Sun, 28/05/23, 16:00
FC Bayern Women’s road to the Bundesliga title
FC Bayern Women made history in 2023 as they were crowned champions of Germany for a fifth time, but it was by no means a straightforward journey. The campaign got off to an indifferent start for Die Frauen and new coach Alexander Straus. fcbayern.com looks back on an incredible run of results that ended with the Meisterschale on the final day.
Draw in Frankfurt to kick off season
The European Championship in England meant Bayern only had a short pre-season before they kicked off the 2022/23 Women’s Bundesliga in front of a then record crowd of 23,200 at Deutsche Bank Park in the official opening game against Eintracht Frankfurt. It pitted second against third from the previous campaign and ended in a goalless draw despite a good performance by the Munich ladies. Title favourites Wolfsburg began their campaign with a 4-0 win over Essen, meaning Bayern were already two points off the pace from the start.
Narrow defeat in Wolfsburg
Captain Lina Magull and her team then started their first brief run of the season, beating Werder Bremen, Duisburg and Köln before an injury-hit Bayern made the trip to defending champions Wolfsburg. FCB fought throughout the 90 minutes but came up short despite Klara Bühl bringing it back to 2-1 after going 2-0 down. It meant the Shewolves had built up a five-point advantage and Bayern slipped to third. But that loss on 23 October 2022 would be the turning point in a season also defined by numerous injuries.
Start of an incredible winning run
Bayern wouldn’t drop another point in the Bundesliga up to the end of 2022. Starting with a 3-1 victory at Meppen on Matchday 6, FCB were soon back up to second after nine games with a 4-0 win at Hoffenheim. Despite also competing in the DFB Cup and UEFA Women’s Champions League, Die Frauen made it six wins on the spin with a 2-0 success against Bayer Leverkusen to go into the winter break in second. However, the gap to leaders Wolfsburg was still five points, but spirits were high, especially after beating Barcelona 3-1 in front of a record crowd of 24,000 at the Allianz Arena to advance to the Champions League knockout stage.
Great way to kick off the year
Bayern resumed domestic action in 2023 like they’d never been away. They were originally meant to restart away at Turbine Potsdam, but a frozen pitch meant that game was postponed, and instead Straus and his team kicked off the new year at home to third-placed Frankfurt, winning 2-1. That was followed by four more sets of three points in the league, while a 2-0 victory at Hoffenheim meant Die Frauen were also into the semi-finals of the cup. As for Wolfsburg, they lost 2-1 in Sinsheim on Matchday 13, meaning Bayern were now back within two points and had their fate in their own hands.
Top spot against Wolfsburg
The top-of-the-table clash at home to Wolfsburg came sandwiched between the Champions League quarter-final legs against Arsenal. Bayern went into the game having beaten the English side 1-0 and on a run of 11 straight victories. After a hard-fought 90 minutes in front of a capacity Campus crowd, Bayern emerged victorious by a single goal to take to the top of the Bundesliga table for the first time in the season. Summer signing Georgia Stanway netted the winner from the penalty spot in the second half to give FCB a slender one-point lead after Matchday 16. Although defeat in London spelled the end of the Champions League journey and elimination in the cup came in the final four at the hands of Wolfsburg, Bayern continued to rack up the wins in the Bundesliga.
Big three points against Hoffenheim
After seeing off Meppen, Freiburg and Essen, FCB’s next big game was at home to Hoffenheim. It was an impressive display from everyone over the 90 minutes as the match against the team sitting fourth ended 1-0 thanks to Lea Schüller. The advantage over Wolfsburg was now four points, and the defending champions failed to keep up as they went down 4-0 at Frankfurt with two games to go. It meant Bayern had the chance to wrap up their fifth league crown with a game to go, but a goalless draw in Leverkusen meant they had to wait until the final day.
A title procession against Potsdam
That incredible run of 15 straight wins and then the draw on the penultimate weekend ensured Bayern went into the 22nd and final matchday against Potsdam with a two-point lead at the top of the table. And there was no hint of nerves as FCB recorded the biggest win in their top-flight history by thrashing Turbine 11-1 to be crowned champions.
First title in first season for Straus
It was the perfect end to Straus’s first season in charge of Bayern as they secured the Bundesliga title despite the short pre-season and countless injuries, with the team showing great progress in the Norwegian’s first 10 months at the helm.
Read our report from the final day against Potsdam: