Source: China State Council Information Office
There was no denying that Bayern Munich’s eighth consecutive Bundesliga crown was well deserved. However, for the chasing pack, the triumph was yet another painful reminder of how far they remain behind the Bavarian powerhouse.
The curtain came down on the delayed season on Saturday, with Bayern celebrating a record-extending 30th top-flight title after the rush to finish the campaign in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown.
Now Hansi Flick’s Bayern side will attempt a repeat of the club’s 2013 treble.
Here’s a round-up of the winners and losers of the 57th Bundesliga season.
Bayern’s dominance has been clear for all to see. It racked up an impressive 100-goal total, with Polish hotshot Robert Lewandowski contributing 34 of those to claim the league’s top scorer prize for the third straight season. Thomas Mueller finished with 22 assists, a new single-season record for the Bundesliga. Coach Flick won his first title after turning the team’s season around when he succeeded the sacked Niko Kovac in November. Back then Bayern was fourth in the standings, trailing leader Borussia Moenchengladbach by four points.
RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann steered the eastern side to a third-place finish, outmaneuvering established rivals Moenchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen. Timo Werner netted 28 goals before leaving for Chelsea.
League newcomer Union Berlin secured its place in the top flight for another season with surprising ease. The small east Berlin team finished 11 points above the automatic relegation places and never took its foot off the gas－showing no mercy on the final day with a 3-0 win to send Fortuna Duesseldorf down to the second division.
Champions League qualifier Moenchengladbach showed steady progress under 43-year-old coach Marco Rose, who both played with and worked under current Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp at Mainz. “Marco can have any job and could do any job too, he is really the most hyped coach of all at the moment, everyone is asking about you,” Klopp said of Rose recently.
Paderborn may seem like an odd addition to the ‘winners’ column given it finished rock bottom. However, the minnow’s never-say-die attitude under coach Steffen Baumgart earned it the respect of its illustrious rivals all season.
Schalke’s spectacular collapse renders the Gelsenkirchen club one of the season’s biggest losers. A 16-game winless streak has increased doubts over the future of head coach David Wagner. Financial turbulence and in-house conflicts mean it is difficult to see the Royal Blues turning things around for next season.
Borussia Dortmund might have ended up second, but having been in with a chance of the title when the season resumed in May, the Black and Yellows ultimately proved fragile again mentally－throwing away points against underdog Mainz (2-0) and Hoffenheim (4-0). “We need to talk about the winner mentality that Bayern has and we haven’t,” said Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki.
Relegated Duesseldorf showed just how much front-office turmoil can affect a team on the pitch. Uwe Rosler’s side went into its final game knowing victory would guarantee it finished third from bottom, thereby securing a relegation playoff spot against the third team in the second tier. However, Fortuna was thumped 3-0 at Union Berlin to leave Werder Bremen now facing a playoff against Heidenheim, with the first leg kicking off on Thursday.