By Andreas Alf
Roy Makaay hit a hat-trick as FC Bayern München secured their 19th Bundesliga title in style on Saturday with a 4-0 victory away to 1. FC Kaiserslautern. With three games to go they cannot now be caught by second-placed FC Schalke 04, who drew 3-3 at home against Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
Michael Ballack scored Bayern's opener after 19 minutes before Makaay took over, the Dutch striker scoring on 35 minutes before adding two more after the break to secure Felix Magath's first German championship as coach.
"This is an extraordinary day for me which I really enjoyed," said Magath. "We have deserved this title because we have proved that we have been the best team in Germany this season over the long haul. The domestic title is the one that counts most because it gives you an idea about the level of the sides through a complete year."
At Gelsenkirchen, Leverkusen went ahead against Schalke on 23 minutes through Paul Freier. But two excellent Lincoln free-kicks on 30 and 38 minutes, as well as a goal by Ebbe Sand four minutes before the break, put Schalke in the driving seat. But in the second half Bayer bounced back with goals by Dimitar Berbatov on 56 minutes and Andrej Voronin eight minutes later.
The draw keeps Leverkusen's hopes of clincing a European place alive. They are sixth on 50 points five behind third-placed VfB Stuttgart in the race for the third UEFA Champions League qualification place.
Stuttgart lost ground with a 2-0 defeat away to VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach while Bremen were the day's big winners, moving up to fourth on goal difference after defeating DSC Arminia Bielefeld 3-0 at home. Hertha BSC Berlin drop to fifth behind Bremen after losing 2-1 away to FC Hansa Rostock.
Mönchengladbach and Hansa's results boosted their hopes in the battle against relegation where the biggest surprise of the day came from 1. FSV Mainz 05, Jürgen Klopp's side winning 6-2 at VfL Bochum 1848 to go eight points clear of the drop zone.
Mainz are safe while defeat plunged Bochum deeper into trouble - they trail Mönchengladbach by five points in 15th. BV Borussia Dortmund collected one point at already relegated SC Freiburg, drawing 2-2.
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