FAN­TAS­TIC FIVE

Bay­ern seal fifth Bun­desliga ti­tle in a row

New Straits Times - - Sport -

CARLO Ancelotti hailed Bay­ern Mu­nich’s “fan­tas­tic” fifth suc­ces­sive Bun­desliga ti­tle af­ter their 6-0 rout of 10-man Wolfs­burg clinched the tro­phy with three games to spare.

“This Bun­desliga sea­son was a fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Ancelotti, who se­cured the ti­tle in his first year in Ger­many af­ter vic­tory in Wolfs­burg left Bay­ern 10 points clear of RB Leipzig.

Robert Le­wandowski net­ted twice while David Alaba, Thomas Mueller, Joshua Kim­mich and Ar­jen Robben also scored as Bay­ern de­mol­ished their rel­e­ga­tion­threat­ened op­po­nents at the Volk­swa­gen Arena.

For Ancelotti, 57, it was his 19th tro­phy won as a man­ager as he de­liv­ered Bay­ern their 27th league crown — 18 more than any other Ger­man club.

The Ital­ian has now lifted league ti­tles in four dif­fer­ent coun­tries af­ter win­ning Serie A with AC Mi­lan, the Premier League with Chelsea, and Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Ger­main.

“I am very happy, this win was im­por­tant and it’s a fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Ancelotti.

“The team have done a very good job and I would like to thank this fan­tas­tic club.

“I am lucky to be here with these great play­ers and the fans who have sup­ported us so fan­tas­ti­cally all sea­son.

“We de­served the ti­tle, we played nice foot­ball.

“Now is the time to cel­e­brate and af­ter that, we will pre­pare for the new sea­son as best as pos­si­ble.”

De­spite the ti­tle suc­cess, Ancelotti knows his first sea­son in Bavaria will be over­shad­owed by Bay­ern’s Cham­pi­ons League quar­ter-fi­nal de­feat to Real Madrid and Ger­man Cup semi­fi­nal loss at home to Borus­sia Dort­mund.

The Bun­desliga tri­umph is con­so­la­tion for Wed­nes­day’s 3-2 cup de­feat against Dort­mund, which de­nied Ancelotti the chance of em­u­lat­ing pre­de­ces­sor Pep Guardi­ola with a do­mes­tic dou­ble in his first sea­son.

Bay­ern pres­i­dent Uli Hoe­ness has said just one ti­tle “is a bit too lit­tle” for a club that crave suc­cess, but chair­man Karl-Heinz Rum­menigge praised the recordex­tend­ing achieve­ment of a fifth straight ti­tle.

“This is some­thing ex­cep­tional and un­be­liev­able,” said Rum­menigge. “I be­lieve we com­pletely de­serve to be cham­pi­ons.”

Bay­ern cap­tain Philipp Lahm will re­tire at the end of the sea­son and will lift the Bun­desliga tro­phy for the eighth time af­ter the fi­nal league match on May 20.

“We re­ally de­served that as a team,” said Lahm.

“It wasn’t a fore­gone con­clu­sion we would win the ti­tle with three games left to play.

“We scored our goals at the right time and we showed how much joy we take from play­ing, that makes it hard for every op­po­nent.”

The 33-year-old will hang up his boots hav­ing also led Ger­many to the 2014 World Cup.

He has claimed every ma­jor hon­our with Bay­ern — no­tably win­ning the 2013 Cham­pi­ons League as well as the Ger­man Cup six times.

“The fig­ures are pretty good, but 16 goals in 515 matches means there’s room for im­prove­ment,” quipped Lahm. AFP

EPA PIC

Bay­ern Mu­nich play­ers cel­e­brate with a mock paper Bun­desliga cham­pi­onship tro­phy af­ter beat­ing Wolfs­burg 6-0 at the Volk­swa­gen Arena on Satur­day.

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