Barren draw help Bayern Munich clinch Bundesliga title

May 5th, 2008 - 1:00 pm ICT by admin  

DPA
Hamburg, May 5 (DPA) Bayern Munich wrapped up their 21st German football title with a goalless draw at VfL Wolfsburg. The result Sunday night gave Bayern (67 points) an unassailable 10-point lead over Werder Bremen with three matches left of the Bundesliga season.

It also seals a seventh league and cup double, and a third in four seasons after 2005 and 2006 under Felix Magath, now in charge at Wolfsburg.

For outgoing coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, it was a fifth league title and a third domestic double with Bayern - to go with two league titles with Borussia Dortmund and Champions League victories with both clubs.

“The team deserved it, it led from the start. It was a very good season,” club president Franz Beckenbauer told TV network Premiere.

Midfielder Mark van Bommel said: “We had the same goals and were hungry. We played a consistant season apart from a few weeks before the winter break.”

The champagne had been kept on ice following last week’s results which had virtually assured Bayern of the title.

But there was little sparkle from a reshuffled Bayern side minus the injured goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, defender Lucio, midfielders Franck Ribery and Ze Roberto and striker Miroslav Klose. Bayern, routed 4-0 by Zenit St Petersburg in the UEFA Cup Thursday, were unable to raise their game against a workmanlike Wolfsburg, fighting for a UEFA Cup place.

In the day’s other match, Manasseh Ishiaku scored twice as Duisburg grabbed a last-gasp 3-2 victory over Bayer Leverkusen.

Duisburg move off the bottom - leaving Hansa Rostock now last - but are still three points adrift of Arminia Biefeld and Energie Cottbus.

Headers from Lukas Sinkiewicz and Tranquillo Barnetta twice pulled sixth-placed Leverkusen level, but Duisburg scored a dramatic stoppage time winner from Blagoy Georgiev.

The result was a severe setback for Leverkusen’s hopes of UEFA Cup qualification, leaving them three points adrift of VfB Stuttgart and SV Hamburg.

In Wolfsburg, Hitzfeld, who takes over as Switzerland coach after the European Championships, was presented with a bouquet of flowers before kick-off by the home side.

Wolfsburg’s generosity continued when they failed to take their chances against a lacklustre Bayern side.

Edin Dzeko missed an early chance, before Marcelinho tested Michael Rensing in goal from a free-kick, fellow Brazilian Grafite shot across goal and Marcelinho again went close with a long-range effort.

Daniel Baier shot narrowly over the bar and Grafite struck the outside of the post as Wolfsburg plugged away after the break, but a goal never really looked like coming and Bayern were content to clinch the point they needed.

In matches Saturday, Bremen defeated Energie Cottbus 2-0, third- placed Schalke 04 were held 1-1 by visiting Hanover, fourth-placed SV Hamburg were 3-1 winners at Hansa Rostock, while fifth-placed VfB Stuttgart drubbed Eintracht Frankfurt 4-1.

Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin defeated Karlsruhe 3-1, Arminia Bielefeld beat VfL Bochum 2-0, while Borussia Dortmund drew 0-0 with Nuremberg on Friday.
DPA

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