What a season!

Records, titles and tears of joy

48 competitive matches, 113 goals and a total of 18,556 kilometres clocked up – not even counting those our players have run on the pitch - and two titles at the end! While a few pundits in Austria doubted at the start of the 2021/22 season whether our boys had enough quality to retain the title, our successful coach Matthias Jaissle led his charges back to the Austrian Bundesliga summit this season – taking an UNIQA ÖFB Cup win and making the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League to boot! Now it's time to take a look back at this historic season:

Unstoppable title charge

The start of our league campaign brought a good idea of the tone of the rest of the incredible season. Our young side started their first match in their mission to take a ninth successive league title with an average age of 23.3 years away at Sturm Graz. We successfully completed the season's first challenge, which saw VAR used in the Austrian top flight for the first time, with double goalscoring Karim Adeyemi and the force of nature that is Rasmus Kristensen leading the way. Those two players went on to leave a big mark on our season as it progressed. Our 3-1 comeback win showed the kind of mentality and fitness that would serve us very well. Our boys scored two goals in the final 15 minutes on the season's opening day, with another 29 late goals following!


We continued our tremendous start by taking another nine wins in a row, including what would be our biggest win of the season - a 7-1 triumph over Ried in the second match of the season. Our Red Bulls dropped points at newly promoted Altach in the eleventh match of the season, but that did not dampen their unstoppable momentum. We took a comfortable nine-point cushion into the champions' group after the points were divided …

… and we took a big three points in our first match of that stage of the season. Max Wöber scored the winner against Sturm Graz to keep our closest rivals well behind us. Our boys then took the title home in superb style - with four matches to go, a stunning 5-0 win against Austria Vienna saw us seal our ninth title in a row!

1 FC Red Bull Salzburg RBSFC Red Bull Salzburg 32 77:19 52  
2 SK Puntigamer Sturm Graz STUSK Puntigamer Sturm Graz 32 62:46 37  
3 FK Austria Wien FAKFK Austria Wien 32 44:39 29  
4 RZ Pellets WAC WACRZ Pellets WAC 32 48:53 28  
5 SK Rapid Wien SCRSK Rapid Wien 32 48:45 25  
6 SK Austria Klagenfurt SKASK Austria Klagenfurt 32 43:57 21  

Double winners, double winners, hey, hey!

The UNIQA ÖFB Cup also came home to Salzburg again. We took a comfortable 4-1 win in Wels against a bold Hertha side, before Jaissle's boys saw off Kalsdorf 8-0. Wins over St. Pölten (3-0) and LASK (3-1) took us into the semi-final, where we had the toughest encounter of our cup campaign. We needed a penalty shoot-out to see off a brave Wolfsberg side, with King Köhn saving our double dreams!


"Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, we're going to Klagenfurt," were the chants heard from our end after those penalty heroics. By the time 1 May had come around, these changed to "We've get them both - league and cup".  We had plenty of reason to be in full voice too, as Luka Sucic capped a splendid spring by slotting our Goal of the Season into the top corner, before Max Wöber and cup top scorer Benji Sesko sealed it!

Onto football's biggest stage

The most special nights of the year were undoubtedly those accompanied by the sweet sounds of the UEFA Champions League anthem. We silenced an intimidating atmosphere in Bröndby before the luck of the draw put us in a fantastic group with French champions Lille, Xaver Schlager's Wolfsburg and the European experts - in both the Champions League and UEFA Europa League - of FC Sevilla.

Our Red Bulls immediately felt what it meant to rub shoulders with the European elite. After getting three penalties in our first tie and spending 40 minutes with an extra man, a 1-1 draw in the south of Spain left us hungry for more - and expecting more with our ambitions lifted after two third-placed group finishes in recent seasons. Karim Adeyemi & Co went on to show that they were capable of delivering too with incredible wins against Lille and Wolfsburg at a packed Red Bull Arena!

It wasn't the way we planned it, but our failure to secure our spot in the last 16 in away ties in Wolfsburg and Lille brought everything down to a crucial final day meeting with Sevilla. We were raring to tear into them at our home fortress, even though the fans had to make do with following the tie on their sofas due to the pandemic. Adeyemi found Okafor and the rest was ecstatic history as an Austrian club made the last 16 for the first time! 

Things got even more exciting  as the draw set up a reunion with Sadio Mane and Naby Keita in Salzburg! Or maybe not, as a blooper during the draw meant it had to be repeated. At the second time of asking, our opponents became Bayern Munich. In front of an electric atmosphere we delivered perhaps the most immense performance of our campaign. We were within seconds of pulling off a major shock but Bayern managed to smash a late goal in for 1-1. It all came down to our second meeting in Munich, but we were left with not a sausage of a chance at the German champions.

Hungry for more…

Despite the disappointing end, the positive memories of our European journey went on. We will be back for more too this autumn! We will be gunning for domestic success again too. While we have had to bid Adeyemi and others farewell as they brave the wider world of top football, the next Karims, Brendens and Jeromes are eagerly awaiting their chance. Enjoy the summer - and let's all look forward to the new season!

89 days until the UEFA Champions League draw