Bayern wins Bundesliga tittle in record time

BERLIN (AP) Two months before the season ends, Bayern Munich can claim one of the best seasons in German soccer history.

Bayern earned the Bundesliga championship with seven games to spare, early than any team in the 51-year history of the league, after defeating Hertha Berlin 3-1 on Tuesday.

Toni Kroos, Mario Goetze and Franck Ribery scored for Bayern, which notched its 19th consecutive victory in the Bundesliga. Bayern has won 25 of 27 games and stretched its record unbeaten streak to 52.

Led by former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, Bayern has not lost in the Bundesliga since Oct. 28, 2012, against Bayer Leverkusen.

Bayern beat by one game its own record for the earliest clinched championship, set last season when it won the Bundesliga with a 25-point lead over Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern also won the Champions League and the German Cup, an unprecedented feat that it will try to repeat this season.

Bayern faces Manchester United in the Champions League quarter-finals, and Kaiserslautern in the German Cup semifinals.

The Bavarian team won its 24th German title with an effective attack, led by midfielders Ribery and Arjen Robben, and a defense that has allowed only 13 goals, less than one every two games.

Kroos scored in the sixth minute, Goetze added a rare header in the 14th and Ribery, a Golden Ball finalist who started the game on the bench, sealed the win in the 79th. Adrian Ramos pulled one back from the penalty spot in the 66th.

Dortmund failed to overcome Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann and had to settle for a 0-0 draw in the Ruhr derby. Dortmund remains one point ahead of Schalke and slips 25 behind Bayern, the first side to win the Bundesliga in March.