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Brace for Lewy

Champions! Record-breaking Reds seal title

Bayern are the 2015/16 Bundesliga champions! Saturday’s entertaining and lively 2-1 victory over Bavarian neighbours Ingolstadt means Pep Guardiola’s team have sealed an unprecedented fourth German league title in a row and remain on course to finish the campaign with an 11th domestic double. A win was always going to be enough for the Reds but as it turned out, Dortmund’s surprise defeat at Frankfurt would have handed Bayern the title in any case.

The 15,200 full house at the compact Audi Sportpark saw Robert Lewandowski set his side on their way with a 15th-minute penalty, the Pole completing his brace and moving onto 29 league goals for the season in the 32nd minute with a classy angled finish. Moritz Hartmann pulled one back for the energetic home team before the break, but the visitors controlled the game with ease in the second half and closed out the win.

Bayern’s 27th win from 33 matches this term, also their 25th straight Bundesliga victory against promoted clubs, takes the newly-crowned champions up to 85 points, now eight ahead of runners-up and cup final opponents Dortmund with just the one game left to play. The Bavarians will receive the championship shield after next Saturday’s home meeting with Hannover before rounding off the season against domestic arch-rivals BVB in Berlin a week later.

Arturo ill, Jerome rested

For his final away match in the Bundesliga, Bayern boss Guardiola tweaked his line-up with two changes to the team unluckily knocked out of the Champions League by Atlético in midweek. Joshua Kimmich and Thiago took over from Jerome Boateng and Arturo Vidal, neither of whom was in the squad: the German defender was rested and the Chilean is sick.

The men from Munich began with Manuel Neuer in goal, David Alaba, Kimmich, Javi Martinez and skipper Philipp Lahm in the back four, Xabi Alonso in the holding role, and a front five comprising Douglas Costa, Thomas Müller, Thiago, Franck Ribery and Lewandowski.

Lewy shows his class

Less than quarter of an hour after referee Florian Meyer whistled play underway the match official was pointing to the spot in the home box: Ribery rounded home keeper Ramazan Özcan from Costa’s glorious pass but was upended by FCI skipper Marvin Matip. Lewandowski took responsibility and finished coolly, sending the Ingolstadt shot-stopper the wrong way.

Müller saw a couple of efforts deflected wide before Costa somehow contrived not to double the score midway through the half, the Brazilian springing the offside trap and waltzing past Özcan but failing to spot centre-back Benjamin Hübner’s covering tackle.

The Bundesliga newcomers gained a toehold now, Neuer saving from Australian international Mathew Leckie and Hartmann hitting the side-netting with only the keeper to beat. But the champions responded with clinical class, Alonso’s sublime through pass releasing Lewandowski to angle a delicate finish back across Özcan and in at the far post.

The lively action continued with Neuer bravely saving at Leckie’s feet and Hübner denying Lewandowski after the Pole became the latest FCB man to round the unfortunate Özcan. But the home team were making a real fight of it and Hartmann cut the arrears from the spot before half-time after Alonso was a shade harshly adjudged to have fouled the FCI striker.

Controlled second half

Alonso was injured in an aerial collision with Leckie shortly before half-time and the Spaniard was replaced by Mehdi Benatia for the second period, the Moroccan earning a yellow card just 50 seconds after coming on. Alaba flashed a drive only just wide before Guardiola made his second substitution, Rafinha replacing Ribery and Lahm moving into midfield.

Costa saw a terrific volley skid past the far upright and Özcan denied Müller after a stunning reverse pass from Thiago, but the flow of the game suffered for a spell after that as the respective defences tightened their grip. The Bayern rearguard in particular had the opposing strikers almost entirely under control and, a late effort from FCI sub Lukas Hinterseer aside, there were no further serious scares as the champions closed out the victory.

Live match report for by Chris Hamley