Bayern Munich won their 23rd German league title in record time on yesterday by beating Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 to open up an unassailable 20-point lead with six games left in the season.
The Bavarians ended the two-year reign of Borussia Dortmund by clinching their 22nd Bundesliga title faster than any club in the league’s 50-year history. It was Bastian Schweinsteiger who beautifully flicked the ball into the net with a backheel in the 52nd minute to lift Bayern to 75 points, 20 ahead of second-placed Dortmund, who beat Augsburg 4-2.
“It is a fantastic moment, and I am winning a league title after 23 years again,” said coach Jupp Heynckes, pictured, who guided Bayern to the championship in 1989 and 1990 during his first stint as coach.
“My players are now harvesting all the work they put in throughout the year. They put into action exactly what I told them.”
Heynckes will make way for Pep Guardiola at the end of the season – by which time Bayern, who are chasing an unprecedented treble for a German club, might have added the Champions League and German Cup crowns.
Fresh from their 2-0 Champions League quarter-final, first leg victory over Juventus, Bayern should have taken the lead much earlier against Frankfurt, Xherdan Shaqiri rattling the post with a low shot in the tenth minute.
David Alaba sent his penalty to the same spot 15 minutes later as the visitors showed some nerves. Schweinsteiger, though, made sure of their 11th straight league win this year with his seventh goal of the campaign, turning in a superb Philipp Lahm cross after Lahm’s burst down the right wing.
Keeper Manuel Neuer needed to come to the rescue late in the game as Frankfurt, battling for a Champions League spot, poured forward.
“We really wanted to win this and get the title out of the way,” said Bayern captain Lahm. “But we now want to focus on Juventus. It is not finished yet.”
Dortmund rested seven key players ahead of their own Champions League quarter-final, second leg against Malaga next week, but had little trouble easing past Augsburg despite briefly trailing 2-1.
Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski sealed their victory with his 21st goal of the campaign after a Julian Schieber double. Fourth-placed Schalke 04 kept their own Champions League hopes alive after beating Werder Bremen 2-0 with goals from Julian Draxler and Ciprian Marica to move up to 45 points, four behind Bayer Leverkusen, who drew 1-1 against VfL Wolfsburg.