Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Bundesliga 2020/21 Season Review: 5 Key Things We Learned

Tom Dunstan in Bundesliga, Editorial 29 May 2021

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Despite a tight race for the title heading into 2021, there was no stopping Bayern Munich as the German giants stormed their way to a ninth straight Bundesliga crown.

Led by one attacking star who has only continued to break a string of domestic records this season, Hans-Dieter Flick’s side were not the only squad who played a part in this year’s Bundesliga story.

In a campaign that saw one of German’s most iconic clubs lose their Bundesliga status for the first time in over three decades and a string of managerial switches, we have taken a look at the five big stories from the 2020/21 season.

Robert Lewandowski – A Bundesliga icon

With Bayern Munich eventually romping their way to a 13-point buffer at the end of the season, there is no doubt that Robert Lewandowski played a critical role in The Bavarians’ charge to make it nine on the bounce.

Signing off yet another remarkable campaign with a goal in Bayern’s 5-2 win against Augsburg on the final weekend, the Polish marksman also broke yet another German goalscoring record in doing so.

Only further cementing his spot as arguably Europe’s most lethal number nine, Lewandowski’s strike last weekend saw him surpass German legend Gerd Muller’s long-standing record for goals in a single campaign.

Only getting better with age and in the form of his career, the one-time BVB striker made Bundesliga history after hitting his 41st goal of the 2020/21 season and the 32-year-old also found the target in nine successive Bundesliga games between December 12th and January 30th.

Haaland inspires Dortmund’s Indian summer

While Bayern might have had one attacking talisman break a host of records this season, Borussia Dortmund were also been solely reliant on their own striking sensation over in rural Germany.

Showing their usual inconsistencies during the first-half of the season and parting ways with long-standing boss Lucien Favre back in December, it appeared that BVB were in a real uphill battle to land themselves another top-four finish.

However, despite seeing Champions League finalists Manchester City end their European adventure last month, Dortmund enjoyed a stunning resurge at the back end of the campaign.

Skyrocketing their way up the table and eventually winning each of their final nine domestic contests on the spin, Erling Haaland’s 27 Bundesliga goals this season eventually snatched BVB a bronze medal finish and the DFP Pokal crown to show for their efforts.

Leipzig tumble away

While RB Leipzig might have headed into March’s international break still firmly mixing it in the Bundesliga title picture, last year’s Champions League semi-finalists could only limp their way over the finish line.

Largely struggling to replace Timo Werner this season and with no Leipzig player bagging more than eight Bundesliga goals throughout the 2020/21 campaign, their torrid end to the year was highlighted by a 4-1 drumming against BVB in the DFP Pokal final on May 13th.

Really falling off the pace, there is no doubt that The Red Bulls were also rocked by the news that a number of their biggest names will be on the move this summer.

Coming under real scrutiny for their selling mentality, it was confirmed earlier in the year that both Head Coach Julian Nagelsmann and defender Dayot Upamecano would be heading to Bayern Munich for the start of next season.

Schalke’s horror show

Signing off the 2020/21 campaign with a toothless display in their 1-0 loss against fellow strugglers Koln, their performance last weekend almost epitomized what has been nothing short of a Bundesliga nightmare for Schalke.

Once regarded as a real European powerhouse and featuring in the Champions League round of 16 only two years ago, The Royal Blues lost their top-tier status for the first time in 33 years after mustering just 16 points.

Still the second-biggest football club in Germany with over 160,000 members, Schalke have only come under increasing scrutiny this season, to the extent that fans attacked the squad bus when their relegation was confirmed last month.

The feel of a club that is really hanging on by a thread with them still €217million in debt, Königsblauen also came within 90 minutes of equalling Tasmania Berlin’s record 31-game winless streak from the 1965-66 season.

A managerial merry-go-round

In a week that has seen the likes of Antonio Conte, Zinedine Zidane and Andrea Pirlo leave their positions from across Europe, Germany has only seen a host of shock managerial switches throughout the 2020/21 campaign.

With it confirmed earlier in the season that Leipzig’s highly-touted boss Julian Nagelsmann will replace Hans-Dieter Flick at the Allianz, the 33-year-old is not the only Bundesliga boss who has jumped ship this year.

Back in February, it was announced that Marco Rose had agreed to join Borussia Dortmund ahead of next season after less than two years with Borussia Mönchengladbach, an appointment that shocked many across Germany.

Likewise, it was also confirmed earlier in the year that Eintracht Frankfurt boss Adi Hütter will replace Rose at Gladbach, and in return Wolfsburg Head Coach Oliver Glasner will take up a new role with The Eagles.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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