On an emotional day, three of the league’s key figures – Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, Dortmund's Mats Hummels and Schalke boss Andre Breitenreiter were among those bidding farewell.
In Munich, where Bayern had already wrapped up their fourth consecutive league title, and third under Guardiola, the mood was one of relaxed celebration. A routine 3-1 home win over already-relegated Hannover was topped off with the familiar beer-soaking ritual so beloved of the Bavarian club. Both Manuel Neueur and David Alaba were pictured throwing some suds on their smiling, suited boss, who will be managing Manchester City next season.
"I'm happy. I was a bit shy the first time we did it, but today was better. It’s a shame it was so short," Guardiola told Sky after the match.
The former Barcelona manager, hasn’t always enjoyed the easiest relationship with Bayern fans, but was given a standing ovation by the 75,000-strong crowd before the game, suggesting a fan base grateful for his success. They are likely to be even more grateful if Bayern can add a second German Cup to their haul under Guardiola against Dortmund on Saturday. Guardiola said he enjoyed his goodbye:
"It's been a great day," he said. "Normally games like this are unpleasant and boring, because the concentration is lacking a bit, but that was a great game with lots of intensity.
"Now we'll celebrate for a day before getting ready to play Borussia Dortmund next Saturday."
Not such a fond farewell for Hummels
While Guardiola’s farewell always seemed likely to be a fond one, the same could not be said for Mats Hummels, who will move to the Allianz Arena in the summer.
Dortmund’s fans have not been shy in making their feelings known about their skipper’s desire to move to their rivals in recent weeks, both at games and on social media. But Hummels, who signed for Munich this week, wasn’t booed in the warm up as he had been in Dortmund’s clash with Wolfsburg, suggesting some level of acceptance – or more likely resignation – had taken hold of the fans in yellow and black.
While the reaction from the stands may have been better than Hummels expected, the same couldn’t be on said out on the pitch, where the Dortmund defense and Hummels himself looked unusually shaky as the Bundesliga runners up were held to a 2-2 draw, much to the chagrin of Thomas Tuchel.
For his part, Hummels said he has enjoyed the support of his teammates over the past couple of weeks and was pleased that there were no protests at the game:
“For a long time I’ve been part of the inventory here,” he said. “That, of course, makes you very sentimental about the occasion.
Last hurrah for Breitenreiter
While the departures of Hummels and Guardiola were confirmed before Saturday, there was a further departure that – while perhaps not entirely surprising – came to light shortly before kick off.
Schalke coach Andre Breitenreiter, who has been under pressure for some time now, announced shortly before the game that he would be leaving the club, with Augsburg coach Markus Weinzierl tipped to take over.
The outgoing coach was able to sign off with an emphatic 4-1 away win at Hoffenheim. He isn’t the only person leaving the Royal Blues this summer. Defender Joel Matip is set to join Liverpool and sports director Horst Heldt will also exit.
Although Breitenreiter wasn’t able to live up to expectations at Schalke, who ended up in fifth, his amenable manner has endeared him to many of the club’s fans and he, along with Matip and Heldt, received a standing ovation from travelling fans at the end of the match - gesture that moved Heldt to tears.
Matchday 34 results
Bayern Munich 3-1 Hannover
Dortmund 2-2 Cologne
Mainz 0-0 Hertha Berlin
Wolfsburg 3-1 Stuttgart
Werder Bremen 1-0 Eintracht Frankfurt
Hoffenheim 1-4 Schalke
Leverkusen 3-2 Ingolstadt
Darmstadt 0-2 Gladbach
Augsburg 1-3 Hamburg