Now, a lot of you have seen the Most Artistic Goals piece I posted yesterday. Well here’s part two of that saga - the most impactful goals. We played a lot of games in 2020, and get this - four of them were finals, five if you could the Bundesliga title decider. Likewise, there was no shortage of important games, and thankfully, no shortage of goals that Bayern Munich scored in them either. Let’s take a look.
10. Thomas Muller vs Vfl Wolfsburg
Bundesliga Matchday 34, 2019/20
Goal Scored: 4-0, FT: 4-0
Now, this is a goal that probably won’t seem like much at first glance. The fourth goal in a routine win in a deadbeat game with the league title confirmed already. But when you look at the stats, the goal’s importance becomes clear - this was the 100th goal that Bayern scored in the Bundesliga that season, just one shy of the all time record of 101 goals scored in 1971-72. And who better to score goal no. 100 than our Bavarian born and raised Thomas Muller?
Not only was the goal important, but it was also quite a sweet finish from Muller, who half-volleyed home a cracker inside the box after receiving a badly cleared cross from Ivan Perisic. That was Bayern’s last goal of the league season, but boy, they weren’t done there.
9. Robert Lewandowski vs Bayer 04 Leverkusen
DFB-Pokal Final, 2019/20
Goal Scored: 3-0, FT: 4-2
The winning goal in the Pokal Final is always important, even though it didn’t really seem like a winner at first. Bayern were three up and cruising, but two Leverkusen goals meant that this goal from Robert Lewandowski eventually ended up being the game’s decider.
But that’s not the special part about this goal. What makes it really special is that it was assisted by none other than Manuel Neuer. Coming out of his box to clear a loose ball, Neuer punted the ball without much thought, but that ball had such power and precision behind it that it went all the way to Lewandowski near the opposing penalty area. Lewandowski didn’t hesitate to fire a hard volley straight at Lukas Hradecky, who let the ball slip through his legs, bounce off his rear end, and roll into the net. A goal made by a goalkeeper who did more than a goalkeeper should do, and a goalkeeper who didn’t even do what a goalkeeper should do. That was Neuer’s first assist in Bayern colors, hopefully not his last!
8. Robert Lewandowski vs Hertha BSC
Bundesliga Matchday 3, 2020/21
Goal Scored: 4-3, FT: 4-3
Bayern were still reeling from their hard-fought Super Cup win vs Dortmund (more on that later), and they were facing a difficult clash against Hertha Berlin. After blowing a two goal lead, Lewandowski gave Bayern another late lead with five minutes to go, but they conceded an equalizer just three minutes later.
But Bayern were not going to go down without a fight. With mere seconds left in the game, Lewandowski was pulled down in the box while fighting for a David Alaba cross, causing the referee to point to the spot. It was down to Lewy to either be a hero or a villain.
With nerves of steel, Lewandowski stepped up and curled the ball right past Alexander Schwolow’s outstretched fingertips. It was his fourth of the game, and it not only meant that Bayern had won the game, but also that they were fully over the previous week’s crushing defeat to Hoffenheim. It was a goal that meant so much, even if it was just a simple penalty.
7. Leon Goretzka vs Borussia Monchengladbach
Bundesliga Matchday 31, 2019/20
Goal Scored: 2-1, FT: 2-1
This was a weird game overall. Bayern were without both Muller and Lewandowski, but they had somehow taken the lead through a howler from Yann Sommer. Bayern then returned the favor with a Benjamin Pavard own goal to level the score.
Both teams were in topsy turvy shape in the second half, and no one could predict what was going to happen. With Bayern lacking options on the bench, it looked like the champions would settle for a draw, when Alphonso Davies sent a seemingly tame ball across the field that somehow found its way to Pavard, who in turn sent in a low cross into the box for Leon Goretzka to slot home. The goal had completely come against the run of play, and out of nowhere. And just like that, Bayern won the game.
The goal was important not just because Bayern had overturned heavy odds to win without their star attackers, and not just because it was against tough opponents Gladbach. What made it really important was that it left Bayern just one win away from the Meisterschale, which they ended up clinching a few days later in Bremen.
6. Robert Lewandowski vs Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Bundesliga Matchday 13, 2020/21
Goal Scored: 2-1, FT: 2-1
Another Lewy goal against Leverkusen makes our list. This time, it was in Leverkusen, and in a tad more dramatic fashion. Bayern had conceded an early goal but had equalized at the break through Lewandowski. In the second half, the champions were turning the screw, but fatigue and weariness resulted in heavy legs, and they just could not find a way through. If anything, a draw wouldn’t be a bad result all things considered.
But Hansi Flick and his men didn’t think so. In the last minute of stoppage time, Joshua Kimmich, despite just returning from injury, chased down Jonathan Tah and nicked the ball from him. The ball trickled over to Lewandowski, who darted into the box and let loose a shot that ricocheted off Edmond Tapsoba and looped into the net to secure all three points, not to mention a Christmas victory for the Bavarians.
It just goes to show that if you want to win, you have to give it everything you have until the very end, and that’s exactly what Lewandowski and his teammates did that night in Leverkusen. After all, Bayern-Dusel didn’t become a thing for no reason.
