By 90Min
November 03, 2019

Djurgårdens IF won the Swedish Allsvenskan title by a single point in the most exciting title race the division has ever seen, and indeed Europe may have witnessed for many, many years.

Needing just a point from their final fixture to secure the crown, the Stockholm-based side found themselves two goals down against IFK Norrköping before rallying to level matters in the second half against the ten-man outfit. That, however, doesn't tell the whole story.

Much like last season's slugfest between Manchester City and Liverpool, it has been a hotly fought contest at the summit of the Swedish league - only this time it involved three sides.

Djurgården, Malmö FF and Hammarby had been neck-and-neck for the vast majority of the season, only dropping points in four of the last 24 games contested collectively heading into the final day of the season.

On matchday 28, the table was even more precarious, with four sides level on 59 points in the closest title battle the division has ever seen. Furthermore, the goals difference of each side was almost identical, leaving no margins for mistakes in the quest for superiority.

Eventually, Malmö removed AIK from proceedings on the penultimate matchday, while Hammarby scraped a narrow win away at Arsenal's previous tormentors Östersunds FK, and Djurgården saw off Örebro comfortably.


What transpired was a final day shootout in which any one of three sides could claim the Allsvenskan title.


For Djurgården the task was simple, avoid defeat away at the side fifth in the table - by no means an easy task - and a first league title sine 2005 would go by the way of Kim Bergstrand and Thomas Lagerlöf's men.

In the case of Malmö, an away trip to Örebro awaited them, knowing full and well victory was the least they needed to do if they were to stand a chance of securing a third league crown in five years. Hammarby, meanwhile, had the same task-sheet, although an inferior goals difference to Malmö's made the challenge ever greater.

Michael Campanella/GettyImages

The chasing pack did what was required of them. Claiming comprehensive victories over their opponents and leaving everything in the hands of Djurgården, it was up to the Stockholm side (who share a stadium with Hammarby) to banish the ghosts that have hung heavy over the club since they last won a title 15 years ago.

Their pain looked destined to carry on after just 14 minutes.

Norrköping found the back of the net with their only two shots to spark jubilant scenes among the Hammarby and Malmö fans.

A rollicking of the highest order ensued, no doubt, as Djurgården came out in the second half a different animal, finding the two goals required to remain top of the pile by single point. But not without immense drama, however, in one of the most remarkable finishes to a league season that Europe has seen for some time.

And quite likely the most exhilarating Sweden will ever see.

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