BERLIN Bayern Munich secured a record fourth consecutive Bundesliga title with a game to spare on Saturday after a 2-1 victory at Ingolstadt helped them put the disappointment of their midweek Champions League semi-final exit behind them.
The Bavarians made sure of their 26th German league crown and the first silverware of their season thanks to two goals from top scorer Robert Lewandowski in the first half.
Four days after their away goals defeat to Atletico Madrid ensured a third consecutive Champions League semi-final exit, Bayern went eight points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, who lost 1-0 at strugglers Eintracht Frankfurt.
They can clinch the double when they take on Dortmund in the German Cup final on May 21 in Berlin, ensuring coach Pep Guardiola will leave the club to join Manchester City in the close season on a high after tightening Bayern's domestic stranglehold.
The final whistle sparked a Bayern party at the 15,000-seater Audi Sportpark, with forward Thomas Mueller grabbing a loud hailer to lead chants with the fans.
In Guardiola's penultimate league game after three seasons in charge, Bayern set the tone with two goals in the first half, with Lewandowski opening the scoring from the penalty spot.
They took their foot off the gas, however, to let Ingolstadt back into the game with a 42nd-minute penalty of their own with the hosts also missing several good chances in the second half.
"It is no small feat to win the league four times in a row," Mueller told reporters.
"It required a lot of work. Quality is not enough if you don't put the work into it. The consistency we have shown in the last few years is incredible. The beer glasses will be in full swing this evening."
Borussia Moenchengladbach's Andre Hahn scored twice in a 2-1 comeback victory over Bayer Leverkusen that all but secured fourth place and a Champions League qualifying round spot.
Gladbach, who lost their opening five league matches of the season, are on 52 in fourth with Mainz 05, Hertha Berlin and Schalke 04 on 49.
Schalke conceded an 89th-minute equaliser in their 1-1 draw against Augsburg and Hertha slumped to a 2-1 loss against Darmstadt 98.
Sandro Wagner's 82nd-minute goal secured all three points for Darmstadt and made sure of their Bundesliga place next season.
Former champions Werder Bremen managed only a goalless draw at Cologne and will now battle it out with Frankfurt on the last matchday to avoid relegation.
Werder are in the relegation playoff spot on 35 with Frankfurt on 36. VfB Stuttgart, Bundesliga champions in 2007, are in 17th on 33 points after their 3-1 loss to Mainz 05.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Toby Davis)
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Published Date: May 07, 2016 09:56 pm | Updated Date: May 07, 2016 09:56 pm