Bayern Munich had to come from behind to secure a win against second division side VfL Bochum, with late goals from Serge Gnabry and Thomas Müller sending the reigning champions into the next round of the DFB-Pokal.
There could have been a David vs Goliath feel to the match at the Ruhrstadion, but Bochum matched Bayern Munich punch for punch and could have even taken the lead inside the first minute.
Die Unabsteigbaren missed their chance at the start of the match, but the hosts were gifted a deserved lead when makeshift left-back Alphonso Davies turned Danny Blum's cross into the back of his own net.
Bayern Munich introduced Robert Lewandowski and Philippe Coutinho as they looked to turn the game on its head, but chances still came few and far between, while Blum almost caught Manuel Neuer off guard with a stunning shot from his own half.
The visitors eventually made Bochum pay for their missed chances when Serge Gnabry volleyed the ball into the back of the net from close range, while Armel Bella-Kotchap's late red card put a win for Bayern Munich in sight.
Thomas Müller then completed the turnaround in the last minute of the match to see Bayern Munich through, but it was a far from convincing performance in what will go down as one of the classic cup matches of the season.
Riemann (7); Celozzi (6), Decarli (7), Bella-Kotchap (8), Soares (7); Losilla (6), Tesche (7), Yong Lee (7); Zoller (7), Blum (8), Ganvoula (7).
Substitutes: Wintzheimer (6), Osei-Tutu (6).
Key Talking Point
The Rekordmeister don't have a God-given right to win football matches, something which has become apparent over the last month in the Bundesliga, but even Bayern Munich would have been forgiven for taking their match against Bochum a little too easily.
But the Bundesliga champions came into their DFB-Pokal match with very few first-team changes and with nothing but respect for Bochum on the pitch - something which was only enforced after coming close to conceding inside the opening minute.
That respect for their opponents meant very little when Davies turned a cross into his own goal, but it was clear Bayern Munich were desperate to avoid an upset when Robert Lewandowski was brought off the bench at half-time.
That change proved decisive as, although Lewandowski didn't get on the scoresheet himself, the Pole brought the best out of Gnabry and Müller - who scored in the last 10 minutes of the match to complete a stunning turnaround.
Neuer (6); Kimmich (6), Pavard (6), Boateng (7), Davies (5); Tolisso (6), Thiago (4), Goretzka (5); Perisic (5), Gnabry (7*), Coman (7).
Substitutes: Lewandowski (7), Coutinho (6), Müller (7).
While Bochum's Danny Blum and Armel Bella-Kotchap were the real stars of Tuesday night's match, Bayern Munich's saviour Robert Lewandowski helped to get the best out of Serge Gnabry who was able to stop the reigning champions from getting egg on their face in the DFB-Pokal.
Gnabry saving us from embarrassment.— Clinton Al-harazi Eleto (@ClintonSpel) October 29, 2019
Gnabry might be better than sterling, I am not sure but we will see. Special, special player— Ibrahim (@SisyphusEsque_) October 29, 2019
Man, that was a tremendously poor match that only ended the way it did because of the significant talent gap between the sides. Brief moments of brilliance from Gnabry, Coutintho, Müller, and Coman pulled this one out. Bochum can be proud for making things difficult.— 😱 AHHHHHHH!!!!ndy (@Philanova06) October 29, 2019
Gnabry had started through the middle but he was feeding off scraps in the first-half, while Lewandowski's introduction freed up space for Bayern Munich's creative players and brought more chances their way.
The introduction of Coutinho also helped, but it was Gnabry who was a constant threat throughout the match and further evidence for Kovač to keep the Germany international on their right-wing on every single matchday.
Niko Kovač will prepare Bayern Munich for a trip to his former side Eintracht Frankfurt this weekend, while a home match against Olympiacos is also on the horizon in the Champions League group stages.
VfL Bochum host Nürnberg on Monday.