Bayern Munich snatched their 11th consecutive Bundesliga title in dramatic fashion with a final day 2-1 win at Cologne on Saturday courtesy of Jamal Musiala’s 89th minute goal, grabbing the trophy from the hands of rivals Borussia Dortmund.
Dortmund had gone into the last game of the season in top spot but stumbled to a 2-2 against visitors Mainz 05, allowing Bayern to squeeze past them in the tightest league race in years.
In a climactic season finale, Bayern were celebrating what ended up being an unexpected title win while Dortmund’s dreams of their first league trophy since 2012 were left in tatters when they were trailing 2-0 to Mainz early on before battling to a 2-2 draw — but they needed victory to become champions.
Bayern finished on 71 points, ahead on goal difference from Dortmund. RB Leipzig and sensational Union Berlin are third and fourth respectively and will also compete in the Champions League next season.
Hertha Berlin and Schalke 04 were relegated, while VfB Stuttgart will go into the relegation playoff.
“It is unbelievable that I experience such a title race,” said Bayern’s Thomas Mueller, who celebrated a league-record 12th Bundesliga title.
“People interested in football have the feeling that we do not deserve this and I clearly say I understand that because of the second half of the season being so chaotic for us. “But it is still an unbelievable moment. Crazy, electric. I hoped it would happen but did not think it would,” Mueller added.
While the title win rescues some silverware in what has been a frustrating season for Bayern, the club sacked Chief Executive Officer Oliver Kahn, who was not in Cologne, and sports director Hasan Salihamdizic minutes after the title win.
The surprise sacking of Julian Nagelsmann in late March and the arrival of Thomas Tuchel was not coupled with success with the team crashing out of the German Cup and the Champions League last eight and the Bayern bosses paid the price.
“This game today describes my phase as coach here,” a relieved Tuchel said. “But we had one last exclamation mark.”
“We started well, took the lead, had another big chance. That’s our season in summary but Jamal had one more moment,” he added.
The Bavarians needed a win and Kingsley Coman settled their nerves early on, putting them into the lead with a superbly curled shot into the top corner.
With Dortmund behind from the first half, the Bavarians knew they were now in front and controlled the first half without risking too much.
Leroy Sane did slot in just before the break but his effort did not count following a video assistant referee review for handball.
With Bayern club bosses, including Salihamidzic, nervously checking their mobile phones for the score in Dortmund, Cologne earned an 80th minute penalty and Dejan Ljubicic sent keeper the wrong way to level.
Sane thought he had missed the chance to hand his team the title when he failed to beat the Cologne keeper in the 88th but Musiala did it perfectly a minute later, curling a low drive into the far post in the rollercoaster season ending.