There is no doubt that 2019-2020 was a successful season for Bayern Munich, especially as they have now managed to complete a trophy-winning treble and their dominance has been all the more impressive after going through early upheaval. Take a look at their treble win here.
With Niko Kovac taking the reins last July, the task in hand seemed relatively simple – one that just needed the former Croatian international to carry on the excellent work that had gone on before him and lead Bayern to another Bundesliga title.
However, the task almost seemed too big from the off and with results not going the way the Bavarian outfit would usually expect, many were asking if this great team was reaching the end of its lifecycle.
Had too much been eked out over the previous years and therefore nothing was left in the tank for Kovic to then work with? Perhaps and although that may have been the case in the early phase of the season, his own employment status was not helped by a 5-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.
After a sluggish start to the campaign, that loss was the final straw for the Bayern board and after being shown the Allianz Arena exit door, it meant that Niko Kovac spent just rather five forgettable months in charge of the club.
Of course, with a departure at such an awkward stage of the season, the ability to appoint a world-class replacement was rather diminished and it meant that Hans-Dieter Flick was given the position on a caretaker basis.
An appointment that on the face of it, looked like one that would at least buy the Bayern decision-makers some time and eventually they would draft in someone of the ilk of former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Although at one point it looked like they were becoming a fading force, Hans Dieter-Flick’s arrival meant that you never ever write off this German sporting institution.
Then again, such was the impressive nature of Flick’s management, that the caretaker was eventually given the keys on a permanent basis and you would have to say it is one of the best decisions that Bayern have ever made.
Because, almost overnight Flick put a smile on the faces of the squad that he inherited and after eventually earning an eighth successive Bundesliga crown, it was then doubled up with a win over Bayer Leverkusen in the German Cup Final.
Which meant “Project Treble” was very much on and for that to be completed, it would need a first Champions League success since 2013, while after getting the better of Chelsea in the Round of 16, they would enter the final phase of the tournament in Lisbon.
This meant a Quarter-final pairing with Barcelona and they were nothing short of brutal, as they crushed the Catalan outfit by a staggering eight goals to two and with that warning shot, they moved onto a Semi-final with Lyon.
After breezing past the Ligue 1 outfit, it set up a grandstand final with another and going into the final with Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern were the favourites – a tag that they would eventually live up to, come full time.
Admittedly it may not have been a classic final, as even though there was an abundance of attacking talent on display from both clubs, the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Robert Lewandowski failed to truly shine.
Thankfully for the German giants, their French forward went behind enemy lines and with Kingsley Coman scoring the game’s only goal in the second half, it meant a sixth European crown would be delivered to the city of Munich.
Whether Bayern Munich benefitted from an earlier restart to their own league season after the pandemic-based pause can be argued, but there is no doubt the winning momentum that was created on a domestic league and cup front, assisted their continental aims.
Another thing that arguably played into Bayern Munich’s hands was the straight knockout format for the final seven fixtures of the Champions League and one does wonder if things would have played out differently if the standard two-legged schedule was in operation.
With that said, this has been no usual season both for Bayern Munich and football as a whole and although at one point it looked like they were becoming a fading force, Hans Dieter-Flick’s arrival meant that you never ever write off this German sporting institution.