Philipp Lahm said Bayern Munich “always believed [they] could turn the game around” as the Bundesliga champions produced a dramatic last-gasp fightback, winning a nine-goal thriller 5-4 against nearest challengers RB Leipzig.
Bayern started slowly and fell behind after only 65 seconds to Marcel Sabitzer’s header from a rapid counterattack. Robert Lewandowski calmly restored parity from the spot on 17 minutes, before Leipzig retook the lead with a penalty of their own from Timo Werner.
Yussuf Poulsen’s deflected shot put Leipzig 3-1 up two minutes after the restart, before Thiago reduced the arrears on the hour-mark with a close range header. The impressive Werner restored Leipzig’s two-goal advantage five minutes later.
Just when all seemed lost, Lewandowski’s header gave Bayern some hope on 84 minutes, before David Alaba drew Bayern level with a sublime free kick in the first minute of added time.
And then Arjen Robben waltzed his way through the Leipzig defence before firing home a trademark left-foot finish to crown an amazing Bayern fightback with virtually the last kick of the match.
“It was a real end-to-end game, especially in the first half,” Lahm told Sky Deutschland. “You get games like this when there’s absolutely no balance between attack and defence.
“Of course, it was a nice game for the crowd with lots of chances and goals, but for a team like us who pride ourselves on playing structured ball-possession football, with a compact and aggressive defence, you could see we were already a little on our summer break.
“We were tickled into action by Leipzig going two goals ahead, but we always believed we could turn the game around. We stepped on the gas after falling behind and tried to win the game.”
Bayern substitute Thomas Muller echoed his captain’s sentiment, saying: “We badly wanted it and showed great morale.”
Lahm, who will retire after Bayern’s final game of the season next Saturday against Freiburg, expects Leipzig to become worthy rivals for the Bavarians in years to come.
“It’s looking good for Leipzig, they have a genuine concept which they are putting into action and also great faith in it,” he said. “As a result, they are deservedly so high up in the table.”
Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti called the match an “absolutely crazy game.”
“It was a very open game, just like we expected,” he said. “Leipzig started strongly, but we were the better team towards the end. There was some very attacking football. We could have done better defensively.”
“Leipzig have been a fantastic rival this season. “They have played surprisingly well. But it is just the start of a great era for them. They have some young players and are very motivated.
“They are playing Champions League football next term and that will be a great experience. Both teams have achieved their goal this Bundesliga season.”