“Everyone had a subliminal feeling that we didn’t deserve it”
A late winning goal at 1. FC Köln was enough. FC Bayern is German champion for the eleventh time in a row. Because Borussia Dortmund made a mistake – and Jamal Musiala became a hero. But despite the title, the Munich team is apparently taking personal consequences.
UAnd mia san master again. In a memorable and breathtaking title finish, FC Bayern Munich secured their eleventh German championship title in a row thanks to young star Jamal Musiala. At the end of an overall messed-up season, Bayern trembled after an actually less than masterly performance to a 2-1 (1-0) at 1. FC Köln and benefited from the 2-2 of rival Borussia Dortmund against Mainz 05. Bayern succeeded at 33rd league title for only the third time after 1986 and 2000, finally triumphing despite not going into the last round as leaders.
“It is unbelievable that I experience such a championship. It gives you chills,” said Bayern attacking player Thomas Müller: “Everyone who is interested in German football had a subliminal feeling that we didn’t deserve it. And I understand that. Our second half was so chaotic. I hoped so, but I didn’t think so. Dortmund seemed so stable. I also feel a little sorry for the people I know better there.”
After Kingsley Coman took the lead (8′), Dejan Ljubicic’s hand penalty (81′) seemed to snatch the title away from Bayern, then Musiala, who had been on the bench four minutes earlier, scored (89′). Thus, coach Thomas Tuchel, who was hired in March, won his first German championship title after being eliminated from the Champions League and the DFB Cup. It remains to be seen whether CEO Oliver Kahn, who was absent from Cologne with the flu on Saturday, and sports director Hasan Salihamidzic will save the job at the supervisory board meeting on Tuesday.
Moving scenes at Hector’s farewell
Tuchel had changed his team three positions compared to the 1: 3 against RB Leipzig. Dayot Upamecano, Ryan Gravenberch and Leroy Sané replace Joao Cancelo, Leon Goretzka and Jamal Musiala. Thus, in twelve games with FC Bayern, Tuchel never fielded the same starting XI twice in a row. As announced, the long-time regular goalkeeper Horn did not get a farewell game at the Cologne club after 21 years because of the Munich championship chance.
Captain Jonas Hector, who ended his career on his 33rd birthday, was allowed to play. Before the game, a plane flew over the arena with a “thank you” banner, fans unveiled a choreo that read “feeling is more important than money”. That’s what Hector said when he accompanied Cologne in 2018 as the current international in the 2nd Bundesliga. At the break, “Time writes stories – whoever stays forever is part of it” was written all over the curve. The official farewell should take place after the game.
The Cologne started courageously, but Bayern shot the hoped-for early goal. But it was made too easy for them. Coman was allowed to accept the ball at the corner of the penalty area and flicked it unhindered from Benno Schmitz into the far corner. At this point, Munich were already past Dortmund in the live table. Shortly thereafter, the word came that BVB were behind against Mainz, and it got really loud in the Bayern corner. And shortly afterwards, Thomas Müller almost made it 2-0 in his 666th competitive game, but he headed against the post (19th). That fell in Dortmund.
The people of Cologne showed that they didn’t want to be extras at a championship celebration. They played courageously and also had chances through Eric Martel (23rd). Towards the end of the second half, Bayern actually didn’t do enough to push for the second goal. They actually scored it through Sané after a one-two with Serge Gnabry (44th), but because Sané played the ball with his hand beforehand, the goal didn’t count.
In the second half, the Munich minutes came back on the pitch after the Cologne team. Despite the leadership, Tuchel apparently needed to speak. But the necessary tension and intensity was still not always felt. Especially given the fact that a Cologne goal would have ended the championship dream. And that almost happened when Yann Sommer parried a header from Davie Selke (60′) or Ellyes Skhiri shot over it from close range (74′). In return, the Cologne fans celebrated the goal from Dortmund, with whom some of the Cologne supporters maintain a fan friendship. Substitute Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting missed the big chance to make a decision (77th).
Kahn and Salihamidzic’s future well sealed
And then came the penalty whistle: After a cross from Hector, Serge Gnabry jumped into the ball with his hand and referee Sven Jablonksi rightly pointed to the point according to the video images. Ljubicic transformed and the people of Cologne almost celebrated as if they had become champions themselves. For Bayern, the equalizer was actually the just punishment. Salihamidzic could no longer stay in his place in the stands. In the 89th minute, Sané failed in one of his many chances against Cologne goalkeeper Marvin Schwäbe, but seconds later Musiala brought relief not only to the wildly jumping Salihamidzic.
However, he was later seen on the pitch arguing wildly with club president Herbert Hainer. In his capacity as DFL official, she handed over the championship trophy to Jan-Christian Dreesen of all people, currently CFO and Deputy CEO. According to information from BILD, Dreesen is to succeed the current CEO Oliver Kahn – and Salihamidzic’ will no longer have a future with the new champions. “This is coming now, a minute after the final whistle? I don’t know anything,” said Bayern striker Müller when asked what was happening to the management duo.
Originally, future decisions were only expected at the Supervisory Board meeting, which was postponed to next Tuesday. However, there is said to have been an extraordinary meeting of the committee around Honorary President Uli Hoeneß beforehand. The potential Kahn successor Dreesen (55) should actually leave the club shortly. Kahn was already absent from the Cologne stadium on Saturday, club circles cited flu as the reason.