Two title-defining fixtures between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, a Revierderby victory for Schalke and goals galore for Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen - the 2018/19 Bundesliga season had it all.
It wasn’t easy, but bundesliga.com has picked out seven of the most memorable encounters of a thrilling campaign - along with a long list of honourable mentions - for you to watch and enjoy once again below!
It was the comeback result that had Dortmund dreaming of a first title since 2012. Lucien Favre’s charges had won seven and drawn three of their opening 10 league matches and were four clear of defending champions Bayern, but that impressive unbeaten run appeared under threat when Robert Lewandowski put the visitors ahead for the second time on 52 minutes.
Marco Reus had an effort cleared off the line before equalising with his second goal of the game mid-way through the half. Six minutes later, Paco Alcacer latched onto Axel Witsel’s pin-point through-ball and clipped a delightful finish over the onrushing Manuel Neuer to complete the comeback for Dortmund and establish a seven-point lead at the Bundesliga summit.
It was going to take something special for the 176th Revierderby to match last season’s remarkable eight-goal thriller for drama, but the Matchday 31 meeting between the two fierce Ruhr rivals at the Signal Iduna Park was by no means short of excitement.
Visitors Schalke had won just one of their previous 12 league encounters leading up to the game, and their poor form looked set to continue when Mario Götze broke the deadlock inside a quarter of an hour. The Royal Blues rallied, though, battling back to lead 2-1 at half-time before capitalising on second-half dismissals for Reus and Marius Wolf to put a major dent in the hosts’ title hopes and boost their own relegation fears.
Billed as a key clash between two of the Bundesliga’s European hopefuls, Bayer Leverkusen’s game with Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 32 proved to be one of the most thrilling matches in the history of the division. Kai Havertz opened the scoring with Bayer’s earliest league goal since November 2016, but that was just the beginning.
Brandt, Lucas Alario and Charles Aranguiz added further goals before the half-hour mark, before Alario’s second of the game and a Martin Hinteregger own goal made it six for Peter Bosz’s side with just 36 minutes on the clock. Dortmund are the only other Bundesliga club to score six goals after 36 minutes, having done so against rivals Schalke in September 1964.
It was the game that really announced Alcacer to the Bundesliga audience. The Barcelona loanee had already scored three goals across two substitute appearances for Dortmund, but he then stepped it up another notch for his third match in Germany by scoring a hat-trick in a 31-minute cameo from the bench.
Just two minutes after coming on he had Dortmund level at 1-1. Augsburg would strike back though and Alcacer was called upon to equalise again just 18 minutes later before stepping up to take a free-kick in the 96th minute with the score tied once more at 3-3. Such late winners became a trademark of the Spanish striker and helped Dortmund open up an early lead at the top of the Bundesliga table.
Dortmund arrived at the Allianz Arena on Matchday 28 with a two-point cushion over Bayern at the top of the table, but Favre’s side returned home with their tails between their legs following a ruthless first-half display by the record champions in Munich.
Mahmoud Dahoud very nearly gave the visitors the perfect start when he struck the post after just six minutes, but it was one-way traffic thereafter as Bayern raced into a 4-0 lead before half-time. Robert Lewandowski added a fifth late on to lift the Bavarians - who had dropped points at Freiburg the week before - back above BVB in the standings.
Werder’s 16-game unbeaten home run under head coach Florian Kohfeldt ended in spectacular fashion on Matchday 9 as a Havertz-inspired Leverkusen cruised to an astonishing victory at the Weser-Stadion.
The visitors, who had won just two of their opening eight league games, raced into a 3-0 half-time lead thanks to goals from Kevin Volland, Julian Brandt and Karim Bellarabi. Bremen threatened to mount an unlikely comeback in the second half, but a Havertz brace - either side of a Sebastian Langkamp own goal - wrapped up the points for Heiko Herrlich’s side.
Serbian starlet Luka Jovic enjoyed a sensational campaign with Frankfurt, his 17 league goals helping the Eagles soar back into Europe for the second season running. Whatever the 21-year-old goes on to achieve in his career, he is unlikely to forget the Matchday 8 clash with Düsseldorf in a hurry.
Jovic stole the show at the Commerzbank-Arena, channelling his inner Lewandowski to become the youngest player to score five goals in a single Bundesliga game. Sebastien Haller scored a brace and Dodi Lukebakio netted a consolation for Fortuna, but the night belonged to former Benfica man Jovic, who is also the only Eintracht player ever to score five times in a Bundesliga fixture.
As ever, limiting the list of top matches to six proved almost impossible! Here are the best of the rest from the 2018/19 campaign, including a seven-goal thrashing at the Signal Iduna Park, a remarkable comeback at the Allianz Arena and a final-day rout at the Volkswagen Arena!
Dortmund 7-0 Nürnberg - Matchday 5
Leverkusen 2-4 Dortmund - Matchday 6
Bayern 0-3 Gladbach - Matchday 7
Bayern 3-3 Düsseldorf - Matchday 12
Dortmund 3-3 Hoffenheim - Matchday 21
Wolfsburg 8-1 Augsburg - Matchday 34
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