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Bayern Munich claimed their eighth consecutive Bundesliga title by beating Werder Bremen 1-0 away thanks to Robert Lewandowski’s first-half strike to open up an unassailable lead at the top of the table on Tuesday.
The league’s top scorer latched onto a superb Jerome Boateng cross and fired in his 31st goal of the campaign just before the break to send the Bavarians 10 points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, who have three games left.
In a rollercoaster season that saw coach Niko Kovac fired in November with Bayern off the leading positions and Hansi Flick taking over, Bayern turned it around after the winter break, are unbeaten since and won their last 11 straight league matches.
They remained unruffled by the two-month break due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and beat Dortmund last month to overcome the last major obstacle en route to a 29th Bundesliga title since the introduction of the top division in 1963.
It was Bayern’s 30th German league crown overall.
“It is brilliant if you think where we came from (this season),” said midfielder Thomas Mueller, who regained his starting spot under Flick and grabbed 20 assists this season.
“We had a tough time but the way the team has been marching is great. Only one draw against Leipzig (this year) and the rest of the games we won,” he said after the team celebrated their triumph in front of empty stands due to the pandemic.
“The greatest comeback in sports history,” he joked.
Mueller and David Alaba joined record holder Franck Ribery with nine Bundesliga titles.
Werder, desperate to avoid a second relegation after 1980, were bold and matched the Bavarians in the first half for speed and possession.
They also had the better chances until Bayern winger Kingsley Coman’s glancing header in the 24th.
The Bavarians gradually gained ground and broke the deadlock with defender Jerome Boateng’s superb pass for Lewandowski, who turned in the box and fired home in the 43rd minute.
The Polish international, who scored on his return from suspension, is chasing the 40-goal Bundesliga record for one season set by Bayern’s Gerd Mueller in 1972 and had a string of good chances after the break to add to his tally.
But it was keeper Manuel Neuer who proved key for Bayern after they were left with 10 men for the final 10 minutes following the dismissal of Alphonso Davies, making a sensational one-handed save to ensure yet another league title.