Bayern Munich wins sixth consecutive Bundesliga title but Man City fails to clinch Premier crown
Bayern Munich underlined its German dominance with a record-extending sixth consecutive Bundesliga title on Saturday while Manchester City collapsed against Manchester United in the second half of a 3-2 loss and missed out on securing the English Premier League in record time.
Jupp Heynckes’ side defeated Augsburg 4-1 away to seal its record 28th German championship, including the solitary pre-Bundesliga title in 1932.
Bayern did it with five rounds to spare, allowing the team to focus on the Champions League and German Cup for the rest of the season. Celebrations were relatively muted as the side looked to the remaining targets.
“There’ll be a lot of time to celebrate,” Franck Ribery said on his 35th birthday.
The French winger, who went on as a substitute, joined former Bayern players Oliver Kahn, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mehmet Scholl and Philipp Lahm on a record eight Bundesliga titles.
Bayern once again sealed the league title away from home. The last time it clinched the title in front of its own fans was in 2000 when the club was still playing at Munich’s Olympiastadion.
Corentin Tolisso, James Rodriguez, Arjen Robben and Sandro Wagner scored as the side came from behind to move an unassailable 20 points ahead of Schalke, which was defeated at Hamburger SV 3-2 later.
Heynckes turned Bayern’s season around after a lackluster start when he returned for his fourth stint in charge in October.
“It was clear that we’d be German champions at some stage with the lead that we had, but at the time (assistant) Peter Hermann and I returned it wasn’t foreseeable as we were five points behind and the team wasn’t really functioning properly,” Heynckes said. “Everyone delivered great work.”
In Manchester, City shredded United apart in the first half, with Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan scoring in a six-minute span, but the celebrations inside Etihad Stadium were premature.
United, which didn’t manage a shot on target in the first half, was transformed after the break — netting three times.
Inevitably, the goals that drew United level came twice in two minutes from Paul Pogba — a day after City manager Pep Guardiola claimed he was offered the chance to sign the Frenchman in the January transfer window.
And Chris Smalling, so fragile in the United defense in the first half, came through with the winner in the 69th minute when he was left unmarked to meet Alexis Sanchez’s free kick.
For City, which had previously lost only once in the league this season at Liverpool, it was a first home defeat since December 2016.
United reduced City’s lead only to 13 points. But with six games remaining to complete the job, it seems inevitable City will win the title for the third time since 2012. It will happen next weekend only if City wins at Tottenham on Saturday, and United loses to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
It’s in City’s DNA to do things the hard way. Both the 2012 and 2014 Premier League titles were won on the final day of the season, the first with a stoppage-time goal.