Bayern Munich celebrate Bundesliga title
Bayern Munich has confirmed its domination of the Bundesliga this season, three matches before its completion. The team can now focus on European qualification.
Hamburg -- Bayern Munich wrapped up their 21st German football title on Sunday with a goalless draw at VfL Wolfsburg, completing their consistent domination of the Bundesliga this season.
The result gave Bayern (67 points) an unassailable 10-point lead over Werder Bremen with three matches left of the season.
The final whistle triggered joyful celebrations on the pitch by Bayern players who were immediately provided by giant glasses of Bavarian beer, most of which immediately landed over team mates.
Bayern led the Bundesliga from the start and have now sealed a seventh league and cup double, and a third in four seasons after 2005 and 2006 under Felix Magath, now in charge at Wolfsburg.
For outgoing coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, it was a fifth league title and a third domestic double with Bayern; to go with two league titles with Borussia Dortmund and Champions League victories with both clubs.
"It was a special season because the expectations were huge and there had been great disappointment from last year," Hitzfeld told Premiere TV.
"The pressure was high. We invested heavily in new players and you never know how it is going to go.
"It gives me great satisfaction that I can hand over to Juergen Klinsmann a super team which can again compete at the top next season."
Club president Franz Beckenbauer said: "The team deserved it, it led from the start. It was a very good season."
Midfielder Mark van Bommel said: "We had the same goals and were hungry. We played a consistent season apart from a few weeks before the winter break."
The champagne had been kept on ice following last week's results which had virtually assured Bayern of the title.
It was perhaps fitting that Bayern were able to seal the title in Wolfsburg, led by former coach Magath, and where five years ago they also clinched the last title with Hitzfeld.
But there was little sparkle in the performance from a reshuffled Bayern side minus the injured goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, defender Lucio, midfielders Franck Ribery and Ze Roberto and striker Miroslav Klose.
Bayern, routed 4-0 by Zenit St Petersburg in the UEFA Cup on Thursday, were unable to raise their game against a workmanlike Wolfsburg, fighting for a UEFA Cup place.
That did nothing to spoil the celebrations, with Hitzfeld among those receiving a drenching of beer.
Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigee was also a victim when soaked by Bastian Schweinsteiger while giving a television interview. "He will be sold," Rummenigge immediately said.
Bayern's premature title triumph will now focus attention on the race for European qualification and on the battle for relegation.
Duisburg clawed themselves off the bottom with a last gasp 3-2 victory over Bayer Leverkusen.
Manasseh Ishiaku scored twice before a dramatic stoppage time winner from Blagoy Georgiev to move Duisburg above Nuremberg and Hansa Rostock, now last, but still three points adrift of Arminia Biefeld and Energie Cottbus.
Headers from Lukas Sinkiewicz and Tranquillo Barnetta had twice pulled sixth-placed Leverkusen level, before Duisburg's winner which was a setback for the visitors' hopes of UEFA Cup qualification.
In matches on Saturday, Bremen defeated Energie Cottbus 2-0, third-placed Schalke 04 were held 1-1 by visiting Hanover, fourth-placed SV Hamburg were 3-1 winners at Hansa Rostock, while fifth-placed VfB Stuttgart drubbed Eintracht Frankfurt 4-1.
Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin defeated Karlsruhe 3-1, Arminia Bielefeld beat VfL Bochum 2-0, while Borussia Dortmund drew 0-0 with Nuremberg on Friday.