Bayern Munich’s Utter Dominance

Posted: 02/24/2014 by levcohen in Soccer

Over in Germany, something extraordinary is happening. Bayern Munich, over the past two years, have been so good that it’s frighting. Sure, Munich has has always been the class of the German league. But after a two year stretch (2010/11 and 11/12 seasons) in which the German team didn’t win the Champions League, Bundesliga, or German Cup, it was hard to expect this. Since the beginning of the 2012/13, when Munich defeated Borussia Dortmund in the annual DFL-Supercup between the first and second place finishers of the season before by a score of 2-1 (that was a sign of things to come), they have been on an absolute tear. They have lost FIVE games in the last season and two thirds, which has come over 90 games. Here are those five losses:
They lost to BATE Borisov in last season’s Champions League group stage (didn’t end up mattering at all)
They lost to Bayer Leverkusen in last year’s Bundesliga (their only German league loss in the last two years)
They lost to Arsenal in last year’s Champions League round of 16 (didn’t matter, because they had already beaten Arsenal)
They lost to rival Dortmund in this year’s preseason SuperCup, which was coach Pep Guardiola’s first game managing
They lost to Manchester City in this year’s Champions League group stage when they had already qualified for the final 16.

On top of becoming the first German team to win the “treble”- the Bundesliga, German Cup, and Champions League (they beat Dortmund in an all-German Champions League final, again by that score: 2-1), Bayern Munich broke a ton of Bundesliga records last season, when they went 29-4-1.  They set a record for:

  • Most points in a season (91)
  • Highest league winning points margin (25 ahead of second place Dortmund)
  • Most wins in a season (29)
  • Fewest goals allowed (18)

Basically, they set records in everything. They even beat the vaunted Barcelona in the semifinals by an aggregate score of 7-0. Barcelona doesn’t ever lose 4-0 or 3-0, and Munich embarrassed them twice. You know what the scary thing is? They are even better this season. They are unbeaten in the Bundesliga, at 20-2-0. All those records last season? Yeah, they are going to shatter them. Here are their on pace numbers:

  • 96 points
  • 30 point margin of victory
  • 31 wins
  • 14 goals allowed
  • Zero losses (they tied the record of one last season)

That, my friends, is amazing, and Munich also looks primed to complete an unprecedented back-to-back in the Champions League (it switched to its current format in 1992). After being drawn to Arsenal again, they handled the English team in London by two goals, and just need to avoid a heavy home defeat to go through to the quarterfinals. Yes, they lost by two to Arsenal last season at home, but that is as much of a reason as any that it won’t happen again. In the quarterfinals, they’ll have a harder matchup, but should be favored to win. That should be true for the rest of the tournament. They are also in the semifinals of the German Cup, and will be heavily favored to win that again. The Bundesliga is already won.

Bayern Munich are definitely the New York Yankees of German soccer. They hold the record for most Bundesliga titles (23), German Cup titles (16), and have the most Champions League / European Cup championships of any German team (five). They are successful, and they are also rich and buy all the best players. They have far more fans than any other German team, and Munich is a large city. They also buy the most expensive players. Even recently, they have bought players from even their arch rivals. Imagine the Yankees outbidding the Red Sox for Babe Ruth or Jacoby Ellsbury… oh wait. Munich bought Mario Gotze, then the most expensive German player ever, from Dortmund and now have followed that up with the purchase of Robert Lewandowski. So not only do they have success, but they also have money, and have bought the two best players on their rival team.

As for “dynasty”, it’s been two years, so it’s hard to call it a dynasty, but it’s hard to see this stopping any time soon, and I could see this eventually comparing to the famous runs by UCLA college basketball and the Boston Celtics. It might be too early to say that, but I think it could happen. There’s nobody in Germany who can stop the powerhouse that is Bayern Munich, unless the league makes up some random rules to slow them down. I think that Munich will go on some crazy run with nine Bundesliga titles in 10 years or something, and while they won’t win every single Champions League title, they’ll be up there year after year. The best comparison for the Bayern Munich team has got to be the Alex Ferguson Manchester United teams, and that lasted for a long time. Luckily for everyone else, though, Man United has proven this season that all good things come to an end. Munich’s run will, too, but I think this is just the beginning of a long run.

  1. dpcathena says:

    Unbelievably dominant, but my guess is that it doesn’t last all that long.

  2. quadrangular says:

    That’s where we spent our year abroad many years ago, but the only competitive sports I recall were informal curling matches in the Englischer Garten.

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