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The tightest and most exciting relegation battles in history



1. FC Nuremberg

Only one point separates the three currently worst teams in the Bundesliga: VfB Stuttgart is last behind FC Schalke 04 and Hertha BSC. But VfL Bochum and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim are still in deep trouble. One of the most exciting relegation battles is looming – it wouldn’t be the first time. A review.

Bundesliga: Relegation battle in the 1998/1999 season

The rescued: Eintracht Frankfurt, Hansa Rostock, SC Freiburg, VfB Stuttgart

The relegated: 1. FC Nuremberg, VfL Bochum, Borussia Mönchengladbach

Let’s start with THE closest and most breathtaking relegation battle in Bundesliga history so far. Anyone who sat in the Frankfurt Waldstadion or the Nuremberg Frankenstadion from 3:30 p.m. on May 29, 1999, or made themselves comfortable in front of the television or radio, will remember the final minutes of the games for the rest of their lives.

Before this day for the history books, there was one of these starting positions, of which it was said: “Theoretically” 1. FC Nürnberg can still be relegated – but it was actually clear that FCN in twelfth place in the table with three points and five goals ahead of rank 16 sure to remain in the House of Lords.

After all, the club would have to lose in a direct duel against Freiburg, win Hansa Rostock, VfB Stuttgart would have to score at least points and Eintracht Frankfurt would have to win by up to four goals. Basically nobody believed that.

Bundesliga relegation battle 1998/99: The starting position before the 34th matchday

Place team Gates Points
12. 1. FC Nuremberg 39:48 (-9) 37
13. VfB Stuttgart 40:48 (-8) 36
14 Sc freiburg 34:43 (-9) 36
15 Hansa Rostock 46:56 (-10) 35
16 Eintracht Frankfurt 39:53 (-14) 34
17 VfL Bochum 38:62 (-24) 29
18 Moenchengladbach 41:77 (-36) 21

Key games: FCN against Freiburg, Frankfurt against FCK

But by halftime it was getting tighter. The Clubberer were 0:2 behind against Freiburg and were overtaken by the SCF in the table. Rostock, on the other hand, led 1-0 in Bochum and VfB at home against Bremen.

After all, Eintracht was not in the lead and kept FCN in 15th place in the Bundesliga at 5:15 p.m. Yang’s Eintracht lead (46′) was equalized after 68 minutes by Schönberg from Kaiserslautern. There were still around 20 minutes to play, and the SGE were still missing four goals. The fans in the Waldstadion bowed their heads after the equalizer.

A little later, Nikl’s 1:2 goal in the 85th minute brought the club close to staying up – that would have been secured with a draw. In Frankfurt, on the other hand, unique scenes take place in times without mobile phones and live tickers.

Sobotzik (70th), Gebhardt (80th), Schneider (82nd) ​​and Fjörtoft (89th) all score for the SBU. There are four goals for eternity that have entered Frankfurt’s club history. The miracle came true – Eintracht stayed in the Bundesliga.

At the same time, the current Bremen sports director, Frank Baumann, became a tragic figure in the Frankenstadion. The defender missed an absolutely great chance in the 89th minute, a hundred percent – the goal would have been enough for relegation. Instead, the Franks still got off – the mood after the game resembled a doomsday scenario.

Bundesliga relegation battle 1998/99: The table after matchday 34

Place team Gates Points
12. Sc freiburg 36:44 (-8) 39
13. Werder Bremen 41:47 (-6) 39
14 Hansa Rostock 49:58 (-9) 38
15 Eintracht Frankfurt 44:54 (-10) 37
16 1. FC Nuremberg 40:50 (-10) 37
17 VfL Bochum 38:63 (-25) 29
18 Moenchengladbach 41:79 (-38) 21

Bundesliga: relegation battle in the 2013/2014 season

The rescued: Hamburger SV

The relegated: 1. FC Nuremberg, Eintracht Braunschweig

Even before the last day of the game it was clear: it won’t be good anymore, but at least it won’t be catastrophic.

Because Nuremberg, Braunschweig and HSV could no longer hold the class directly, but all only saved themselves through relegation. Hamburg had the best starting position in 16th place.

Bundesliga relegation battle 2013/14: The starting position before the 34th matchday

Place team Gates Points
16 Hamburger SV 49:72 (-23) 27
17 1. FC Nuremberg 36:66 (-30) 26
18 Brunswick 28:57 (-29) 25

However, on the 34th day of the game, Nuremberg lost 4-1 to Schalke with their friends. Braunschweig made a mistake in Hoffenheim and lost 1:3.

