The stage was set for Bayern Munich to win their eight consecutive Bundesliga title when the Bavarian side traveled to Bremen. Bayern have won 21 consecutive games against Werder Bremen, with 18 of those wins occurring in the Bundesliga. That is the longest winning streak against any team in Bundesliga history. Bremen have historically suffered the most at the hands of Bayern, losing 56 times while conceding 216 goals. All signs were pointing towards a commanding victory for Bayern.
Werder Bremen, however, had the Bundesliga relegation battle in the back of each player’s mind. Coming into this match, Bremen sat at 17th place; one place shy of last in Germany. Bremen were coming off of a commanding 5-1 victory of Paderborn and had to feel good about themselves. Still, for any team in Europe to go on a soccer pitch and be expected to beat Bayern is almost laughable.
The match started off with an up-tempo attacking display from both teams. Bayern would deliver threatening balls into the penalty box and within a blink of an eye, Bremen would find themselves in Bayern’s defensive third. A sense of measured and balanced play was evident for the first fourth of the match. Bayern were the first team to get a sniff at goal when Joshua Kimmich saw his volley effort bounce off of the crossbar at the 25th minute. The attacking chance was later pulled back for offside, but Bremen needed to be on their toes if they wanted any sort of result.
But Bayern always finds a way.
Who else but Robert Lewandowski? The Polish striker just knows when to time his runs and gets to his positions before any other defenders. He was able to net his 45th goal in all competitions in the 43rd minute and, if this result holds, Bayern will secure the title.
The second half saw Bayern grow into the game and find a more consistent rhythm to their offensive chances. Bremen were still holding on and not allowing Bayern to run away with a humiliating scoreline, keeping the game at 1-0 with over 25 minutes elapsed in the second half.
The 72nd minute saw Werder Bremen’s best chance at goal as the Bayern defense was caught napping and once again, Manuel Neuer was called to bail out Bayern. But the burden on the Bavarian’s kept mounting. It was Alphonso Davies who saw his second yellow card of the game, resulting in his early dismissal and Bayern playing with 10 men for the next 10 minutes plus stoppage time.
What followed were end-to-end chances, including an attempt at goal by Bremen’s Josh Sargent that nearly deflected off of the arm of Bayern’s Jerome Boateng in the penalty box in the 86th minute. The 90th minute saw one of the greatest saves made this season when Sargent once again found himself in space to pull off a headed effort at goal that forced Manuel Neuer to make a full-stretched save at his bottom right hand corner.
The frantic feel to the game was almost rejuvenating to watch as a neutral fan, and with the final whistle, Bayern were able to hold on and clinch their eighth consecutive Bundesliga title and 30th all time. All other Bundesliga clubs combine for 30 titles among them. Celebration broke out among the Bayern players as they have cemented their place among the all time records in the history of sports.
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