Hertha Berlin vs. Bayern Munich: 6 Things We Learned
Bayern Munich won their 24th Bundesliga title on Tuesday night with an emphatic 3-1 win away to Hertha Berlin in a monumental game that ensured them of their first trophy of the season, with seven rounds of the league still left to play.
It may have taken 27 games, 25 victories and 79 goals for Bayern to claim their title yet debutant coach Pep Guardiola will be over the moon with the manner in which such a feat was done.
Only six managers have won the Bundesliga in their first season, and he joins that exclusive club with an undefeated run to boot. Not a single defeat has been recorded against this side so far this season, with only Dortmund posing a potential threat between now and May.
Berlin, with the mammoth task of getting in between Pep's squad and their trophy, succumbed rather early on, with two opening goals from Toni Kroos and Mario Gotze concluding a 20-minute spell from kick-off that saw the Bavarian side essentially kill off the game before some of the home team had even touched the ball.
The second half was a more timid affair in which Jos Luhukay's side regained their composure and even pulled a goal back when powerful striker Adrian Ramos converted a late penalty in the 66th minute. The Colombian had been pestering the Bayern defence for much of the game and now looked to spoil the Bavarian parade.
Then up stepped Franck Ribery, the proverbial hero of this star-studded side, to finish the game off as he has done on countless occasions. With a simple flick of the boot before the onrushing Thomas Kraft in the Hertha goal, the Frenchman chipped the shot and finished the move, the game and ultimately the Bundesliga season. Bayern are champions in March.
Goetze Takes False No. 9 Role Again
In what seemed like a practical joke in the most important of games, Guardiola opted for none other than midfielder Mario Geotze to lead the Bayern frontline and score Bayern to their next Bundesliga title.
Although the ex-Dortmund star has predominantly played as a midfielder for much of the season, and often failed when asked to play as a lone striker under his new coach's instructions, he was on form tonight with a goal no sooner than the 14th minute.
It was a tactical move that worked perfectly on the night that his side claimed the Bundesliga title. One now wonders where the German star will play against Manchester United next week.
Berlin's Poor Run Stretches to Five Games
Although Berlin were never expected to stem the tide of Bavarian domination in tonight's game, fans of the capital side will now begin to worry as they look at the form book and wonder what happened to the side that sprung to the top of the table at the start of the campaign.
Following defeats to Hannover and Gladbach in recent weeks, Luhukay's side now sit ninth in the table without a solitary win in their last five games. They face a trip to tricky Schalke and then a home game against free-scoring Hoffenheim in the coming weeks.
Robben Makes 100th Game in Bundesliga
It was perhaps fitting that in such a game with immense importance it was Arjen Robben who was seen to be tirelessly running up and down the right wing with endless energy for the duration of his time in the game.
In one of his best seasons yet for Bayern, Robben has scored 10 goals and created five assists so far in this current campaign, according to stats from Whoscored.com, and reached yet another milestone with his 100th game in the German top division.
Despite now being 30 years old, you'd be hard pressed to find a Bayern fan who wouldn't wish him another 100 more for their club.
Bayern Stretch Undefeated Run to 52 Matches
Although the conclusion of this game seemed inevitable in so many ways, we must not forget that it was all through hard work and genuine determination to maintain a record that now stretches to 52 unbeaten games in the Bundesliga that allowed Guardiola's side to win in such style.
Whether it was this 3-1 win over Hertha Berlin, the tight affair against Mainz at the weekend or even the victory over Dortmund earlier in the season, Bayern have simply been fantastic week in and week out and have yet to deserve to lose a game.
Hertha Show Bite Despite Bayern Dominance
Although the game never looked as though it was ever going to turn in Hertha's favour, Adrian Ramos made the noble effort of turning it all into some form of competition with a goal in the 66th minute.
It would have perhaps been all too fitting to have seen a striker heavily linked with a move to Dortmund in the summer ruin Bayern's parade, yet Franck Ribery stepped up late in the game to secure the win and title for his side.
Hertha are, of course, one of the few sides actually to put Bayern to the sword this season, after scoring two against them earlier in the campaign—a feat that no other club has managed in the Bundesliga so far since Guardiola took over.
Bayern Become First-Ever March Champions
Bayern Munich won their 24th German Bundesliga title on Tuesday night with a heroic 3-1 victory over Berlin in the nation's capital.
The monumental achievement now means that coach Guardiola has become the sixth manager in Bundesliga history to win the division in his debut season, with an incredible seven games still to go. It's a record that now beats the one set by Jupp Heynckes with this very side last season.
The Bavarian giants have been the better team since week one and will undoubtedly echo the sentiment from across the league when they say they thoroughly deserved this title so far from the end of the season.
Now the new German champions turn their attention to the European Champions League which they so desperately want to retain.