Bayern secures unprecedented 4th straight Bundesliga title

Berlin—Bundesliga top-scorer Robert Lewandowski scored twice for Bayern Munich to clinch an unprecedented fourth successive title with a 2-1 win at Ingolstadt on Saturday.
The Poland striker opened the scoring with a penalty in the 15th minute, after Franck Ribery was brought down by Marvin Matip, and he claimed his 29th goal of the season not long after with a precise strike inside the far post after a brilliant through ball from Xabi Alonso.
Moritz Hartmann pulled one back with another penalty — conceded by Alonso — before the break but Bayern never looked in danger of missing out on its record 25th Bundesliga title, and its 26th German championship overall.
“The team played a brilliant season. We had the best challengers in Bundesliga history,” Bayern forward Thomas Mueller said after winning his own fourth consecutive title. “It’s extraordinary, we don’t need to play it down.” Borussia Dortmund’s 1-0 loss at relegation-threatened Eintracht Frankfurt meant even a defeat would have been enough for Bayern, which was eight points clear of Dortmund with one round remaining. Dortmund’s 77 points was already a record for a second-place team since the Bundesliga began in 1963.
Stefan Aigner’s early header proved enough for Frankfurt to climb out of the relegation zone, one point above Werder Bremen in the relegation playoff spot after its scoreless draw at Cologne.
Frankfurt was fortunate Mats Hummels’ equalizer before the break was ruled out for offside. Video replays showed the Dortmund captain was onside at the time.
Stuttgart gave away a 1-0 lead and lost 3-1 at home to Mainz to move a step closer to relegation. Stuttgart was three points below Frankfurt with Wolfsburg next away.
“I’m speechless. I’m sorry for the fans,” said Stuttgart defender Kevin Grosskreutz, who was close to tears. Darmstadt secured survival in its first season back in the Bundesliga with a 2-1 come-from-behind win at Hertha Berlin that all but ended the home side’s Champions League hopes.
Jerome Gondorf’s 25th-minute equalizer for Darmstadt cancelled out Vladimir Darida’s volley 10 minutes before, and Sandro Wagner scored the winner late against his former club, five minutes before he was sent off.—AFP

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