Reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich maintained their perfect start to the new season by securing a 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen, a side who have now suffered three consecutive defeats in 2018/19.
The game was filled with drama right from the outset, with the visitors being awarded a penalty within just two minutes. Kevin Volland saw his spot-kick saved by Manuel Neuer, but when Leverkusen were instructed to retake the penalty, defender Wendell made no mistake from 12 yards.
Niko Kovač's side were behind for just a matter of moments, however, thanks to a classy finish from Corentin Tolisso which rounded off a frantic opening 10 minutes.
Veteran winger Arjen Robben then popped up with a goal of the month contender to restore the balance in Bavaria, pouncing on a loose clearance and volleying a thunderous strike into the top corner of Lukáš Hrádecký's goal.
An injury to Corentin Tolisso threatened to overshadow Bayern Munich's performance, but once Leverkusen substitute Karim Bellarabi was sent off for a late tackle on Rafinha, James Rodríguez crowned the performance with a brilliant header in the second half to help return the hosts to the top of the Bundesliga table.
Key Talking Point
A Bayern Munich turnaround is hardly anything new for fans at the Allianz Arena, but there was something about Saturday's quickfire comeback which felt different. Usually, there is a sense of inevitability for Bayern Munich and their opponents.
But the Reds showed a ruthlessness that has often been lacking over the last few years in the Bundesliga, and something which often seeps into the latter stages of their journey in the Champions League.
What's more, Bayern Munich weren't satisfied with their narrow lead and constantly kept Bayer Leverkusen under pressure throughout the match, opting to try and kill off the match instead of parking the Bavarian bus.
Neuer (7) Kimmich (7) Boateng (7) Süle (8) Rafinha (6) Thiago (7) Tolisso (7) Robben (8*) Müller (7) Gnabry (7) Lewandowski (6).
Substitutes: James (7) Martinez (7) Alaba (7)
Rumour has it that the phrase 'age is just a number' was invented as a way of describing Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben.
The 34-year-old is certainly entering the twilight stages of his career, but Robben showcased brilliantly exactly why he is still an invaluable part of this current squad - especially while Kingsley Coman is absent with injury.
Robben aging like fine wine 🍷— BAYERN SQUAD 🇩🇪 (@FCBayernSquad) September 15, 2018
Arjen Robben will be scoring worldies at age 51. That left foot will never quit— Alex Barilaro (@Alex_Barra12) September 15, 2018
Kovac made Robben better, he looks less finished than he did last season— Klarenc🇦🇱 (@RenatoSZN) September 13, 2018
The Dutchman scored a stunning goal in the first half which proved to be decisive, but it was the veteran forward's work rate which really stood out at the Allianz Arena.
Although Leverkusen's Tin Jedvaj was arguably their biggest liability in defence, left back Wendell just couldn't match Robben on Saturday, and the Brazilian was often left isolated when Joshua Kimmich overlapped.
Although there are no stand out contenders for Bayern Munich, once again fans have been left disappointed by the overall contribution of Robert Lewandowski.
The Poland international was selfless throughout the game, but after impressing with his movement and link up play in the first half, Lewandowski started to throw his toys out the pram after the break.
Despite still being the only real marquee striker in the Bundesliga, Lewandowski hasn't been at his best so far this season, and the 30-year-old appears to still be upset about not being allowed to leave the club during the summer.
Hrádecký (6) Jedvaj (5) L. Bender (5) Tah (6) Dragović (6) Wendell (6) Havertz (6) S. Bender (6) Kohr (7) Volland (5) Bailey (6).
Substitutes: Brandt (6) Bellarabi (2) Paulinho (N/A)
Leon Bailey, and others, will surely be leaving Bayer Leverkusen next summer at the latest. They’re a right mess.— Takeshi Kovacs (@Guinnesszoon) September 15, 2018
Bayern Munich will now turn their attention to European action with a trip to Benfica's Estádio da Luz on the cards for Tuesday evening, and things won't get any easier when Bundesliga football returns as the Reds travel to face Schalke 04.
Bayer Leverkusen, still without a point this season, face Bulgarian giants Ludogorets in the Europa League before hosting Mainz 05 next week.