Werder Bremen lost 4-2 against Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday to be relegated for the second time in club history while Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski bettered the Bundesliga scoring record to 41 goals in a season.
Lars Stindl, Marcus Thuram, Ramy Bensebaini and Florian Neuhaus scored for Gladbach as the return of Thomas Schaaf to the Bremen helm in a last-gasp rescue mission was to no avail.
Bremen missed the relegation play-off and went straight down along with Schalke because Cologne beat Schalke 1-0 from Sebastiaan Bornauw’s 86th-minute winner to move ahead of Bremen into the play-off against the third-placed team from the second division.
“It is tough to say something. I had hoped to help a little more but it was not to be,” said Schaaf whose financially troubled club faces an uncertain future. “We don’t have to tak about tomorrow or the day after. This knocks us off our legs enough.”
There was total silence in Bremen after the final whistle as Gladbach’s victory was to no avail either because Max Kruse scored a stoppage time 2-1 winner for Union Berlin who remained seventh to claim the place in the new European Conference League.
Champions Bayern Munich received the trophy for a ninth straight title after a 5-2 victory over Augsburg in the final game of their coach Hansi Flick, with Lewandowski getting sole possession of the scoring record ahead of Gerd Mueller with a 90th-minute tap-in.
Bremen parted ways with coach Florian Kohfeldt last Sunday and brought back their 2004 double-winning helmsman Schaaf.
But Stindl calmly fired Gladbach’s opener into the bottom right corner just three minutes into the game.
Davie Selke should have levelled 15 minutes later but instead Thuram made it 2-0 on the counter and Bensebaini’s classy back-header and Neuhaus wrapped up matters for Gladbach who however finished eighth in a season that nose-dived after coach Marco Rose had said he would move on to Bourssia Dortmund.
Milot Rashica and Niclas Fuellkrug then scored for Bremen who lost for the ninth time in 10 winless games.
But their relegation for the second time after 1980 was sealed in Cologne where the hosts thought they broke the deadlock from Sebastian Andersson’s tap-in in the 70th, but the goal was disallowed over a foul in the build-up upon video review.
But there were no complaints in the 86th over Bornauw’s header which earned Cologne a lifeline to avoid a seventh drop.
In Munich, the champions led 4-0 at half-time from Jeffrey Gouweleeuw’s own goal, Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich and Kingsley Coman before Andre Hahn and Florian Niederlechner netted for the visitors who had earlier missed a penalty from Daniel Caligiuri.
Lewandowski was frustrated by goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz on several occasions but when his Polish compatriot failed to hold on to a shot from Leroy Sane he was there to tap in for 5-2 and complete a sixth league top scorer crown with the 41-goal record.
“I have no words, when you try for 90 minutes and get the goal in the last minute. Thankfully I made it, I am very happy,” Lewandowski said. “You have to fight for a legendary record like this.”
Elsewhere, Borussia Dortmund beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 to finish third ahead of Wolfsburg who lost 3-2 against Mainz. Eintracht Frankfurt beat Freiburg 3-1, Hoffenheim prevailed 2-1 over Hertha Berlin and Arminia Bielefeld won 2-0 at VfB Stuttgart.