Bayern strikes late to snatch Bundesliga title from Dortmund

Bayern Munich players celebrate winning the German championship after the German Bundesliga soccer match between 1.FC Cologne and FC Bayern Munich in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, May 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Jamal Musiala scored in the 89th minute for Bayern Munich to snatch the Bundesliga title from Borussia Dortmund with a 2-1 victory at Cologne after Dortmund could only draw on the final day of the season.

Dortmund, which was leading by two points before the last round, was held 2-2 at home by Mainz on Saturday, allowing Bayern to finish in first place because of its better goal difference.

Dortmund needed to win to be sure of ending Bayern’s record 10-year reign as champion. It became the first team in 23 years to squander the lead on the last day.

“We were one round away before this game, we were 90 minutes from bringing the trophy back to Dortmund,” coach Edin Terzić said. “In the end we were one goal away. And that’s very close. Tomorrow we’ll be 34 rounds away again, and then we’ll work on it, we’ll stand up. From July we’ll invest everything again to do it better than we did this year. ... Now it’s about simply using the next 34 rounds to finally manage it.”

Bayern announced shortly after winning its 11th straight title that it had fired chief executive Oliver Kahn and sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić.

Both were under scrutiny for their decision to fire Julian Nagelsmann as coach in March and replace him with Thomas Tuchel right before the team’s Champions League and German Cup exits.

Tuchel said Friday that even a Bundesliga title win would not mask what has been an unsatisfactory season for the Bavarian powerhouse.

Kahn responded to his firing on Twitter, where he congratulated the team and said he’d like to celebrate with the players “but unfortunately I can’t be there today because I wasn’t allowed by the club.”

It’s just the third time Bayern managed to jump to first place on the last day of the season after it edged Werder Bremen to the title in 1986 and Bayer Leverkusen in 2000.

“I think anyone who’s interested in soccer, particularly German soccer, will say we don’t deserve it, and I understand, because our second half of the season was so chaotic,” Bayern veteran Thomas Müller said. “But this moment is still unbelievable for the group. That’s what will be remembered, it’s crazy.”

Dortmund fans were celebrating when Cologne’s Dejan Ljubicic scored an equalizing penalty in the 81st minute against Bayern – which needed to win – but Musiala came on as a substitute four minutes later and scored four minutes after that to send the title Bayern’s way.

“We had nothing to lose at this stage. We simply had to score a goal. This time it went in for me,” said the 20-year-old Musiala.

Dortmund had started in pole position, but Bayern’s Kingsley Coman struck in the eighth minute against Cologne to increase the pressure.

Then Sébastien Haller had a first-half penalty saved after Andreas Hanche-Olsen stunned the Dortmund fans by heading in Mainz’s opening goal in the 15th minute.

Karim Onisiwo got Mainz’s second goal in the 24th with another header and the visitors looked capable of scoring more against the mistake-prone Dortmund defense. There was nothing but pride at stake for Mainz.

Raphaël Guerreiro pulled one back in the 69th for Dortmund, but by the time Niklas Süle equalized in the sixth minute of injury time, it was far too late for the “black and yellows.”


Rani Khedira put Union Berlin into the Champions League by scoring late to secure a 1-0 win over Werder Bremen. Union finished fourth, ahead of Freiburg, which lost 2-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt.

“Surreal, the fairy tale continues,” said Union coach Urs Fischer, who steered the club to its first ever Bundesliga promotion in 2019.

Schalke was relegated after a 4-2 loss at Leipzig, and Stuttgart will contest the relegation/promotion playoff against the team that finishes third in the second division. Stuttgart drew with Hoffenheim 1-1.

Bochum secured survival with a 3-0 win over 10-man Bayer Leverkusen.

Also, Borussia Mönchengladbach defeated Augsburg 2-0 in Lars Stindl’s last game for the club, and already-relegated Hertha Berlin enjoyed a 2-1 win at Wolfsburg.