Created on 04-05-2008 at 00:00 AM
Bayern are confirmed as the 2007-8 Bundesliga champions after taking the point they needed from an otherwise forgettable goalless draw in Wolfsburg.
A 30,000 full house at the Volkswagen Arena saw the home side dominate the sluggish visitors before the interval, although Marcell Jansen did strike the outside of the post for the injury-hit Bavarians midway through the first half.
The standard of play deteriorated for long spells after the break, but the men from Munich did enough to keep out the toothless Wolves and move ten points clear of second-placed Bremen with only three games remaining, adding a 21st domestic title to the DFB Cup they won in Berlin a couple of weeks ago.
Six injured, six changes
With six players unavailable through injury, coach Ottmar Hitzfeld made the corresponding number of changes to the side beaten in St. Petersburg. In goal, Michael Rensing stood in for Olli Kahn behind a back four featuring captain for the day Willy Sagnol instead of Philipp Lahm and Daniel van Buyten for Lucio.
Andi Ottl and Jose Sosa deputised in midfield for Zé Roberto and Franck Ribery, with Lukas Podolski alongside Luca Toni in place of Miro Klose (surgery on broken nose).
Jansen out of luck
In a lively opening after FIFA ref Herbert Fandel whistled play underway on a glorious spring afternoon in Lower Saxony, Rensing did well to narrow the angle on Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko, before Christian Gentner and Brazilian schemer Marcelinho whistled shots narrowly wide, while at the other end Sosa’s shot was wayward from a good position on the right edge of the box.
The Wolves’ extra aggression and freshness began to tell midway through the half and the action was virtually one-way for a spell, Rensing parrying Marcelinho’s driven free-kick before Bastian Schweinsteiger’s desperate block prevented the Brazilian opening the scoring from close range.
However, Bayern came close on a rare foray upfield when Van Buyten headed across goal from a Sagnol free-kick, Jansen striking the outside of the post from a tight angle with Wolves keeper Diego Benaglio nowhere to be seen.
Kroos adds impetus
Referee Fandel waved away a decent shout for a Bayern penalty when Ricardo Costa appeared to handle in a challenge with Toni, but most of the action took place around Rensing’s goal as Brazilian duo Grafite and Marcelinho threatened before half-time.
Christian Lell replaced the limping Jansen but Wolfsburg continued to force the place after the restart, Rensing diving low to his left and saving after Marcelinho scuffed a 12-yard shot, before Dzeko fired into the keeper’s hands and full-back Daniel Baier blasted wide following a scramble in the six-yard box.
Toni Kroos took over from Schweinsteiger for the last half-hour, and the youngster rose above the distinctly mediocre standard of the match with a quarter of an hour remaining, sliding a first-time shot narrowly wide after a good one-two with Podolski.
Young Breno came on for the struggling Van Buyten in the closing stages and gave a decent early account of himself, before Podolski arrowed a drive just past the upright and Grafite lobbed against the outside of the post as the sides more or less continued the search for a goal.
Grafite squandered a glorious chance in the last minute as the Reds rather rode their luck, but the Bavarians cared for little but the result which hands them a 21st domestic crown.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley