Bayern have been dominant for so much of this season that, even though they guaranteed the earliest-ever Bundesliga title win with a 1-0 victory in Frankfurt on Saturday, there was a general feeling of relief to finally have the inevitable confirmed.
And with an important Champions League trip to Turin coming midweek, celebrations were muted to say the least. Sporting director Matthias Sammer half-joked: “I stood in front of the dressing room door; no one got through with any beer,” and Bild took a wry look at some of the 'highlights':
Post-match – Thomas Müller gives an insight into the festivities: “We sang, danced, sprayed still water around.”
8.36 p.m. – Three fans meet the players at Munich Airport.
1.07 a.m. – The last of the players leave the Italian restaurant where a celebration of the title win and Franck Ribéry’s birthday had been cut short on the instruction of bosses Matthias Sammer and Jupp Heynckes.
Celebrations in Hoffenheim might have been a little wilder, as Markus Gisdol oversaw a vital 3-0 victory against fellow relegation candidates Düsseldorf in his first game in charge.
Former Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes looks set to miss the rest of the season after breaking his hand in the match, but even that hasn’t brightened the prospects of fallen star Tim Wiese – the former Germany international has been told by the new coach he is third choice behind Gomes and 20-year-old Koen Casteels.
Wiese looks certain to leave the club he joined last summer (reportedly turning down offers from the likes of Real Madrid and Inter to stay in the Bundesliga at the time) at the end of the season, but this time there won’t be interest from Europe’s big guns.
That win, combined with Augsburg’s 4-2 loss against a weakened Dortmund side, means Hoffenheim are just a point off the relegation play-off place in what is shaping up to be an interesting end to the season at both ends – the title may be decided already, but European places are still up for grabs.
They seem to be slipping out of Hamburg’s grasp however: after the embarrassing 9-2 defeat in Munich last week, HSV failed to come back fighting against fellow European hopefuls Freiburg, losing 1-0.
That defeat has been followed by rumours of an age-based divide in the squad, suggestions supported by the (slightly odd) words of 27-year-old Marcell Jansen: “The older ones can’t always powder the others’ bums. They have to do it themselves sometimes.”
Captain Heiko Westermann is also set to give up the armband at the end of the season as he can’t get through to his less experienced teammates.
The result moved Freiburg up to fifth, three points behind Schalke and the final Champions League spot. Manager Christian Streich congratulated his players on the important away win, but is a proponent of the Bayern method of celebrations.
“The boys can go out together, but will be home at an appropriate time. Two hours, and then it’s over and done with,” the 47-year-old father of two (probably very well-behaved) children said.