|(Football) Bayern underline dominance one again
Bayern Munich set a new milestone in its dominance of German football yesterday, beating Hertha Berlin 3-1 to wrap up the quickest Bundesliga title in 51 years of the league.
Goals from Toni Kroos, Mario Goetze and Franck Ribery sealed the unbeaten defending champions' 24th German title with seven games to spare, bettering the mark set in last year's record-breaking campaign by one game.
Adrian Ramos pulled one back from the penalty spot for Hertha, but there was to be no denying Pep Guardiola his first Bundesliga title in his first season as coach.
Bayern's 19th consecutive win, its 10th consecutive victory away from home, and its unbeaten run of 52 games are all Bundesliga records.
Bayern finished 25 points ahead of Borussia Dortmund last season and are even more dominant this campaign.
Of 27 games so far this season, Bayern won 25 and drew the other two. They also scored more goals (79) and conceded fewer (13) than any other side by a large margin.
With domestic domination appearing secure for years to come, Bayern will measure its success on a continental scale. The club's achievement of five European Cup or Champions League titles is eclipsed only by Real Madrid and AC Milan, with nine and seven, respectively.
Bayern aim to become the first side to defend the title since it was changed to the new format in 1992. They were handed a favorable draw for the quarterfinals in a Manchester United side still finding their feet.
Kroos opened the scoring with a half-volley through Hertha goalkeeper Thomas Kraft's legs in the sixth minute, after Christoph Janker deflected Thomas Mueller's cross into the unmarked midfielder's path. It ensured Bayern's record of scoring in 64 successive Bundesliga games continued.
Poor defending from the home side allowed Goetze to score with a header from Bastian Schweinsteiger's cross in the 14th.
The intensity dropped in the second half until an apparent push from Rafinha on Ramos allowed the Colombian striker pull one back from the penalty spot in the 66th.
Ribery made sure of the result in the 79th with a fine finish after a determined run past a host of defenders by Goetze.