Bayern Munich’s win over Ingolstadt on Saturday wrapped up a 26th Bundesliga crown, with this title success surely ranking as one of their most impressive.
Pushed all the way by a resurgent Borussia Dortmund, Bayern have had to be at their very best for much of the campaign and have lost just twice in the league all season en route to a fourth straight title.
With their clashes against Thomas Tuchel’s side naturally pivotal, here are five key games that led Pep Guardiola to his third successive league success in his final year at Bayern.
Hoffenheim 1-2 Bayern Munich – August 22
Kevin Volland scored after nine seconds to tie a Bundesliga record and hint that a shock could be on the cards in Bayern’s second game of the season.
Thomas Muller levelled before half-time, but Guardiola’s side were frustrated as the Germany attacker and Arturo Vidal hit the woodwork before Jerome Boateng was sent off for collecting two yellow cards, the second giving away a penalty.
However, Eugen Polanski hit the post from 12 yards and Robert Lewandowski pounced in the final minute of normal time to seal what had looked an unlikely victory that helped Bayern get off to a flying start in the title race.
Bayern Munich 5-1 Wolfsburg – September 22
Robert Lewandowski torched a string of Bundesliga records in a phenomenal nine-minute, five-goal explosion after coming on at half-time.
Daniel Caligiuri put last season’s runners-up into a half-time lead, but Lewandowski single-handedly turned the game by the hour mark to leave a stunned Guardiola grasping to make sense of what he had seen as Bayern continued to set the pace at the top.
He said: “Five goals in nine minutes. I am very happy for Robert. You play poorly for 45 minutes and then grab five goals in nine minutes. I cannot explain it.”
— Bundesliga (@Bundesliga_EN) 23 September 2015
Bayern Munich 5-1 Borussia Dortmund – October 4
Just 13 days on from that demolition of Wolfsburg, Bayern were again irrepressible on home turf as title rivals Dortmund came to visit for Der Klassiker.
Muller’s double had Bayern 2-1 to the good at the interval, before another burst out of the traps after half-time resulted in a convincing victory as the hosts made a major statement.
Lewandowski’s double and a Mario Gotze effort sealed the emphatic win and sent Bayern seven points clear.
You shall not pass!! pic.twitter.com/03OZAWKPic
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) October 4, 2015
Borussia Dortmund 0-0 Bayern Munich – March 5
Five months later and the Klassiker rivals met again with the title suddenly back in the balance with Bayern smarting from a shock 2-1 defeat to Augsburg.
Impressive saves by Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki in either half from Douglas Costa and Arturo Vidal respectively prevented Bayern from extending their advantage in the title race, while Arjen Robben was also guilty of missing a number of opportunities.
But it was ultimately a positive night for Guardiola’s men as Bayern ended the game as they had started it, five points clear, but with one fewer game to go.
Stuttgart 1-3 Bayern Munich – April 9
With Bayern and Dortmund’s results matching after their Klassiker stalemate, the Bavarians’ breakthrough came at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
A Georg Niedermeier own goal on the half-hour mark and David Alaba’s smartly taken first league goal of the season shortly after the interval looked to have given Bayern a comfortable win, before a remarkable piece of improvisation from Daniel Didavi threatened to make a game of it for Stuttgart.
However, Douglas Costa’s strike sealed the victory late on and piled the pressure on Dortmund, who then drew 2-2 with local rivals Schalke the next day. That moved the gap back to seven points and Bayern never looked back.
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