Bayern Munich claim Bundesliga crown
German football's Bundesliga title race ended on Sunday evening in Germany. But then, did it really ever begin? Pre-season favourites Bayern Munich won the championship with four games remaining.
Bayern Munich collected their 25th title on Sunday evening without even kicking ein Fussball.
Second placed Wolfsburg – the only team capable of catching Bayern – lost at Borussia Moenchengladbach 1-0.
They’re 15 points behind the Bavarians with four games to play. Bayern’s players were probably gearing up for their Bundesliga coronation on Saturday at Bayer Leverkusen. But Max Kruse’s strike in stoppage time for Moenchengladbach means that game will be a showcase for up-and-coming players as well as squad stalwarts.
It’s the third consecutive title for Bayern and the second in a row for coach Pep Guardiola. However the Spaniard and the team won’t have long to celebrate their success.
They play against Borussia Dortmund on 28 April in the semi-final of the German Cup. Bayern are the holders and are bidding for their third consecutive domestic double.
"Retaining the title is a magnificent achievement," Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. "All credit to the coach and the team. They've been fantastic throughout, in a season following a World Cup where we had a host of players in action.”
Bayern are also hunting their second treble in three years.
The Bavarians face Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals in May.
Two years ago Jupp Heynckes led Bayern to the Bundesliga, the German Cup and the Uefa Champions League.
Heynckes was replaced at the start of the 2013 season by Guardiola.
His reputation as a coach was high before he arrived having led Barcelona to 14 trophies, including two Uefa Champions League crowns, in his four seasons at the Camp Nou.
Guardiola has won five domestic chanmpionships in his six years as a manager; three out of four with Barcelona and now two in two for Bayern.
"We'll have a magnificent party at some stage, no worries," Rummenigge added. "But all in good time. When we do, it'll be a huge celebration."
With Bayern Munich anointed champions, the intrigue in the remaining weeks will be the order of the top four teams.
Wolfsburg are in the driving seat for second place despite that loss at Moenchengladbach who have risen to third. Bayer Leverkusen are fourth following their 1-1 draw at Koln.
The top three qualify directly for the group stages of the 2015-2016 competition while the fourth placed team will play in the tournament’s qualifying rounds.
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