Robert Lewandowski’s injury-time winner gave Bayern Munich a 2-1 win and a successful start to the Rückrunde against Freiburg at the Schwarzwaldstadion.
Janik Haberer gave Freiburg the perfect start to the game, firing past a helpless Manuel Neuer after just five minutes, before Robert Lewandowski volleyed his 134th Bundesliga goal past Alexander Schwolow.
Bayern were forced to wait until the first minute of added time for their winner, when the Polish marksman stabbed home from substitute Franck Ribéry’s cross.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was forced to defend Bayern’s winter training camp in Doha, however the conditions in Qatar didn’t seem to have helped the side’s preparation for the second half of the season, appearing lacklustre in front of an energetic, motivated Freiburg outfit.
It was no surprise therefore when Vincenzo Grifo, at the second time of asking, found Haberer, who slotted calmly into the bottom corner to send the Schwarzwaldstadion into a frenzy so early on.
Maximilian Philipp enjoyed plenty of space down the visitors’ left-hand side, and had Haberer’s control been better from the former’s cross, the hosts may have doubled their lead. Equally, they could have been pegged back had Arjen Robben not blazed over with a curling left-footed effort.
Bayern had not really settled and passes were going astray far too often for Carlo Ancelotti’s liking. Nevertheless, they started to see more of the ball, and only a fine low finger-tip save from Schwolow denied Arturo Vidal, despite Freiburg’s claim of a foul in the area by Douglas Costa.
That was an extremely rare chance for Bayern, and their frustrations spilt over when Xabi Alonso was booked for a strong challenge on Florian Niederlechner which may have seen him pick up a red, rather than a yellow, card, whilst Vidal escaped all punishment a minute later for another misdemeanour.
Nevertheless, Bayern showed their credentials and were level in the blink of an eye. Moments after being denied by a sliding challenge from Mike Frantz, an unmarked Robert Lewandowski volleyed home, despite Schwolow’s best efforts, a goal which confirmed his 60th Bundesliga goal for Bayern in just 80 games, the fastest by any player for any club.
The beginning of the second half saw further problems for the visitors however. Douglas Costa saw yellow after a cynical tackle on Philipp before Joshua Kimmich was brought on to replace the injured Vidal. Nevertheless, Arjen Robben was offering his side more than a glimmer of hope, first forcing a fine save from Schwolow before crossing for Mats Hummels, who failed to test Freiburg’s keeper.
Neither side were at their technical best but Bayern were piling on the pressure, however Xabi Alonso, who was lucky not to have been seen a second yellow, saw one effort deflected wide and another skewed wide by his own right foot in the space of a minute.
Freiburg were showing their fight and created a few opportunities for themselves, but Haberer was booked for simulation after a challenge from the extremely poor Hummels, before Philipp saw his drive whistle past Neuer’s far post ten minutes later.
The league leaders, however, would add a late sucker punch. Seven minutes after Robben fired wide after Schwolow’s weak punch from a corner, Lewandowski controlled Ribéry’s clipped cross on his chest before stabbing the ball in with his left foot.
Robben could have added some gloss to the victory, but his long-range effort failed to find an empty net, but it mattered little as Bayern extended their lead at the top to six points.