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Bayern on track for Bundesliga title

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Monday, March 17, 2014

BERLIN - Bayern Munich could be crowned Bundesliga champions next weekend after their 2-1 win at home to Bayer Leverkusen yesterday left them 23 points clear in the table.

The European champions could be confirmed as German champions for the 24th time if they win at Mainz next Saturday and rivals Dortmund and Schalke both draw.

Goals by Mario Mandzukic and Bastian Schweinsteiger saw Bayern enjoy their 16th-straight league win and extend their record unbeaten league run to 50 matches.

Former Germany striker Stefan Kiessling gave Leverkusen a consolation goal when he headed home just before the final whistle.

The victory capped arguably the most turbulent week in Bayern's history after ex-president Uli Hoeness resigned on Friday, 24 hours after being convicted of tax fraud.

He was convicted by Munich regional court of cheating the state out of 28.5 million euros ($A44 million) in unpaid taxes.

Sky television underscored his absence on Saturday when zooming in on the empty seat next to chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge where the 62-year-old normally sits.

Leverkusen were the last German team to beat Bayern, back in October 2012, but Sami Hyypia's side offered little resistance as they suffered their seventh defeat in eight matches.

They had already dropped to fourth after being knocked from third by Schalke's 2-1 win at Augbsurg on Friday when Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored both goals.

The victory was a welcome boost for Schalke ahead of Tuesday's trip to Real Madrid where they face the near-impossible task of over-turning their 6-1 home leg defeat.

Bayern's relentless march to the title was helped after second-placed Borussia Dortmund suffered a 2-1 defeat at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach earlier on Saturday.

Gladbach earned their first win in ten games to dent Dortmund's confidence ahead of Wednesday's Champions League last 16 clash at home to Zenit St Petersburg when they hold a 4-2 lead from the first leg.

"That is a bitter result for us, so the disappointment is huge," said Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl.





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