Fri, 22 Sep 2023

Cologne [Germany], May 27 (ANI): Bayern Munich were named Bundesliga champions for the 11th time in a row after a late 2-1 triumph against Cologne snatched the title from Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern Munich's 89th-minute winner came from Jamal Musiala, as Thomas Tuchel's team clinched the title by the narrowest of margins on a dramatic final day.

Dortmund, who began the final day two points clear at the top, were denied the title for the first time in 11 years after drawing 2-2 at home to Mainz and losing on goal difference.

Bayern knew they needed to win Cologne and hope Mainz would help them, and after taking the lead through Kingsley Coman's sensational eighth-minute strike, the defending champions surged ahead while Mainz stormed into a two-goal lead at Dortmund.

In the 15th minute, Andreas Hanche-Olsen gave the visitors the lead, shocking Signal Iduna Park. Dortmund were given a reprieve two minutes later when Dominik Kohr was fouled inside the area, but Sebastien Haller's penalty was saved by Finn Dahmen.

On 24 minutes, Karim Onisiwo leapt to head in Jae-Sung Lee's left-wing cross, compounding Dortmund's woes. Dortmund's answer came with 21 minutes left when Raphael Guerreiro's shot from Gio Reyna's ball reached the bottom corner. Dortmund was still alive, but trailing by 1-2.

Edin Terzic's team still needed two goals to win the game and the championship if Bayern maintained their lead in Cologne. That changed when Serge Gnabry's handball allowed Dejan Ljubicic to level from the spot in the 81st minute. Koln was 1-1 tied against Bayern.

Dortmund supporters hoped and prayed that the intervention from elsewhere would be upheld, but their expectations were dashed with two minutes of normal time remaining when Gnabry set up Musiala for a crucial strike, giving Bayern the 2-1 lead in the 89th minute. Back in Dortmund, Niklas Sule equalised in the 96th minute to make the scoreline read 2-2, but there was no time for a winner.

Dortmund finished with 71 points, the same as Bayern after their triumph, but with a 15-goal differential in one of the most spectacular seasons in Bundesliga history.

Bayern celebrated an unexpected title win in a climactic season finale, while Dortmund's hopes of winning their first league trophy since 2012 were dashed when they trailed 2-0 to Mainz early on before battling to a 2-2 draw - but they needed victory to become champions.

Meanwhile, RB Leipzig and Union Berlin are third and fourth, respectively, and will play in the Champions League next season.

Hertha Berlin and Schalke 04 have been relegated, while VfB Stuttgart will face a relegation playoff. (ANI)

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