Bayern Munich sealed their place in the DFB Pokal final after a scintillating 3-2 victory over Werder Bremen in their semi final clash at the Westerstadion on Wednesday night.
Having met just four days ago in a Bundesliga game that Bayern dominated, it was in fact the home side who started on the front foot, moving the ball across the pitch with pace and posing a repeated threat in the final third.
The hosts' attacking prowess continued to show but Davy Klaassen could only blaze an effort over the bar at the near post following good work down the byline from Milot Rashica. Despite Bremen having the better opportunities, it was Die Roten who struck first 36 minutes in.
Jerome Boateng's cross-field pass was kept alive by Thomas Muller, whose looping header hit the far post and fell kindly for Robert Lewandowski to tap home.
In a first half full of chances for both sides, it was the visitors who looked the more likely to extend their lead as Kingsley Coman was denied by the quick reactions of Jiri Pavlenka.
Their dominance paid off on 63 minutes as Muller controlled Leon Goretzka's shot and his excellent side footed finish was too strong for Pavlenka, nestling in the top corner.
However, in an astonishing turnaround when the game looked finished, the home side struck twice inside two minutes through Yuya Osako and Rashica's brilliant solo goal to stun the visiting side.
The show was not over there though, as drama continued to unfold. Coman was adjudged to have been fouled in the box with the referee awarding the spot kick, a decision VAR reaffirmed to put Bayern back in control.
It was backs against the walls stuff for the visitors from the remaining ten minutes, but they held on to book a DFB final date with RB Leipzig.
Starting XI: Pavlenka (6); Gebre Selassie (6), Veljkovic (7), Moisander (7), Augustinsson (7); Eggestein (7), Mohwald (7), Klaassen (6); Kruse (7), Rashica (8), Osako (7)
Substitutes: Pizarro (6), Eggestein (N/A), Harnik (N/A)
Key Talking Point
After a start to the season that was well below the standard set by the Bundesliga giants, Niko Kovac has turned things around with Bayern and put them on course for a league and cup double.
In a pulsating first half full of chances, this semi final clash could have gone either way, with Die Roten relieved to see a combination of wayward finishing and poor decision making keeping them in the tie. They had chances of their own, mind, with Muller's improvised finish floating just past the post.
The deadlock was broken soon after though as a certain Polish frontman capitalised on some poor goalkeeping to edge his side in front with ten minutes left of the half. Then Muller seemingly wrapped up the win with a well taken finish before the game turned on its head.
A quick-fire double from the hosts stunned everyone before VAR got involved to confirm the referee's initial decision to award Bayern a penalty, an opportunity Lewandowksi didn't refuse.
It was end-to-end, it was full of chances, and it was a cracking game. Kovac will not care one jot, however, as Bayern stay on course for a league and cup double.
Starting XI: Ulreich (7); Kimmich (6), Hummels (7), Boateng (7), Alaba (8*); Martinez (6), Thiago (5), Coman (7), Muller (8), Gnabry (7); Lewandowski (8)
Substitutes: Goretzka (7), Rafinha (N/A), Rodriguez (N/A)
STAR MAN - Austrian full back David Alaba's future in Bavaria looks bleak at Bayern after the club obliterated their transfer record to sign Lucas Hernandez from Atletico Madrid for £72m.
That said, the 26-year-old was a constant menace down the left hand side for the visitors, overlapping at every opportunity and even registering a few efforts during the game.
There will surely be plenty of suitors waiting in the wings for the versatile man, should Hernandez become the club's regular left back.
Werder Bremen return to Bundesliga action as they travel to the Merkur Spiel-Arena to take on Fortuna Dusseldorf on Saturday afternoon.
It's a return to nail biting league action for Bayern Munich as they look to continue their surge towards to the league title when they take on Nurnberg at the Max-Morlock-Stadion on Sunday.