Magical backheel seals Bayern′s Bundesliga title | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 06.04.2013
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Magical backheel seals Bayern's Bundesliga title

A dreamy backheel from midfield lynchpin Bastian Schweinsteiger was enough to give Bayern Munich the victory they needed over Eintracht Frankfurt and become the earliest ever Bundesliga champions.

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - APRIL 06: Bastian Schweinsteiger of FC Bayern Muenchen celebrates scoring the opening goal with team mate Dante during the Bundesliga match between Eintracht Frankfurt and FC Bayern Muenchen at the Commerzbank-Arena on April 6, 2013 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Bundesliga Tor Jubel FC Bayern München Dante Schweinsteiger

Bayern Munich have a record six games to parade their 23rd Bundesliga title, after they became the earliest ever champions on Saturday thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 victory away to fifth-placed Frankfurt.

David Alaba missed Bayern's best chance to take the lead in the first half, after a clumsy challenge on Thomas Müller brought the champions-in-waiting a penalty. But the Austrian midfielder's spot-kick merely glanced the right-hand post.

It was only in the second half that Bayern seized the initiative, through local hero Bastian Schweinsteiger. The lynchpin of the Bayern side - who was briefly injured in the first half and almost substituted - got on the end of an inch-perfect Philipp Lahm cross and pulled off a startling back-heeled volley to clip the ball into the net.

Frankfurt did all they could to prevent Bayern from being crowned in their home town, and went close three times in the last few minutes, but it wasn't enough to prevent the wild celebrations on the touchline as the whistle blew. Their last few league games will now presumably be devoted to breaking more records, and providing a fitting send-off to outgoing coach Jupp Heynckes.

Dortmund's striker Julian Schieber (L) and FC Augsburg's Estonian defender Ragnar Klavan (R) vie for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match Borussia Dortmund vs FC Augsburg in Dortmund, western Germany, on April 6, 2013. AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ RESTRICTIONS / EMBARGO - DFL RULES TO LIMIT THE ONLINE USAGE DURING MATCH TIME TO 15 PICTURES PER MATCH. IMAGE SEQUENCES TO SIMULATE VIDEO IS NOT ALLOWED AT ANY TIME. FOR FURTHER QUERIES PLEASE CONTACT THE DFL DIRECTLY AT + 49 69 650050 (Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Bright young prospect Schieber scored twice for Dortmund

Dortmund come from behind against Augsburg

Second-placed Dortmund, who made five changes to the side that drew against Malaga in the Champions League last week, made hard work of their 4-2 victory over relegation-threatened Augsburg.

Dortmund took the lead in the 22nd minute when Moritz Leitner's ball into the area was knocked out wide to striker Julian Schieber, who turned his man inside out before slamming the ball home.

But then, after being toothless for almost the entire first half, Augsburg turned the game on its head in 80 dizzying seconds just before halftime. First Daniel Baier equalized with a sweet strike after a corner was only half-cleared by Dortmund's defense, then Kevin Vogt followed up to finish off a sweeping counterattack.

Dortmund's Australian second goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak, brought in to rest Roman Weidenfeller, looked a little shaky for both goals, but popped up late in the second half to pull off a stunning save.

BREMEN, GERMANY - APRIL 06: Aleksandar Ignjovski (R) of Bremen and Jefferson Farfan (L) of Schalke battle for the ball during the Bundesliga match between Werder Bremen and FC Schalke 04 at Weser Stadium on April 6, 2013 in Bremen, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Schalke beat Bremen away after a sluggish start

Coach Jürgen Klopp wheeled out his Ferraris in the second half, bringing on Robert Lewandowski and Mario Götze. And last season's champions promptly re-established Bundesliga order, first through Schieber in the 52nd minute, who started and finished a swift move down the middle with the help of Lewandowski, and then defender Neven Subotic, who tapped in a teasing Götze free-kick from one yard out.

Lewandowski then completed the result in stoppage time. The Pole has now scored in his tenth consecutive league game, though he will do well to manage six more and equal Gerd Müller's record.

