BERLIN — Bayern Munich defeated Hertha Berlin 3-1 to become the earliest Bundesliga champion in 51 years of the league Tuesday, when the defending champion claimed its 24th German title.
The result ensures Pep Guardiola’s side wraps up the title with seven games to spare in the Spaniard’s first season as coach, beating the mark set in last year’s record-breaking campaign by one game.
“Praise has to go to the coach and the team,” Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer said. “Pep Guardiola suits this team. He’s not only an expert, he’s also a fantastic guy.”
It was Bayern’s 19th consecutive win, its 10th consecutive victory away from home, and it stretched its unbeaten run to 52 games. All are Bundesliga records.
Bayern finished 25 points ahead of Borrusia Dortmund last season and is even more dominant this campaign. Of 27 games so far this season, Bayern has won 25 and drawn the other two. It also has scored more goals (79) and conceded fewer (19) than any other side by a large margin.
Many wondered how Guardiola could match the success enjoyed under predecessor Jupp Heynckes, who led Bayern to its first treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup victories last year.
Guardiola led Barcelona to 14 titles in four seasons in charge of the club where he played most of his career as a stylish defensive midfielder. But there was no guarantee he could replicate that success in Germany, a country he had only previously experienced as a visitor.
Guardiola spoke German on his introduction to the media last June, two days before beginning work as Bayern coach. Since then, he has made the best ever start for a coach in the Bundesliga, where he is yet to taste defeat, while he has led Bayern to three titles including the latest. Bayern already had won the Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup under his tenure.