After last weekend’s results, Bayern Munich is nine points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga table with only six league matches remaining. One of said six matches is the second league installment of Der Klassiker against Dortmund at the Allianz Arena on April 23rd, which could very well be a title-clinching day for Julian Nagelsmann’s side unless it’s already clinched prior to that match kicking off.
From the outside looking in, Bayern winning their tenth straight Bundesliga title accelerates the “farmer’s league” and/or “one team league” narratives from football fans that don’t take, at the very least, a general interest in the Bundesliga as a whole. On the flip side, though, from the inside, that perspective is much different, and no one knows that better than current Liverpool and former Mainz and Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp. He was the last Bundesliga manager to date to beat Bayern to the Meisterschale when he won the Bundesliga title with Dortmund in both the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons.
In a recent interview with Sport Bild, Klopp spoke about how different is to winning a title in England in the Premier League than it is in Germany and some of the reasons he feels Bayern’s dominance in Germany is so consistent. “Both are extremely desirable. And to have had both is extremely cool. But it wouldn’t be so bad to be able to have that with Liverpool again with fans,” he said when he was asked about winning both Premier League and Bundesliga titles. In the Premier League right now, Klopp’s Liverpool are just one point behind former Bayern manager Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City ahead of their colossal matchup this weekend.
As far as Bayern’s long standing domination in the Bundesliga, Klopp feels that a lot of it has to do with how closely contested the teams below them are, constantly taking league points off of one another, making the gap bigger for Bayern. “There are two reasons for Bayern’s dominance. One, of course, is simply the quality they have. The other is that the pursuers steal points from each other. The other teams are probably too close - as you saw in Dortmund’s game against [RB] Leipzig at the weekend. Then there is [Bayer] Leverkusen, this year [SC] Freiburg and in other years ‘Gladbach. Bayern is simply super consistent and hardly leaves anything behind. There are currently nine points between first and second place - there have been significantly larger gaps in recent years,” he explained.
His point rings true, especially given the nature of Nagelsmann’s maiden season as Bayern manager. His squad was littered with injuries at the offset of the season because of the quick turnaround after the Euros had ended. On top of that, he faced a brief COVID outbreak at the start of the Rückrunde in addition to a handful of injuries, but the amount of points Bayern’s direct rivals were able to take off of one another helped Bayern maintain their gap at the top of the table.