Bayern Munich’s Philipp Lahm expects either Manuel Neuer or Thomas Muller to take over as captain when he retires.
Celebrating a historic fifth Bundesliga title in succession, Bayern Munich bid farewell to retiring legends Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso in a 4-1 win over Freiburg.
Arjen Robben gave the champions the lead with a trademark left-footed shot in only the fourth minute. Arturo Vidal doubled the advantage on 73 minutes with a fierce drive from the edge of the box, before ex-Bayern striker Nils Petersen reduced the arrears for the visitors three minutes later. Substitutes Franck Ribery and Joshua Kimmich killed the game off in added time as Bayern gave a fitting send off to Lahm, Alonso and, last but not least, third-choice goalkeeper Tom Starke who all played the final games of their respective careers.
Bring on the Weissbier.
A fifth Bundesliga in a row and no one has got hurt in the celebrations (so far).
Is it really time to say goodbye to Lahm, Alonso (and Starke)? Anastasia delaying the second half unnecessarily by seven minutes. Poor show.
Manager rating out of 10
7 – Carlo Ancelotti managed to avoid dropping the salad plate (as the Bundesliga trophy is known) — unlike Pep Guardiola in 2014. For the Weissbier frenzy at the end, the experienced manager showed his stripes by wisely decking himself out in a club tracksuit and not his normal attire of smart Italian suit. In addition, despite two bum knees, he got around the pitch quite well to join in the fun.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Tom Starke, 8 — Also playing his final game but flying massively under the radar amongst the more celebrated company of Lahm and Alonso. Starke produced a string of fine saves from Mike Frantz, Vincenzo Grifo and Florian Niederlechner to preserve Bayern’s lead. Despite only 10 appearances for the club, he has managed to amass 13 trophies to fill his bulging cabinet (nice work if you can get it), or to put it another way, a glittering prize for every 69 minutes of action.
DF Juan Bernat, 6 – An unremarkable game for the Spanish left back, who coasted to his third-straight Bundesliga title. However, it may prove Bernat’s last as he could move on in the summer.
DF David Alaba, 6 – Solid so a six rating to match his number of Bundesliga titles by the age of 24 and rest assured, there’s plenty more to follow for the Austrian.
DF Jerome Boateng, 6 — Hobbled off inside the opening 10 minutes after landing awkwardly following a challenge from Niederlechner on only his fifth league start of 2017. At least Boateng has the summer to get himself in shape after an injury-ravaged season.
DF Philipp Lahm, 8 – Full of running at right-back, Lahm chalked up his 250th Bundesliga win in his 385th and final game. Somewhat like Alaba, an eight rating for the skipper as he swept up a record-equalling eighth Bundesliga title in 14 seasons of distinguished service. Add to these approximately eight mistakes all season. He will be very sorely missed, but he’s left a legacy that won’t ever be forgotten.
MF Xabi Alonso, 7 — His exquisite pass into Robben’s path set Bayern on their way as he signs off with three-straight Bundesliga wins to go with his Liverpool and Real Madrid bounty. After stroking passes all afternoon in midfield, Alonso said adios with 10 minutes remaining, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him back in Munich as a coach one day.
MF Arturo Vidal, 7 — The combative Chilean gave a typically wholehearted display, capped by his fourth league goal of the campaign, firing past Alexander Schwolow to double Bayern’s advantage. Also collected his eighth yellow card of the season, which many will remember for his missed penalty and red card in the Champions League quarterfinal defeat to Real Madrid.
MF Kingsley Coman, 5 — A league title winner in his homeland France (PSG), Germany and Italy (Juventus) all by the age of 20. Coman saw a header saved by the overworked Schwolow just before Robben opened the scoring. The French youngster has the blistering turn of pace to seriously trouble defences, but he faded in the second half with very little end product once again.
MF Arjen Robben, 9 –– Carried on where he left off against Leipzig, scoring a typical Robben goal, his 13th of the season, albeit via a slight deflection in only the fourth minute. He also rattled crossbar midway through second half and was still going strong in added time when feeding Ribery for the third goal. So fresh and vibrant, you would have thought it was the first game of the season and not the last.
MF Thomas Muller, 6 — Crowned a disappointing season when he saw a goal ruled out for offside midway through the second half. Perhaps his mere handful of league goals will be sweetened by a sixth Bundesliga title by the age of 27.
FW Robert Lewandowski, 5 — Bayern’s top scorer endured one of those unfortunate days when nothing went for him in front of goal, denied by a host of fine saves from Schwolow and losing out in the race for BL top scorer to Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang by one goal: 31 to 30. Has the consolation of celebrating a third-straight title with Bayern, as well as a couple at BVB and one in Poland with Lech Poznan. Not bad for a free transfer…
MF Joshua Kimmich, 7 — Slotted into central defence in place of the injured Boateng, Kimmich saw a close-range effort clawed away by Schwolow on the half hour mark, but delivered the final goal of the season, nodding home Lewandowski’s back-post header.
MF Franck Ribery, N/R — Appeared for the final 10 minutes. Not enough time for a rating but enough to add (off the post) his fifth goal of the season after Robben ran almost the length of the pitch. League title No. 7 for the 34-year-old Frenchman, who thankfully enjoyed more luck with injuries this season.
DF Rafinha, N/R — Fifth Bundesliga title in a row for the twice-capped Brazilian, allowing the departing Lahm all the love as he left the field for the final time.
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.