It has been a noisy two weeks at Bayern Munich, but on Saturday there was a moment where it was welcomed. The Bavarian Bundesliga machine has made it five titles in a row – and that deserves recognition.Forty-five minutes was all it took. Wolfsburg battled and then were flayed, like most opponents who dare to stand in Bayern’s way. Luiz Gustavo epitomized Wolfsburg’s evening, playing well and then tearing himself (and nearly the referee Felix Zwayer) apart after his dismissal. The Bavarians got better with every goal, before spending the second half deciding how many goals they wanted to win their fifth consecutive league title by. Six goals on the day of title number five had a certain Bayern Munich ring to it.
Two weeks ago, Bayern were on for the treble. Now, the Bundesliga title is all the silverware the club will be left with at the end of the season. So great has their dominance been in recent years that it’s an assumption that another league title will follow. This is their 26th Bundesliga title, and their 13th in the last 20 years. It has been domestic dominance on the kind of level that has players from all over the world wanting to be a part of their set-up.
Kingsley Coman opted to be one of those permanently this week and spent Saturday evening toying with Wolfsburg, twice delivering for Bayern’s attackers after the combination of his pace and agility proved too much for Wolfsburg. Robert Lewandowski came here to win and become one of the best strikers in the world. His second against Wolfsburg was the perfect example of how the best strikers finish off great team moves. Lewandowski never looked like missing when he got the ball in the box.
In truth, Bayern seemed bound to clinch the title in Wolfsburg from the moment the final whistle went at the earlier game in Leipzig. The Bayern fans watching that match in a bar near the Wolfsburg stadium cheered and then left fully confident, with a general muttering about today being the day.
And so it proved. Such is the nature of their season that a man who has largely been ordinary produced something extraordinary to start Bayern’s party – David Alaba’s free kick was worth waiting for. Try as Wolfsburg might, they were nothing more than extras in FC Hollywood’s latest award-winning performance.
Of late, the noise around Bayern Munich has been louder than usual as the season gets picked apart before it ends. Questions are asked about the pieces in the machine, as well as the man driving it. Can this team ever win the Champions League? How will the club deal with Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso’s retirement? How long can Arjen Robben continue to be the go-to man?
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The quick comedown
But with the sun setting in Wolfsburg, the questions were forgotten for a moment. It was time to enjoy the present and not worry about the future. Bayern’s fans certainly did that. Philipp Lahm songs were sung, the Humba was danced and even Carlo Ancelotti sang a tune in front of the Bayern faithful.
And yet, by the time Bayern were in the mixed zone that moment had seemingly passed. Mats Hummels spoke professionally about how important the title was. Ancelotti wished Andries Jonker good luck for the upcoming relegation fight. And of a sudden, Bayern were gone – as if they hadn’t just breezed through and destroyed Wolfsburg on their way to another league title. But they did and it’s worth remembering that.