Over the years in Germany, the name of the champion has remained unchanged. For the past ten seasons, the title has invariably gone to Bayern, and in nine cases she guaranteed it to herself ahead of schedule. Only in 2019, Borussia managed to impose a fight on the hegemon of German football and lag behind him by only two points, but it was just a local success. This time it was different. Before the final round, Dortmund not only competed on equal terms with rivals, but even had higher chances for gold. They were in first place and two points ahead of Munich, being one victory away from the trophy.
And it seemed that everything speaks for "bumblebees". In the 34th round, Borussia and Bayern fought with the middle peasants - Mainz and Cologne, respectively. And although the opponent of Dortmund was one line higher in the standings (on the ninth), he was in extremely bad shape. Bo Svensson's team suffered four defeats in a row with a total score of 3:13, and on the road the last time prevailed on April 1. The Goats, on the other hand, won two of the three meetings, and crushed the formidable Bayer, and Hertha shipped five goals at all.
On the eve of the match, Cologne and Bayern paid special attention to the figure of the head coach of the hosts Steffen Baumgart. Before the start of the previous season, he was the only one of the coaches of the Bundesliga teams who called Borussia the favorite of the championship. And although his prediction did not come true, this time he could personally have a hand in the triumph of Dortmund and actually bring them gold medals. But from the very first minutes, everything began to develop not in favor of the leaders.
Already in the eighth minute, Kingsley Coman decided to remind that it was his strike that helped Bayern win the Champions League Cup for the last time, and opened the scoring in the confrontation with Cologne. And thus brought his team to the first place in the table. With equal points, it was Thomas Tuchel's wards who took the coveted salad bowl, because they were ahead of their opponents both in terms of the overall goal difference and those scored. And after some time, the situation of Borussia became catastrophic. They themselves could not cope with the "Mainz" and even before the end of half an hour of the game "burned" with a score of 0: 2. Andreas Hanche-Olsen put the visitors ahead, and Karim Onisivo strengthened the advantage.
But this was not a reason to put an end to Dortmund and their prospects. Over the past five years, they have won back a gap of two or more goals three times, and in 2020 they were able to draw a meeting with Paderborn, losing 0: 3. But this time fortune was clearly not on their side. And this became clear after Sebastian Allaire failed to convert an 19-meter shot in the 11th minute and restore parity. And at the end of the half, the loss of the main forward was added to the problems of the "bumblebees". Karim Adeyemi was injured and replaced by Marco Reus.
Throughout the rest of the match, Borussia fought desperately not only with Mainz, but also with bad luck. Neither substitute Reus and Youssoufa Moukoko, nor Donyell Malen and Julian Brandt could catch Finn Damen by surprise. "Bumblebees" needed to score three times, but the ball literally refused to go into the net. It was only in the 69th minute that they managed to close the gap through the efforts of Rafael Guerreiro, but it was not enough.
Gradually tired of watching the torment of their players, the fans of black and yellow began to pay more attention to what was happening at the Ryan Energy stadium than to the Signal Iduna Park. But there, for the time being, everything was extremely unpromising. Although Bayern did not dominate the field, it relatively confidently held the advantage gained, inevitably approaching success. So far, the team's top scorer has not set up his partners. Serge Gnabry unsuccessfully put out his hand when trying to interrupt a cross into the penalty area, giving the referee grounds for awarding a penalty. Dejan Ljubičić outwitted Yann Sommer and brought the intrigue back into the title race.
At that moment, it was scary to look at the leadership of the Munich team. General and sporting directors Oliver Kahn and Hasan Salihamidžić were already on the verge of dismissal, and now they could go down in history as those under whom the club's record unbeaten streak in the national championship was interrupted. Tuchel also looked dejected, whose castling with Julian Nagelsmann did not help the Reds either successfully perform in the Champions League or stabilize the situation in the Bundesliga. If under the former mentor they scored an average of 2.38 points in all tournaments, then with the new one - only 1.5.
But Bayern would not have been the 32-time champion of the country if it had not been able to pull out such difficult matches. And this time the role of the savior was tried on by Jamal Musiala. The midfielder, who has not scored in the Bundesliga since the end of February, received a pass on the edge of the penalty area, turned spectacularly and irresistibly shot into the far corner, leaving Marvin Schwebe out of work. And, as it turned out later, he brought the team another trophy.
In turn, Borussia found the strength to restore parity. If the goal of the same unfortunate Aller was canceled due to offside, then the ball of Niklas Süle was still counted. True, he was scored only in the 96th minute - after the time compensated by the referee expired. Dortmund did not have time to carry out the final assault and collapsed on the lawn of their home stadium. Having scored the same number of points, they lost to the Munich team in additional indicators.
And they suffered one of the most crushing fiasco in the fight for the silver salad bowl. Perhaps more disappointing were Bayer's failures at the turn of the century. Then the "aspirin" twice fought for the award, but in 2000 at the finish line they missed Bayern Munich ahead, and two years later - Borussia. In the first case, they were ahead of the competitor by three points for the round until the end, but sensationally lost away to Unterhaching and lost on additional indicators, and in the second they managed to squander a five-point gap and lagged behind the "bumblebees" by one, and at the same time were beaten in the German Cup and the Champions League. And they got the offensive nickname "Neverkusen".
More than others, Royce, who had not won the Bundesliga until now, was worried. He joined the team after Borussia twice won the title under Klopp and then never managed to help them get ahead of Bayern. Taking off his boots, a devastated Marko sobbed on the lawn, and neither head coach Edin Terzic nor Niklas Süle could calm the captain.
Success in the national championship did not help the bosses of Bayern to keep their posts. Immediately after the meeting with Cologne, information appeared in the media about the dismissal of Kahn and Salihamidžić, and then it was confirmed in the club. President Herbert Heiner called the decision to part with the legends of Munich "anything but easy", explaining it by the general development of the situation. As it became known, the position of general director will go to the deputy chairman of the board of the "reds" Jan-Christian Driesen. Who will take the second post is still unknown.