On this day in 2018, emotions boiled over as Hamburg were condemned to the drop for the first time ever
Gareth Messenger - @G_Messenger
It had been lurking for over a year, but eventually Hamburg’s troubles on the pitch proved too much of a problem to overcome.
Two years ago, on this day, Hamburg were relegated from the Bundesliga for the first time in their history. Such was the shock and anger at failing to avoid the drop, fans took out their frustrations, delaying the end of the match against Borussia Monchengladbach by throwing flares on to the pitch.
Despite winning their final game of the season 2-1, Hamburg needed Wolfsburg to lose against already relegated Cologne. That was not to happy, as Wolfsburg comfortably won 4-1 at home.
When relegation was confirmed, fans set off flares and police and security staff came on to the pitch. The match was eventually completed after a 10-minute delay at the Volksparkstadion.
Hamburg had been the only team to play every season in the Bundesliga since its 1963 formation. Such was the club’s pride, the stadium even had a clock which counted the days, hour and minutes the club had been in the Bundesliga – a clock which had to be reset once the drop could not be stopped.
In truth, this had been coming. Hamburg stayed up on the final day the season previous and survived in the relegation play-offs in 2015 and 2016, on the latter occasion after an equaliser in the first minute of added time.
This season has been more chaotic than most. Three managers sat in the dugout: Markus Gisdol was sacked in the January after winning twice since August, Bernd Hollerbach lasted two months without a win, then the reserve coach Christian Titz was promoted for what looked like merely the procession.
Hamburg went out with a bang on this day, two years ago: fireworks and flares rained down from the stands, filling the stadium with smoke. The last moments of Bundesliga football in Hamburg, for the meantime, included the pitch filled with police and the goalmouth on fire.