Robben, Ribery sign off with goals as Bayern retain title

May 19, 2019

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MUNICH: Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery (C) and team-mates celebrate with the Bundesliga trophy after they beat  Eintracht Frankfurt in the final match of the season at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.—AFP
MUNICH: Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery (C) and team-mates celebrate with the Bundesliga trophy after they beat Eintracht Frankfurt in the final match of the season at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.—AFP

BERLIN: Departing veterans Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben both scored in their final game at the Allianz Arena on Saturday as Bayern Munich beat Eintracht Frankfurt 5-1 to wrap up a seventh successive Bundesliga title.

The fairytale farewell for club icons Robben and Ribery saw Bayern end an unusually tight title race two points ahead of rivals Borussia Dortmund, who beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0.

Nine points behind Dortmund in December, Bayern lost just one game between January and May as they bounced back to be crowned German champions for the 29th time in their history.

Robben and Ribery, who will both leave the club at the end of the season, came off the bench against Frankfurt to score Bayern’s fourth and fifth goals and end Dortmund’s hopes of pulling off a final day miracle.

Their departure marks the end of a glistening decade of success for Bayern, who are now set for a major squad overhaul ahead of next season, having already signed World Cup winners Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez.

Kingsley Coman gave Bayern a dream start, slotting home a Thomas Mueller through ball after just four minutes.

There was brief hope for Dortmund as both they and Frankfurt scored either side of half-time.

After Gladbach dominated the first half, Jadon Sancho smashed in the opener for Dortmund, and Reus doubled the lead after the break.

In Munich, Sebastien Haller bundled in a shock equaliser at a corner just after the break, but Bayern responded furiously, and David Alaba restored the lead in a matter of minutes.

Dortmund’s hopes lay in tatters when Renato Sanches blasted the ball in from close range to score his first Bundesliga goal and put Bayern 3-1 up.

Ribery and Robben each came off the bench to standing ovations in the second half, and Ribery danced through the Frankfurt ranks to seal the title on 72 minutes, before Robben completed a fairytale afternoon with an 85th minute tap-in.

The defeats for Gladbach and Frankfurt saw Bayer Leverkusen sneak into the fourth Champions League spot behind RB Leipzig, as they won 5-1 away to Hertha Berlin.

Final standings

(Tabulated under played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):

Bayern Munich 34 24 6 4 88 32 78

Dortmund 34 23 7 4 81 44 76

Leipzig 34 19 9 6 63 29 66

Leverkusen 34 18 4 12 69 52 58

Monchengladbach 34 16 7 11 55 42 55

Wolfsburg 34 16 7 11 62 50 55

Frankfurt 34 15 9 10 60 48 54

Bremen 34 14 11 9 58 49 53

Hoffenheim 34 13 12 9 70 52 51

Dusseldorf 34 13 5 16 49 65 44

Hertha BSC 34 11 10 13 49 57 43

Mainz 05 34 12 7 15 46 57 43

Freiburg 34 8 12 14 46 61 36

Schalke 04 34 8 9 17 37 55 33

Augsburg 34 8 8 18 51 71 32

Stuttgart 34 7 7 20 32 70 28

Hannover 34 5 6 23 31 71 21

Nuremberg 34 3 10 21 26 68 19

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2019