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Pep Guardiola won his first Bundesliga title on Tuesday as record-breaking Bayern Munich were confirmed German champions with seven games to spare, bettering predecessor Jupp Heynckes' record of six.
Guardiola Breaks Record with Bayern Munich's 24th Bundesliga Title
ESPN FC - Bayern Munich become Bundesliga champions.

Pep Guardiola won his first Bundesliga title on Tuesday as record-breaking Bayern Munich were confirmed German champions with seven games to spare, bettering predecessor Jupp Heynckes' record of six.

Having won 14 out of 19 titles in four years with Barcelona, Guardiola collects his third title in his nine months since taking charge of Bayern. But he pins the success firmly on his players.

"A coach is always only good because he's at a big club with great players," said Guardiola before the Hertha Berlin win. "I have won many titles, because I have had great players, they deserve the praise, they are unbelievable."

Guardiola's modesty hides the fact he molded the likes of Barcelona's Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi into footballing superstars and seems intent on doing the same at Bayern. The Bavarian giants sent records tumbling under Heynckes, but Guardiola has taken the European champions to a new level.

Guardiola has added a "new dimension" with his "positive fanaticism" to his work, according to chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

"He has a clear plan and I have never seen such diligence in any other coach," Rummenigge told German daily Die Welt. "He's made the team a tight-knit community, which is how it was under Jupp Heynckes. But Guardiola has changed a few things and is permanently looking to improve things."

There is no stone left un-turned in Guardiola's relentless pursuit of perfection. He was disgruntled in a press conference last December because his players had been subdued during the first 15 minutes of a training session.

They had trounced Werder Bremen 7-0 away just 48 hours before. But Guardiola's concerns proved justified as Bayern suffered their only defeat this season when they lost the following day at home to Manchester City.

Guardiola showed a ruthless streak when Mario Mandzukic was briefly dropped at the start of 2014 for poor performances in training. It was a bold decision to drop the team's top-scorer and the Croatia striker netted in all six league games before last Saturday's 2-0 win at Mainz 05.

While Bayern dropped only 11 league points least season, Guardiola's side have dropped just four so far. 

Guardiola recently referred to the Bundesliga as "pizza and burgers" and likened the Champions League to a "nice restaurant". While the Spaniard drew criticism for his comments, Bayern's rivals have failed to serve up a decent challenge.

Guardiola tackled his first Bayern press conference last June in German and insisted he would neither poach any Barcelona players, nor make major changes. He soon did both as Spain's Under-21 captain Thiago Alcantara was signed from Barca and a new 4-1-4-1 system was introduced, briefly abandoning the 4-2-3-1 formation which won the treble.

Captain Philipp Lahm was switched from right-back, where he is one of the world's best, to the midfield. Guardiola got off to a losing start as Bayern were beaten 4-2 at Borussia Dortmund last July in the German Super Cup final, but have not looked back since.

He got one over old Spanish league rival Jose Mourinho in Prague when Chelsea were beaten on penalties in the UEFA Super Cup final. Bayern then picked off their Bundesliga rivals one by one.

Schalke were humbled 4-0 in Gelsenkirchen in September, while Dortmund they went down 3-0 at home in November. Bayer Leverkusen put up a fight when Bayern came away from the BayArena with a 1-1 draw in October.

Bayern claimed a record tenth consecutive Champions League victory when they beat CSKA Moscow away in December before lifting the Club World Cup in Morocco. The only defeat came in the final Champions League group stage when Bayern threw away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 at home to Manchester City. 

They still managed to finish as group winners. The closest Bayern have come to a Bundesliga defeat was at VfB Stuttgart in January. 

They were 14 minutes away from losing before Claudio Pizarro headed them level, then Thiago hit a stunning 93rd-minute winner. Bayern's last league defeat -- at home to Leverkusen in October 21012 -- came with Heynckes in charge as the Bavarian giants currently enjoy a record 52-match unbeaten run.

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8 hrs. ago

M'Baye Niang put the nightmare of the Paris terror attacks firmly behind him with two goals and an assist as AC Milan crushed a sorry Sampdoria 4-1 at the San Siro on Saturday.

Niang admitted last week the events of the past fortnight had left him worried for the safety of family and friends in and around the French capital.

But the 20-year-old from the Paris suburbs produced a confident performance for the Rossoneri, first delivering for Giacomo Bonaventura's opener on 16 minutes and then beating Emiliano Viviano from the spot after the Milan winger had been hauled down in the area seven minutes before the interval.

Niang secured Milan's seventh win of the campaign when he fired under Viviano four minutes after the restart after the 'keeper's fluffed clearance.

When he was replaced by Luiz Adriano 15 minutes from the whistle it took the Brazilian just four minutes to find the net after volleying Alessio Cerci's intelligent cross past Viviano.

The only blot on Milan's copybook was Gianluigi Donnarumma's failure to stop Luis Muriel from the spot after Andrea Pioli had tugged on Eder in the area in the closing minutes.

Milan moved up to fifth place at seven points behind leaders Inter ahead of the remainder of the weekend matches, with Sampdoria's second successive defeat under new coach Vincenzo Montella leaving them 14 points adrift.

"It was an almost perfect performance," said Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, who gave a special mention to Niang.

"He's a big player for us, he was doing really well in pre-season then he got injured. Now he's back in form and he's doing well, but he already showed at Genoa (loan) what he was made of."

For the fifth consecutive match Mihajlovic opted for teenage goalkeeper Donnarumma over the more experienced Diego Lopez but the 16-year-old had to dive low to parry after his messy clearance fell to Roberto 

Soriano 30 yards out in the opening minute.

From then on, it was all Milan with Niang the main protagonist before making way for Adriano on 74 minutes.

Having spent the last half of last season on loan at Genoa, the striker said he in enjoying playing in a pure 

striker's role under Mihajlovic.

"I'm really happy because I've been waiting for this for a longtime, the hard work's paying off and I hope it continues like this," said Niang.

"I played as a centre-forward, the position I prefer and I think that along with our win over Lazio this was our best display this season."

Milan broke the deadlock on 16 minutes with Alessio Cerci, whose eighth minute goal was ruled offside, involved before Niang burst down the right to fire in a weighted delivery that Bonaventura slid in to meet at the back post.

Milan built on their momentum and Niang almost doubled the lead when he collected Juraj Kucka's short delivery on the right to drag his angled shot inches wide of Viviano's far post.

Sampdoria were struggling to find any rhythm and Milan's movement in the final third of the pitch was causing huge problems for the visitors.

Niang left Edgar Barreto behind to burst down the right and fire across the bows, but Bonaventura's first-timer from the six-yard line blasted over.

Samp's only real chance came when Luis Muriel dribbled his way into the area but despite turning Milan's defence his promising strike was blocked by Alessio Romagnoli.

Niang came close twice with flicks that inched wide of Viviano's post just after the restart.

But when the 'keeper fluffed a clearance, Niang collected and strode confidently into the area to fire under his body and secure the second brace of his Serie A career, after hitting a double for Genoa against Verona last season.

A tiring Niang soon made way for Adriano and only four minutes later Cerci was given time and space to the right of the area to pick out the Brazilian with a pinpoint pass which he controlled before firing past a helpless Viviano.

Earlier, Torino moved up to seventh place with a 2-0 home win over Bologna thanks to second-half goals from Andrea Belotti and Giuseppe Vives.