As Europe's major leagues wrap up the action of one of the longest seasons of the modern age, the Bundesliga title race was arguably the most enticing storyline.
After ten successive titles for Bayern Munich, the final day set up the prospect of a first Bundesliga crown since 2012 for Borussia Dortmund.
Dortmund entered the final day two points ahead of Bayern, knowing that a win at home against Mainz would secure them a title. Bayern, on the other hand, knew that nothing but a win away to Cologne - and a helping hand from Mainz - would give them the Bundesliga.
Having won their last 11 home games, and with a two point advantage, it looked as though it was all set up for a coronation day for Borussia Dortmund but, on a day of extraordinary drama, the fate of the Bundesliga swung in Bayern's favour, with Dortmund left to wonder how on Earth they had blown their opportunity.
Bundesliga: Bayern win out on dramatic final day
After just 15 minutes, Borussia Dortmund were in trouble. An early goal from Kingsley Coman at Cologne had Bayern ahead, before Andreas Hanche-Olsen gave Mainz the lead in Dortmund.
Minutes later, Sebastien Haller missed the chance to level things up from the spot, before Karim Onisiwo put Mainz 2-0 up, leaving Dortmund's Bundesliga dreams hanging on by a thread.
Things were to swing dramatically in the space of ten second-half minutes, with Raphael Guerreiro pulling one back for BVB with 20 to play, before Bayern were pegged back to 1-1 in Cologne minutes later. Suddenly, despite still trailing 2-1, Dortmund were back in championship position by a single point.
Up stepped 20-year-old Bayern superstar Jamal Musiala who, in the 89th minute, scored to put Bayern back in front, and swing the Bundesliga pendulum back in their favour.
— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) May 27, 2023
Haller would then have an equaliser ruled out in injury time for Borussia Dortmund, before Niklas Sule finally put them on level terms - but, with the goal coming in the 96th minute, it was far too little too late for the Black and Yellow, as they lost out on the title on goal difference to their Bavarian rivals.
Bayern's game had concluded before the conclusion in Dortmund, and incredible footage showed the Bayern players huddled around a phone tracking the score in the other game, before rushing to celebrate with the travelling fans.
Bayern players checking the Dortmund game score before celebrating😭 pic.twitter.com/AgNr6pVyqB
— Sahil (@Criminal__x) May 27, 2023
The final day collapse for Borussia Dortmund means that Bayern are Bundesliga champions for the 11th straight year, and the Westfalenstadion was in disbelief as BVB threw away their best chance in over a decade at taking the trophy back to Dortmund.
Credit to their fans, who continued their vociferous support for the team even after the crushing disappointment of the final day.
"And we will always be Borussia, there is never, never, another club..."pic.twitter.com/BqVju6QiG3
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) May 27, 2023
It's been a long time since we've seen a title decider this dramatic anywhere in Europe, and Borussia Dortmund will surely be wondering if they will have a better chance at breaking Bayern Munich's Bundesliga dominance again in the coming years.
For Bayern, their league triumph has salvaged what could have turned out to be a disastrous season, with a comfortable Champions League quarter-final defeat and German cup exit following the sacking of Julian Nagelsmann as manager in March.