Berlin, Germany – Borussia Dortmund were crowned Bundesliga champions on Saturday with a 2-0 win at home against Nuremberg to land their first German league title since 2002.
After last week's shock defeat at relegation-threatened Borussia Moenchengladbach, the hosts saw off Nuremberg to claim their seventh German title and a place in next season's Champions League.
The victory at a sold-out Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park stadium in front of 80,720 fans leaves Borussia eight points clear at the top of the table.
After second-placed Bayer Leverkusen lost 2-0 at Cologne, Dortmund were confirmed champions.
“I'm just happy,” said coach Jurgen Klopp after his side gave him the traditional beer shower.
“I had thought it would feel different, more euphoric, but maybe that comes later. The team has achieved extraordinary things, set high standards and handled every pressure situation very well.
“What these young guys have achieved is hard to put into words.
“The way they have taken our direction and used it on the pitch has been incredible.”
Paraguay striker Lucas Barrios proved his recent thigh injury is behind him by opening the scoring for his 14th goal of the season when he pounced on a blocked shot from Mario Goetze to fire home on 32 minutes.
It was 2-0 at the break as Poland striker Robert Lewandowski beat goalkeeper Raphael Schaefer to the ball after a long pass from Germany defender Mats Hummels and tapped home on 43 minutes.
Cologne striker Milivoje Novakovic scored twice in the second-half to settle the title race as Leverkusen went down to defeat.
On Saturday night, Bayern Munich went third in the table as they blitzed Champions League semi-finalists Schalke 04 with a 4-1
The Royal Blues' poor week continued after losing last Tuesday's semi-final, first-leg, 2-0 at home to Manchester United in the Champions League.
Schalke were hit by three goals in less than 20 minutes, including top-scorer Mario Gomez's 24th Bundesliga strike of the season and 35th in all competitions, while Germany star Thomas Mueller scored twice.
Dutch winger Arjen Robben, who scored Bayern's opening goal after just six minutes, was only denied a hat-trick by some excellent goalkeeping from Schalke's Germany shot-stopper Manuel Neuer.
The win puts Bayern in pole-position to claim the valuable third Champions League spot with two games left while Hanover drop to fourth after being beaten 1-0 at home to 'Gladbach.
Second-bottom 'Gladbach gave themselves a fighting chance of survival although they are three points from safety with two games left.
Mainz moved into the Europa League places with an impressive 3-0 win over 10-man Eintracht Frankfurt, who are third from bottom and in the relegation places.
VfB Stuttgart are virtually safe after their 2-1 win at Hoffenheim as the 2007 champions are now 12th while Freiburg are seventh after their 2-0 win at Hamburg where Senegal striker Papiss Cisse scored both goals.
On Friday, VfL Wolfsburg boosted their chances of Bundesliga survival with a 1-0 win at Werder Bremen as the 2009 champions moved clear of the bottom three for the first time in nearly two months.
St Pauli are almost sure of being relegated after they were beaten 2-0 at Kaiserslautern which left them bottom of the table. – Sapa-AFP