Berlin: From a stuttering start to the season, Borussia Dortmund retained the Bundesliga title with two rounds to go by beating Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0 on Saturday.
Ivan Perisic scored in the 23rd minute and Shinji Kagawa in the 59th to launch the celebrations for Dortmund's eighth German league championship.
"There are no words to describe what the lads have done," Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said as his side sealed the title on the 32nd matchday for the second year in a row. "It was the biggest challenge — to win the game. (Dortmund captain) Sebastian Kehl got the lads going before the game. That was cool."
Dortmund have an unassailable eight-point lead over Bayern Munich. Six games into the season, Dortmund were eight points behind Bayern. They would set a Bundesliga record of 81 points if they win their remaining games.
"It's crazy what we're doing," Klopp said.
The new German champions stretched their record unbeaten run in a season to 26 games as they became the first team — other than Bayern — to win successive titles since they last did so 16 years ago.
"Impressive," Germany coach Joachim Loew said.
Franck Ribery kept Bayern's slim hopes alive hours earlier when he scored in the 90th minute to earn his side a 2-1 win at Werder Bremen.
"I'm happy Bayern won in Bremen," said Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke. "Otherwise we wouldn't have experienced it like we did. It was a perfect Saturday."
Moenchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen got a hand to Perisic's header from Marcel Schmelzer's free kick but was unable to prevent the Croat's sixth goal of the season. Schmelzer's goalline block denied Marco Reus, who will join Dortmund next season, 10 minutes after the interval, before Roel Brouwers needed a crucial tackle to stop Kagawa at the other end.
There was nothing Moenchengladbach could do to deny the Japan star in the 59th, when he flicked the ball beyond ter Stegen with his first touch and into the net from a narrow angle with his next after great play from Schmelzer and Robert Lewandowski.
"It's the happiest I've ever felt," Kagawa said. "Nothing beats this."
Dortmund fans had further reason to cheer in the 73rd, when Mario Goetze went on for the first time since December after injury.
"I want to get to 100 percent, because there's still the German Cup (final)," said Goetze, referring to Dortmund's date with Bayern on May 12.
"Again we played a grandiose season," said Dortmund 'keeper Roman Weidenfeller as the players engaged in the traditional beer showers.