Five games which won the Bundesliga title for Bayern Munich

Berlin (AFP) –


Bayern Munich were crowned Bundesliga champions for a record seventh successive season on Saturday afternoon after a rollercoaster title race.

Niko Kovac's side overcame a rocky start to their campaign to overturn what had been a nine-point lead for rivals Borussia Dortmund and claim the league title on the final day.

Here are five games from the past 10 months which proved to be decisive as Dortmund and Bayern traded blows in a thrilling battle for the Bundesliga throne.

1. Bayern Munich 2-3 Borussia Dortmund, November 10 (Day 11)

The first meeting between the two title contenders proved to be a raucous match which set the tone for the rest of the season.

Four points ahead of Bayern going into the game, Lucien Favre's side knew that they had the chance to pull seven points clear and establish themselves as title favourites with a win in front of their own fans.

They did just that, twice coming from behind in the second half to win 3-2 and condemn wobbling Bayern to their third defeat of the season.

2. Bayern Munich 3-3 Fortuna Duesseldorf, November 24 (Day 12)

A week after defeat in Dortmund, another slip at home to promoted side Duesseldorf left new Bayern coach Niko Kovac on the brink of the sack.

Leading 3-1 with 15 minutes to go, Bayern were left stunned as a Dodi Lukebakio hat-trick snatched a point for minnows Duesseldorf and allowed Dortmund to pull nine points clear.

Having promised to defend Kovac "to the hilt" a month earlier, Bayern president Uli Hoeness struck a different tone after the Duesseldorf debacle, calling Bayern's performance "unacceptable".

Kovac was ultimately given a stay of execution, however, and Bayern won 13 of their next 14 games.

3. Fortuna Duesseldorf 2-1 Borussia Dortmund, December 18 (Day 16)

Duesseldorf stirred the title race pot once again when they stunned Dortmund a week before Christmas.

After a brilliant first half of the season, Dortmund were still nine points ahead of Bayern and, alongside second division side Union Berlin, were one of only two German clubs still unbeaten in 2018/19.

Lukebakio got on the scoresheet again in a game which Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge later described as "the turning point in the title race".

Bayern smelt blood, and hunted Dortmund down over the coming months, eventually regaining top spot in early March with a 6-0 win over Wolfsburg.

4. Bayern Munich 5-0 Borussia Dortmund, April 6 (Day 28)

Many had written Dortmund off after they slipped to second in March, but Favre's side went top again a few weeks later as Bayern were held to a surprise draw in Freiburg.

When the two teams met in a potential title decider in Munich the following week, many expected it to be an evenly matched and hard-fought affair.

Instead, Bayern outclassed Dortmund in a jaw-dropping first half, Robert Lewandowski grabbing a brace as his side rampaged their way to a 5-0 win and reclaimed top spot.

5. Borussia Dortmund 2-4 Schalke, April 27 (Day 31)

Even after their humiliation in Munich, Dortmund were just a point behind Bayern and still in the running.

Yet when relegation-threatened rivals Schalke came to town on April 27, Dortmund's title campaign imploded.

They lost 4-2 to crisis-ridden Schalke, and had two players sent off, including captain Marco Reus. In a rage after the game, Favre declared the title race to be over.

Bayern's draw against Nuremberg the following day kept Dortmund's hopes alive for another week, but with Reus serving a two-game suspension, they collapsed once again against Werder Bremen in what proved to be a decisive final setback.