Bayern Munich had a subpar season by its own lofty standards, but it still had enough to win the Bundesliga title again.
Bayern Munich clinched the title with an overwhelming 5-1 win overEintracht Frankfurt at the Allianz Arena on Saturday, winning a seventh straight domestic league title and a record 29th of all time, giving the club 20 more than the next closest side (Nurnberg). This was far from a wire-to-wire job from seasons past, with Bayern needing to overcome a Borussia Dortmund side that, up until February, looked like the more likely of the two to win it and end Bayern's reign.
Dortmund drew three straight games to open February, though, and a loss to Augsburg confirmed the club's slide. An emphatic 5-0 loss to Bayern gave the champions the upper-hand for good, and further Dortmund results vs. rival Schalke and Werder Bremen sealed BVB's fate. At the same time, Bayern finally found its best domestic form. The club went unbeaten in 14 after a Feb. 2 loss to Bayer Leverkusen, going on an 11-0-3 run to polish off the championship, though it allowed things to go to the final day by failing to beat RB Leipzig last week with the chance to clinch.
While it will be celebrated in Munich–and for first-year manager Niko Kovac, who beat his former team to clinch the title, it is a bright accomplishment–there's a clear eye turned to the future and the bigger goals of returning to Champions League glory after the club bowed out in the round of 16 vs. Liverpool this season. Veterans like Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are on the way out, and 30-year-old center backs Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels could be as well. The club already has agreements with France World Cup-winning defenders Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez to arrive in what figures to be a busy summer of additions for the club.
The future of Robert Lewandowski, the club's and Bundesliga's leading scorer with 22 goals, also will come into focus, ahead of another summer of transfer rumors and outside interest. James Rodriguez's two-year loan from Real Madrid is set to end as well, and the club will decide whether it wants to purchase him outright or send him back to the Spanish capital, the latter of which has been most recently reported.
For now, Bayern's focus is on recognizing its latest domestic success and looking for one more before the summer hits. Bayern will look to win another trophy when it faces RB Leipzig in Berlin in the final of the DFB Pokal on May 25.