Despite the 2-3 defeat in Mainz, HSV remained in 16th place. And the Rothosen also stayed in the league: After a 0-0 at home in the relegation against Greuther Fürth, a flattering 1-1 in Franconia was enough on the away goals rule to stay up.

Bundesliga relegation battle 2013/14: The table after the 34th matchday

Place team Gates Points
16 Hamburger SV 51:75 (-24) 27
17 1. FC Nuremberg 37:70 (-33) 26
18 Brunswick 29:60 (-31) 25

Bundesliga: relegation battle in the 2014/2015 season

The rescued: Hamburger SV, Hertha BSC, VfB Stuttgart, Hannover 96

The relegated: SC Freiburg, SC Paderborn 07

Before the last matchday, there were a total of six clubs fighting to stay up in the German top flight: Paderborn, Freiburg, Hamburg, Hertha, Stuttgart and Hanover. With VfB against Paderborn and 96 against Freiburg, four participating clubs even competed against each other.

The clubs constantly changed places during the 90 minutes of the game, with Stuttgart alone occupying every table position from 14th to 17th place at times.

Bundesliga relegation battle 2014/15: The starting position before the 34th matchday

Place team Gates Points
13. Hertha BSC 35:50 (-15) 35
14 Sc freiburg 35:45 (-10) 34
15 Hannover 96 38:55 (-17) 34
16 VfB Stuttgart 40:59 (-19) 33
17 Hamburger SV 23:50 (-27) 32
18 SC Paderborn 30:63 (-33) 31

The key duels: VfB against Paderborn, 96 against Freiburg

In the end, the big loser was Freiburg. The Breisgauer fell from 14th to 17th place because they lost 1:2 against Hannover.

HSV could see itself as the winner, beating Schalke 2-0. But above all Stuttgart, which won 2-1 in Paderborn and thus pushed past Freiburg. Paderborn at the bottom even led against the Swabians.

Hamburg made it into the relegation again – and managed to stay up there again. Again, in the first leg in front of a home crowd, they only managed a 1-1 draw against Karlsruher SC. In the Wildparkstadion, however, there was a 2-1 win in extra time – after the 1-1 draw was only equalized in the 90th minute…

Bundesliga relegation battle 2014/15: The table after matchday 34

Place team Gates Points
13. Hannover 96 40:56 (-16) 37
14 VfB Stuttgart 42:60 (-18) 36
15 Hertha BSC 36:52 (-16) 35
16 Hamburger SV 25:50 (-25) 35
17 Sc freiburg 36:47 (-11) 34
18 SC Paderborn 31:65 (-34) 31

Bundesliga: relegation battle in the 2016/2017 season

The rescued: Wolfsburg, Mainz, Hamburg, Augsburg, Leverkusen, Frankfurt

The relegated: Darmstadt, Ingolstadt

Already on the 33rd day of play, the two direct relegated teams, Darmstadt and Ingolstadt, were certain. But who had to be relegated remained open for a long time. On the 31st matchday, 1. FC Köln, who were eighth, were even considered.

Before the last day of the game, four teams remained that could have dropped to 16th place: Mainz, Augsburg, Wolfsburg and again HSV, which held this position before the final game of the season.

Bundesliga relegation battle 2016/17: The starting position before the 34th matchday

Place team Gates Points
13. Mainz 05 44:53 (-9) 37
14 FC Augsburg 35:51 (-16) 37
15 VfL Wolfsburg 33:50 (-17) 37
16 Hamburger SV 31:60 (-29) 35
17 FC Ingolstadt 35:56 (-21) 31
18 Darmstadt 26:61 (-35) 24

The key duel: Hamburger SV versus VfL Wolfsburg

On the 34th match day, there was a thrill between Hamburg and the fourteenth place in the table from Wolfsburg. HSV had to win to send VfL into relegation.

But the guests took the lead through Robin Knoche. However, the Bundesliga dino hit back through Filip Kostic. The explosion finally followed in the 88th minute: Luca Waldschmidt – today’s Wolfsburg player – freaked out the Hamburg stadium with his 2-1 win. The Hanseatic League thus saved themselves in 14th place and pushed VfL to the edge of second division.

In the relegation derby against Eintracht Braunschweig, the wolves secured their place in the Bundesliga, winning twice 1-0. Still, a bitter crash for Wolfsburg, who had beaten Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final first leg the year before.

Bundesliga relegation battle 2016/17: The table after matchday 34

Place team Gates Points
13. FC Augsburg 35:61 (-16) 38
14 Hamburger SV 33:61 (-28) 38
15 Mainz 05 44:55 (-11) 37
16 VfL Wolfsburg 34:52 (-18) 37
17 FC Ingolstadt 36:57 (-21) 32
18 Darmstadt 28:63 (-35) 25