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Beer baths as Bayern claim Bundesliga title

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 4 May 2008

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The beer flowed as Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga title on Sunday after a lacklustre 0-0 draw at VfL Wolfsburg gave them the precious point to be crowned German champions for the 21st time.

The stalemate in Wolfsburg puts Bayern on 67 points – ten more than second-placed Werder Bremen – and with only three games left this season, Munich can not be caught.

Bayern have now won the league, German Cup and German League Cup this season.

After the final whistle, celebrating Bayern players took turns soaking each other – and the management – with beer as chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was given a bath live on television from midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.

“We have had an outstanding season and it bodes well for next season,” said Rummenigge moments before his beer bath.

Ottmar Hitzfeld, who won his 25th title as a coach and leaves Bayern to take charge of the Switzerland team after this June's Euro 2008, was caught unaware by midfielder Mark van Bommel.

“It is something special to win the German league,” said a soggy Hitzfeld.

“The team didn't play very well today and were flat, but it has been a special season.

“The expectation on us was enormous and we had a lot of players here who didn't speak German so you never know what will happen.”

In the comfort of the television studio, Bayern president Franz Beckenbauer stayed dry and added he was proud of the team.

“The team earned their title, we led the table from the first weekend of the season, which doesn't always happen.

“It has been a very, very good season, the new players did well.”

But the league and cup double winners rode their luck and created few chances as Wolfsburg, with Brazilian Marcelinho dominating the midfield, squandered countless opportunities to win the game.

Bayern were decimated by injuries with captain Oliver Khan, striker Miroslav Klose, midfielders Franck Ribery and Ze Roberto plus defenders Philipp Lahm and Lucio all missing after the exertions of their UEFA Cup campaign last Thursday.

Reserve goalkeeper Michael Rensing kept his side in the game with a string of saves, while Lukas Podolski was largely ineffective alongside Toni in attack.

Wolfsburg are hunting a UEFA Cup place next season and with former Bayern coach Felix Magath at the helm, they dominated the first half with a string of chances and were unlucky not to come away with all three points.

Also on Sunday, Duisburg lifted themselves off the bottom of the Bundesliga with a 3-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen as Bulgarian international Blagoy Georgiev hit the winner deep into injury time.

On Saturday, second-half goals by Swedish striker Markus Rosenberg and Portugal's Hugo Almeida were enough to give Bremen the win at Energie Cottbus.

But third-placed Schalke 04 dropped out of the title race after a 1-1 draw with Hanover.

VfB Stuttgart broke back into the top five – and a place in Europe next season – when they pounded Eintracht Frankfurt 4-1.

Hamburg are fourth after a 3-1 win at Hansa Rostock.

And Arminia Bielefeld helped their precarious league position, just above the relegation zone, with a 2-0 win over VfL Bochum.

On Friday night, Nuremberg did little to ease their relegation worries with a 0-0 draw at Borussia Dortmund.

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