Review, part 2
Thu, 31/12/20, 17:30
Titles, triumphs & terrific goals - Bayern's 2020 in pictures
2020 was an eventful year for FC Bayern. After winning the treble in the 2019/20 season, which had been interrupted by the Coronavirus pandemic, head coach Hansi Flick's team started the new season with no less ambition and the pursuit of silverware continued unabated. Flick, Manuel Neuer and Robert Lewandowski also won top individual awards. In the second part of our review of the year, fcbayern.com takes a closer look at the first half of the current season.
Terrific start to the new season
Less than four weeks after the triumph in Lisbon, FC Bayern made a terrific start to the new season in mid-September, thrashing Schalke 8-0 in the first game at the Allianz Arena. Serge Gnabry scored three times, new arrival Leroy Sané celebrated a great debut with a goal and two assists and, with the last goal of the game, 17-year-old Jamal Musiala became the youngest Bundesliga scorer in FC Bayern history. "It's quite amazing how the team immediately picked up where they left off last season. The team deserve our full respect for already being able to put in a performance like that," praised board member Oliver Kahn.
Martínez ist Bayern's Mr Super Cup
The next silverware followed just six days after that emphatic win. In the final of the UEFA Super Cup, FC Bayern came up against Europa League winners Sevilla in Budapest. The score after an exciting 90 minutes was 1-1, so the game went into extra time. And once again, Javi Martínez was the man of the moment. As in the 2013 final against Chelsea, when he scored a last-second equaliser to make it 2-2, the Spaniard turned match-winner after putting the Bavarians 2-1 up just five minutes after coming off the bench in the 104th minute. From that moment on, Martínez became Bayern's Mr Super Cup.
Defeat in the Bundesliga, victory in the next Supercup
The title triumph was followed by a sobering experience. Three days after the victory against Sevilla, head coach Hansi Flick's team suffered a 4-1 defeat at Hoffenheim. Remarkably, it was their first loss of the 2020 calendar year - and would remain the only one. Bayern returned to winning ways just three days later. In a thrilling domestic Supercup final, FCB beat Borussia Dortmund 3-2 and secured their fifth trophy in the space of just a few months.
Lewandowski just can't stop scoring
In an extremely congested fixture list, the motto was 'Keep going, just keep going'. In the Bundesliga, the next hurdles were cleared with Hertha Berlin (4-3), newly-promoted Arminia Bielefeld (4-1) and Eintracht Frankfurt (5-0). No less than nine of Bayern's 13 goals from these three games were scored by Robert Lewandowski. The newly-crowned UEFA Men's Player of the Year continued chasing down more records. In between, Bayern moved into the 2nd round proper of the DFB Cup with a 3-0 win over fifth-division team 1. FC Düren.
CL Final match-winner Coman opens the scoring
The end of October saw the start of the new Champions League campaign. Almost two months to the day after winning the trophy in Lisbon, Bayern continued their impressive run in Europe's premier club competition and gave Spanish giants Atlético Madrid absolutely no chance in a convincing 4-0 home win. Kingsley Coman, who had scored the winner in the final, netted twice in the opening game. With twelve straight wins, FCB set a new record in the Champions League. "It was a difficult task, which we mastered with aplomb. There were four wonderful goals, each one better than the other," said a satisfied head coach Hansi Flick, who had been named UEFA Men's Coach of the Year earlier that month.
Early group winners in the Champions League
In the following games, too, the Bavarians were unstoppable. In the Bundesliga, both 1. FC Köln (2-1) and runners-up Borussia Dortmund (3-2) were dispatched, while in the Champions League, Lokomotiv Moscow (2-1) and perennial Austrian champions Salzburg (6-2) were also sent packing by the Bavarians. With another win in the 2nd leg against Salzburg (3-1), FC Bayern secured early passage into the Round of 16 as group winners after just four matchdays.
Points shared in top match against Leipzig
On Matchday 8 of the Bundesliga, FC Bayern couldn't manage more than a 1-1 draw against Bremen. Flick's team followed this up with a hard-fought 3-1 win in the southern tussle at VfB Stuttgart, before hosting second-placed RB Leipzig for the matchday's outstanding fixture. The spoils were shared in a classy 3-3 draw, which enabled Bayern to keep their closest rivals at arm's length. "It was a fantastic game for the neutral spectator," said captain Manuel Neuer, "at the end of the day we can be happy with the one point."
Best team of the CL group stages
Despite their early group win in the Champions League, FC Bayern didn't let up in the remaining two games, even though head coach Flick used the opportunity to rest some of his more heavily-used players. The defending champions snatched a point at Atlético Madrid thanks to a late penalty to make it 1-1. A 2-0 win in the final match against Lokomotiv Moscow ensured the Reds remained unbeaten in Europe's top flight for the 17th match in a row and they finished the group stage with 16 points and a goal difference of +13 as the best of all 32 participating teams.
Into the final straight with their last ounce of energy
To round off what was a historic and unsurpassable footballing year from Bayern's point of view, there was a full week of football awaiting the trophy collectors. After a 1-1 draw at 1. FC Union Berlin, Bayern once again mobilised the last of their energy and ran out 2-1 winners in the two crunch matches against previously undefeated VfL Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen. They headed into the very short Christmas break with a two-point lead over Leverkusen, and are now preparing for the match at 1. FSV Mainz 05 on 3 January.
Lewandowski, Neuer and FC Bayern top of the pile
Incidentally, all four goals against Wolfsburg and Leverkusen were scored by striker Robert Lewandowski, who between the two games became the first Bundesliga player ever to be named The Best FIFA Men's Player. Manuel Neuer received The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper award and head coach Hansi Flick came a close second in the vote for The Best FIFA Men's Coach. Lewandowski, Alphonso Davies and Joshua Kimmich were also voted into the FIFA FIFPro World XI. Last, but not least, due to their extraordinary success, FC Bayern were named 2020 Team of the Year by German sports journalists.
2020 a year of superlatives
"This is the reward for an outstanding year in which FC Bayern won everything there is to win in football. On behalf of FC Bayern, I would like to congratulate Hansi Flick and his the coaching staff, as well as the entire team," said CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge at the end of the year. "2020 was a terrific year for all of us at FC Bayern from a sporting perspective," added board member for sport Hasan Salihamidžić.
42 wins from 48 competitive matches, plus five draws and just the one defeat with 149:46 goals is FC Bayern's incredible tally for the 2020 calendar year - a year of superlatives with five titles as well as numerous individual accolades for the head coach and record champions' players. And there's no end in sight: "We will take this award as an incentive to try everything in 2021 to defend as many of these titles as possible," announced Niklas Süle. Na dann, pack ma's! (Well then, let's do this!)
In the first part of its annual review, fcbayern.com takes a closer look at the second half of the 2019/20 season.