European Football - Fans stay away as Salzburg win title with eight games left

Salzburg won the Austrian Bundesliga with a record eight games to spare on Sunday, beating Wiener Neustadt 5-0 at home in a stadium which was less than a quarter full.

European Football - Fans stay away as Salzburg win title with eight games left

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Players of Salzburg celebrate with the trophy after winning the tipp3 Bundesliga match between Red Bull Salzburg and SC Wiener Neustadt at Red Bull Arena (Getty)

Brazilian striker Alan scored a hat-trick to send his side 27 points clear of second-placed Groedig and clinch their fifth title in nine seasons since the Red Bull energy drinks manufacturer took over the club.

Salzburg, who have won their last 12 league matches and averaged five goals a game since the start of February, have 70 points from 28 games, with 98 goals scored and a goal difference of 75.

Alan opened in the scoring in the 23rd minute when he wrong- footed goalkeeper Thomas Vollnhofer to slot the ball home and he set up the second for Spaniard Jonathan Soriano in first-half stoppage time.

Salzburg, playing their trademark game of aggressive pressing and quick counter-attacks, continued to open up the visiting defence in the second half.

Alan added two more, taking his tally for the season to 24 and Senegalese winger Sadio Mane completed the scoring.

Despite the string of titles, Red Bull's takeover has been far from popular.

After changing the team colours, attempting to wipe out the club's history and removing the word "Austria" from their name, the new owners alienated the fans to such an extent that some of them formed a breakaway club, now playing in the third tier.

Salzburg have also failed to qualify for the Champions League under the new leadership who last year ignored the club's official 80th anniversary.

Although the Red Bull Arena holds 31,000 spectators, their average home attendance this season has been just over 10,000 and only 7,074 watched Sunday's game played on a wintry afternoon.

Sturm Graz were the previous quickest winners, wrapping up the 1997-98 title with seven games to spare and Rapid Vienna's record of 101 goals scored in the 1985-86 season seems almost certain to be broken.

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