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Bayern Munich took care of business on the final day of the Bundesliga season, beating Eintracht Frankfurt 5-1 on Saturday to secure its record seventh straight German title.
Bayern made the last match day of the 2018-19 campaign interesting when it failed to secure its latest league triumph a week ago, settling for a point in a draw at RB Leipzig. And for exactly three minutes on Saturday, it looked like Bayern might just stumble again.
The hosts held a two-point lead over chief domestic rival Borussia Dortmund heading into the season finale. When they went ahead after just four minutes through Kingsley Coman, the outcome seemed inevitable:
Then Eintracht substitute Sebastien Haller scored early in the second half. With Dortmund winning its match at Borussia Monchengladbach, conceding a second goal and losing the match would’ve been fatal for Bayern.
Instead, David Alaba almost immediately cancelled out Haller’s tally. When Renato Sanches made it 3-1 a few minutes after the restart, it became obvious that the trophy would be staying put.
Club legends Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, playing in their final match in Munich, added an exclamation point by scoring the final two goals in a season that confirmed Bayern’s unprecedented dominance of the German top flight.
Dortmund’s eventual 2-0 win at ‘Gladbach wasn’t completely moot. It kept the latter from clinching Germany’s fourth and final Champions League spot. BVB’s first half-goal did not come without controversy. But after review, Jadon Sancho’s strike was allowed to stand:
In the end, Bayern’s victory rendered Dortmund’s irrelevant. It also completed a remarkable comeback for Germany’s preeminent club, which trailed BVB by six points at the winter break. The Black and Yellow were the last team to hoist the silverware before Bayern, back in 2012. BVB also won the Bundesliga in 2011.
Bayern, Dortmund and Leipzig were all guaranteed a top-three league finish (and the accompanying berth in next season’s Champions League) before the final set of matches kicked off. But the fourth and final spot in Europe’s top club competition remained very much up for grabs heading into the last weekend. ‘Gladbach’s failure on the final day made all the difference for Bayer Leverkusen, which bumped the Foals into fifth place with a 4-1 rout at Hertha Berlin.
U.S. men’s national team headliner Christian Pulisic notched an assist in his final appearance with Dortmund. Pulisic will move to English Premier League titan Chelsea this summer.
Another U.S. standout, Leipzig’s Tyler Adams, started and played 64 minutes versus Werder Bremen in his first appearance since suffering an adductor injury in March. Fellow American Josh Sargent didn’t appear for Bremen, but 40-year-old sub Claudio Pizarro scored a late winner in the 2-1 triumph.
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