Bayern Munich clinch Bundesliga title as Gladbach sink Wolfsburg
Bayern Munich were crowned Bundesliga champions for the third year running without even kicking a ball on Sunday as their nearest rivals Wolfsburg went down to a 1-0 defeat at Borussia Monchengladbach.
Needing to win to keep the title race alive – at least mathematically – for another week, Wolfsburg rarely looked like succeeding as they were second best at the Borussia Park Stadion.
They resisted until the last minute of the game, though, when Max Kruse struck to earn the Foals a win which moves them up to third and secures their place in the Champions League next season.
Patrick Herrmann was Gladbach’s most dangerous outlet, as he has been so frequently in 2015.
He was within inches of turning Kruse’s cross in at the far post with a moment of hesitation as he expected Diego Benaglio to come out, costing him an even greater opportunity to put the Foals in front.
Kevin De Bruyne, who passed a late fitness test to start for the Wolves, was involved in their best moves, although his own physical condition was clearly not up to his usual standards, and this was reflective of his whole team.
After going out of the Europa League on Thursday night, the Wolves looked both physically and mentally drained.
Gladbach kept trying to take advantage, but there was no getting through. Herrmann’s volley gave Benaglio some work to do early in the second half as the pressure mounted without the final ball or touch arriving for the Foals.
In the end, they reverted to taking shots from distance, Kruse blazing an effort over with apparent frustration behind his shot.
He had more composure about him in the last minute, however, when he ghosted in at the far post to beat Benaglio and spark celebrations both in Monchengladbach and in Munich, as the Foals moved two points clear of Leverkusen in third and Bayern were handed the title.
The result means Bayern, who beat Hertha Berlin 1-0 on Saturday to go 15 points clear, have taken the title for a record 25th time, while Pep Guardiola has his 19th major honor as a coach and fifth league title. Bayern have secured the title with four matches to spare.
However, the Champions League semi-finalists will have to wait to celebrate it with their fans as they travel to Bayer Leverkusen next week before hosting Augsburg on May 9th.
"Retaining the title is a magnificent achievement. All credit to the coach and the team," Bayern president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said on the club’s website.
"They’ve been fantastic throughout, in a season following a World Cup where we had a host of players in action."