Image: Wikimedia Commons / Sven Mandel
Image: Wikimedia Commons / Sven Mandel

Bayern Munich secure eighth consecutive Bundesliga title

Bayern Munich have been crowned Bundesliga champions for an eighth consecutive season, following a 1-0 victory over Werder Bremen. Bayern, who have been led by Hansi Flick since November, secured a routine victory against Werder Bremen courtesy of a first-half goal from Robert Lewandowski.

Despite a valiant effort from Florian Kohfeldt’s side, Bremen were unable to prevent what would become a coronation for Bayern. On the stroke of half-time, a perfectly-timed run allowed Lewandowski to break beyond the Bremen defence to create a chance that the Polish striker was never going to miss. Bayern’s build-up play was characteristically slick; Jiri Pavlenka stood no chance of preventing Lewandowski from setting the visitors on course for another champagne moment.

Bayern – who have won 22 of their last 23 matches – were far from their best: Davy Klassen and Maximillian Eggestein performed admirably for Bremen in central areas. With two matches remaining, Bremen remain in the relegation zone but retain the opportunity to play their way to safety against Mainz this weekend.

Bremen’s approach in the second half spoke to the club’s predicament

Bremen have featured in 56 of the Bundesliga’s 57 seasons; that such a historic club is staring down the barrel of relegation is testament to the state of decline in Lower Saxony.

On 54 minutes, Bayern had the ball in Pavlenka’s goal for a second occasion – only for their efforts to be chalked-off by the assistant referee. Had Thomas Müller not crept beyond Gebre Selassie, the visitors would have doubled their lead. Once again, delicate build-up play was finished gracefully by Lewandowski. The Bundesliga was (rightly) deprived a stunning goal by the linesman’s offside flag.

Bremen’s approach in the second half spoke to the heart of the club’s current predicament. With defeat against Bayern expected, Kohfeldt’s side seemed happy to commit their energies to keeping the scoreline down. With Bremen level on points with Fortuna Düsseldorf, every goal counts at this stage of the season.

Serge Gnabry was a constant thorn in the side for Niklas Moisander

Kevin Vogt’s half-time substitution spoke to Bremen’s ambition: a yellow card would have seen the half back miss Bremen’s vital meeting with Mainz this weekend.

Bayern – yet to drop a point since the Bundesliga returned from its Covid-19 suspension – dominated the play in the second half. Serge Gnabry – once deemed a poor fit for Tony Pulis’ West Brom – was a constant thorn in the side for Niklas Moisander and Sebastian Longkamp. How times have changed.

There was a moment after 75 minutes when Manuel Neuer’s propensity for sweeping almost cost the travelling side. The German goalkeeper would tell you that he had the situation under control; it didn’t seem that way when Neuer was scrambling for the ball within touching distance of the halfway line.

The 2019/20 Bundesliga title is the twenty-ninth in Bayern’s history

With twelve minutes remaining, Alphonso Davies was given his marching orders for a second yellow card. The Canadian’s second bookable offence was soft; on another day Davies would have been given licence to finish the match on the field.

With just seconds remaining, Neuer was forced to make a title-winning save – sprawling to his right to prevent Bremen from securing what would have been a vital draw in their fight for survival. Bremen’s late charge was a story of too little, too late.

The 2019/20 Bundesliga title is the twenty-ninth in the club’s history, consolidating Bayern’s status as the most decorated team in German football. Prior to Niko Kovač’s departure in November, Bayern Munich had faltered in the title race – falling behind RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund in the opening stages of the season.

Werder Bremen face an almighty battle to retain their top-flight status

Flick’s appointment as head coach in November transformed Bayern’s fortunes. Flick, a Bayern midfielder during his playing career, has overseen quite the revival in Bavaria – restoring the likes of Müller and David Alaba to top form. This is a team that could yet go onto win a historic treble.

Bremen meanwhile – themselves one of Germany’s most prestigious clubs – will be left hoping that RB Leipzig beat Fortuna Düsseldorf tomorrow evening. Bayern Munich are Bundesliga champions; Werder Bremen face an almighty battle to retain their top-flight status. The title race is over, but there is drama yet to come in the Bundesliga.

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