Niko Kovac says Bayern Munich's 5-0 drubbing of Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 28 was the moment he knew the defending champions would go on to lift their seventh successive title Bundesliga title.
Bayern had lost 3-2 in Dortmund earlier in the season and at their lowest point trailed BVB by nine points, but they swept aside the Black-Yellows at the Allianz Arena to move a point clear of their nearest rivals at the top of the Bundesliga standings and regain control of the title race with six games to go.
And while Kovac's side had to wait until the final day to seal the deal - Bayern thrashed Eintracht Frankfurt 5-1 on Matchday 34 - he has told Germany daily Sports Bild that the Dortmund rout was decisive.
"It was an explosion, you could see it in the way I was jumping up and down in celebration," the 47-year-old recalled. "It was our best game of the season, our signal of intent to Dortmund, the Bundesliga and ourselves. From that moment it was clear: the title's only coming back to us, to Bayern Munich!"
Watch: Highlights of Bayern's 5-0 victory over Dortmund in Der Klassiker
Bayern won four of their next six, drawing the other two, to claim their 28th Bundesliga title. The record champions finished two points clear of Dortmund in the end, and can make it a domestic double with victory over RB Leipzig - who finished third in the Bundesliga this season - in Saturday's DFB Cup final in Berlin.
It's a competition Kovac knows well. He steered former club Frankfurt to the final in 2016/17, and went one better the following season as the Eagles recorded a shock 3-1 win over Bayern. The Croatian also lifted the trophy as a Bayern player in 2002/03.
"Last year I was allowed to see what it means to be in the final," Kovac said. "You cannot underestimate anyone. And we won’t. We're champions, and we know that Leipzig are a great team.
"It's going to be a really tight game. We'll have to play to our limit."