FC Bayern München sealed a record fourth straight Bundesliga title – and a 25th overall – with a deserved 2-1 victory away at FC Ingolstadt 04 on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s charges had been denied winning the title last weekend after being held to a 1-1 draw by Borussia Mönchengladbach. Yet they knew victory here would secure the championship, and were on course for three points early on when Robert Lewandowski converted an early penalty after Franck Ribery had been fouled.
Douglas Costa should have doubled the lead on 22 minutes when he rounded the 'keeper and somehow scuffed wide with the goal gaping, but the glaring miss appeared to matter little as Lewandowski finished acutely from Xabi Alonso’s pass to put the visitors firmly in control. The scoreline was harsh on the hosts, however. Their front three of Dario Lezcano, Mathew Leckie and Moritz Hartmann all carried a threat, and Die Schanzer hauled themselves back into the game when Hartmann stroked home a penalty after he had been upended by Alonso.
After the interval, Guardiola’s team set about killing off the Ingolstadt challenge. David Alaba and Costa flashed efforts wide of the post, while Thomas Müller was thwarted by a superb close-range save from Ramazan Öczan. To their credit, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men stuck to their task well and Hartmann was a whisker away from an equaliser, but some determined defending allowed the record-title winners to see out the result and bring home yet another Bundesliga crown.
Man of the match
After Müller’s costly miss from the penalty spot in Tuesday’s semi-final against Club Atletico de Madrid, Lewandowski took over the responsibility to set Bayern on their way to title glory. The Poland striker moved on to 29 league goals for the season and is now the sure-fire favourite to end the season as top scorer for the second time in his career.
The Reds were left crestfallen after elimination at the semi-final stage of the Champions League for the third season running, but they quickly shook off that disappointment to produce a professional performance and set the seal on their continued dominance of Germany’s top flight.
- Lewandowski’s goal was the 250th scored by Bayern under Guardiola, in the Spaniard’s 101st league match in charge.
- Lewandowski has scored eight of his last nine penalties and all of his spot-kicks for Bayern, and now has a league-high 29 goals in the Bundesliga in 2015/16.
- Hartmann has scored seven penalties from seven in the top flight this season.
- Ingolstadt’s 14 shots on goal was the most Bayern have faced in a Bundesliga match this term.
Ingolstadt: Özcan - da Costa, Matip, Hübner, Suttner - Roger - Groß, Cohen (Morales 63’) – Hartmann (Hinterseer 77’), Lezcano (Lex 82’), Leckie
Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl
Bayern: Neuer - Lahm, Martinez, Kimmich, Alaba – Alonso (Benatia 46’), Costa, Müller, Thiago, Ribery (Rafinha 57’) - Lewandowski
Coach: Pep Guardiola