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Memorable Monday: Closest Title Wins in Bayern Munich History

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While this title did not come as easily as the last one, it still came a few match-days too early. Although this is no reason to complain (but rather to celebrate), it is worthwhile to look at Bayern's closest title wins, some of which might surprise you. We take a look at the five closest races with points gap being adjusted for three points a win rather than just two.

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1. Bayern München: 69 points; GD: +42

2: Borussia Mönchengladbach: 69 points; GD: +41

In the old points system, the difference was only one point but in the current system, Gladbach would have suffered much more heartbreak than they did at that time. Bayern went into the Winter Break as the top side but were so threatened by Gladbach that they decided to splash out 580,000 DM on Conny Torstennson during the Break. Their new forward had scored twice against them in an earlier round of the European Cup of course. Bayern's home record was impeccable but the away record was dodgy.

Five losses came on the road including a 5-0 hammering at the hands of Gladbach. They won the title race by the thinnest of thin hairs. Another race was going on as well; Gerd Müller and Jupp Heynckes were fighting it out for the top scorer crown. That race finished a tie as well on 30 goals. Perhaps what really did hurt Gladbach's challenge were three 1-0 losses in games they needed to win away from home against fellow challengers Frankfurt and Düsseldorf as well as against Hamburg.


1. Bayern München: 61 points; GD: +32

2. FC Kaiserslautern: 61 points; GD: +28

In 1994, the difference was one point but in our current system, this race would have been even closer. Kaiserslautern was really threatening Bayern. They beat the Bavarians 4-0 at home (Bayern won in Munich 4-0 as well); that defeat was Bayern's biggest in the league that season. Goals were pouring in from every section of the team though with five players contributing eight goals or more to Bayern's campaign.

Christian Nerlinger for example scored nine from his defensive position whereas Bruno Labbadia, from his attacking position scored seven. Kaiserslautern's dreadful away record helped Bayern too of course. They lost no less than eight matches away. The title was even more remarkable considering that Erich Ribbeck coach Bayern for half the season and Franz Beckenbauer had to take charge for the second half of the season.


1. Bayern München: 63 points; GD: +25

2. FC Schalke 04: 62 points; GD: +30

Bayern went into the last day of the season ahead of Schalke by three points. Schalke had taken six points from the Bavarians during the season, beating them 3-2 in Gelsenkirchen and 1-3 in Munich. On the final day, circumstances were rather strange. Unterhaching (involved in last day drama again) played well against Schalke but lost 5-3. Schalke fans took to celebrating their first title in 1958 as Bayern had not scored against Hamburg. That much was deep into injury time.

Mathias Schober, the keeper of HSV on loan from Schalke, might have received the news because he seemed nervous. He stopped a Tomas Ujfalusi back pass with his hands and Bayern were rewarded an indirect free-kick which are actually quite rare. Patrik Andersson scored his one and only goal for Bayern and was mobbed by team mates. The match ended. Schalke's joyous celebrations turned into a sea of tears while Bayern celebrated yet another unlikely last second triumph.


1. Bayern München: 73 points; GD: +45

2. Bayer 04 Leverkusen: 73 points; GD: +38

Oh, Bayer Leverkusen! Leverkusen had 73 points and Bayern had 70 coming into the final matches of the season. Leverkusen's task was simple; all they had to do was get a single point against mid-table Unterhaching. The title was as good as theirs; even Bayer 04 surely could not mess this up. Well, they did. And they did so in grand fashion. Bayern, three points behind, went to Werder Bremen and won the game 1-3.

In Leverkusen's match in the first half, a rather harmless ball floated over the Leverkusen defense found its way to a young Michael Ballack, who provided a great finish into the wrong net unfortunately. The goal shocked Leverkusen. During the second goal, the Bayer 04 back line simply froze allowing Markus Oberleitner a free header. News filtered through in Bavaria and Bayern gleefully, and somewhat unexpectedly, carried home a fifteenth Bundesliga title.


1. Bayern München: 70 points; GD: +51

2. SV Werder Bremen: 69 points; GD: +42

This one was very similar to the aforementioned race. Under the old points system, Werder Bremen had 49 points coming into the last day and Bayern had 47 points. Bremen needed a draw to secure the Championship. Both had tough fixtures; Bayern were to play the team which eventually finished in third place. Gladbach had also beaten Bayern 4-2 in the season previously and the Bavarians had reason to believe that the title would not be theirs. Bremen though did not have an easy fixture either; they would have to visit Stuttgart.

Gladbach, managed by Heynckes, were given a shocking thumping by Heynckes' side. Lothar Mattäus took all of one minute to get Bayern on the score sheet. Dieter Hoeness scored in the 25th minute. Meanwhile, in Stuttgart, Karl Allgöwer had scored one three minutes earlier, putting Stuttgart a goal up. Bayern needed no more reason to continue thumping Gladbach.

Hoeness added another goal in the second half; Rolandd Wohlfahrth struck twice while Reinhold Mathy also got his name on the score board; the match finished 6-0 to Bayern. Allgöwer added another in Stuttgart for good measure; Manfred Burgsmüller's goal  with just over ten minutes to go for Bremen made the last minutes nail biting but did not do much else to help Bremen. Bayern celebrated yet another last day victory.

And so, there you have it. If a close title race is around the corner in the upcoming seasons, look forward to plenty of nailbiting moments! The aforementioned seasons surely make a close title race seem enjoyable. And of course, congrats to Bayern for yet another Bundesliga title!

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