The Team: Bayern Munich 1974

Bayern Munich under the great Udo Lattek were reigning back-to-back Bundesliga champions after winning successive titles in 1972 and 1973.

The 73/74 season however was one where they would take their domestic success into Europe and begin a dominant period as the best team on the continent.

Four wins and a draw from the first five games of the season saw Bayern in the driving seat for their third successive Bundesliga success but a dramatic 5-5 draw at Schalke where Bayern came back from three goals down on three separate occasions (with Gerd Muller scoring four) started off a winless run of five matches with Munich taking only five points from seven games which included a 7-4 loss against Kaiserslauten.

That defeat though spurred Bayern on to five wins and a draw before the West German Christmas break with a famous 4-3 win over Borussia Monchengladbach at the Olimpiastadion in front of 65,000.

In the Cups, Bayern had reached the Quarter Finals of both the DFB Pokal and European Cups having beat East German league winners Dynamo Dresden in the last sixteen of the Champions Cup to set up a tie against CSKA Sofia.

Munich started the new year with a 4-2 defeat against Fortuna Dusseldorf back in the league but it would be the last Bundesliga loss until a meaningless last match humiliation at Monchengladbach.

With the likes of Gerd Muller, Franz Beckenbauer and Uli Hoeness all hitting top form Bayern recorded five straight league wins in January and February also seeing off Hannover in the Cup.

In March a 1-1 draw against Werder Bremen was followed by a 4-1 win against CSKA Sofia in the European Cup and a 5-1 win against Hannover before another score draw at the useful Eintracht Frankfurt. Bayern lost 2-1 in Sofia during the second leg but easily qualified for a semi-final against Hungarians Upsesti Dozsa and ended the month with convincing league wins against Koln and Duisburg.

In a packed April Bayern started with a one all draw against Kaiserslauten before being held in Hungary by the same scoreline. In the semi-final of the DFB Pokal Munich lost 3-2 in a thrilling game against Frankfurt with a 90th minute winner coming from the spot. Another 1-1 draw against Stuttgart left the side without a win in four going in to the second leg semi-final against Upjest but one of the performances of the season saw Bayern comfortable 3-0 winners with goals from Conny Torstensen, Gerd Muller and an OG crowning off a memorable night in front of over 70,000.

That result gave Latek’s men a timely boost going in to the final four games of the season with Bayern winning the next three without conceding to tie up the title.

Bayern faced Atletico Madrid in the final of the European Cup in what would be a real opportunity for both teams to win the prestige trophy for the first time. In a nervy final the game would go in to extra time before Atletico scored a likely winner through Aragones. Bayern defender Georg Schwarzenbeck had other ideas and tied the match with a long range drive. Munich would play a replay two days later and two goals each from Uli Hoeness and Gerd Muller saw the Bavarians lift the cup for the first time en-route to what would be three back to back European Cup successes. No team has since achieved that feat.

Remarkably, a day after that replay win against Atletico Bayern faced Borussia Monchengladbach in their last league game of the season. No surprises Bayern lost 5-0 in what was a match that left Borussia a point behind Munich. Monvchengladbach would go on to win the next three Bundesliga but in Europe, it was Bayern that would dominate as they became treble Champions Cup holders with a team famous for attacking football and for never giving up.

One of the great teams and one that featured a world class defence with Sepp Maier in goal Paul Breitner at left back and Beckenbauer as captain, one that always scored goals, netting in all but their last of 48 matches that season. One that included seven players that would go on to lift the World Cup for West Germany later that summer. A real football team with real pedigree and one that will always be remembered for what they achieved in a golden age of Bayern Munich at their best.

Sepp Maier – Johnny Hansen, Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck, Franz Beckenbauer, Paul Breitner – Franz Roth, Rainer Zobel, Jupp Kapellmann – Uli Hoeness, Gerd Muller, Conny Torstensen

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