Bayern are back where they belong at the top of German football

The brilliant Bavarians have secured the title well before the end of the season, and have now returned to their rightful place at the summit of the Bundesliga

By Falko Bloding | Germany Deputy Editor

And so Bayern Munich have their title. With six matches to spare, the Rekordmeister have sown up the 2012-13 championship and their 23rd Bundesliga crown. In truth, they were the only logical champions this term – having spent the whole campaign at the top of the table, they have never given the club’s hierarchy reason to be dissatisfied.

After two years without a title, playing second fiddle to Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund, Bayern have reasserted themselves at the top of German football, true to the club’s identity.

BRILLIANT BAYERN | The Bundesliga table

The atmosphere at Sabener Strasse following Saturday’s win will be one of relief. BVB’s spell at the summit rocked them, and the players’ reaction to the 1-0 DFB-Pokal win over the deposed champions in February showed how frustrated they had become.
Last season was a disaster. Having finished second in three competitions, sporting director Christian Nerlinger was sacked and promptly replaced with Matthias Sammer, who soon made sure that the club got out of their rut. While retaining their stars, Javi Martinez, Dante and Mario Mandzukic were brought in and soon stamped their mark on the team.

The man behind the success, though, is undoubtedly Jupp Heynckes. The 68-year-old deserves to be saluted for his stewardship of the squad, having forged a unity in the team from top to bottom. He has delivered them one title and has two more to compete for before Pep Guardiola’s arrival in the summer.

The competition were blown away as die Roten won the Bundesliga title in record time. Defending champions Dortmund struggled to compete on all three fronts and were already out of the running following a shaky beginning to the season.

Their Ruhr rivals, Schalke, made an encouraging start, but collapsed before Christmas, selling Lewis Holtby and sacking coach Huub Stevens, replacing him with a rookie in Jens Keller, who was never capable of steadying the ship.

Meanwhile, Leverkusen, the only team to beat Bayern this season in the Bundesliga, have produced some good performances but never looked a realistic candidate to claim the title, despite Stefan Kiessling’s heroics up front.

So now the Allianz Arena faithful can celebrate after just 27 games. But, for the squad, the party will have to wait until the penultimate day of the season when they face Augsburg at home, with a Pokal semi-final against Wolfsburg and the remainder of their Champions League journey to come.

They lead Juventus 2-0 from the quarter-final first leg in Germany and, having knocked Dortmund out of the cup, will be confident of at least a double, but the treble is what they really want.

The class of 2013 stand on the brink of history. It would be a tragedy if they let it slip and their season became an unremarkable one of their 23 titles.

With additional reporting from Enis Koylu

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