Football: Bayern made to wait for historic fourth straight title

Bayern Munich's Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal and team mates celebrate with fans after a 2-0 win in the German first division Bundesliga football match Hertha Berlin vs Bayern Munich at the Olympic stadium in Berlin on April 23, 2016.
Bayern Munich's Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal and team mates celebrate with fans after a 2-0 win in the German first division Bundesliga football match Hertha Berlin vs Bayern Munich at the Olympic stadium in Berlin on April 23, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN (AFP) - Bayern Munich must wait another week to claim an historic fourth consecutive Bundesliga title although Saturday's (April 23) 2-0 win at Hertha Berlin left them seven points clear with three games left.

Bayern could have had the league wrapped up in the capital had second-placed Dortmund not won 3-0 at VfB Stuttgart.

That result means Pep Guardiola's Bavarians will secure the title if they beat Borussia Moechengladbach at Munich's Allianz Arena next Saturday regardless of other results.

"We have everything in our own hands and that was a bit step towards the title," beamed Guardiola, adding that Dortmund's win had maybe done Bayern a favour.

"Perhaps it's not such a bad thing, it means we'll become German champions at home." No other team has ever won four consecutive league titles in Germany's top flight.

Bayern took the lead at Berlin's Olympic Stadium when Mario Goetze's pass found Vidal in space.

The Chile midfielder drilled home his shot from 22 metres, which took a deflection on it's way past Berlin goalkeeper Thomas Kraft on 48 minutes.

Brazil winger Douglas Costa doubled Bayern's lead with a breath-taking strike from the right flank which looped over the Hertha goalkeeper on 79 minutes.

But this was a far from polished performance from Bayern, ahead of Wednesday's Champions League semi-final, first-leg, at Atletico Madrid.

They managed just six shots on goal, compared to Hertha's nine, despite the hosts being restricted to just 26 percent possession.

Dortmund, who will face the Bavarians in the German Cup final on May 21, made Bayern wait a little longer to have their title win confirmed with a comprehensive win at Stuttgart.

Borussia were 2-0 up at the break after Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa netted early on, then 17-year-old Christian Pulisic scored for the second week running.

Just before half-time he tapped home after Henrikh Mkhitaryan's shot from outside the area was blocked by Stuttgart's Poland goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton.

Mkhitaryan made it 3-0 when he fired home after Kagawa's cross to striker Adrian Ramos, in for the injured Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, was blocked by Tyton on 56 minutes.

Wolfsburg's miserable league form continues as they are now six Bundesliga games without a win after crashing 2-0 at home to Augsburg.

Iceland striker Alfred Finnbogason, on loan from Olympiakos, scored his sixth league goal in ten games, with a minute gone, then set up Turkey international Halil Altintop on 57 minutes.

The defeat sees Wolfsburg drop to tenth in the table while Augsburg are now five points clear of the relegation places.

Cologne are up to ninth after backing up their 3-2 comeback win over Mainz with a 4-1 thumping of Darmstadt as French striker Anthony Modeste and winger Marcel Risse both scored twice.

Hanover have only a mathematical chance of avoiding relegation after Japan internationals Hiroki Sakai and Hiroshi Kiyotake scored in their 2-2 draw with 10-man Ingolstadt.

Ingolstadt played for 70 minutes with ten men after French defender Romain Bregerie was sent off for hauling down Hanover midfielder Felix Klaus.

Alfredo Morales and Moritz Hartmann had hosts Ingolstadt 2-0 up with only 25 minutes gone.

Defender Sakai fired home on 58 minutes before midfielder Kiyotake made sure Hanover claimed a point with the equaliser eight minutes from time.

On Friday, Pierre-Michel Lasogga struck twice as Hamburg eased their Bundesliga relegation fears with a 2-1 victory at home to Werder Bremen, who remain stuck in the bottom three.