FC Basel 1893 have retained their league crown for a third successive year after a routine 3-1 victory against FC Lausanne-Sport.
The result took Basel an insurmountable 18 points clear of second-placed FC Luzern and ensured that they became the first Swiss club to clinch the title as early as April. Marco Streller, Alexander Frei and Jacques Zoua were all on target as delirium ensued inside a packed St. Jakob-Park. A domestic double is now in sight, with Heiko Vogel's side set to face Luzern in the Swiss Cup final on 16 May.
Despite the loss of coach Thorsten Fink to Hamburger SV in October, Basel have embarked upon a sensational run, boasting an unbeaten league sequence stretching back to August. During that time, the 15-time Swiss champions also knocked Manchester United FC out of the UEFA Champions League, and had FC Bayern München on the ropes in the first leg of their round of 16 tie.
"It is difficult to describe my emotions, but I'm extremely happy," said Vogel. "It is similar to the 2-1 victory over Manchester United in the Champions League. I have goose bumps everywhere. To work with these guys is truly special, and no one can take that away from me."
Club captain Marco Streller was also delighted with his team's progress. "Last summer there was talk of what could be the most thrilling Swiss season ever," he said. "Then we started poorly, but now we have won the title with five matches to go; that's outstanding. We have worked incredibly hard for these moments."
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