Heynckes leaves the Bundesliga in triumphant fashion

Posted by Susie Schaaf

Jupp Heynckes' final Bundesliga match at his hometown club did not go quite as one might expect for Bayern Munich or Borussia Moenchengladbach. Bayern went down two in the first four minutes, and while they'd manage to pull one back in the seventh, the Foals continued to fight, garnering their third of the day just 10 minutes in.

Slowly exerting midfield control, Munich clawed their way back into the match, scoring the fifth goal of the day on 18 minutes before grabbing two additional goals in the second half, ending with a final scoreline of 4-3 for the visitors.

German Bundesliga review

Heynckes fielded his likely Startelf for next Saturday's Champions League final against that other Borussia squad, with Manuel Neuer in goal; a back four of Philipp Lahm, returned from suspension Jerome Boateng, Dante and David Alaba. A beastly Javi Martinez and Bastian Schweinsteiger were holding midfielders; with a front line of Arjen Robben, Thomas Mueller, Bundesliga assists leader Franck Ribery and Mario Mandzukic up top.

After a first-minute free kick that Schweinsteiger nearly delivered to Martinez, Juan Arango whipped a cross in to Martin Stranzl, who headed neatly past Neuer after Boateng and Dante pulled up to plead for offside. Adding insult to injury, 30 seconds later, Dante -- playing for his old team -- misplaced a pass directly to Branimir Hrgota; the starlet catching Mike Hanke, who drove past Neuer.

Borussia woke the slumbering, lackadaisical Bavarian giants as, just three minutes later, Ribery split two defenders to a rushing Martinez; the Spaniard converting past an excellent Marc-Andre ter Stegen for his third goal this season.

Lucien Favre's Fohlen were up for it, however, as Arango again delivered -- this time to Havard Nordtveit, who used the man advantage to slip through Bayern's defense for his first goal of the season.

With Neuer's goals-against record now in doubt, Bayern's Weltklasse midfield started to gain control, and, on just 18 minutes, Mueller would break to the touchline, passing to Ribery, who got past ter Stegen near post.

The half closed out pretty much nothing but Bayern as Boateng, Lahm and Schweinsteiger would all rip over the bar while the midfield attacking trio of Mueller, Robben and Ribery forced multiple saves out of ter Stegen.

The second period started brightly for the visitors, with Ribery scoring the equaliser after a Robben run down the right flank drew all defenders; leaving the Frenchman open at the top of the box for a hammered volley. Not to be outdone, Robben scored the go-ahead -- again on a volley -- after Ribery collected his own rebound, crossing to the waiting Dutchman.

The sides would trade punches, neither really satisfied with their lot, but no more goals would be scored on the day, leaving Heynckes with three points in his final match as a Bundesliga coach.

Most points in a season. Fewest goals conceded in a season. Best Rueckrunde. Best goal differential. Heck, even a record for a Bundesliga match quickest to five goals. Twenty-five records in all. Most every important record now belongs to this 2012-13 Bayern Munich team. They usurped previous Bayern Munich teams, yes, but also pipped a few competitors along the way.

It seems so strange that I'm not more elated over this. I should be, by all rights. Yet there is still much to prove. That being said, I am so very, very privileged to be writing about Bayern Munich this season, for this site. And hopefully, over the next two weeks, I can continue to recount glorious, legendary Bayern Munich football for you all.

And finally, even if nothing else happens? Thank you, Jupp Heynckes, from the very bottom of my very pleased heart. These past 34 Bundesliga matches have been a wonder to behold! My friends have looked at me in jealousy, as I've celebrated relentlessly -- week in and week out. Many "Prost!" Much Bier. A fair amount of Jaegermeister. And the pleasure of watching what might just turn out to be one of the greatest footballing sides ever.

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