Bayern Munich clinched a record-extending sixth consecutive Bundesliga title on Saturday, coming from a goal down to ease to a 4-1 win in the Bavarian derby at Augsburg and take the championship with five games to spare.
The predictable victory marks a triumphant fourth spell at the club for coach Jupp Heynckes, who is looking to emulate the treble of Bundesliga, Champions League and German Cup that he achieved at the end of his third spell in 2012/13.
It is Bayern’s 27th Bundesliga title and 28th league title overall – another German record.
Elsewhere hosts Cologne drew 1-1 with Mainz in a tense relegation battle, Borussia Moenchengladbach beat visitors Hertha Berlin 2-1 and Wolfsburg won 2-0 at Freiburg. Rock-bottom SV Hamburg host second-placed Schalke in Saturday’s late game.
No one expected Augsburg to spoil Bayern’s title party – least of all Heynckes, who left Mats Hummels, Franck Ribery, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Mueller on the bench.
Yet, to everyone’s shock, Bayern’s second string conceded on 18 minutes through a comedy own goal, Niklas Suele heading inadvertently past his own keeper after a blunder by Jerome Boateng.
But goals from Corentin Tolisso and James Rodriguez put Bayern ahead at half-time and second-half strikes from Arjen Robben and Sandro Wagner sealed the win and the championship – the perfect present for birthday boy Franck Ribery, who came off the bench for a late cameo as he turned 35.
“Everyone’s been involved in the success here, not just me,” Heynckes told Sky TV, as he praised his backroom and medical staff. “First and foremost it’s down to the players.”
And Heynckes had words of praise for predecessor Carlo Ancelotti, from whom Heynckes took over in late September. “He’s a great coach and a great man,” Heynckes said. “Congratulations on the championship.”
There were nerves galore as Mainz travelled to Cologne in a relegation six-pointer. Jonas Hector headed the hosts into the lead after just seven minutes but Pablo De Blasis replied for Mainz.
A crazy last few minutes saw Giulio Donati red-carded before Jhon Cordoba missed a great chance to seal the win for Cologne more than six minutes into injury time.
Mainz then went up the other end, Robin Quaison forcing a point-blank stop from Cologne keeper Timo Horn that keeps his team’s slim survival hopes alive.
Mainz will be far happier with the draw, which maintains their position in the relegation play-off place, six points clear of Cologne.
Moenchengladbach came from behind to win 2-1 in their mid-table clash with visitors Hertha. Salomon Kalou put the Berliners in front on 40 minutes but a brace from Thorgan Hazard – the second a penalty – means Gladbach still have an outside chance of Europa League football next season.
Wolfsburg prevailed 2-0 at Freiburg in another basement battle. Daniel Didavi was the hero for the Wolves, while Nils Petersen missed a penalty for Freiburg. Neither side is out of relegation trouble yet though, with Wolfsburg two points clear after a first win under new coach Bruno Labbadia and Freiburg three clear of Mainz.