For the last fifty-five years, Hamburger SV has remained in the Bundesliga. Uniquely they are the only team to have played continuously in the German top tier. But in recent seasons they have faced consistent fights to stay out of the relegation places. Having survived a few relegation play-offs they are now staring at demotion for the first time. On April 7, Hamburg battled to stay in the Bundesliga when they played high-flying Schalke.
Against Schalke, Hamburg Battled to Stay in the Bundesliga
HSV met second-placed Schalke 04 at a packed Volksparkstadion. Facing a gap of eight points to sixteenth-placed Mainz they were in desperate need of a win. It did not start well. Within nine minutes the visitors had taken the lead in controversial fashion. Brazilian defender Naldo diverting in a free kick with a combination of head and hand. But some ten minutes later a Douglas Santos long throw was allowed to bounce in the area and Serbian Kostic headed home the equaliser. The first half ended level with all to play for.
And Level with Six Minutes Remaining
After looking less than a top-two team Schalke made changes at the break. But it was HSV and especially their wide man Tatsuya Ito who made an impact. The Japanese produced some brilliant play on the left to set up Lewis Holtby who forced home at the second attempt. Giving HSV a 2-1 lead. Roared on by the home fans they should have added another on the hour. Instead the visitors, rather fortunately, levelled when Burgstaller scored from a rebound.
Hunt saves Hamburg, for the Moment
As the match entered the final phase and with a draw not being good enough HSV needed a saviour. That man was midfielder Aaron Hunt. He delivered a long range left foot shot that flew past Fahrmann in the Schalke goal with six minutes remaining on the clock. HSV would hold on for the 3-2 win. And their fans could celebrate a massive three points. Time will tell if it is enough to take Hamburg up to the play-off position. Logic suggests they will struggle. But on the day that Bayern Munich clinched yet another title, Hamburg battled to stay in the Bundesliga and to keep that unique record.
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