5. Joshua Kimmich vs Borussia Dortmund
DFL-Super Cup, 2020/21
Goal Scored: 3-2, FT: 3-2
The DFL Super Cup. It’s not the most prestigious trophy in the world, but it’s still a trophy, and if you play for FC Bayern, you want to win every trophy you can. That was exactly Hansi Flick’s mentality for his players to follow as they set off to win their fifth trophy of the year. But Dortmund were not to be taken lightly, and despite an early 2-0 lead, BVB clawed their way back into the game and made it 2-2.
But then again, Bayern’s winning mentality again became their savior. Despite being weighed down by fatigue, Kimmich led the team’s pressing late in the game, and eventually got the ball from Thomas Delaney. He then played a one-two with Lewandowski before shooting straight at Marwin Hitz, who saved the initial shot. The rebound, though, was converted by Kimmich in the most peculiar manner - Kimmich sprawled over and somehow caught the ball with his left boot, slicing it over Hitz and into the net.
It may not have been the prettiest of goals, but it was definitely the most important of the five goals that were scored that day, and it was the goal that won Bayern the Super Cup.
4. Thomas Muller vs FC Barcelona
UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal, 2019/20
Goal Scored: 1-0, FT: 8-2(!)
As impactful as the legendary 8-2 win over Barcelona was, it’s only natural that a goal or two from that game will make this list. I chose the first goal as one of the two representatives.
Barely three minutes had passed when Perisic crossed the ball to Muller, who awkwardly tapped it to Lewandowski. Lewy passed back to Muller, and Bayern’s golden boy volleyed right past a helpless Marc Andre ter Stegen, with his weak foot, no less.
It was the first of eight goals that Bayern would score that night (nine, if you count Alaba’s own goal), and it was just perfect. Early on in the game, quick attacking play, fluid passing, and just that touch of awkwardness you can only get from Thomas Muller. He didn’t even volley it properly, he just barely sliced it with his boot and it somehow became an extremely precise shot. I guess everything that Muller touches turns to gold. Move over King Midas, we’ve got King Muller in town!
3. Javi Martinez vs Sevilla
UEFA Super Cup, 2020/21
Goal Scored: 2-1, FT: 2-1
Another Super Cup winning goal. What sets this one apart from Kimmich’s, you may ask. Well, it has a story behind it.
Bayern were trailing to Chelsea in the 2013 Super Cup, only for Javi Martinez to equalize in the 120th minute. His side would prevail on penalties, avenging their defeat in Munich a year ago. This year, with the score locked at 1-1, Javi came on in extra time. I remember musing to myself “come on Javi, let’s repeat history!”
Kimmich swung in a corner, which was cleared only as far as David Alaba. Alaba volleyed the ball, and the keeper could just parry it. The loose ball fell to none other than Martinez, who headed the ball into the top corner.
Javi really had repeated history.
The goal won Bayern the Super Cup, and made the long journey to Hungary worth it. And yes, it was Bayern’s only game this season that fans were allowed to attend so far. I think I cried after he scored, it was just so poetic. What kind of defensive midfielder wins his team two Super Cups? Not one, but TWO?
2. Joshua Kimmich vs FC Barcelona
UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal, 2019/20
Goal Scored: 5-2, FT: 8-2(!!)
Some of you were wondering why this goal didn’t feature on yesterday’s list. Well, like I said, I think this goal was just as impactful as it was beautiful. Let me walk you through it first.
Alphonso Davies got the ball around the halfway line, and wheeled away from Lionel Messi before skipping over a challenge from Arturo Vidal. Seeing that he was clear, Nelson Semedo charged our Phonzie down and had him cornered.
Or so he thought.
Two shakes of his left leg, and Phonzie roared away from Semedo like a race car. The rest of the Barcelona defense could only look on in stunned disbelief as Phonzie cruised into the penalty area and squared it for Kimmich to score probably the easiest goal of his career. Every camera was focused on Davies, so much so that I didn’t even know who had scored the goal at first.
It was a beautiful goal, but impactful as well, because, well, who in the world could think of a Canadian teenager turning the entire Barcelona defense into practice cones? Plus, it was the goal that sealed Barcelona’s fate after a Luis Suarez goal had given them a tiny bit of hope. That Phonize kid is something special indeed.
1. Kingsley Coman vs Paris Saint-Germain
UEFA Champions League Final, 2019/20
Goal Scored: 1-0, FT: 1-0
Coman (come on), did you really think I would be crazy enough to put any other goal at first place?
This was it. The Champions League Final. The game to end all games. A scoreless first half meant that a killer second half would follow. Someone was going to score. A goal was coming.
Thank God it came from our side.
Serge Gnabry cut the ball back for Thomas Muller, who laid it off for Joshua Kimmich with the slightest of touches. Kimmich then lofted the ball gracefully into the penalty area. The ball almost seemed to hang in midair. All eyes were on Lewandowski the poacher.
But one man was left unmarked. That man was Kingsley Coman.
The ball left Coman’s head and sailed into the far corner. Even Keylor Navas couldn’t do anything about it.
Bayern fans all over the world erupted in cheers, all except me. I saved my cheers for after the final whistle.
It was the goal that won us the Champions League. It was the goal that put the cherry on top of a highly successful season, and the goal that turned it from a ‘highly successful’ season into an ‘absolutely outstanding’ one. It will remain one of those goals that will remain in the hearts of every Bayern fan forever. And it just had to come from Paris-born Coman. You really don’t know where life will take you, do you?
Which goals did we leave out, and which goal was your second favorite after Coman’s? Stay tuned for another Top 10 coming tomorrow (hint: it features a LOT of Manuel Neuer)!