9 milestones on the way to the 9th straight Bundesliga title
FC Bayern sealed the 2020/21 Bundesliga title on Matchday 32. On the way to their ninth straight title, the men from Munich had to overcome some tough challenges. fcbayern.com takes a look back at nine milestone matches of this title-winning season.
1. Gr(eight) start against Schalke
Bayern started the new season as eight-time defending champions and picked up where they left off with an eight-goal festival against Schalke on Matchday 1. New signing Leroy Sané showed off his skills with a goal and two assists; Serge Gnabry bagged a hat-trick; and Jamal Musiala became FCB's youngest Bundesliga scorer when he wrapped up the 8-0 win at the age of 17 years and 205 days. Leon Goretzka, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller also got on the scoresheet to ensure the highest opening win in the league's history.
2. Lewandowski's four-goal haul seals late win against Hertha
After Hansi Flick's team suffered a first defeat early in the season at Hoffenheim on Matchday 2, they were in for a dramatic game against Hertha Berlin a week later. Bayern took the lead several times, but the Berliners fought tooth and nail to come back and equalised twice - at 2-2 and 3-3 respectively, despite a hat-trick from Lewandowski. But the Pole had the last word on the day and scored his fourth goal of the game in the third minute of stoppage time with a penalty to seal the 4-3 win (watch the four-goal haul in the video here) and impressively proved that the men from Munich should never be written off.
3. Winners in exciting Klassiker against Dortmund
Just over a month after Bayern secured their fifth trophy in a year in the DFL Supercup against Borussia Dortmund, the two perennial rivals met again - this time the league leaders were away at second-placed Dortmund, who were level on points. The Munich side suffered several setbacks on the day. First of all, Joshua Kimmich, who had scored the winner in the Supercup, had to come off after half an hour with a knee injury, then the home side took the lead just before half-time through a Marco Reus strike. But Bayern shook this off and equalised before the break through a fantastic free-kick by David Alaba. The champions then took the lead in the second half with goals from Lewandowski and Sané. BVB managed to pull one back through Erling Haaland but had to watch Bayern take all three points.
4. Leipzig assault repelled in thriller
At the beginning of December, the next top-of-the-table clash between first and second awaited the Reds - only this time they had to fend off the attack of pursuers RB Leipzig. The visitors, who had never scored in four previous games at the Allianz Arena, played their part in a fast-paced and top-quality fixture. After the lead changed hands several times, the teams shared the spoils in a fair 3-3 draw - and Bayern, for whom Musiala and Müller (2 goals) scored, were able to keep their rivals at bay.
5. Table-toppers in the last seconds at Leverkusen
Bayer 04 Leverkusen were able to take advantage of the Reds' draw against Leipzig as well as another Bayern tie the following week at Union Berlin (1-1) and welcomed the Munich side to the BayArena on Matchday 13 in the last match of the year as league leaders. The Werkself immediately underlined that they aimed to hold on to the status quo and were already in front after a quarter of an hour through an impressive volley by Patrik Schick. But Bayern were once again able to rely on their top scorer Lewandowski, who had been named The Best FIFA Men's Player two days earlier. The Pole drew level before the break and then scored in the third minute of stoppage time - the last FCB goal of 2020 - to win the game. Kimmich, who made his comeback after about one and a half months out, also played a big part in this goal by making the decisive tackle to win the ball shortly after coming off the bench. The defending champions were back in first place. "It's the conclusion we all wanted to this fantastic year," Flick declared afterwards, beaming with joy.
6. Turnaround in another classic Klassiker
In early 2021, which Bayern crowned with their triumph at the FIFA Club World Cup in February and the subsequent world record of six titles within one year, the mentality of the defending champions was particularly challenged. The packed fixture list sapped the Munich side's strength, and they were to prove their incredible character once again on Matchday 24. Before the latest edition of Der Klassiker , Dortmund had lost touch with the Bundesliga's leading group, but they had by no means lost their goal threat. Two Haaland goals put the home side 2-0 down early on at the Allianz Arena, but they then made amends with a "sensational comeback", as Flick put it. After a brace from Lewandowski, Goretzka provided the highlight in the 88th minute in what he saw as a "great energetic performance" by the team with a goal to make it 3-2, before Lewandowski, who was once again outstanding, wrapped things up with his third goal to make it 4-2.
7. Unstoppable even when a man down
In the following Bundesliga home match against VfB Stuttgart on Matchday 26, the Bundesliga leaders also had to overcome a setback, but handled it brilliantly. Alphonso Davies was sent off in the 12th minute, leaving Bayern a man down early on, but the game still went in just one direction. Lewandowski bagged another hat-trick and Gnabry also netted, making FCB the first team in Bundesliga history to take a four-goal lead into the break despite being down to ten men. In contrast, the second half was rather quiet and after the 4-0 win, Bayern went into the international break with a four-point lead over second-placed Leipzig.
8. No Lewy - but Leipzig still seen off
After the international break for the World Cup qualifiers, Bayern faced a crucial clash against their closest rivals Leipzig - and the record champions had to go into the game with injury problems. Top scorer Lewandowski had picked up a knee ligament injury while playing for Poland and was out until further notice, while Flick had to rebuild his defence due to Davies and Jérôme Boateng both being suspended. But Bayern were able to cope with the absences and, after Goretzka's golden goal, collectively repelled Leipzig's furious attacks. The 1-0 win gave Bayern a seven-point lead and took them a huge step closer to the title.
9. The title clincher in the dressing room and against Gladbach
On Matchday 32, Leipzig travelled to face Dortmund hours before Bayern entertained Borussia Mönchengladbach. BVB's 3-2 win meant Bayern could not longer be toppled from their perch, enjoying a seven-point lead with two matchdays to go. The news came when Bayern were in the dressing room preparing for their match. Buoyed by the title, Bayern turned in a strong display, Lewandowski scoring the opener in the second minute. Müller, Lewandowski again and Coman handed the Bavarians a 4-0 lead at half-time. Lewandowski rounded off his hat-trick midway through the second half, before Sané finished things at 6-0.
Get all the information on the 2020/21 Bundesliga title here: