Sun, 28/05/23, 16:08
A comeback like no other: the journey to the championship
German champions 2023! FC Bayern Women have secured the fifth league title in the club's history thanks to an incredible comeback over the course of the season, writing history in the process. But it was anything but a smooth start for new coach Alexander Straus and his side. fcbayern.com looks back over an incredible season, culminating in the title clincher against Potsdam.
Draw against Frankfurt to start
After an unusually short pre-season due to the European Championship in England, Bayern Women kicked off the 2022/23 Bundesliga season with a real cracker. The teams who finished third and second last season did battle in front of a crowd of 23,200 at Deutsche Bank Park - at the time a new record in the FLYERALARM Women's Bundesliga. Despite a strong performance, Bayern had to settle for a goalless draw at Eintracht Frankfurt. With title favourites VfL Wolfsburg beginning their campaign with a comfortable 4-0 win against SGS Essen, Bayern were already chasing a two-point deficit after Matchday 1.
Narrow defeat in big match at Wolfsburg
Following the opening draw, captain Lina Magull and her team put together their first mini run with wins over Werder Bremen, MSV Duisburg and 1. FC Köln. An injury-hit Bayern side then travelled to defending champions Wolfsburg, and despite putting up a hard fight over 90 minutes, they went down to a narrow 2-1 defeat, with Klara Bühl reducing the deficit for FCB. That extended VfL's lead at the top to a healthy five points while the Reds slipped to third in the table. However, the defeat in Wolfsburg on 23 October 2022 turned out to be a turning point in a season blighted by numerous injuries.
Start of an incredible winning run
From then until the end of the calendar year, Georgia Stanway, Sarah Zadrazil and Co didn't drop another point in the league. Starting with a convincing 3-1 win at SV Meppen on Matchday 6, Bayern climbed back up to second with a deserved 4-0 victory over top-four rivals TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Matchday 9. Despite being involved in two other competitions, the Bavarians ended the first half of the Bundesliga season with a 2-0 win against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, their sixth success in a row, consolidating second place going into the winter break. They remained five points behind leaders Wolfsburg, though. In the Women's DFB Cup and UEFA Women's Champions League, Bayern also progressed into the new year thanks to some impressive displays, such as a 3-1 triumph against FC Barcelona in front of a record crowd of 24,000 at the Allianz Arena.
Fine start to the new year
The new year started as the old one ended: with a win. After the fixture away to Turbine Potsdam was postponed due to an unplayable pitch, Bayern were slightly delayed in starting the second half of the season but that was no problem. In a key game against third-placed Frankfurt, Straus' charges ran out 2-1 winners at home to continue their winning roll. Four more wins followed in the league, while the Reds also reached the semi-finals of the DFB Cup thanks to a 2-0 victory at Hoffenheim. Meanwhile, it wasn't going as well for Wolfsburg, who suffered their first loss of the campaign at Hoffenheim on Matchday 13. That meant that Bayern closed the gap on the She-Wolves to two points ahead of their head-to-head clash, which kicked off the business end of the season.
FCB wrestle top spot from Wolfsburg
We are top of the league! In between the two legs of the Champions League quarter-final against Arsenal, Bayern had the small matter of the top-of-the-table clash against Wolfsburg. Straus' side went into the game on a high after the 1-0 first-leg win over the Gunners and on the back of an 11-match winning run. After 90 hard-fought minutes in front of another sellout crowd at the FC Bayern Campus, the Bavarians claimed a narrow but deserved 1-0 win to seize top spot in the table for the first time in the season. Summer signing Stanway's second-half penalty proved to be the difference on Matchday 16, leaving the team one point ahead at the top. In Europe, however, Bayern bowed out at the last-eight stage in London despite the lead from the first leg, while they also exited the cup after defeat to Wolfsburg in the semis. But in the league, the Munich girls continued to go from one win to the next.
Victory over Hoffenheim in Friday night showdown
Following wins against Meppen, Freiburg and Essen, the next crunch clash took place at the FC Bayern Campus with the visit of Hoffenheim on Matchday 20, and once again the hosts came out on top. Schüller scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory over fourth-placed TSG, much to the delight of the fans and players after a strong performance. The home win extended Bayern's lead at the summit to four points, and it stayed that way after rivals Wolfsburg suffered a surprising 4-0 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt. That gave Bayern the big chance to secure the club's fifth German championship with one match to spare. However, a 0-0 draw at Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Matchday 21 meant the champagne was on ice until the final day.
Title confirmed with Potsdam thrashing
Thanks to a simply incredible run of 15 wins in a row and a draw on the penultimate matchday, Bayern Women went into the final match of the season against Turbine Potsdam with a two-point lead. With a whopping 11-1 victory in front of their own fans, Munich registered the biggest league win in the club's history and, after a year without a trophy, were crowned 2023 German champions.
Championship in first season for Straus
It couldn't have gone better in the league for Straus in his first season in Munich. Despite a short pre-season and countless injuries, FC Bayern Women secured the Bundesliga title under their new coach. After just 10 months in the table and a strong improvement, Straus is celebrating his first trophy with the German record champions' women's team.