‘We’ll become German champions at home’ predicts Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola
Bayern could have had the league wrapped up in the capital had second-placed Borussia Dortmund not won 3-0 at Stuttgart.
That result means Pep Guardiola’s Bavarians can secure the title by beating Borussia Monchengladbach at Munich’s Allianz Arena next Saturday, regardless of other results.
“We have everything in our own hands and that was a bit step towards the title,” said Guardiola, adding that Dortmund’s win had maybe done Bayern a favour.
“Perhaps it’s not such a bad thing, it means we’ll become German champions at home.”
No other team has won four consecutive league titles in Germany’s top flight.
Guardiola’s Bayern remain on course for the treble in his last season before coaching Manchester City.
Bayern took the lead at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium when Mario Goetze’s pass found Arturo Vidal in space.
The Chile midfielder drilled home his shot from 22 yards, which took a deflection on its way past Berlin goalkeeper Thomas Kraft on 48 minutes.
Brazil winger Douglas Costa doubled Bayern’s lead with a breathtaking strike from the right flank which looped over the Hertha goalkeeper on 79 minutes.
But this was a far from polished performance from Bayern, ahead of Wednesday’s Uefa Champions League semi-final, first-leg, at Atletico Madrid.
They managed just six shots on goal, compared to Hertha’s nine, despite the hosts being restricted to just 26 per cent possession.
Dortmund, who will face the Bavarians in the German Cup final on May 21, made Bayern wait a little longer to have their title win confirmed with a comprehensive win at Stuttgart.
Borussia were 2-0 up at the break after Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa netted early on, then Christian Pulisic, 17, scored for the second week running.
Just before half time he tapped home after Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s shot from outside the area was blocked by Stuttgart’s Poland goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton.
Mkhitaryan made it 3-0 when he fired home after Kagawa’s cross to striker Adrian Ramos, in for the injured Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, was blocked by Tyton on 56 minutes.
Later, third-placed Bayer Leverkusen took a significant step towards a direct place in the Champions League next season with a 3-2 comeback win at Schalke.
Schalke raced into a 2-0 lead at home thanks to first-half goals by Eric Choupo-Moting and Leroy Sane, but Bayer turned the game with three goals in six second-half minutes.
Goals in quick succession by wingers Julian Brandt and Karim Bellarabi put Leverkusen level before Javier Hernandez netted the winner with an hour gone.
“Chicharito” has now scored 17 league goals this season since signing from Manchester United to leave his side five points clear off fourth-placed Hertha Berlin with Schalke seventh.
Wolfsburg’s miserable league form continues as they are now six Bundesliga games without a win after crashing 2-0 at home to Augsburg.
Iceland striker Alfred Finnbogason, on loan from Olympiakos, scored his sixth league goal in 10 games, with a minute gone, then set up Turkey international Halil Altintop on 57 minutes.
The defeat sees Wolfsburg drop to 10th in the table while Augsburg are now five points clear of the relegation places.
Cologne are ninth after backing up their 3-2 comeback win over Mainz with a 4-1 thumping of Darmstadt as French striker Anthony Modeste and winger Marcel Risse both scored twice.
Hannover have only a mathematical chance of avoiding relegation after Japan internationals Hiroki Sakai and Hiroshi Kiyotake scored in their 2-2 draw with 10-man Ingolstadt.
Ingolstadt played for 70 minutes with 10 men after French defender Romain Bregerie was sent off for hauling down Hannover midfielder Felix Klaus.
Alfredo Morales and Moritz Hartmann had hosts Ingolstadt 2-0 up with only 25 minutes gone.
Defender Sakai fired home on 58 minutes before midfielder Kiyotake made sure Hanover claimed a point with the equaliser eight minutes from time.
On Friday, Pierre-Michel Lasogga struck twice as Hamburg eased their Bundesliga relegation fears with a 2-1 victory at home to Werder Bremen, who remain stuck in the bottom three.
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Published: April 24, 2016 04:00 AM