Bundesliga GW31 – Mainz halt Bayern coronation, Schalke sent down
It was a 1-0 loss for 10-man Schalke against fellow relegation-battlers Arminia on Tuesday that finally confirmed their drop to 2. Bundesliga. It has been a torrid year and a half for the historic Gelsenkirchen side, which boasted names such a former Arsenal men Sead Kolasinac and Shkodran Mustafi, as well as striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, but ultimately the disjointed team lacked quality and cohesion at both ends of the pitch throughout the season, winning only 2 games and picking up just 13 points. Their large fanbase will be hoping they can rebuild and swiftly return to the top flight, potentially with their help with crowds aiming to return by the start of next season.
Photo: "Arena auf schalke veltins arena gelsenkirchen 1.jpg"by Arne Müseler is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
With Armina picking up points and piling the pressure on the other sides near the drop zone, there were wins for Köln against both RB Leipzig and Augsburg this week. The crucial 6 points gives them a shot at safety as they leapfrogged Hertha Berlin into 16th. The capital side, which has disappointed this season, has three games in hand following COVID-related postponements. Mainz also opened up a buffer between themselves and the bottom three by producing a shock 2-1 against Bayern Munich. The German champions were applauded this week after they played no role in the formation of the potential Super League, and would have had an unassailable 13 point gap over Leipzig with a win. Mainz, however, scored two first half goals through Jonathan Burkardt and Robin Quaison. Robert Lewandowski returned for Hansi Flick’s team to grab one back in injury time.
His golden boot rival Erling Haaland bagged a vital brace for Borussia Dortmund against 3rd-placed Wolfsburg as they push for a Champions League spot. English wonderkid Jude Bellingham was sent off around the hour mark in the 2-0 victory, whilst Jadon Sancho returned after an injury layoff. 4th-placed Frankfurt also stuttered, as they were beaten 3-1 by Bayer Leverkusen. The gap between BVB at the top four is now just a point. Freiburg and Hoffenheim drew 1-1, and Union Berlin were comfortable 3-1 winners against the struggling Werder, who have fallen into the relegation dogfight.