Meisters Flatten Gladbach
Meisters Flatten Gladbach
After two weeks in which Bayern supporters were forced to wait for their championship celebrations, Leipzig ended all the drama before Bayern even set foot on the pitch by losing to Dortmund. The question then became would Bayern be able to get Lewandowski the goals he needs to catch Gerd Müller’s Bundesliga goal record.
The Polish striker seemed to be trying to end those doubts nearly as quickly as the title race. In just the second minute of the match the ball fell to him and he coolly found the far corner to make it 1-0. Following Thomas Müller’s 2-0, Lewandowski hit one of the best goals of the season by volleying at close range into the near post to make it 3-0. Kingsely Coman, who had an excellent overall match, would finish the first half scoring after taking in a pass from Lewandowski all alone and blasting it past Yann Sommer.
The second half was much slower, however Lewandowski would get his hat trick in the 65th minute thanks to a penalty for hand ball on Florian Neuhaus. The striker would get a few more half chances but never really got close to a fourth leaving him just one goal away from the record. Nianzou would end up getting sent off the 75th minute for a late foul as the only defender between the Gladbach player and Neuer. That wouldn’t stop Bayern though as Leroy Sané would finish off the scoring in the 85th minute after a very nice pass from Gnabry left him alone on goal.
Much to the dismay of every non-Bayern supporter. Bayern are the champions of Germany for the ninth straight season. While we could talk about competitive balance and what that means for the league, I’m going to focus on it as an achievement. Winning the league is still the most impressive thing that a club football team can do in a season.
It takes an entire season of focus and consistency to win the league. Luck is a significant factor in the cup ties. One match at the wrong time or under poor conditions or one random bounce or slip can affect who advances and who goes home. But the league is all about the long road. Teams don’t win the league by accident. It takes every man in the squad. You have to fight through poor games, injuries and slumps in form.
While we take it for granted. There will come a time when Bayern don’t win the league. Maybe it will be next year. Maybe they won’t win one again for several seasons. Of course that seems unimaginable at the moment but it will happen at some point. That’s why I will always appreciate this achievement. Seeing them hoist the Meisterschale still means something, despite what others would have you believe. Appreciate it. Celebrate it. Enjoy it. This run won’t last forever.
What more can be said about our striker this season. He has been unbelievable. We all assumed he would break this record with time to spare. Then he got injured in a pointless international match. We were devastated and felt cheated. Luckily, those missed matches will not derail this ridiculous season.
After scoring late against Mainz, the striker was left with three games to get four goals. While many of us assumed he might get those goals, I don’t think many of us would have expected three of them to come again Gladbach this weekend. Yes Bayern are now trying to get him chances wherever they can, but in some ways that’s not much different than how they have played all year.
And the goals he scored today were reflective of his year in general. Coolly slotting home a penalty. Putting himself in a great position and taking in a cross before smashing it home. Spectacularly scissoring home a volley at a tough angle in the 6 yard box.
These types of seasons only come along once in generation. Those of us lucky enough to see this should not take it for granted. We very well may never see this type of performance again from a Bayern player in our lifetime. Lewandowski is unquestionably the best striker in the world right now. He is most likely the best striker in this generation. GOAT is a term thrown around far too often for my liking and while I’m not sure if he is the actual GOAT, this season moves him into a conversation that was previously unthinkable.
While Lewandowski deserves all the praise and headlines he will get coming out of this match, it shouldn’t be lost that nearly every player for Bayern had a solid match today. Coman was fantastic on the wing finding tons of space, setting up goals and scoring one. Müller did his Müller thing assisting goals, scoring one and creating space for everyone.
Davies and Pavard both had excellent matches and very memorable moments. Davies started the attack in a very Davies way that resulted in Coman’s goal. Pavard made several last ditch efforts to tackle and block Gladbach at key moments.
Even Neuer, who didn’t have much to do today overall was excellent when he was called into action. It was the type of performance that we got very used to last season and have missed far too often this season. It also shows how good this team can be under Hansi Flick when they are healthy and rested. Overall, despite the fact that they captured the title prior to kickoff, they more than earned their title today.