Bayern Munich wrapped up its 24th Bundesliga title with a comfortable 3-1 victory at Hertha Berlin on Tuesday night where Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze and Frank Ribery found the back of the net to record the fastest Bundesliga championship title in history.
Defending their title with a record seven matches to spare, the Bavarian giants became the first Bundesliga club to win the title in March. Bayern controlled the game, and although Hertha’s Adrian Ramos found the net by scoring a second half penalty for the hosts, a delightful chip from a tight angle by Frank Ribery wrapped up his side’s 3-1 win in the match, as well as securing the 2013/14 Bundesliga title.
Bayern won the league last year with a 25 point margin under Jupp Heynckes, but with manager Pep Guardiola’s arrival in Germany, they look on track to beat last year’s margin and try to establish a new record for the club. The gap appears only likely to widen as the season goes on as their latest triumph saw them go 25 points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund.
Including last season’s UEFA Champions League cup and two back-to-back league titles, Bayern may struggle to find space in a creaking trophy cabinet that has been getting filled every decade since its inception.
With long spells of possession and control giving Hertha little chance of an upset, their evolution under Guardiola was evident in the German capital. Leaving the league’s top goal scorer Mario Mandzukic on the bench, the coach neglected to choose an out-and-out striker, making Gotze operating in a false nine number position.
The fluid structure of Bayern’s attack was replicated across the pitch, as the players essentially did as they pleased on the pitch. Bayern started the match brightly, and it took less than six minutes to assert their dominance. Although a deflection took place from Thomas Muller’s cross from its intended target, Kroos was on hand to strike it in from 12 yards for the first goal of the match. The other goal as well took a similar step as Bastien Schweinsteiger’s cross was nodded in by Gotze from the near post.
Just before the break, Bayern flicked the switch as Gotze prodded wide before Muller’s header struck the crossbar after his clever cut back. An air of resignation filled the stadium and despite an inevitable lull, it only came because Bayern became complacent.
Guardiola attempted to shake things up late with the introduction of Ribery and Mandzukic. Mandzukic’s attempt at the goal was denied by ex-Bayern goalkeeper Thomas Kraft who saved the attempt with his out-stretched right foot, but Ribery made sure that the win was a convincing one by scoring the third and final goal