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Season review: Austria

Published: Monday 21 May 2012, 20.19CET
Fifth at the halfway mark, FC Salzburg staged a stirring finish to emerged from the pack and win their fourth league title in six years before completing a first domestic double.
by Johannes Sturm
Season review: Austria
FC Salzburg won their fourth league title in six years ©GEPA features

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Published: Monday 21 May 2012, 20.19CET

Season review: Austria

Fifth at the halfway mark, FC Salzburg staged a stirring finish to emerged from the pack and win their fourth league title in six years before completing a first domestic double.

FC Salzburg clinched the league title in emphatic style, beating SC Wiener Neustadt 5-1 in their penultimate game, and set the seal on a historic domestic double seven days later to ensure a special denouement to their season.

Champions: FC Salzburg
Salzburg turned things around after a mediocre start to the campaign to emerge from the pack and triumph at a canter. Things looked less comfortable in the autumn as they languished in fifth, seven points off the summit, and questions were asked of coach Ricardo Moniz's future. He answered them emphatically, a six-match winning run at the end of the campaign seeing them finish six points clear of SK Rapid Wien.

Cup final: FC Salzburg 3-0 SV Ried
Salzburg clinched a historic first double in style in Vienna, never looking back after opening up a 2-0 lead inside 15 minutes through Leonardo's penalty and an Emanuel Schreiner own goal. The second half was more balanced, but Salzburg hit a third in added time when Leonardo was denied by Thomas Gebauer; Stefan Hierländer converted the rebound to secure his side's first Austrian Cup in their fifth final.

European places
FC Salzburg – UEFA Champions League, second qualifying round
SK Rapid Wien – UEFA Europa League, third qualifying round
SV Ried – UEFA Europa League, second qualifying round
FC Admira/Wacker Mödling – UEFA Europa League, second qualifying round

Player of the season: Alexander Walke (FC Salzburg)
At the beginning of the campaign, the 28-year-old goalkeeper was second choice behind fans' favourite Eddie Gustafsson. However, following an indifferent start to the season by the veteran, his German understudy came in and blossomed, conceding just 18 goals in 31 appearances.

One to watch: Jakob Jantscher (FC Salzburg)
The 23-year-old was the 14-goal top scorer in the Austrian Bundesliga along with team-mate Stefan Maierhofer. He arrived as a promising talent from SK Sturm Graz in 2010 but initially failed to live up to expectations. He made up for lost time in 2011/12, with his performances instrumental in Salzburg's upturn in form, despite the death of his father.

Surprise package: FC Admira/Wacker Mödling
The promoted side poured scorn on expectations of a difficult adaption to life back in the top flight with a superb campaign. Their slick, attractive brand of football paved the way for a third-placed finish to guarantee a return to European football for the first time in 18 years.

Leading scorerJakob Jantscher and Stefan Maierhofer, FC Salzburg (14)

Relegated: Kapfenberger SV

Promoted: WAC/St Andrä

Number: 7
In one of the most open Austrian Bundesliga seasons yet, seven of the ten teams still had a mathematic chance of winning the title with five games remaining.

"Whoever celebrates as long as I do today will be a regular starter next year."
Admira coach Dietmar Kühbauer after his team qualified for the UEFA Europa League.

Last updated: 10/07/12 0.55CET

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