BERLIN (Reuters) - When Jupp Heynckes came out of retirement in October to take over at German champions Bayern Munich after the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti few would have forecast such a dominant run for the side.
Bayern beat Augsburg 4-1 on Saturday to secure their sixth consecutive Bundesliga title with five games to spare and stay on track for another treble-winning season, just like in 2013 when they were also coached by Heynckes.
The 72-year-old, who retired after that treble success, returned at the request of Bayern bosses and good friends Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge after Italian Ancelotti departed with the team in dire need of consistency.
They had just lost 3-0 at Paris St Germain and had drawn two games in a row in the Bundesliga to see Borussia Dortmund take charge of the title race after their fine start.
Heynckes wasted little time delivering in his fourth coaching stint at the club.
Bayern have since won every Champions League and German Cup game as well as 18 out 21 Bundesliga matches going into Saturday’s game as Heynckes turned Ancelotti’s stuttering engine into a well-oiled machine hunting three titles.
One of his first decisions was to bring back local hero Thomas Mueller into the starting lineup after he had fallen out of favour with the Italian.
The attacking midfielder has since become invaluable once more, netting seven times so far in the Bundesliga.
Possession and a quick passing game, combined with high pressing and quick breaks, saw Bayern outplay every domestic opponent as they raced past Dortmund once Heynckes took over.
They underscored their dominance by crushing Dortmund 6-0 last week in an impressive display of attacking power.
They could have matched Bayern’s fastest championship win — under Pep Guardiola in 2014 — but a slip-up against RB Leipzig meant they had to postpone the celebrations.
Their 2-1 victory at Sevilla in the Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday gives them the upper hand to secure a place in the last four and that will be followed by a German Cup semi-final against Bayer Leverkusen.
With Heynckes having made it clear he will leave again at the end of the season, Bayern have the unenviable task of finding a successor.
Several names have been linked with the club and Rummenigge has said the new coach will be announced this month.
But Heynckes, as he did with Guardiola, could leave his successor with the virtually impossible task of matching a stellar season before heading into another retirement sunset.
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris and Clare Fallon