Fürth is relegated from the Bundesliga, and Union Berlin defeats Leipzig

Greuther Fürth was demoted from the Bundesliga on Saturday after losing 4-1 at home to Champions League contender Bayer Leverkusen.

Jetro Willems gave the home supporters optimism with the first goal in the fifth minute, but Patrik Schick equalized four minutes later, and Sardar Azmoun, Paulinho, and Exequiel Palacios piled on for the visitors.

After 31 games, Fürth remained at the bottom of the table, 12 points from safety with three games left.

Coach Stefan Leitl’s club got promoted last year after finishing second in the second division, but despite promising results in the second part of the season, it never recovered from a bad start to the Bundesliga. Fürth lost all but one of its first 14 games until winning its first game in the 15th round against Union Berlin.

Also on Saturday, Union rallied from behind to defeat Leipzig 2-1 at home, avenging a 2-1 setback to Leipzig in the German Cup semifinals on Wednesday.

Michel equalized in the 86th minute, then set up Kevin Behrens with his heel for a thrilling 89th-minute victory as Union triumphed for the first time in Leipzig.

Leipzig’s 15-game undefeated streak in all competitions came to an end, allowing Leverkusen to recover the third position. Leverkusen lost to fourth place last weekend after losing at home to Leipzig, but the teams have traded places again, with Leipzig now in the last Champions League qualifying spot.

Freiburg finished fifth after rallying from two goals behind to beat Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-2, only to have Gladbach’s Lars Stindl level in injury time.

Cologne finished eighth, one point behind Union, after a 3-1 victory against Arminia Bielefeld, who remained second-from-bottom and the favorite to join Fürth in the second level.

In addition, Eintracht Frankfurt drew 2-2 with Hoffenheim.

Bayern Munich faced off against primary rival Borussia Dortmund in “der Klassiker” late Saturday, with the Bavarian powerhouse aiming for a record-extending 10th successive championship.

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