The final day of the Bundesliga campaign saw more twists and turns as Bayern Munich managed to retain the title by a whisker. Jamal Musiala scored late in the game against FC Koln to help Die Roten in clinching a 2-1 win on Saturday. Borussia Dortmund surrendered the top spot on the final matchday by managing only a draw against Mainz at Signal Iduna Park.
Thomas Tuchel came up with a few surprises in the starting XI against Koln. The German coach preferred Benjamin Pavard over Joao Cancelo in the right-back position as Dayot Upamecano returned to the starting lineup. Ryan Gravenberch was a surprising pick in the team. The Dutch midfielder was picked over Musiala and Leon Goretzka in the center of the park.
Bayern started the game on the front foot as they pinned the host toward their goal. The early pressure from Die Roten eventually resulted in a goal in the eighth minute. Leroy Sane found Kingsley Coman on the left flank after carrying the ball through the center of the pitch. The French winger unleashed an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box to help Bayern to go ahead against Koln.
Die Roten came close to doubling their lead as Thomas Muller headed the ball onto the post in the 20th minute. Coman and Pavard combined well on the right flank before the latter delivered a dangerous cross in the box for Muller.
The defending champions were far from their best against Koln in the first half, but they were winning crucial duels on the pitch. Die Roten didn’t create significant chances after going ahead, but they made sure that Koln was kept quiet throughout the first half. Leroy Sane had the ball in the net at the end of the first half, but it was ruled out as the winger had handled the ball in the build-up to the goal. At the halfway stage, Bayern was the favourite to lift the title as Dortmund was 2-0 down against Mainz.
Similar to previous games in the last few weeks, there was a drop in intensity from Bayern during the second half. Koln gained confidence as the second half went on with Die Roten firmly on the back foot. Yann Sommer made a brilliant save at the hour mark to deny Koln from an equaliser.
Koln eventually got back in the game 15 minutes before the final whistle. Serge Gnabry, unfortunately, conceded the penalty in the 80th minute by handling the ball in the box. Dejan Ljubicic converted from the spot to equalise for Koln.
The title race was close to ending in a cruel way for Bayern before Jamal Musiala came up with a majestic goal in the 89th minute. The young German attacking midfielder curled the ball past the goalkeeper from the edge of the box to restore Die Roten’s lead.
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Bayern saw out the remaining time on the clock effectively and waited for the game to end at Signal Iduna Park before starting celebrations with fans. Dortmund scored a late equaliser, but it was not enough to dethrone Bayern from the top of the table. It has been far from a vintage Bundesliga season for Die Roten, but it is surely the most satisfying way to win it against their arch-rivals on the final day.