer but is dragged too wide of the target!
SHOULD HAVE DONE BETTER!!! Moments after Hamburg almost shoot themselves in the foot following some risky defensive play, Dante is again at fault as he struggles to shake off a white shirt and pass the ball back to Neuer, but the goalkeeper's kick-out is poor and it drops to Ilicevic, who blasts into side-netting!
The tempo Bayern are playing at this afternoon is very much reminiscent of Jupp Heynckes' monstrous unit of last season. We shouldn't read too much into this, though, as Hamburg are happy to sit back in numbers and counter the champions.
Boateng pushes high up the pitch and ends up clobbering into the back of Hamburg's lone striker Ilicevic.
The visitors continue to pass the ball about with ease, and they net via Muller! However, the goal is chalked off as Robben was in an offside position before he drilled the ball into the box.
Bayern are starting to force Hamburg into submission now. The pace of their football so far is a marked improvement on what they served up in Madrid! The ball drops to Robben on the edge of the box, after Mancienne intercepts Kroos, and he smashes a shot into the stand behind the goal.
Mandzukic is spotted in the sidelines having a right laugh with Claudio Pizarro. Maybe comedy is a potential next career step for the Croat once he retires?
Heart-in-the-mouth moment from Dante here. The centre-back nearly lets the occasion override him, as he nervously passes the ball back to his goalkeeper with a man on. The danger is quickly averted, though.
Hamburg instantly crank up the pressure as the ball is played into a pocket of space next to the left corner flag. Lahm, however, does well to hoof the ball out and initiate a Bayern attack...
The match gets under way!
Just a few bits of team news we can squeeze in - Mario Gotze and Javi Martinez start from the offset in place of Franck Ribery and Mario Mandzukic. For the home side, Marcell Jansen, Tolgay Arslan and Mattia Maggio are all dropped.
The players steam out onto the pitch. We are ready to commence for this afternoon!
Five minutes until kick-off! The atmosphere is near enough reaching boiling point here.
Guardiola's charges are closing in on a ninth league and cup double of their existence, while Hamburg lie five points adrift with only two matches left to play. It is sad to see a club with such prestige and history, as well as being the home to gifted stars such as Rafael van der Vaart, Rene Adler and Hakan Calhanoglu, all but concede their top-flight status.
Nonetheless, their struggles in Europe should surely pale in comparison to Hamburg's relegation fears. The Rothosen hold the distinction of being the only German club to have played in every Bundesliga season since the division's inception in 1963. Not even their illustrious opponents can claim such a feat!
Bayern have endured a difficult week following their Champions League capitulation at the hands of Real Madrid. A 4-0 defeat at home to the Blancos saw them come in for a barrage of criticism - much of it directed towards coach Pep Guardiola and his insistence on adopting a similar possession-based system to the 'tiki-taka' style he implemented at Barcelona.
BAYERN (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Alaba, Dante, Boateng, Lahm; Schweinsteiger, Martinez; Gotze, Kroos, Robben; Muller. SUBS: Mandzukic, Pizarro, Weiser, Contento, Raeder, Hojbjerg.
HAMBURG (4-2-3-1): Adler; Jiracek, Mancienne, Westermann, Diekmeier; Tesche, Badelj; Calhanoglu, Van der Vaart, Rincon; Ilicevic. SUBS: Drobny, Bouy, John, Demirbay, Tah, Steinmann, Maggio.
Hello and welcome to today's Bundesliga clash between Hamburg and Bayern Munich! I'm Livio Caferoglu, your designated scribe for all the action as it unfolds at the Imtech Arena. Team news is on its way!
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