Bayern were officially crowned 2009-10 German champions after the last match of the Bundesliga season, a gentle-paced victory away to relegated Hertha Berlin, who bowed out of the top flight with yet another defeat in front of their long-suffering fans.
The 74,420 capacity crowd at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin saw Bayern comfortably boss the first period and take a fully deserved lead through Ivica Olic. The Bavarians’ concentration slipped for a spell and Adrian Ramos levelled on the hour, but the league leaders rallied and Arjen Robben restored the lead 15 minutes from time. The Dutchman added another at the end to give the scoreline a realistic look, and ensure FCB go into their last two matches of the campaign, the DFB Cup and Champions League finals, on the back of another win.
The result means Bayern finish their increasingly assured league campaign on 70 points from their 34 matches, five clear of runners-up Schalke and nine ahead of third-placed Werder Bremen. The champions boast the highest number of wins (20), the fewest defeats (4), the highest total goals scored (72), and the joint-lowest goals against (31, level with Schalke).
Louis van Gaal made just one change to the team which beat Bochum last week, restoring Daniel van Buyten for Martin Demichelis, who was serving a one-match ban. Otherwise, despite the title already being in the bag and with two cup finals still to come, the coach refrained from resting any regulars.
Holger Badstuber played alongside Van Buyten at centre-back, with Diego Contento and Philipp Lahm in the full-back positions. Mark van Bommel and Bastian Schweinsteiger anchored central midfield, with Robben and Franck Ribery on the flanks, and Thomas Müller and Olic up front.
Once referee Florian Meyer whistled proceedings underway in the German capital, Bayern immediately seized control and Ribery created the first chance with a dash down the left wing, but the Frenchman’s cross was just too high for Robben. Schweinsteiger tried his luck from distance, before Ribery teed up Olic in a tremendous position, only for the Croat to shoot straight at Hertha keeper Jaroslav Drobny.
Ribery was causing havoc at this point, and Olic was only denied by Christoph Janker’s last-ditch lunge. But FCB were not to be kept out for long, and Robben danced his way round no fewer than four home defenders, before laying off for Olic to plant a 15-yard drive from the left side of the box into the bottom right corner for the 20th-minute opener.
Müller’s mis-hit cross from the right mutated into a shot which Drobny did well to turn over the bar, before Colombia international Ramos instigated a rare Berlin counter-attack, releasing Lukasz Piszczek for a run at goal. The Poland hitman steadied himself but FCB keeper Jörg Butt made a fine save.
Munich continued to dominate, although it was clear the players were not going full-tilt into the tackle in a match with so little at stake. Butt was in action again with a brilliant stop from Levan Kobiashvili 25-yard free-kick, flinging himself and just applying his fingertips to Georgia midfielder’s curler.
Van Gaal’s men contented themselves with retaining possession now and the game meandered to the break. Van Bommel, complaining of a tight hamstring, handed over to Danijel Pranjic for the second period, and there was another change at half-time too: Van Gaal swapped his smart suit for training kit, doubtless fearing a celebratory dousing in Bavarian beer at the end of the game.
Out on the pitch, Raffael drew a punched save from Butt with a stinging drive, and the invigorated home team drew level after 59 minutes, Brazilian midfielder Cicero accelerating past van Buyten and squaring for the unmarked Ramos to net from ten yards. Van Gaal withdrew Ribery and sent on Hamit Altintop for the last half-hour, before big Serbia man Gojko Kacar headed Kobiashvili’s corner straight at Butt with the entire goal to aim at.
The FCB shot-stopper had to deal with speculative efforts from Cicero and Raffael, before Bayern rallied from a rather unfocused phase and pitched camp deep in Hertha territory. The reward for the renewed bout of application came on 74 minutes, when Robben restored his side’s lead with a trademark cut inside and low shot, following Müller’s energetic run and neat pass.
Miro Klose took over from Olic for the closing stages, but the last word fell to Robben, who was on hand to prod home from close range after Contento’s 20-yarder took a big deflection and crashed back into play off the bar. The goal was not just a mere afterthought, as it meant FCB fittingly ended the campaign as the league’s top scorers.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley
|Hertha BSC Berlin - Bayern Munich 1-3 (H-T: 0-1)|
|Hertha BSC Berlin||Drobny - Stein, Friedrich, Janker, Kobiaschwili - Piszczek (Ebert 66), Lustenberger (Gekas 86), Kacar, Cicero - Raffael, Ramos|
|Bayern Munich||Butt - Lahm, Van Buyten, Badstuber, Contento - Robben, Van Bommel (Pranjic 46), Schweinsteiger, Ribéry (Altintop 60) - Müller, Olic (Klose 78)|
|Substitutes:||Rensing, Görlitz, Tymoshchuk, Gomez|
|Referee:||Florian Meyer (Burgdorf)|
|Goals:||0-1 Olic (20), 1-1 Ramos (59), 1-2 Robben (74), 1-3 Robben (87)|
|Yellow Cards:||- / -|