On the last matchday of the Bundesliga, leaders Borussia Dortmund gambled away the championship and gave FC Bayern Munich their eleventh title in a row. A traditional club gets the short end of the stick in the relegation battle.
Sebastien Haller (right) awards a penalty for BVB, who actually didn't use their “match point” against Mainz
The chance of the German championship could hardly have been greater, but Borussia Dortmund missed it: As the leader of the table before the 34th and last matchday of the Bundesliga, BVB “only” had to win their home game against FSV Mainz 05, to get the ninth championship title in the club's history. But Dortmund missed this match point and for the third time this season they didn't defend the league lead they had just gotten, but gave it up again the next day.
The stadium in Dortmund was full to the brim, the anticipation huge – basically everything was prepared for a gigantic championship celebration, only the necessary result was missing at the end. With 2: 2 (0: 2) BVB parted from Mainz, who apparently had no desire to appear only as a party in Dortmund. The guests quickly led through goals from Andreas Hanche-Olsen (15th minute) and Karim Onisiwo (24th) to make it 2-0. Dortmund seemed shocked, and goalscorer Sebastien Haller even missed a penalty kick when the score was 0-1 ( 19.). After almost an hour, the Ivorian missed another great opportunity when he failed to get the ball over the line from a meter and a half.
In the end, however, the goal came: Raphael Guerreiro made it 1: 2 with the help of the inside post (69th). The longer the game lasted, the more desperate the actions of the black and yellow seemed, but they failed again and again due to the outstanding Mainz goalkeeper Finn Dahmen. Only when it was too late did Niklas Süle make it 2-2 (90+6). When the final whistle sounded, the Dortmund players collapsed onto the lawn in disappointment. Instead of tears of joy, there were bitter tears of disappointment.
“The next few days will be brutal, the disappointment is huge,” said defender Mats Hummels on Sky. “It's going to be difficult to process it all.” Emre Can was the first to answer the questions. “In the end we were missing a goal,” said the dejected midfielder: “We really wanted to, but we didn't make it. It was a different game, there was different pressure, we had our chances, but in the end it was supposed to just not be.”
Poor season record despite championship
On the other hand, there was great joy among the Munich team, who had basically already finished with the championship title. FC Bayern won their last game of the season at 1. FC Köln 2-1 (1-0) and thus moved ahead of Dortmund in the table. Both have 71 points in the final count, but Bayern have the significantly better goal difference.
Kingsley Coman took the lead in the early stages (8'). Another Bayern goal by Leroy Sané did not count because of a handball. Shortly before the end, the Munich team had to tremble again: Cologne converted a hand penalty through Dejan Ljubicic (81st). Now Dortmund was ahead of Bayern again. But Thomas Tuchel's team came up with an answer: Jamal Musiala prevailed and scored the goal to make it 2-1 and win the title (89th). It is Bayern's eleventh championship in a row, and the 33rd overall in the club's history.
Bayern's winger Kingsley Coman (right) put Bayern on the road to victory with his 1-0
“What can I say?” Said Bayern veteran Thomas Müller, who won his twelfth championship, on the Sky microphone. “Everyone who is interested in German football must have the subliminal feeling that we don't deserve it – and I can understand that. This moment is still incredible.”
But despite the title, the German record champions did not have a good season. In the DFB Cup against SC Freiburg and in the Champions League against Manchester City, they ended up in the quarter-finals. The club had previously separated from coach Julian Nagelsmann and replaced him with Thomas Tuchel. Just a few minutes after the final whistle in Cologne, there were rumors that CEO Oliver Kahn and Sport Director Hasan Salihamidzic would be fired. A little later, the club confirmed the resignation. It was actually planned to decide on the future of Kahn and Salihamidzic at the upcoming supervisory board meeting on May 30th.
Schalke is relegated from the Bundesliga
The relegation battle was also tight until the last matchday: With FC Augsburg, VfB Stuttgart, VfL Bochum and FC Schalke 04, four clubs were not sure of staying up before the 34th matchday. With a convincing 3-0 (2-0) win against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Bochum saved itself and ended the season in 14th place. The Augsburgers lost 0-2 (0-2) at Borussia Mönchengladbach but as 15th still there in the coming season. VfB Stuttgart, who played 1-1 (0-0) against TSG Hoffenheim and were 16th in the table, have to tremble in the relegation against the third-placed team from the 2nd division.
After just one season, promoted Schalke 04 has to go back to the 2nd division
After just one year, FC Schalke, on the other hand, have to go back to the lower house of football after beating RB Leipzig 2: 4 (1: 2) lost and couldn't work his way up from 17th place. Schalke is the second relegated team next to Hertha BSC. The Berliners didn't have a chance to save themselves after the 33rd match day.
Union Berlin in the Champions League for the first time
And there were also a few decisions between the top and the bottom on the last Bundesliga matchday. For example, 1. FC Union Berlin qualified for the Champions League for the first time in its history. The Union defeated SV Werder Bremen 1-0 (0-0) and took fourth place in the final table. SC Freiburg, who lost at Eintracht Frankfurt 1: 2 (1: 0), is fifth and thus in the Europa League.
The other European Cup participations are still dependent on the result in the DFB Cup final on 3 June between Leipzig and Frankfurt dependent. Despite the defeat in Bochum, Leverkusen retained sixth place, while Frankfurt moved up to seventh place. If Leipzig wins the cup final, Leverkusen will also play in the Europa League and Frankfurt will play in the Conference League. However, should Frankfurt prevail, they would be in the Europa League as cup winners and the Werkself from Leverkusen would have to play in the Conference League.