FRANKFURT: Hamburg, the only club to play every Bundesliga season, have earned a stay of execution in the elite German league.
Mirko Slomka’s men narrowly escaped direct relegation after a 3-2 defeat at Mainz 05 sent them into a two-leg playoff against a second division team.
Nurnberg and Eintracht Braunschweig, who started the final day of the league season below Hamburg but could have moved above them with wins, were relegated after losing 4-1 at Schalke and 3-1 at Hoffenheim respectively.
Schalke’s victory clinched third place and sent them straight into the Champions League group stage next season, while Bayer Leverkusen finished fourth with a 2-1 triumph over Werder Bremen to qualify for a playoff round.
Poland striker Robert Lewandowski, playing his last league game for second-placed Borussia Dortmund before moving to champions Bayern Munich next season, scored twice in a 4-0 win at Hertha Berlin to finish as Bundesliga top scorer with 20 goals.
Bayern beat VfB Stuttgart 1-0 with a stoppage time goal from evergreen Peru striker Claudio Pizarro to complete their 34-match campaign with 29 wins, three draws and two defeats.
Lille must wait
In France 10-man Lille missed a chance to secure third place and a spot in next season’s Champions League when they lost 3-1 at home to recrowned champions Paris Saint-Germain.
PSG’s thus equalled the record for most wins in a season with 26 from 37 matches and have also recorded most points with 86, surpassing Lyon’s 84 in 2005-06.
Lille’s Marvin Martin was sent off in the 37th minute for a foul on France midfielder Yohan Cabaye which saw the former Newcastle United player carried off on a stretcher, and were 1-0 down soon after when Brazil’s Marquinhos headed home.
Lucas Moura doubled the lead for PSG after 65 minutes and Blaise Matuidi added a third before Jonathan Delaplace scored a last-minute consolation for the hosts.
In Portugal Porto completed an unhappy season with a consolation 2-1 home win over champions Benfica while Olhanense were relegated after five seasons in the top flight. Belenenses stay up after beating Arouca but Pacos de Ferreira lost 4-2 at home to Academica Coimbra and were forced into a relegation playoff.