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Football

Werder Bremen win Bundesliga title


Ivan Klasnic
Klasnic evades Bayern keeper Oliver Kahn to open the scoring.
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WERDER BREMEN
Founded: 1899
Club colors: Green shirts with orange sleeves, white shorts
Stadium: Weserstadion (Capacity 35,800)
Chairman: Juergen L. Born
Coach: Thomas Schaaf
Captain: Frank Baumann
Bundesliga titles: 4 (1965, 88, 93, 2004)
German Cup titles: 4 (1961, 91, 94, 99)
European honors:
1 European Cup Winner's Cup (1992)
All-time top scorer: Marco Bode 101
2003-04 top scorer: Ailton 27
Record appearances: Dieter Burdenski 444
Highest league win: 8-1 (against Kickers Offenbach, 1983)
Highest league defeat: 2-9 (by Eintracht Frankfurt, 1981)

BERLIN, Germany -- Werder Bremen claimed their first German Bundesliga title since 1993 with a 3-1 win at former champions Bayern Munich.

The result -- Bayern's first home defat of the season -- moved Bremen nine points clear of their hosts with just two matches to play.

The visitors' goals all came in the first 35 minutes, with Ivan Klasnic, Johan Micoud and Brazilian Ailton on target.

Croatian striker Klasnic opened the scoring on 19 minutes when Oliver Kahn spilled a weak shot from Ailton.

French playmaker Micoud compounded Kahn's misery by flicking the ball over him from inside the box seven minutes later.

Brazilian striker Ailton completed the scoring with an effort from the edge of the box.

Roy Makaay scored a consolation effort for Bayern with a volley on 56 minutes.

Bremen, who have been champions of Germany four times, could complete their first double by beating second division Alemannia Aachen in the German Cup final on May 29 in Berlin.

"It was a fantastic way to crown a fantastic season," said Werder coach Thomas Schaaf."

"We worked very hard for this," said Micoud. "We've believed for a long time that we'd win the title, but we didn't speak about it openly."

Bayern, who started the season wth ambitions of winning the Champions League and the German title, will finish the season empty-handed.

Best football

"I would like to congratulate Werder who had a great season and deserve to be champions," said Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld.

"Bremen has played the best football this season and they didn't allow themselves to get distracted. It's an ironic twist of fate that Kahn, one of our best, makes this mistake."

In other matches, Stuttgart suffered a 2-1 defeat at Hamburg, damaging their hopes of holding onto third place.

Stuttgart are now just two points clear of fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen following their 2-0 win over already-relegated Cologne.

At the bottom of the table, Hertha Berlin boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation with a 6-2 win over Borussia Dortmund -- moving four points clear of the drop zone.

Kaiserslautern also won 3-2 against Wolfsburg to join Hertha on 35 points.

Eintract Frankfurt appeared doomed after they lost 3-0 at Hanover to stay on 29 points, while third-from-bottom 1860 Munich are on 31 points and face Hansa Rostock on Sunday.

In Saturday's final match, Borussia Moenchengladbach beat Schalke 04 2-0.


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