FC Salzburg have clinched their eighth Austrian title with eight games remaining following a 5-0 victory against SC Wiener Neustadt.
A draw would also have been enough for Roger Schmidt's men to secure the crown on matchday 28, but the commanding victory gave them even more reason to celebrate. No Austrian team has ever won the title this early in the season since the three-points-per-win rule was introduced in 1995. The previous record was held by SK Sturm Graz, who won the championship on matchday 29 in 1997/1998.
"It's an extraordinary achievement in my eyes," commented Schmidt afterwards. "The way we won the title this season was truly special. It was still snowing and we won the title. We didn't just want to be a little bit better than our opponents; we always wanted to play to our limits."
The trophy will help Salzburg put their midweek UEFA Europa League disappointment behind them, the Austrian side having lost 2-1 on aggregate to FC Basel 1893 in the round of 16. "After the unfortunate exit from the Europa League on Thursday, it's a great feeling to win the title," added midfielder Kevin Kampl. "I'm really excited as it's my first championship. It shows the heart and the character of this team to come back after a defeat like that and beat Wiener Neustadt with a 5-0 scoreline. If we manage to stay together as a team, who knows what else we could be capable of?"
His mind may have already turned to next season's UEFA Champions League qualifying campaign, with Salzburg anxious to reach the group stage for a second time after six failed attempts. However, first of all they will be looking to end the current campaign on a high, as sporting director Ralf Rangnick explained: "We want to extend our winning streak and present ourselves as worthy champions."
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|Last updated: 23/03/2014 18:18 CET|
De Paula 31
|Venue: Maria Enzersdorf|
|3||SK Rapid Wien||28||42|
|4||FK Austria Wien||28||42|
|6||SK Sturm Graz||28||32|
|8||SC Wiener Neustadt||28||32|
|9||FC Admira Wacker Mödling *||28||28|
|10||FC Wacker Innsbruck||28||19|