Champions Bayern will come back stronger

(Reuters) – Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola pledged his team would come back stronger next season after they lifted the league trophy in a huge post-match party following a 2-0 victory over Mainz 05 to end their Bundesliga campaign in style.

The Bavarians set a Bundesliga record by keeping a 22nd clean sheet of the season, while keeper Manuel Neuer’s 20th league game without conceding a goal was also a league record.

Having let in only 18 goals in their 34 games, they also equalled their own league record from their treble-winning 2012/13 season for the fewest goals conceded.

Bastian Schweinsteiger was on target in his 500th competitive game for the club after Robert Lewandowski had converted a penalty, with Bayern bouncing back from three consecutive league losses.

Fans had hoped for more than just the league title in coach Pep Guardiola’s second season in charge, with the Bavarians eliminated in the semi-finals of the German Cup as well as the Champions League.

Yet their run to their 25th German league crown, which they wrapped up last month, still served to confirm that domestically they are in a class of their own.

“Next season we will return even stronger in order to keep the fans satisfied,” Guardiola, who had changed into a dry set of clothes after being showered with beer on the pitch after the match, told reporters. “Onwards, always onwards.”

“That is my goal. I want to congratulate my players and my staff as well as the fans who always supported us,” added Guardiola, who had to deal with a lengthy injury list this year.

“I hope to have the best possible squad next season,” he said.

Midfielder Schweinsteiger said the season had been a success considering all the injuries they had suffered.

“We won our third straight league title and that is something I had not achieved until now,” said Schweinsteiger, who has won eight Bundesliga titles and a total of 20 trophies with Bayern.

“We were also close to reaching the other two finals. Considering the injuries we had, we did really well overall.”

Guardiola has repeatedly committed to seeing out his contract that ends in 2016 and any extension talks will take place later this year the club and coach have said.

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