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German Bundesliga

Imtech Arena (ATT 56,279) 19th April 2014 - Kick off 17:30 Ref: P Sippel

Hamburg Hamburg vs Wolfsburg Wolfsburg

Hamburg 1

I Ilicevic (58)


Wolfsburg 3

I Perisic (2)
K De Bruyne (42)
I Olic (49)
Luiz Gustavo (S/O 90)

Hamburg in deep trouble

Last Updated: 19/04/14 7:48pm

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Ivica Olic (left) of Wolfsburg celebrates after scoring their first goal

Ivica Olic (left) of Wolfsburg celebrates after scoring their first goal

Hamburg's Bundesliga future was left hanging by a thread on Saturday evening as they fell to a 3-1 defeat at home to Champions League-chasing Wolfsburg, who ended the match with 10 men as Luiz Gustavo was sent off late on.

Ivan Perisic gave the Wolves an early lead and Kevin De Bruyne doubled their advantage before the interval.

Ivica Olic added a third for Dieter Hecking's men with Ivo Ilicevic's goal scant consolation for a Hamburg side who are staring their first ever relegation in the face with three games of the season remaining.

There will be four points separating them from safety if Stuttgart beat Schalke on Sunday.

Hamburg could hardly have imagined a worse start to the game as they fell behind after only a minute.

Gustavo sent Perisic through with a defence-cutting pass, and the Croatian made no mistake with only Rene Adler to beat.

It could have been easy for the Hamburg fans packed inside the HSV-Arena to lose their patience, but instead they showed their support, getting behind the home team, who responded well with an Ivo Ilicevic shot only just missing the target.

Wolfsburg had the chance to double their lead after half an hour when De Bruyne was put through in a one-on-one with Adler, but the Hamburg custodian made a good stop.

The stadium then fell silent when De Bruyne got the better of Adler just before half-time with a diagonal shot.

The fans' support turned to jeers at the sound of the half-time whistle with Hamburg's season hitting a new low.

It got even worse just four minutes into the second half when Olic stole a goal from Naldo, nicking the Brazilian's header in from close range.

Sensing the importance of their role, the fans again rallied behind Hamburg, who got a foothold in the game just shy of the hour mark when Ilicevic pulled a goal back.

It was no more than that, though, as Hamburg's players seemed to be paralysed by the pressure and the weight of expectation.

The only side never to have been relegated from the Bundesliga are now closer to breaking that proud record than ever before.

Wolfsburg, meanwhile, are closer than they have ever been to a return to the Champions League since winning the title in 2009, and a late red card for Gustavo - his third of the season - did not take much gloss off a crucial northern Germany derby victory.

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German Bundesliga

German Bundesliga
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bayern Munich 31 81
2 Borussia Dortmund 31 64
3 Schalke 30 58
4 Wolfsburg 31 53
5 Bayer Leverkusen 30 51
6 Borussia Monchengladbach 31 49
7 Mainz 31 47
8 FC Augsburg 31 43
9 Hoffenheim 31 40
10 Hertha Berlin 31 38
11 Werder Bremen 31 36
12 Eintracht Frankfurt 31 35
13 SC Freiburg 31 35
14 Hannover 96 31 35
15 Stuttgart 30 28
16 Hamburg 31 27
17 FC Nurnberg 30 26
18 Eintracht Braunschweig 31 25