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    Saturday, April 23, 2022

    Fürth Relegated from Bundesliga, Union Berlin Beats Leipzig

    Fuerth's players walk across the pitch after the German Bundesliga soccer match bettween SpVgg Greuther Fuerth and Bayer 04 Leverkusen in Fuerth, Germany, Saturday, April 23, 2022. Greuther Fürth has been relegated from the Bundesliga with a 4-1 loss at home to Bayer Leverkusen. (Daniel Karmann/dpa via AP
    Greuther Fürth was relegated from the Bundesliga after losing at home to Champions League candidate Bayer Leverkusen 4-1 on Saturday.

    Jetro Willems gave the enthusiastic home fans some hope of a miraculous escape with the opening goal in the fifth minute, but Patrik Schick answered four minutes later and Sardar Azmoun, Paulinho and Exequiel Palacios piled on for the visitors.

    Fürth remained bottom of the league after 31 games – 12 points from safety with three games remaining.

    Coach Stefan Leitl’s team was promoted last year when it finished second in the second division, but it never recovered from a poor start to the Bundesliga despite encouraging performances in the second half of the season. Fürth lost all but one of its first 14 games until it claimed its first win in the 15th round by beating Union Berlin.

    Also on Saturday, Union came from behind thanks to substitute Sven Michel to beat Leipzig 2-1 away and atone for its loss to Leipzig in their German Cup semifinal on Wednesday.

    Michel equalized in the 86th then set up Kevin Behrens with his heel for a dramatic winner in the 89th as Union won in Leipzig for the first time.

    The end of Leipzig’s 15-game unbeaten run across all competitions allowed Leverkusen to reclaim third place. Leverkusen dropped to fourth last weekend with a loss at home to Leipzig, but the sides have switched positions again, leaving Leipzig in the last qualification place for the Champions League.

    Freiburg was fifth after coming from two goals down to lead Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-2 only to concede the equalizer in injury time to Gladbach’s Lars Stindl.

    Cologne was seventh behind Union after a 3-1 win over Arminia Bielefeld, which remained second from bottom and the favorite to join Fürth in the second division.

    Also, Eintracht Frankfurt drew with Hoffenheim 2-2.

    Bayern Munich hosted main rival Borussia Dortmund in “der Klassiker” late Saturday, when the Bavarian powerhouse was hoping to seal what would be a record-extending 10th consecutive title. -AP

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