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Bundesliga: Bochum loses in relegation first leg against Düsseldorf

Bundesliga: Bochum loses in relegation first leg against Düsseldorf

In the relegation first leg, VfL Bochum suffered a bitter home defeat. Second division team Fortuna Düsseldorf opened the door to the Bundesliga with a clear win.

After a crushing defeat, VfL Bochum is tumbling towards relegation from the Bundesliga. Coach Heiko Butscher’s team lost 3-0 (0-1) to Fortuna Düsseldorf after a disappointing performance. In front of 26,000 spectators in the Ruhrstadion – including Edelfan Leon Goretzka – the Bundesliga was 16th. Bochum was defensively vulnerable and offensively harmless on Thursday evening.

In addition, an unfortunate own goal from VfL striker Philipp Hofmann (13th minute) initiated the defeat early on. Felix Klaus scored the second Fortuna goal (64th), Yannik Engelhardt the third (72nd). Düsseldorf can complete their promotion on Monday at home against Bochum, who are weak away from home. Anything other than VfL’s seventh Bundesliga relegation would be a huge surprise.

Confidence gets some dampeners

Despite the disputes surrounding regular goalkeeper Manuel Riemann, VfL seemed ready for this match and had prominent support. Long before, Pott icon Herbert Grönemeyer had been encouraging the Bochum pros on Instagram: “My heart beats with you and my confidence knows no bounds.” Shortly before kick-off, his Bochum anthem was played over the loudspeakers. Bochum-born Goretzka from FC Bayern also sang along in the stands in a legendary VfL jersey.

The highest-scoring offense in the second division (72) and the second-worst defense in the first division (74 goals conceded) met on the pitch. In addition, the goalkeeper change in the two most important games of the season posed a certain risk for VfL.

Riemann noise near Bochum

Before the relegation, Riemann had not represented the desired views on team issues; for the Bochum bosses, the limit had been crossed. Andreas Luthe moved into goal for the already polarizing Riemann. “He exudes a damn good sense of calm,” praised VfL coach Butscher before the start of the game. Surprisingly, he also left out captain Anthony Losilla in the starting line-up. “Toto is totally behind it. He will still be important,” said Butscher about the veteran.

Above all, it was important to get into the game well against Düsseldorf, who have been unbeaten in the second division since February and in 14 games. VfL, which had slipped into relegation place thanks to 1. FC Union Berlin’s last-minute win on the last matchday, initially succeeded in this.

Fortuna Düsseldorf leads early

The hosts were hit all the harder by Düsseldorf’s opening goal, which could hardly have been more unfortunate. Fortuna’s loan player Christos Tzolis circled a corner from the left side with a lot of effort to the near post, from there the ball bounced against the thigh of Bochum’s Hofmann and from there into the goal. Luthe was powerless. But VfL is not helpless. A short time later, Bernardo hit the post after a corner, but the ball then ended up in the hands of Fortuna keeper Florian Kastenmeier. After the turbulent start on both sides, things didn’t really get any more compelling until the break.

Goretzka also had to worry, especially when the guests from the Rhine almost scored again. Luthe spectacularly parried a shot from Klaus with one hand while he was still in the air. A second goal against VfL and their hopes of remaining in the first division would have been further diminished, so the team could not be too offensive in their efforts to score an equalizer against a relatively cool and, above all, very disciplined Düsseldorf team.

And then it happened and twice. After an inaccuracy in the attack, the Bochum defense was exposed. Düsseldorf quickly played forward from their own penalty area, Tzolis set up Klaus and this time he beat Luthe. Butscher also sat on the Bochum bench in consternation for a moment. But things got even worse with the visitors’ third goal. “We want to see you fight,” demanded the angry VfL fans. It did not help.

Source: Stern

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