Philipp Lahm, Xabi Alonso As Bayern Ease Past Freiburg

Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso received standing ovations as Bayern Munich sent two of modern football great maestros into retirement on a winning note.


Full-back Lahm, 33, captained Bayern for the last time in a 4-1 Bundesliga victory over Freiburg, almost 15 years on from his debut for the club.

In doing so, Germany's 2014 World Cup-winning skipper achieved his 250th, and last, win in the Bundesliga.

And 35-year-old Alonso, whose cultured midfield promptings came to the fore at Real Sociedad before he shone on bigger stages with Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern, signed off in style by playing a part in Arjen Robben's opening goal. Like Lahm, Alonso was also a World Cup winner, in his case with Spain in 2010.

Champions Bayern, who finished the campaign 15 points clear of second-placed RB Leipzig, substituted Alonso and Lahm separately in the closing stages at the Allianz Arena, allowing each man to make an emotional farewell.

Bayern added to Robben's fourth-minute opener with a sweet strike from Arturo Vidal in the 73rd minute, before Nils Petersen pulled one back.

After Lahm and Alonso departed the scene, substitute Franck Ribery added Bayern's third and a fourth came late on from Joshua Kimmich.

It was a classic sweeping pass from Alonso that created Bayern's fourth-minute breakthrough.
From inside the centre circle, he found Robben in his familiar station on the right flank with an almost effortless 40-yard ball.

The Dutchman darted towards the edge of the penalty area and offloaded a left-footed strike that looked to perhaps take a slight deflection off Christian Gunter on its way across goal and inside the far corner.

Bayern had a host of chances to add to their lead, keeping Freiburg goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow busy.

Vidal doubled their advantage in the 73rd minute when he threaded a 20-yard shot into the bottom-right corner, before Petersen's strike denied Tom Starke a clean sheet.

Starke was the third Bayern player being waved off into retirement, the 36-year-old reserve goalkeeper afforded a rare first-team opportunity before taking up a coaching role with the Bayern academy.

Bayern's players and supporters gave Lahm and Alonso their dues, before Ribery and Kimmich added gloss to the victory.

The players then got their hands on the Bundesliga trophy for the fifth straight season.

CREDIT: ESPN
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