Leverkusen held by Wolfsburg

Leverkusen could only manage a 1-1 home draw against 12th-placed Wolfsburg, a potentially decisive setback in their hopes of catching Dortmund in second place. But at least Andre Schürrle continued his comeback after a brief goal drought when he popped up on the end of a Sven Bender cross in the 12th minute, after Wolfsburg defender Simon Kjaer - who has struggled for form throughout the season - mis-controlled the ball.

But Leverkusen failed to take hold of the match despite their superiority, and Wolfsburg equalized in the 70th minute, through none other than Kjaer, the big Dane heading home a Ricardo Rodriguez free-kick. Wolfsburg held on for the draw.

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - APRIL 06: Andre Schuerrle (L) of Leverkusen scores the opening goal during the Bundesliga match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and VfL Wolfsburg at BayArena on April 6, 2013 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Leverkusen could only draw against lowly Wolfsburg

Schalke trounce Bremen

In another season, a Schalke - Bremen match might have been a clash of top four rivals. But Saturday's game was merely a match between 4th (Schalke) and 14th (Bremen), and it got off to a dreary start with few chances from either side.

Nevertheless there was much to play for: Schalke are locked in a battle for fourth place with Frankfurt, who were being beaten by Bayern at the same time.

It was only in the second half that proceedings got going, when Julian Draxler gave the Royal Blues the lead with an excellent drive in the 51st minute. That was followed in the 69th minute when Ciprian Marica was a little lucky to capitalize on a terrible back pass from defender Assani Lukimya.

Elsewhere, Mönchengladbach got a workmanlike 1-0 victory over bottom club Greuther Fürth, who lost defender Matthias Zimmermann to a second yellow card in the 66th minute. The sending off opened up space for the home side, who got the decisive goal through Luuk de Jong in the 74th minute.

Hamburg lose at home to Freiburg

In Saturday's evening game, eighth-placed Freiburg travelled to ninth-placed Hamburg and came away with a 1-0 win that put them in fifth.

The home side were still recovering from the 9-2 mauling they received at the hands of Bayern Munich last weekend, but both clubs were well-placed in a mid-table melee in tantalizing reach of next season's Europa League.

HSV were much more cautious than last week, with striker Rafael van der Vaart playing noticeably deeper than he did against Bayern. As a result both sides struggled to find a way forward in a dour first half.

Fußball Bundesliga 28. Spieltag Hamburger SV - SC Freiburg am 06.04.2013 Imtech-Arena Hamburg. Freiburgs Jonathan Schmid (l) und Freiburgs Matthias Ginter feiern das 0:1 durch Schmid. Foto: Axel Heimken/dpa (Achtung: Hinweis zur Bildnutzung! Die DFL erlaubt die Weiterverwertung von maximal 15 Fotos (keine Sequenzbilder und keine videoähnlichen Fotostrecken) während des Spiels (einschließlich Halbzeit) aus dem Stadion und/oder vom Spiel im Internet und in Online-Medien. Uneingeschränkt gestattet ist die Weiterleitung digitalisierter Aufnahmen bereits während des Spiels ausschließlich zur internen redaktionellen Bearbeitung (z.B. via Bilddatenbanken).)

Schmid's goal for Freiburg consigned HSV to another defeat

South Korean striker Son Heung-min wasted the home side's best chances, particularly early in the second half after a brilliant ball from Artjoms Rudnevs found him through on goal with just the goalkeeper to beat.

Similarly Freiburg offered little going forward, with Jan Rosenthal going close with a left-footed shot into the side-netting just after the interval. The guests opened the scoring in the 69th minute through Jonathan Schmid, who was wide open when a pass opened up the right flank and he got on the end of the resulting cross.

After that, Freiburg effectively controlled their hosts, whose already fragile confidence drained out of them in the last 20 minutes. Rosenthal should have sealed the win in the 73rd minute, when a terrible pass and a slip HSV's defense left him through on goal, but his chip was just low enough for Rene Adler to tip wide.

As it turned out, it didn't matter, and Schmid's goal was enough to put Freiburg on course for the Europa League.

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