Eintracht Frankfurt gave their Bundesliga survival hopes a huge boost with a late 2-1 win over local rivals Mainz, which also relegated Hannover.
A quartet of defeats for teams above gave Frankfurt a chance coming into Sunday’s game at the Commerzbank Arena, and they pulled to within three points of guaranteed safety against their top-four chasing opposition – leaving Hannover to rue a 2-2 draw with 10-man Ingolstadt on Saturday.
Marco Russ pounced to equalise Daniel Brosinski’s free-kick opener for the visitors and Frankfurt dominated for large parts, finding Mainz goalkeeper Loris Karius in fine form.
But there was nothing Karius could do six minutes from time as Anis Ben-Hatira’s shot was deflected home by Stefan Bell.
Victory moves 17th-placed Frankfurt just a point behind Werder Bremen in the relegation play-off place, as well as confirming Hannover’s demise, while Mainz dropped back in the race for the top four, which saw Borussia Monchengladbach make ground with a 3-1 win over Hoffenheim.
Jeremy Toljan’s own goal and Mahmoud Dahoud’s effort on the stroke of half-time put Gladbach in control, with Andre Hahn securing the points in the second half after Andrej Kramaric’s fifth goal in nine Bundesliga games had threatened an upset.
Gladbach are a point and a place behind fourth-placed Hertha Berlin, who have not won in four games.