A wild final day of action brought the 2012-13 Bundesliga season to the end, and in the thick of it were Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund—the two sides that will contest the UEFA Champions League final next Saturday.
Bayern, having already wrapped up the title some weeks ago, nevertheless fielded their strongest possible team but fell behind to Borussia Monchengladbach after just four minutes, when Martin Stranzl opened the scoring for the hosts.
Goals from Mike Hanke—playing his final match for Monchengladbach—and Havard Nordtveit made it 3-1 to Die Fohlen before 11 minutes had ticked off the clock. Javi Martinez replyed for Bayern in the seventh minute. Frank Ribery pulled the guests back to within a goal in the 18th minute and from there, things settled down somewhat until just after the restart.
In the 53rd minute, it was Ribery again finding the back of the net for Bayern—this time with an incredible volley. And just before the hour-mark, Arjen Robben put the finishing touches on the comeback with his 12th goal of the season in all competitions.
Dortmund, meanwhile, took an early lead of their own when Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring in the sixth minute with his 24th goal of the Bundesliga campaign.
But Hoffenheim, facing the prospect of relegation, hung around throughout the match and took advantage of the two opportunities presented to them when things got rather crazy in the final quarter of an hour.
In the 77th minute, Dortmund defender Mats Hummels was judged to have fouled Hoffenheim midfielder Kevin Volland inside the area, and after Sejad Salihovic’s confident conversion, the guests were back on level terms and within striking distance of a relegation playoff instead of automatic demotion.
Their second break came only five minutes later.
Following a foul on Sven Schipplock, Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller was shown a straight red card, and Salihovic again stepped up to the spot.
The 28-year-old Bosnia-Herzegovina international made no mistake with his second spot-kick of the evening, and just like that, unfancied Hoffenheim were drawn into a two-legged playoff against Kaiserslautern, who finished third in 2.Bundesliga this season.
As for the Champions League finalists, both put out the lineups they will likely be starting at Wembley, but while Bayern scored for fun after allowing three goals for the first time this season, Dortmund struggled mightily against a desperate opponent and will certainly be the more banged-up of the two going into next Saturday’s centrepiece match.
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