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Review of 2009, Part I

Roller-coaster ride to runners-up spot

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As 2009 draws to a close, looks back on “a very eventful year with highs and lows,” as FCB chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge described it in his seasonal message to members and fans. In the first part of our review of the calendar year, we examine the second half of the 2008-9 season, at the end of which Munich sealed the runners-up spot in the Bundesliga.

Bayern hit the ground running coming out of the winter break. Following a ten-day training camp in Dubai and five wins out of five in their warm-up matches, Jürgen Klinsmann’s side thrashed VfB Stuttgart 5-1 in the DFB Cup. “Our rivals have seen the form we’re in. If we keep it up, it’ll be difficult for the others,” Uli Hoeneß predicted.

Patchy form

However, FCB fell to a sobering defeat just three days later. In a thrilling encounter, the men in red lost 1-0 to Hamburger SV in the Bundesliga restart match, a first defeat in 17 matches, and one which cost Klinsmann’s team top spot in the standings. FCB had started the second half of the campaign level on points with leaders Hoffenheim, but now slipped to fourth.

The first batch of league games after the winter break were a sign of FCB’s inconsistent form at the time. Munich beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 at home but lost their next two games 2-1, away to Hertha Berlin and at home to FC Köln, before a goalless draw on the road to Werder Bremen. The first irreversible setback came in early March, as FCB were knocked out of the DFB Cup 4-2 by an outstanding Leverkusen side.