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Neuer hails Guardiola influence

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer paid credit to Pep Guardiola after they won their 24th German title on Tuesday.

Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze and Franck Ribery scored in a 3-1 win at Hertha Berlin, which means Bayern defended their Bundesliga title with a whopping seven games to spare.

They have become the first Bundesliga winners in March and have now won 19 consecutive top flight matches, with an unbeaten record that sits at 52.

Bayern have evolved ever since Guardiola took on the top job last year, and that was clearly evident in the German capital as the Bavarians controlled the match with long spells of possession.

Guardiola’s team had more than 1,000 passes and showed all the hallmarks of the Spaniard’s trophy-laden reign at Barcelona.

And Neuer made special mention of the influence Guardiola has had on the champions.

He said: “Everything has come together for us. We’ve played phenomenal football this season.

“I don’t think this would have been possible (for a Bundesliga side to win the title in March), but we’re delighted.

“We’re so happy to have Pep Guardiola here. He’s evolved our game even further.”

Ribery sealed the victory with an exquisite late chip, a goal that settled Bayern nerves after Adrian Ramos’ second-half penalty.

And the Frenchman said every member of Bayern’s squad can feel proud of their efforts as their unbeaten run continued.

“It’s unbelievable to clinch the title on the back of an unbeaten record,” Ribery stated.

“We’re all unbelievably proud of the team and our achievements this season.”

Tue 25 March, 2014
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