Opinion: The exciting season the Bundesliga needed | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 18.05.2019
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Opinion: The exciting season the Bundesliga needed

The Bundesliga season is over, and although Bayern Munich have won the title for the seventh consecutive time, DW's Jonathan Harding thinks this has still been a season for the ages.

It took until the last 30 minutes of the final game of the season to know who was going to win the Bundesliga title. Much like Borussia Dortmund's dramatic and exhilarating 3-2 win over Bayern in November last year was exactly the game the league needed, this season delivered almost everything right when it needed to. Granted, some might have hoped for a different winner than the last six years but the drama and the stories that the 2018-19 Bundesliga campaign delivered were exciting. It was, quite simply, a thrilling season.

Borussia Dortmund played better than many expected, while Bayern Munich played worse. The combination of the two made for a thrilling title race. Dortmund raced clear, Bayern hauled them in. Whenever that wonderful Bundesliga trophy, the salad bowl, came within touching distance, the pressure got too great. Either the young side buckled or the young head coach over thought it. Everything about this title race has been dramatic. Bayern Munich's extraordinary press conference, the arrival of Jadon Sancho's electric performance, the pair's inexplicably poor results against the bottom four clubs. There have been endless plotlines and dramatic episodes, and while there is always a story to be found in every season, the backdrop of a title raced undoubtedly enhances the drama of it all.

Deutsche Welle Englisch Fußball Jonathan Harding (DW/P.Henriksen)

DW's Jonathan Harding

It has been quite the season for the Bundesliga too. Florian Kohfeldt, coach of the year, took Werder Bremen on an endearing charge up the table that narrowly fell short of a European spot. Newly-promoted Fortuna Düsseldorf put in a strong claim for surprise of the season with a midtable finish, while Sandro Schwarz made Mainz the hardest side to predict. Books will be written about the magic that Christian Streich continues to cast in Freiburg. How they avoided the drop again is beyond logic. Schalke's season read like a great Shakespearian tragedy, save for the darkest of finishes. Then there was Frankfurt and Adi Hütter, whose European adventure perhaps laid shadow to what was a really impressive league campaign - one that only just finished in a European spot after a thrilling race to finish in the top seven on the final day that saw Wolfsburg put eight past Augsburg.

Speaking of goals, remember when Dortmund put seven past Nuremberg, or when Luka Jovic scored five against Fortuna? That Dodi Lukebakio hat trick in Munich, Mainz scoring five against Freiburg having had five shots on target and just 33 percent of the ball. The VAR decisions enraged, particularly how offside is offside and what is a handball? The end of the 'Robbery' era, the shots off the woodwork, the comebacks, Claudio Pizarro's seemingly immortal talent (he even scored the winner against RB Leipzig on the final day) - it was all there.

After Bayern's seventh consecutive title win, there will be conversations about the health of this league. The question will once again ring around the timelines of social media platforms: how competitive is the Bundesliga? That is a question for another day. Today was about recognizing just how exciting, how fun this season has been. Quite frankly, there's not much more you can ask for than that.

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