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Bayern Munich have won their eighth consecutive Bundesliga title after beating Werder Bremen 1-0 at a near-empty Weserstadion.
Robert Lewandowski’s 31st league goal of the season sealed the German giants’ 30th league title with two games to spare.
Bayern, who sacked manager Niko Kovac in November after a poor start to the season, have now won 22 of their last 23 matches in all competitions under Kovac’s replacement Hansi Flick, who won four Bundesliga titles with Bayern in his playing career. has
The Bavarian club are now 10 points ahead of Borussia Dortmund, who have only three leagues games remaining.
Lewandowski netted the only goal of the game in the 43rd minute, chesting down Jerome Boateng’s excellent lofted through ball before firing a powerful strike past Bremen goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka.
Relegation-battling Bremen, who have only won one home game all season, created several opportunities in the opening stages, with Theodor Gebre Selassie volleying an effort into the side-netting around the 10-minute mark.
Maximilian Eggestein flashed an effort from distance wide for the home team, before Kingsley Coman headed an inviting Thomas Muller cross wide at the other end.
The visitors took the lead two minutes before the interval in the pouring German rain, with Lewandowski producing a typically assured finish from Boateng’s pass.
With his tally of 31 goals, the Polish striker has now equalled the Bundesliga’s single-season scoring record by a foreign player, which Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang set for Dortmund in the 2016/17 season.
Bayern were reduced to 10 men in the 79th minute when Alphonso Davies was shown a second yellow card.
The fleet-footed Canadian was given his marching orders after a cynical foul on Bremen’s Milos Veljkovic.
Manuel Neuer made a brilliant save to keep out a Yoyo Osako in the closing stages as Bayern closed in on yet another title.
The players and staff celebrated joyously at the sound of the final whistle but were unable to share their delight with the Bayern fans.
“It is sensational the kind of football we have played in the past few months,” Flick said afterwards.
“You could feel the passion, the joy for the game and the team spirit.”
Bayern will now turn their attention to the German Cup final against Bayer Leverkusen on July 4th, and also have the return of the Champions League to look forward to.
The German champions are in a strong position to make the quarter-finals after thumping Chelse 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of their last-16 clash.
“We have now taken the first step and reached our big goal,” 55-year-old Flick said.
“But we also have the cup in our sights and then obviously the Champions League games are something you cannot plan for and we still need to survive the Chelsea game.”
Bremen remain above Dusseldorf – who occupy the relegation play-off spot – on goal difference, but have playe a game more than their relegation rivals.
Elsewhere, Paderborn were relegated after suffering a 1-0 defeat to Union Berlin.