Bayern Munich beats Frankfurt to wrap up Bundesliga title

Associated Press
4/6/2013 12:39:39 PM
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BERLIN -- Bayern Munich wrapped up the German title in record time by winning 1-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday with six rounds left in the season, an unprecedented feat in 50 years of the Bundesliga.

"I never became a champion at such chilly temperatures, neither as a player nor as a coach," Jupp Heynckes said after leading Bayern to the title for the third time in his third stint as coach. It was 6 degrees C during the game.

Bastian Schweinsteiger scored with a classy back-heel to deflect Phillip Lahm's cross past goalkeeper Oka Nikolov in the 52nd minute for Bayern's 11th win in succession -- also a record within one Bundesliga season.

"We spoke about it for a long time, about taking it from game to game," Lahm said. "It was a long road and I think it was totally deserved. If you look at the statistics for the season you can see we were clearly the best side."

Defending two-time champion Borussia Dortmund came from two goals down to beat Augsburg 4-2 at home but was unable to prevent Bayern from sealing its 23rd German championship.

"We hope to be able to keep the gap somewhat smaller next season," Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said.

Bayern, on 75 points, remains on course to smash Dortmund's record of 81 set last year.

"It's fantastic. Above all, I'm happy for my players, who put in tremendous work all season," Heynckes said.

Bayern holds a 2-0 lead over Juventus before the return leg of their Champions League quarterfinal on Wednesday, and has eliminated holder Dortmund from the German Cup, raising the prospect of a treble for Heynckes' side before the 67-year-old steps down to make way for Pep Guardiola.

"We want more this season," said Bayern winger Arjen Robben. "When you still have two competitions to go, you want to win them, too."

Heynckes made five changes to the side that beat Juventus on Tuesday, though it seemed to make little difference as his players seized the initiative.

Xherdan Shaqiri crashed his 18-meter shot off the right post in the 10th, and Bayern had a golden opportunity to score after Thomas Mueller went down under Marco Russ' challenge in the 27th, only for David Alaba to skim the outside of the same post with his penalty.

Schweinsteiger scored with a goal worthy of a title, but Bayern relied on Manuel Neuer for two outstanding reflex saves toward the end, when Frankfurt finished strongly.

"Nobody deserves the title more than Jupp Heynckes," said Frankfurt coach Armin Veh. "He's a great example for me."

Bayern claimed its first German title in 1932, and earned a record 22 since the Bundesliga was formed in 1963.

"This title is something very special after Dortmund really annoyed us for two years," said Bayern president Uli Hoeness. "This is a wonderful response."

Klopp said before his side's game he wasn't bothered about Bayern's achievement.

"That's sport. There's a winner every year. We won two years in a row, that's extraordinary enough," Klopp said.

Dortmund drew 0-0 at Malaga in the Champions League in midweek, and Klopp made seven changes to that side with the return quarterfinal to come on Tuesday.

Julian Schieber opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, but Augsburg struck twice in as many minutes before halftime through Daniel Baier and Kevin Vogt.

Schieber equalized seven minutes into the second half, before Mario Goetze came on to help Neven Subotic make it 3-2 in the 64th.

Goetze set up another in injury time, when league topscorer Robert Lewandowski struck for the 10th game in succession to take his tally to 21.

Elsewhere, Schalke won 2-0 at Werder Bremen, Bayer Leverkusen drew 1-1 with Wolfsburg, and Borussia Moenchengladbach beat bottom side Greuther Fuerth 1-0.

Jonathan Schmid scored in the 69th for Freiburg to win 1-0 at Hamburger SV and climb to fifth, above Frankfurt on goal difference.

Hamburg desperately needed a good result after last weekend's 9-2 mauling at Bayern, but was whistled by the remaining fans following the third defeat in a row.

"You have to have a bit of luck," said Hamburg sporting director Frank Arnesen.

Julian Draxler scored with a low driving shot after the Bremen defence failed to clear the ball in the 51st, and Ciprian Marica added another in the 69th as Schalke consolidated fourth place.

Andre Schuerrle scored with a great volley in the 12th for third-place Leverkusen, but Simon Kjaer equalized with 20 minutes remaining.

Luuk de Jong's 74th-minute strike was enough for Moenchengladbach against Fuerth, whose Matthias Zimmermann was sent off shortly before.

14:38ET 06-04-13

Bastian Schweinsteiger  (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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