The best of German football from the Bundesliga and beyond
Well, they started off slowly, were also rans at the midpoint stage and showed their superiority towards the season's finale; now Bayern München are Bundesliga champions for a 22nd time in Germany.
But did you really doubt that they would be? For all of Bayer Leverkusen's early form, you'd have been forgiven for thinking that they had peaked far too early – and they did - now the Werkself look unlikely to even qualify for that third Champions League spot in the Bundesliga.
As for Schalke, for all of their endeavour, Kevin Kuranyi's fantastic 18 league goals, and they fact they were able to keep up with Bayern towards the latter stages, they just didn't have the quality to put lesser teams to the sword when it mattered - and it ultimately cost them.
Yes, Bayern are die Meister, again, and can you really see a team stepping up the pursuit next season to dethrone them of their title?
In a season that threatened, on more than one occasion, to go completely off the rails, Bayern are now on for spectacular treble. A DFB Pokal final date with Werder Bremen awaits them in less than two weeks, before they travel to Real Madrid's grand Bernebeu stadium a week later to lock horns with Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan.
This weekend it was youngster Thomas Müller who first received the adoration of the Allianz Arena's 60-odd thousand spectators with his hat trick, before his team mates joined in after the final whistle to kick off their title-winning party.
Müller, incidentally unlikely to be on the plane to South Africa with Germany, delivered a glimpse into the future of the national team's front line with his finishing.
His hat trick goal was something else, with his quick feet, vision and cool head leaving virtually the entire Bochum defence scratching their heads as to where he'd disappeared to with the ball...
Bundesliga runners-up, Schalke, ended their home campaign with a whimper, going down 0-2 to the now-hot favourites for the vital third Champions League spot, Werder Bremen.
Klaus Allof's men produced the kind of display that, had they matched regularly over the course of the season, would surely have been enough to mount a serious title challenge of their own. Maybe next year?
Hamburg were also top performers on Saturday. After their recent turmoil they produced exactly the kind of result that their fans would have hoped for as they roundly thrashed Nürnberg 4-0.
Late season wonders Stuttgart played out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Mainz, while Bosnian hotshot Edin Dzeko scored a cheeky back-heel following some quite disgraceful Borussia Dortmund defending as last season's Champions Wolfsburg drew 1-1 at their neighbour's home ground. Could that be Dzeko's final goal for die Wölfe? I've heard Arsene Wenger is quite the fan.
Yet as much as the title race and general top-half-of-the-table-stuff interests us, it's really all about the relegation scrap now.
Hertha Berlin are gone, but Hannover are still very much alive. They're now out of the drop zone after a very un-Hannover like 6-1 mauling of Borussia Mönchengladbach, while Bochum and Nürnberg drop down a place with their defeats, away to Bayern and Hamburg respectively.
And what an ending it is set to be; next up for Bochum? Hannover. For Nürnberg? FC Köln.
Two of the trapdoor spots are now left tantalisingly ajar for two teams, so here are the various ways that each team can avoid falling into one of the said spots:
− Victory away to Bochum− Draw at Bochum as long as Nürnberg don't win.
− Victory against FC Köln as long as Hannover and Bochum draw.− Victory against FC Köln as long as Bochum don't win by more goals than Nürnberg.Bochum:
− Victory against Hannover as long as Nürnberg don't win.− Bigger winning margin than Nürnberg.
My brain hurts. In any case I predict Bochum and Hannover will draw, while Nürnberg will win, meaning Bochum slip into the playoff relegation spot on goal difference and Bochum automatically go down.
That would then mean a game between Hannover and 2. Bundesliga team Augsburg to decide who plays in the top league next season! If only the relegation in this season's Premier League was even half as exciting as this!
Meanwhile in other news, punk football is back in the Bundesliga! That's right, 2. Bundesliga outfit St Pauli have all but confirmed their place in the top league next season after a thumping 1-4 win at Greuther Furth.
Their win kept them three points ahead of third-placed Augsburg, but crucially stretched their goal difference advantage to 16 goals. What with Hamburg's season going somewhat down the pan this campaign, St Pauli will be salivating at the mouth already just thinking about next season's clash at their Millerntor-Stadion...
BUNDESLIGA RESULTS Sat 01 May: FC Köln 2-2 SC Freiburg, Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 Hertha Berlin, Bayern München 3-1 VfL Bochum, Borussia Dortmund 1-1 VfL Wolfsburg, Eintracht Frankfurt 1-2 1899 Hoffenheim, Hamburger SV 4-0 FC Nürnberg, Hannover 96 6-1 Borussia M’gladbach, Schalke 04 0-2 Werder Bremen, VfB Stuttgart 2-2 FSV Mainz.
This weekend's fixtures, along with The Fundesliga's predictions:
SaturdayHertha Berlin 1-3 FC Bayern München1899 Hoffenheim 2-2 VfB StuttgartWerder Bremen 2-0 Hamburger SVSC Freiburg 1-2 Borussia DortmundFSV Mainz 1-3 Schalke 04Borussia M’gladbach 1-1 Bayer LeverkusenVfL Bochum 1-1 Hannover 96FC Nürnberg 1-0 FC KölnVfL Wolfsburg 2-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
More from The
Germany: News * StatsFFT.com: Features * News
* Interviews * HomeInteract: Twitter * Facebook * Forum
Latest European Football News
PSG turns down Ancelotti request to leave
Ajax boss De Boer extends contract until 2017
Anzhi beat Lokomotiv after deadly blasts
Makhachkala match goes ahead despite blasts
Ibrahimovic named Ligue 1 player of season
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010