WOLFSBURG - VfL Wolfsburg sealed their first Bundesliga title by demolishing Werder Bremen 5-1 on the final day of the season on Saturday. Hundreds of fans poured on to the pitch at the final whistle, cheering and hugging the players and ripping the shirts off their backs, to celebrate a remarkable achievement for a team regarded as rank outsiders at the start of the season. Bayern Munich, who went into the final round of matches two points behind, at least managed to clinch second spot, and automatic entry to the Champions League, thanks to a 2-1 win over direct rivals VfB Stuttgart, who finished third. Stuttgart will go into Champions League qualifying, while Hertha Berlin and Hamburg SV will play in the new Europa League. Arminia Bielefeld and Karlsruhe were relegated while Energie Cottbus will play a relegation play-off with the third best team of the second division. FEROCIOUS START Wolfsburg, holding that precious two-point advantage, ensured nerves would not be an issue as they roared into a 3-0 lead through Zvjezdan Misimovic, Grafite and an own goal from Sebastian Proedl. Werder pulled one back through Diego before Grafite and Edin Dzeko sealed the title with two second half goals. "It is a dream come true," Magath, who will be leaving to join Schalke next season, told Premiere. "Before the season started I never thought we had a chance to win the championship. "It is hard to be leaving now, obviously," added a soaking Magath, who led Bayern Munich to successive league and cup doubles before being sacked by the Bavarians. "I am not quite dry. We were in the locker room and there was quite a bit of champagne flying through the air." More than 30,000 fans in the stands and on the pitch broke into songs when captain Josue lifted the Bundesliga shield to a clear blue sky. Wolfsburg became the first team in the history of the Bundesliga to have two strikers score 20 goals or more in one season, with Grafite netting 28 times and Bosnian Dzeko 26. "It is just insane," said Dzeko. "It is great feeling to be German champions. I did not think it was possible to win it in only my second year in Germany. We are going to do a lot of celebrating." Bayern, who needed a slip-up by Wolfsburg to have any chance, managed to hold on to a 2-1 win against Stuttgart after an own goal by Khalid Boulahrouz and one from captain Mark van Bommel had put them in the lead. Mario Gomez pulled one back. "We won four matches and had one draw. I think I fulfilled my mission," said interim Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, hired to salvage Champions League qualification after Juergen Klinsmann was sacked in late April. "It is just a shame that we could not win the championship. This team has so much potential. Normally a team this good should win the title," Heynckes added.
23 May 2009
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