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Ribery, Podolski seal win for Champions Bayern

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 7 May 2008

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French midfielder Franck Ribery and Germany striker Lukas Podolski, both set to star for their countries at next month’s Euro 2008, fired Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich to a 2-0 win on Wednesday.

Bayern were crowned champions following the 0-0 draw at Wolfsburg on Sunday and there were big celebrations after the final whistle in Munich on Wednesday night.

Ribery put his side ahead with a first-half strike at home to Arminia Bielefeld while Podolski, replacing broken-nose victim Miroslav Klose, scored early in the second half.

After another clean sheet, Bayern are now just two games away from the record for the lowest number of goals conceded in a Bundesliga season.

Their defence has leaked just 18 goals this season, the current record is 22, and they have a ten-point lead at the top of the table.

Nine-man Werder Bremen reclaimed second place in the league with a 1-0 win at Hamburg in the north Germany derby.

Bremen were lucky not to lose goalkeeper Tim Weise in the first half after he leapt into Hamburg striker Ivica Olic attempting to clear the ball and kicked the Croat on the shoulder.

The Bremen keeper escaped with a yellow card and his side took the lead when Hugo Almeida smashed home his shot from 17 metres in the second half.

But Werder were reduced to ten men when captain Frank Baumann earned his second yellow card for a clumsy challenge to leave his side a man down for the last 30 minutes while Jurica Vranjes was shown a straight red for dangerous play early in injury time.

The mid-week results means Bremen and Schalke 04 are both guaranteed Champions League places next season.

VfL Wolfsburg kept their dream of a UEFA Cup berth alive with a 3-2 win against Eintracht Frankfurt.

But Bayer Leverkusen’s dreams of another season in the UEFA Cup took a hammering when guests Hertha Berlin beat them 2-1.

While Nuremberg took a big step towards avoiding relegation when they conjured a 2-0 win over fellow bottom three side Duisburg.

On Tuesday night, Schalke enjoyed a 3-0 win over VfL Bochum.

Gerald Asamoah’s 34th minute header gave Schalke the lead before Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic put the result beyond doubt when he netted on 67 minutes and captain Marcelo Bordon added a late third with a header.

Hanover 96 keep alive their slim dream of a top five finish which will give them a place in Europe next season with a 3-0 win over Hansa Rostock, who look certain to be relegated as they went bottom of the table.

VfB Stuttgart’s chances of a Champions League place next season are all but over after their 3-2 defeat at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday when Switzerland striker Alexander Frei hit two second-half goals.

Energie Cottbus picked up a valuable point with their 1-1 draw against Karlsruhe to leave them four points clear of the relegation zone.

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