FC Bayern Munich, whose chairman Uli Hoeness resigned 12 days ago after being sentenced to prison for tax evasion, defeated Hertha BSC Berlin to take an unassailable lead in Germany’s Bundesliga earlier than any team in the soccer competition’s history.
Bayern, unbeaten in the last 52 Bundesliga games, sealed the title with a 3-1 victory at Hertha’s Olympic Stadium last night. That puts the Munich-based club 25 points ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund after only 27 games this season. Ninth-placed Hertha has 36 points to Bayern’s 77.
First-half goals from Toni Kroos and Mario Goetze in a match dominated by Bayern left Hertha outclassed and struggling to catch up. Hertha’s Colombian-born striker Adrian Ramos converted a 66th-minute penalty kick, and Franck Ribery scored 11 minutes from time to hand Bayern its 24th league title with seven games left.
“In the first half-hour I thought they must be playing with one or two men more,” Jos Luhukay, Hertha BSC’s coach, said on Bayern’s website. “We never got close to the ball.”
The Munich club, last year’s Champions League winner, faces Manchester United in the final eight of this year’s elite European competition. The team beat its own Bundesliga record from last year, when it took the undisputed league leadership with six games left.