Dortmund claims its 7th Bundesliga title

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Dortmund claims its 7th Bundesliga title

BERLIN - Borussia Dortmund clinched the Bundesliga on Saturday, winning its seventh title after beating Nurnberg 2-0 while second-place Bayer Leverkusen lost 2-0 at Cologne.

First-half goals from Lucas Barrios and Robert Lewandowski took Dortmund eight points clear of Leverkusen with two rounds left.

“I’m just happy,’’ Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp said after his 100th game in charge. “I thought I’d be euphoric but maybe that’ll come. It’s impossible to put what the lads have done into words.’’

Dortmund - which started the season by losing at home to Leverkusen - last won the title in 2002.

“We waited very, very long for it. It was a long dry spell,’’ Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said.

His colleague at Leverkusen, Rudi Voeller, offered his congratulations.

“We would have liked to have made it more exciting for longer,’’ he said.

Milivoje Novakovic scored against the run of play for Cologne in the 67th minute and again in the 82nd, to give his side its first win over Leverkusen in 14 years.

In the late game, Thomas Muller scored twice and set up another two for Bayern Munich in a 4-1 win at home to Schalke.

Bayern moved to third after Hannover slipped in a 1-0 defeat at home to Borussia Monchengladbach.

Mueller squared the ball for Arjen Robben to score in the sixth minute and fired in from close range in the 13th, after Schalke equalized through a Holger Badstuber own goal, when the Bayern defender bundled a corner into his own net under pressure from Joel Matip.

Muller’s header allowed Mario Gomez the simplest of finishes in the 19th, adding to the striker’s league-leading tally of 24 goals.

Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer - widely expected to play for Munich next year - kept the score down with a ton of saves but he was unable to stop the outstanding Muller from scoring his second in the 84th.

“When we’re fighting for third place, it’s a bit disappointing [after a game like that] that we did so little with the season,’’ Mueller said.

Elsewhere, Mainz beat Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0, Stuttgart won 2-1 at Hoffenheim and Freiburg won 2-0 at Hamburger SV.

“I can’t really describe it - we played a really awesome season,’’ Dortmund midfielder Kevin Groskreutz said.

Nurnberg started with greater intensity, stopping Dortmund from establishing its quick passing game early on, with Andreas Wolf twice going close from set pieces in the first 20 minutes.

Klopp’s side finally got going when Barrios scored with an easy tap-in in the 32nd, when Nuremberg keeper Raphael Schaefer was unlucky to parry Mario Gotze’s long-range effort straight to the Paraguay striker’s feet.

The goal gave the home side some momentum and Lewandowski and Barrios both went close before the former made it 2-0 in the 43rd.

Lewandowski shook off Javier Horacio Pinola to reach a long ball forward from Mats Hummels and the Polish striker hooked the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper.

Barrios missed a chance to make it 3-0 in the 79th, but the fans - who had been keeping one eye on events in Cologne - didn’t mind.

“This is the most beautiful day in my football life,’’ Barrios said.

News of Novakovic’s goals were greeted with as much enthusiasm as Dortmund’s, as Cologne beat Leverkusen in its first game under interim coach Volker Finke after Frank Schaefer quit on Wednesday.

Leverkusen missed a host of chances to score. Renato Augusto showed great technique to control Michael Ballack’s wonderful through ball but shot wide under no pressure in the 15th.

Aware that Dortmund was leading against Nurnberg, the visitors increased the tempo, with Stefan Kiessling hitting the crossbar in the 52nd before Michal Kadlec headed narrowly wide.

Michael Rensing pulled off an outstanding save to deny Ballack from close range before Novakovic clipped the ball over Rene Adler after Miso Brecko’s pass cut through the Leverkusen defense.

Renato Augusto hit the post, and Kiessling failed to connect with the ball in front of an open goal before Novakovic claimed his 16th goal of the season from close range.

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