Arminia Bielefeld staggers towards eighth relegation from the Bundesliga. The penultimate table lost 1:2 (1:1) at promoted VfL Bochum and after ten straight games without a win they have to hope for support from former and new champions Bayern Munich.
If the record champion after his festive trip to Ibiza on Sunday (5.30 p.m./DAZN) loses against VfB Stuttgart, East Westphalia could no longer be prevented from falling back to the second division before the season finale.
“We hope that Bayern will give us some support. If we have the chance again next week, everything is still possible,” said Bielefeld midfielder Patrick Wimmer. DAZN: “It was another strong fighting performance today. But we lack efficiency. That’s why we are without points again.”
Captain Manuel Prietl added: “I’m a bit speechless at the moment. We have big plans, it would have paved the way for relegation. We keep the game open for a long time, come back into play with a free kick, but n don’t have enough power to penetrate forward “It’s just bitter and disappointing. We depend on others now. We have to win, it’s the last drop we have. In life, you always have to go all the way, until the last game day is over. We all have to do it again, mobilize our forces.”
Joakim Nilsson (35th) equalized for Arminia in the meantime to make it 1-1. But an own goal from George Bello (89th) sealed the 16th defeat. The deficit on table-16. Stuttgart are still two points away. Even a victory in the last game against RB Leipzig would only be enough if VfB left empty-handed. Due to the Bielefeld defeat, it is also clear that Hertha BSC can no longer be relegated directly.
Sebastian Polter (22nd) had already saved Bochum in mind. 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 expired before kick-off.
“I’m sure whoever receives a bouquet of flowers today will also play here next season,” said sporting director Sebastian Schindzielorz. DAZN: “The talks are in progress.”
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 on Bielefeld goalkeeper Stefan Ortega (2nd), then Gerrit Holtmann headed just over the five-yard goal (3rd).
Arminia, who would like to have the planning safety 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 match progressed”. Bochum continued to have great chances: Ortega repelled two shots from Milos Pantovic with brilliant saves (13th / 15th). It was only behind the line that the keeper caught Polter’s header after a cross from Pantovic.
Guests rarely appeared near Bochum’s penalty area. A long shot from Masaya Okugawa right into the arms of VfL goalkeeper Manuel Riemann was the first approach (33rd). The equalizer is all the more surprising: after a free kick from Gonzalo Castro, Nilsson scores a totally free header.
After the change of sides, the Bielefeld players initially continued to wait and see. There were few signs of an unconditional will to win. The hosts continued to make the most of the game – and were rewarded shortly before the end.
VfL Bochum – Arminia Bielefeld: The Voices
Thomas Reis (VfL Bochum coach): “We didn’t take our chances and there were few chances in the second half. If you go 2-1 with the last move, that’s the whole season. We’re all proud today. It was just a great one season.”
Marco Kostmann (Arminia Bielefeld coach): “The guys are just as disappointed as me and the fans. We now depend on FC Bayern winning. It was a very fragile start for us, and our minds affected our bodies. We couldn’t calm down.”
VfL Bochum – Arminia Bielefeld: Line-ups
Bohum: Riemann – Gamboa, Masovic, Leitsch, Soares – Losilla – Pantovic (Löwen 83), Rexhbecaj (Tesche 73) – Asano (Blum 84), Polter (Locadia 68), Holtmann (Zoller 73). – Trainer: Rice
Bielefeld: Ortega – de Medina, Ramos, Nilsson, Laursen (77th Bello) – Schöpf (86th Robin Hack), Prietl – Wimmer, Castro (67th Vasiliadis), Okugawa (77th Ince) – Krüger (46th Serra). – Trainer: Kostman
Bundesliga, 33rd day: The table
|6||1. FC Köln||32||51:46||5||52|
|7||1.FC Union Berlin||32||43:41||2||51|
|9||1.FSV Mainz 05||32||46:42||4||42|
|18||SpVgg Greuther Furth||32||26:77||-51||18|