Hamburg relegated after 55 seasons in German League

Frederick Owens
May 13, 2018

The six-time German champions, who won the European Cup in 1983, are the only team to have played in every single Bundesliga season since the league's inauguration in 1963, earning them the nickname "dinosaur".

As the match drew to a close, fans sparked flares in the stands, many of which were thrown onto the pitch, delaying the match from ending.

With Wolfsburg's win against Cologne long-since confirmed, referee Felix Brych eventually restarted the game and then immediately blew for full-time, with Hamburg's teary-eyed players applauding their supporters on a lap of honour.

"This is an extremely painful moment for the entire Hamburg SV", said club President Bernd Hoffmann.

"The diamond (club logo) and us as a club are strong despite this current moment and we will in the future again reflect that strength".

That will have to be stopped now, however, as their 2-1 home win over Borussia Monchengladbach was not enough to save them due to Wolfsburg thumping bottom club Cologne 4-1 to secure 16th and a play-off against Holstein Kiel of Bundesliga 2.

Minutes later, Robin Knoche headed in Wolfsburg's third, and when Josip Brekalo added a fourth in stoppage time, Hamburg's fight was over.

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The fires were put out and police gradually left the field so the game could resume and the final seconds be played out.

Hamburg actually beat Gladbach 2-1 at Volksparkstadion, with goals coming from Aaron Hunt and Lewis Holtby.

Even after going down to 10 men following Bobby Wood's dismissal in the 71st minute, Hamburg continued to hold on, hoping for a miracle that ultimately never came.

But their 54-year stint in the Bundesliga has come to an end and that clock will now need resetting.

At the top, aside from champions Bayern Munich suffering a surprise 4-1 hammering at home to VfB Stuttgart in Jupp Heynckes' final game in charge, there was still the small matter of the top four places to sort out.

Leipzig also reached the Europa League after defeating Hertha Berlin 6-2.

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