Salzburg win another Austrian title

Salzburg won the Austrian Bundesliga for the fourth time in six seasons to extend the dominance they have enjoyed since being taken over by the Red Bull energy drinks manufacturer.


The team formerly known as Austria Salzburg made sure of the title with one match to spare by thrashing hapless 10-man Wiener Neustadt 5-1 away, keeping six points clear of Rapid Vienna who won 2-0 at relegated Kapfenberg.

Only 2,100 fans watched the game including a visiting contingent of 350 Salzburg supporters, reflecting the indifference towards a league which has to compete with ice hockey and alpine skiing for attention.

Wiener Neuerstadt captain Andreas Schicker was sent off for a foul in the sixth minute after giving away a penalty but David Mendes da Silva fired his effort over the crossbar for Salzburg.

It did not matter as two goals in seven minutes from former Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Stefan Maierhofer put Salzburg in command.

Matthias Lindner pulled one back just before the half hour but Brazilian Cristiano Da Silva restored Salzburg's two-goal advantage early in the second half and former Espanyol forward Jonathan Soriano added two more in the last five minutes.

Red Bull took over the club in 2005, invested heavily in foreign players and at one point brought in former Italy coach Giovanni Trappatoni to lead the side.

However, the new owners also alienated a large number of fans by changing the team's colours from the traditional purple and white to red and blue.

After several protests, the dissident fans eventually founded their own club, named Austria Salzburg and playing in purple and white, which entered in the seventh and bottom tier of Austrian football and has since climbed to the third.

Despite their domestic success, Salzburg have never qualified for the Champions League group stage under Red Bull's leadership.

They will enter the competition next season in the second qualifying round.

Salzburg have won seven league titles overall while Rapid Vienna hold the record with thirty-two.

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