Fresh off his Best Men’s Player award, striker Robert Lewandowski’s last-gasp effort sent German champions Bayern Munich to the top of the table and brought an end to Bayer Leverkusen’s unbeaten Bundesliga record this season with a 2-1 defeat.
Bayern were caught napping by the hosts with a short corner which striker Patrik Schick brilliantly volleyed in off of Nadiem Amiri’s inviting cross beyond a motionless Manuel Neuer to take the lead 14 minutes in.
The visitors had to bring in Leory Sane just after the half hour mark for the injured Kingsley Coman after Schick’s second goal was ruled out for offside.
Lewandowski celebrated being crowned Best FIFA Men’s Player for 2020 this week by taking advantage to head into an empty net following a mix-up between centre back Jonathan Tah and goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky in trying to handle Thomas Muller’s cross two minutes before the break.
The chance of another free header came Lewandowski’s way but it went over the crossbar as Hansi Flick’s charges finished the first half strongly.
Defensive midfielder Amiri stung Neuer’s palms with a powerful drive and, at the other end, Hradecky superbly tipped Serge Gnabry’s shot around the post as both sides pushed for a second goal.
Substitute midfielder Joshua Kimmich made his return from injury in a double change that saw substitute Sane withdrawn, the winger looking understandably unimpressed to be hauled off midway through the second half for Jamal Musiala.
Midfielder Musiala struck an upright with a measured right-foot shot from the edge of the area before a dramatic final twist. Fellow midfielder Kimmich pounced on Tah’s heavy touch and fed Lewandowski, who drilled home with the aid of a deflection to give the champions the win at the death.
There will be no matches in the Bundesliga until next year. Bayern’s first assignment of 2021 will be a home tie against Mainz on Sunday, January 3, while Leverkusen start the new year with a trip to Eintracht Frankfurt a day earlier.