Arminia Bielefeld is staggering towards the eighth relegation from the Bundesliga. The table penultimate lost 1: 2 (1: 1) at promoted VfL Bochum and after ten games in a row without a win they have to hope for support from the old and new champions Bayern Munich.
Should the record champion after his party trip to Ibiza on Sunday (5:30 p.m./DAZN) lose against VfB Stuttgart, East Westphalia could no longer be prevented from falling back into the second division before the season finale.
“We hope that Bayern will give us a little support. If we still have the chance next week, everything is still possible,” said Bielefeld midfielder Patrick Wimmer DAZN: “It was another solid fighting performance today. But we’re lacking in efficiency. That’s why we’re without points again.”
Captain Manuel Prietl added: “I’m a bit speechless at the moment. We have big plans, that would have opened the way for relegation. We keep the game open for a long time, come back into play with a set piece, but don’t have enough power to penetrate forward “It’s just bitter and disappointing. We’re dependent on others now. We have to win, that’s the last straw we have. In life you always have to see it through to the end, until the last matchday is over. We all have to do it again mobilize forces.”
Joakim Nilsson (35th) equalized for Arminia in the meantime to make it 1-1. But an own goal by George Bello (89th) sealed the 16th defeat. The deficit on the table-16. Stuttgart is still two points. Even a win in the last game against RB Leipzig would only be enough if VfB went empty-handed. Due to the Bielefeld defeat, it is also clear that Hertha BSC can no longer be relegated directly.
Sebastian Polter (22nd) had put the already saved Bochum in the lead. A week after the 4-3 triumph at Borussia Dortmund and the lavish celebration of staying up, VfL said goodbye to eleven players whose contracts were expiring before kick-off.
“I’m sure that one or the other who gets a bouquet of flowers today will also play here next season,” said sporting director Sebastian Schindzielorz DAZN: “The talks are ongoing.”
Bielefeld: Where was the absolute will to win?
There was no sign of a Bochum hangover after the party. The hosts started offensively and with commitment. First, Polter failed with a header at Bielefeld keeper Stefan Ortega (2nd), then Gerrit Holtmann headed just over the goal from five meters (3rd).
Arminia, who would like to have the planning security of VfL, initially held back. Coach Marco Kostmann had announced that he would not “go all-in from the first minute”, but “increased the risk as the game went on”. Bochum continued to have clear chances: Ortega fended off two shots from Milos Pantovic with brilliant saves (13th/15th). Only behind the line did the goalkeeper catch Polter’s header after a Pantovic cross.
The guests rarely appeared near the Bochum penalty area. A long-range shot by Masaya Okugawa straight into the arms of VfL keeper Manuel Riemann was the first approach (33′). The equalizer was all the more surprising: after a free-kick from Gonzalo Castro, Nilsson scored a completely free header.
After the change of sides, the Bielefeld players initially continued to wait and see. There was little sign of an unconditional will to win. The hosts continued to get more out of the game – and were rewarded shortly before the end.
VfL Bochum – Arminia Bielefeld: The voices
Thomas Reis (coach VfL Bochum): “We didn’t take our chances and then there were few chances in the second half. If you make it 2-1 with the last move, that just fits the whole season. We’re all proud today. It was just a great one Season.”
Marco Kostmann (Arminia Bielefeld coach): “The lads are just as disappointed as me and the fans. We’re now dependent on FC Bayern winning. It was a very shaky start for us, and our minds affected our bodies. We couldn’t calm down.”