Five historic last-day Bundesliga title battles as Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund face final tests

Sport360 staff 18/05/2019
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Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac and Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre

The Bundesliga title race has gone down to the wire this year, with Bayern Munich just two points ahead of Borussia Dortmund going into the final round of games on Saturday.

Bayern need just a point to seal a seventh straight league crown, but after the twists and turns of recent weeks, Dortmund are hoping to spring one final surprise.

It is the first time in ten years that the title race has been decided on the last weekend, as Bayern have dominated the last decade.

Yet the Bundesliga has had its fair share of final day drama over the years.

1971: Heynckes sinks Bayern

Former Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes

Former Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes

Bayern will be crowned German champions for the 29th time if they win on Saturday, but ahead of the final day in 1971, both they and Borussia Monchengladbach were targeting only a second ever Bundesliga title. Much like this year, Bayern topped the table going into the last day, but Franz Beckenbauer and company succumbed to a shock 2-0 defeat to mid-table Duisburg. Gladbach, meanwhile, beat Frankfurt 4-1 thanks to a brace from future Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, and became the first team to defend the Bundesliga title.

1978: Cologne edge Gladbach in goal frenzy

Even if they don’t win the title, Dortmund will be hoping to avoid a repeat of the last day in 1978 when they face Gladbach on Saturday. On that day, Gladbach thrashed Dortmund 12-0 as they attempted to overcome a huge goal difference deficit to local rivals and league leaders Cologne. Even that wasn’t enough, as Cologne won 5-0 at St. Pauli and took the title by a margin of three goals.

1992: Stuttgart win three-way fight

In one of the closest title races of all time, three teams were level on points going into the final day in 1992. Eintracht Frankfurt threw away their chance with 2-1 defeat away to Hansa Rostock, while Dortmund were on course to edge it as they led Duisburg 1-0 with five minutes to go. Guido Buchwald’s late header in Leverkusen, however, gave Stuttgart a 2-1 victory and the title on goal difference.

2000: Ballack weeps as Bayer wilt

Michael Ballack weeps on the bench in 2000

Michael Ballack weeps on the bench in 2000

Bayer Leverkusen came close to a first Bundesliga title themselves eight years later, but lost out to Bayern in the cruellest of circumstances. Three points up and needing only a draw at mid-table Unterhaching, Leverkusen went behind early on thanks to an own-goal from Michael Ballack. They eventually lost 2-0, and Ballack cried his eyes out as Bayern won 3-1 in Bremen to snatch the title from Leverkusen.

2001: ‘Four-minute champions’ Schalke

Few final days have been as emotional as 2001, when Schalke celebrated the title for four minutes, only to have it wrenched away from them by an indirect free-kick. Schalke, who had not won the title since 1958, needed Bayern to lose in Hamburg and to win against Unterhaching in the last ever game at their old Parkstadion. Sergej Barbarez put Hamburg 1-0 up in the 89th minute, and having won 5-3 themselves, Schalke fans stormed the pitch believing they had been crowned champions. Yet minutes later, Patrik Andersson smashed in after an indirect free-kick with the last kick of the game to draw Bayern level, keep the title in Munich and break thousands of Schalke hearts.

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Bayern Munich will fight for Bundesliga title v Eintracht Frankfurt in sharp new 2019/20 strip

Sport360 staff 16/05/2019
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The new Bayern Munich home kit for the upcoming season features a unique diamond design that pays homage to the forward-thinking architecture and unrivalled atmosphere of the club’s Allianz Arena.

The traditional all-red design of the home shirt is emblazoned with the stadium’s unmissable diamond architecture, remixed and digitalised into a daring new pattern as the club look to the future while honouring the past.

This year’s full kit – designed by adidas – will be true to the club’s red signature colour. Socks and shorts will follow the all red design of the jersey and complete the consequent look of the new home kit. The goalkeeper jersey shows a modern and progressive green two-tone colourway, designed in line with the digital remixed graphic of the new home jersey.

The 2019/20 home kit will be seen on pitch for the first time when the Bavarian giants face Eintracht Frankfurt at home in their final Bundesliga game of the season this Saturday.

It’s exclusively available to purchase in adidas stores in Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar. Price: Dh399.

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Niko Kovac confident that Bayern Munich will claim Bundesliga title on the last day

Sport360 staff 12/05/2019
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Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac is confident his side will claim the Bundesliga title on the last day of the season after a 0-0 draw at RB Leipzig left the champagne on ice.

Dropped points for Bayern coupled with Borussia Dortmund’s 3-2 victory over Fortuna Dusseldorf means the title race will be decided on the final day for the first time since 2009.

Bayern hold a two-point lead heading into the final weekend and Kovac expects the Bavarians to beat his former club Eintracht Frankfurt next Saturday to clinch the title at home for the first time since 2000.

Dortmund will conclude their campaign away to Borussia Monchengladbach.

“We’ll play at home and we’ll seal the title there,” Kovac was quoted as saying on the official Bayern website after the Leipzig draw.

“It’ll be a final for the championship title, the people in Munich haven’t had that for years, even decades.

“So I’m convinced our fans will create a great atmosphere, which will boost our passion and will to win.”

Bayern would have secured a seventh successive title with a win or if they had bettered Dortmund’s result.

Leon Goretzka thought he had scored the winner shortly after half-time, only for the video assistant referee to intervene and rule the goal out for an offside earlier in the move.

“A compliment to my team, we did a really good job from the 20th minute,” Kovac said.

“We were clearly dominant, we were completely in control and didn’t allow anything.

“We stifled Leipzig’s strengths and created chances. Unfortunately we didn’t reward ourselves, but we saved that for next week. ”

On Goretzka’s disallowed goal, Kovac said: “I’m a friend of VAR. Despite that, it was a close call but a correct one.”

Bayern forward Thomas Muller admitted the draw with third-placed Leipzig had been “very annoying”.

“We turned in a superb display in the second half,” Muller said.

“We absolutely wanted to win but didn’t put it in. We achieved it once but it was offside by half a foot.

Bayern

“Taken altogether it’s very annoying. We turned in one of our better performances in the Bundesliga this year. Unfortunately we didn’t reward ourselves with a win and the championship title but we have to turn in a similar performance at home next week.

Leipzig coach Ralf Rangnick praised his side’s defensive performance after Bayern had failed to score in the league for the first time since early October.

Rangnick told a press conference reported by the club’s Twitter account: “It was an exciting and intense game. My team did well defensively and defended very well over 95 minutes.

“I’m happy with the result, just like I was with our work off the ball.”

With the two sides set to meet again in two weeks’ time to contest the DFB-Pokal final, Rangnick admitted Leipzig had to improve.

“In the switch-over situations and in attack we could have done a lot better,” he said.

“We should have been more precise and compelling at ball possession.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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