Bayern Munich have wrapped up an eighth straight Bundesliga title in a fashion that few would have been able to predict back in November.
After a 5-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt, the record champions found themselves in fourth with Borussia Mönchengladbach, RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund all looking better bets for the title. However, a run of 19 wins from 22 Bundesliga games under Hansi Flick has seen Bayern conduct an almost flawless charge back to the summit of German football and rekindled hope of this Munich team clinching a treble like the seemingly unmatchable class of 2013.
bundesliga.com picks five of that glut of wins which paved the way for their extraordinary march to the title…
Matchday 11: Bayern Munich 4-0 Borussia Dortmund
A week after that 5-1 defeat to Frankfurt, Flick sat on the Bayern bench for the first time in the Bundesliga, for arguably the toughest test he could have had. A 2-0 midweek win over Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League had given Flick a winning start to life after Niko Kovac left, but Der Klassiker was the acid test of the then caretaker coach, and it was one he passed emphatically.
Watch: Bayern four-midable on Flick's Bundesliga debut
Robert Lewandowski scored for a record 11th straight Bundesliga fixture, adding his 16th goal of the season for good measure before a Mats Hummels own goal completed a rout. Serge Gnabry had a goal ruled out for offside, but still acquainted himself with the scoresheet in a win which lifted Bayern just one position up to third, but more importantly bared their bulging muscles against one of their main rivals.
Matchday 15: Bayern Munich 6-1 Werder Bremen
Back-to-back 2-1 defeats to Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Mönchengladbach had seen Bayern slump to their lowest position of the season, seventh, and seven points adrift of the league-leading Foals. Their clash with Werder Bremen on Matchday 15 was consequently a key moment for Flick, whose own future was hanging in the balance, and the defending champions, whose feint title hopes were hanging by a thread.
Watch: Philippe Coutinho was the Man of the Matchday with his performance against Bremen
When Milot Rashica fired the guests in front midway through the first half, Bayern were nine points behind Leipzig and facing the prospect of a third straight defeat. Philippe Coutinho levelled on the stroke of half-time, and there was still enough stoppage time left for the Brazilian to tee up Lewandowski to put Bayern in front. In fewer than four minutes, there was suddenly a totally transformed complexion on the game, Flick's future and the title race. Coutinho completed his hat-trick and set up another for Thomas Müller before Lewandowski chipped in with his 220th goal for Bayern, one more than Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on the club's all-time list of leading marksmen. An afternoon which had started with worry, nerves and fear ended with joy, confidence and a renewed certainty: Bayern were back in business.
Matchday 16: Freiburg 1-3 Bayern
Leipzig's 3-3 draw with Dortmund 24 hours earlier presented Bayern with the perfect opportunity to close the gap to the top. Lewandowski didn't hang about as he turned in from Alphonso Davies to go outright third in the Bundesliga scoring charts and set the defending champions on their way to what looked at the time like being a routine win - but Freiburg hadn't read the script.
Watch: Joshua Zirkzee's debut to remember
The hosts fought fire with fire and levelled just shy of the hour through Vincenzo Grifo, before unknown teenager Joshua Zirkzee stepped off the bench to swing the contest back the way of the record champions. The Bundesliga debutant scored in added time with his first touch, with Gnabry adding a third at the death. The duo followed suit with late goals against Wolfsburg days later as Bayern ended 2019 only four points behind leaders Leipzig.
Matchday 27: Bayern Munich 5-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
It was not an entirely vintage Bayern performance in defeating Union Berlin 2-0 on the Bundesliga restart after the Covid-19-enforced break, and a few nerves would have been permissible for the visit of Frankfurt to the Allianz Arena. They were the side whose 5-1 win in the reverse fixture had ended Kovac's reign, but this time it would be different.
Watch: Bayern's sweet revenge over Frankfurt
Goals from Leon Goretzka, Müller and Lewandowski gave Bayern a commanding lead early in the second half. Two goals in three minutes from Martin Hinteregger turned up the heat on a cruising Bayern side, but Flick had by now made them flame proof and, within five minutes, Alphonso Davies restored their two-goal lead. A Hinteregger own-goal completed a 5-2 win. Not only had Bayern made amends for their defeat in Frankfurt, they had shown an ability to control a game and then move up a gear when needed, rather than capitulating when that would have been the easy option.
Matchday 28: Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Bayern Munich
That win over Frankfurt kept Bayern four points clear of Dortmund ahead of a season-defining midweek trip to the Signal Iduna Park. Victory would give them a seven-point cushion with six games of the season left, defeat would leave them just a point clear, all still to play for.
Watch: Joshua Kimmich's remarkable Klassiker-winning chip
Bayern weathered an inevitable early storm without really running any major risks, showing a maturity and calmness uncanny for what was riding on the game. Speaking of uncanny, the audacious 20-yard lob from Joshua Kimmich over Roman Bürki which decided the game – and, to a certain degree, the title – was a moment to behold; a goal which captured the essence of the Bavarians' season in an instant of sublime skill, vision, composure and supremacy.