Bundesliga - Dortmund beat Gladbach to retain title
Borussia Dortmund, a young team assembled at minimum cost, won the Bundesliga for the second season running after a 2-0 home win over Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Borussia Dortmund, a young team assembled at minimum cost, won the Bundesliga for the second season running on Saturday after a 2-0 home win over Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Ivan Perisic and Shinji Kagawa, plucked from the Japanese second division two years ago, scored in each half as Dortmund wrapped up the title with two games to spare and completed their 26th league game without defeat.
Juergen Klopp's side, who on Saturday included six players aged 23 or under, left more glamorous rivals Bayern Munich standing as they opened up an unassailable eight-point lead over the Bavarians with two games to play.
It was the eighth time Dortmund have been German champions, five of them in the last 20 years.
Dortmund's players celebrated by pouring huge glasses of beer over each other and coach Klopp as well as a startled Sky television commentary team who were broadcasting from the touchline.
"I haven't got words to describe what this team has achieved," said a beer-soaked Klopp, a coach known for his exuberant celebrations.
Although Gladbach enjoyed plenty of early possession, Kagawa hit the post and Robert Lewandowski, Dortmund's revelation this season and top scorer with 20 goals, fired a low shot narrowly wide as the hosts played their usual high-tempo game.
Perisic put Dortmund ahead in the 23rd minute when he got in front of the defence to head in Marcel Schmelzer's inswinging free kick at the near post.
Dortmund survived a scare when Schmelzer cleared a Marco Reus effort off the line before wrapping up the title with a sweeping move down the left in the 59th minute.
Schmelzer sent Lewandowski free with a 50-metre ball out of defence and the Pole slipped his pass inside for Kagawa, who rounded goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen to slot the ball home for his 13th goal of the league season.
Klopp punched the air, ran down the touchline, lost his footing and then lifted Kagawa off the ground in celebration.