BERLIN: Robert Lewandowski netted twice as Bayern Munich became the first club to win four German league titles in a row yesterday with a 2-1 victory at Ingolstadt. The result means Bayern have now won the Bundesliga title in each of Pep Guardiola’s three years in charge in Munich before he leaves to coach Manchester City next season. Second-placed Borussia Dortmund’s 1-0 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt left Bayern an insurmountable eight points clear at the top of the table with one game left. Bayern’s title triumph comes just four days after the heartbreak of their Champions League semifinal exit at the hands of Atletico Madrid. Bayern took the lead at Ingolstadt’s Audi-Sport Park when Franck Ribery was fouled by home captain Marvin Matip in the area and Lewandowski drilled home the resulting spot-kick on 15 minutes.
The Poland hot-shot, the Bundesliga’s leading scorer, then added his second when he drilled home Xabi Alonso’s superb pass from a tight angle for his 29th league goal of the season. Ingolstadt’s Australia striker Mathew Leckie was denied by Manuel Neuer but the hosts pulled a goal back on 42 minutes when Moritz Hartmann converted a penalty after a push from behind from Alonso. Meanwhile, Dortmund suffered their first league defeat of 2016 as they lost at relegationthreatened Frankfurt, who climbed out of the bottom three.
Eintracht took a deserved lead when Stefan Aigner headed home a cross from Japan’s Makoto Hasebe on 14 minutes after Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Buerki had already pulled off two reflex saves. Fourth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach are set to qualify for next season’s Champions League after their 2-1 comeback win at home to Bayer Leverkusen as Andre Hahn scored both of their goals. Chile midfielder Charles Aranguiz, who has spent most of the season out with an Achilles tendon injury, put Leverkusen ahead in the first half before Andre Hahn struck either side of the break for Gladbach.
Sixth-placed Hertha Berlin lost ground in their fight for the Champions League when they lost 2-1 at home to Darmstadt, whose striker Sandro Wagner scored the winner against his ex-club and was then sent off for a second booking. Schalke stay on course for a Europa League place after their 1-1 draw at home to Augsburg while Wolfsburg broke their seven-match winless streak, dating back to March, Luiz Gustavo heading in the only goal in the 1-0 victory over Hamburg.
At the other end of the table, VfB Stuttgart are in pole position to join Hanover 96 in the second tier after their 3-1 defeat at home to European hopefuls Mainz left them second from bottom. Werder Bremen dropped to 16th, which means a promotion- relegation play-off at the end of the season, after their goalless draw with Cologne. Relegated Hanover picked up only their seventh win of the season when Japan midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake slotted home to sink Hoffenheim 1-0. — AFP