Thursday , July 7 2022

European roundup: Haaland signs off in style while Stuttgart make great escape | European club football

Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland scored in his last game for the German club as they beat Hertha Berlin 2-1 in the season finale, forcing their opponents into a relegation playoff.

Haaland scored with a penalty to level the score at 1-1 with his 86th goal in his 89th match in all competitions since 2020, as Dortmund finished runners-up to champions Bayern Munich. The Norway international will join Manchester City ahead of next season in a multiyear deal reportedly worth up to €300m.

Hertha took the lead with an 18th-minute penalty, after Ishak Belfodil was brought down in the box. Belfodil stepped up to convert the spot-kick himself. Dortmund, bidding farewell to several players as well as long-time sports director Michael Zorc, took a long time to react.

But the hosts eventually got a penalty of their own for a hand ball by Marvin Plattenhardt, and Haaland, who also scored on his debut in the Bundesliga, found the net on his final appearance for the club to make it all square.

Youssoufa Moukoko’s superb low shot in the 84th minute that went in off the post snatched the three points for Dortmund as Hertha finished in 16th following a dramatic stoppage-time winner for Stuttgart over Cologne that lifted them to 15th and safety.

The Hertha coach, Felix Magath, who took over in mid-March with the team anchored in 17th place, had been looking to lead them to safety but he must now prepare his men for a playoff battle if they are to avoid relegation.

RB Leipzig scored in added time through Willi Orban to snatch a 1-1 draw at Arminia Bielefeld and secure their Champions League berth with a fourth-place finish as their opponents were relegated.

Leipzig needed at least a point to make sure of a top-four place, but their job was made easier after Freiburg lost 2-1 at Bayer Leverkusen to fall short on the last matchday. Janni Serra scored for Arminia in the 70th minute, but Orban headed in from a free-kick to earn his side a point. Leipzig will join champions Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and third-placed Leverkusen in the Champions League.

Union Berlin completed their sensational season with a 3-2 over Bochum to finish fifth on 57 points, one behind Leipzig, and secure a spot in the Europa League.

Cologne conceded a stoppage-time goal at Stuttgart to go 2-1 down but still end up in the Europa Conference League. Stuttgart’s last-gasp goal kept them up for another season, sending Hertha Berlin into the relegation playoff.

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Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski was on target in the season-ending 2-2 at Wolfsburg to take his tally to 35 Bundesliga goals as he won the league’s top scorer trophy for the fifth consecutive season. However Lewandowski has informed the club’s hierarchy that he wants to leave and not extend his contract with the German champions, the Bayern sports director, Hasan Salihamidzic, said on Saturday.

Speaking ahead of Bayern’s final game of the Bundesliga season, Salihamidzic confirmed widespread reports that the Bundesliga’s second-highest all-time scorer could be on his way out despite having a contract until 2023. The player has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona.

“I spoke with Lewa. In that discussion he informed me that he does not want to accept our offer to extend the contract and that we would like to leave the club,” Salihamidzic told Sky Germany. “He said he wants to do something else. But our position has not changed. The fact is he has a contract to June 30, 2023.”

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