Robert Lewandowski netted twice as Bayern Munich roared back from two goals down to earn a 5-2 home win over Mainz on Sunday which put the European champions back at the top of the Bundesliga.
Mainz’s 2-0 half-time lead was wiped out within 10 minutes of the restart as Bayern netted five unanswered second-half goals at the Allianz Arena.
The result leaves Bayern two points clear of second-placed RB Leipzig, who had gone top after their 1-0 win at Stuttgart on Saturday.
Accoring to Bayern coach Hansi Flick, the fight back should give them “self-confidence” to tackle their congested fixture list in the coming weeks.
Mainz caretaker coach Jan Siewert insisted his side gave their all, but “you have to respect Bayern’s quality”.
Joshua Kimmich marked his return from a knee injury by bagging Bayern’s first, with Leroy Sane and Niklas Suele scoring before Lewandowski added two more goals to increase his league tally to 19.
Lewandowski, named last month as FIFA’s player of the year, has now netted 22 times in all competitions for Bayern this season.
“In the second half we came out with a completely different attitude,” Kimmich told Sky.
“We always know that we can turn games around, but of course it costs a lot of effort.”
Bayern were in trouble at the break after second-from-bottom Mainz clinically took their chances.
Their striker Jonathan Burkardt nudged Jerome Boateng, who was knocked off balance while leaping for the ball, and sprinted away before firing the visitors into a shock lead on 32 minutes.
Boateng was booked for furiously arguing he had been fouled, but the goal was allowed to stand after a lengthy review.
Mainz doubled their lead when centre-back Alexander Hack headed home a free-kick a minute before the break.
Flick substituted Boateng for Suele and switched Kimmich from midfield to right-back for the second period.
The result was almost instant as Kimmich headed Bayern’s first goal on 50 minutes, then set up Sane to score six minutes later.
On his 21st birthday, Mainz midfielder Leandro Barreiro had an own goal overturned when VAR spotted an offside Bayern player.
“We were lucky that Mainz didn’t score the third goal,” Kimmich later admitted.
However, the goals kept flowing as Suele tapped home a corner on 70 minutes.
Lewandowski then converted a penalty on 76 minutes after Serge Gnabry had to be helped off after being fouled in a heavy tackle.
The Poland striker added his second, and Bayern’s fifth, from close range seven minutes from time.