Ajax and Bayern Munich played out an exciting 3-3 draw in Amsterdam, as the German side confirmed top spot in Group E of the Champions League, with their Dutch counterparts finishing second.
After a frantic start from both sides, Bayern took the lead at the Johan Cruyff Arena after only 13 minutes, as Robert Lewandowski latched onto Serge Gnabry's through-ball, before finishing past an onrushing Andre Onana for his seventh Champions League goal of the season.
Ajax responded well after conceding, as they did in the reverse fixture in October, and felt they should've been awarded a penalty following Jerome Boateng's clumsy challenge on Daley Blind, although referee Clement Turpin gave nothing.
Despite their attacking endeavour, the hosts had Onana to thank for keeping them in the game
at half-time, as the goalkeeper produced a point-blank save to deny Lewandowski a second, before Joshua Kimmich fired the rebound over while under pressure from Matthijs de Ligt.
The Dutch side began the second period on the front foot, with their efforts being rewarded in the 61st minute, as Dusan Tadic tapped in Donny van de Beek's low cross after some nice buildup play from the hosts.
Onana was then on hand just five minutes later to keep Ajax on level terms with a stunning save to palm away Lewandowski's close-range header out, before both sides were then reduced to ten men, firstly Maximilian Wober for Ajax in the 67th minute for a bad challenge on Leon Goretzka, and Thomas Muller saw red as well in the 75th minute for a high foot on Nicolas Tagliafico.
Ajax then took the lead in the 82nd minute, as Tadic netted his second of the game from the spot, following a rash challenge from Boateng on Kasper Dolberg. However a Lewandowski penalty just five minutes later after a foul on Thiago, and Kingsley Coman's finish in the 90th minute looked to have secured the win for Bayern.
A Sule own-goal in the 95th minute then set up a frenetic final few moments in the game, however Niko Kovac's side held on to the point to seal the top spot in Group E.
Key Talking Point
Niko Kovac's side certainly rode their luck in Amsterdam, as Die Roten were on the cusp of finishing second in the group, bringing with it all the difficulties of facing the top seeds from the other groups.
To their credit however, the Bundesliga side got the job done with moments of quality from their talented squad, namely Lewandowski and Coman, to confirm top spot in Group E. Although some of their defending will give their future opponents in the last 16 plenty of encouragement.
Starting XI: Neuer (6); Rafinha (6), Boateng (5), Sule (6), Alaba (6); Kimmich (6), Goretzka (6), Gnabry (8), Muller (7), Ribery (7); Lewandowski (9*).
Substitutes: Thiago (7), Coman (7), Sanches (6).
Lewandowski took his tally in the Champions League this season to eight with two important goals against Ajax to help Bayern through to the last 16 as group winners.
His first finish was well taken in the early stages of the game, while he coolly dispatched his penalty with the pressure on in the final five minutes, proving why he's one of Europe's most-feared marksman.
Robert Lewandowski has eight goals in this season's Champions League group stages.— bet365 (@bet365) December 12, 2018
That would have been enough to finish as top scorer in nine different seasons.
Jerome Boateng looked like a shadow of his former self, as the German defender almost gave a penalty away in the first half, before the experienced centre-back produced a rash challenge in the second period to give Ajax a spot-kick late into the second half that almost cost Bayern top spot in the group.
I have never seen a more brainless defender than Jerome Boateng. No wonder his team wanted to sell him back in the summer— Nol (@Nolpanduri) December 12, 2018
Jerome Boateng's timing in the tackle miles off. His poor form continues. Worrying dip for a player that was once amongst the best in the world in his position.— Jonathan Harding (@JonBloggs66) December 12, 2018
Player Ratings: Onana (8*); Mazraoui (6), De Ligt (6), Wober (5), Tagliafico (5); De Jong (6), Blind (6), Van De Beek (7); Ziyech (7), Tadic (7), Neres (6).
Substitutes: Dolberg (6), Huntelaar (6).
Ajax host De Graafshap this weekend when they return to Eredivise action, while Bayern Munich are away to Hannover 96 as they look to keep in touch with sides at the top of the Bundesliga.
Both sides will be watching the Champions League round of 16 draw this coming Monday in Nyon, Switzerland which takes place at 11am (GMT), with the first leg of those games set to take place in February of next year.