Robert Lewandowski won out against Erling Haaland as Bayern Munich consolidated their position at the top of the Bundesliga with a thrilling 3-2 victory against Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker.
Lewandowski edged Bayern into a 2-1 lead at the Signal Iduna Park, ringing in his 300th competitive appearance for Bayern by becoming Der Klassiker's 24-goal leading marksman. The 32-year-old also set up substitute Leroy Sane's strike for 3-1, and had a couple of efforts ruled out following VAR review.
Haaland, by his own admission, "should have scored more" than the one goal that briefly levelled the scores at 2-2.
"The numbers tell you all you need to know about Lewandowski," Bundesliga legend Lothar Matthäus told Sky afterwards. "Attitude, fitness, goals - that's what make Lewandowski stand out for the crowd. That's why he's my the man of the match."
Watch: Dortmund 2-3 Bayern in 60 seconds!
There's no arguing with Matthäus. Having already had a first-half strike chalked off for a fractional offside, Lewandowski climbed above Manuel Akanji and Mats Hummels to put away a header that registered 0.07 on the expected goals (xG) scale early in the second half. It was his 11th Bundesliga strike of the current season, 17th in 13 top-flight matches against former employers Dortmund and 259th in all competitions in a Bayern shirt.
A menace in every way imaginable, his ensuing assist for Sane was weighted to perfection, while only another wafer-thin decision denied him what would have been his fifth successive Bundesliga multiple and a league record 12th goal after seven matchdays.
"Lewandowski is one of the best strikers in the world, and it’s always fun to go up against him in training," Bayern captain Manuel Neuer told bundesliga.com at the full-time whistle. "It’s a challenge for us both, with me trying not to let any in and Lewy trying to score."
Once upon a time, Lewandowski was doing just that in Dortmund colours, having registered five goals in 12 competitive meetings with Bayern. Since crossing the Klassiker divide in summer 2014, however, he has blown those numbers of of the water, plundering 19 in 22 games against BVB - including 13 in his last eight to help Bayern win four successive Klassikers for the first time.
What's more, his league-leading 11 goals in six outings this term - he was rested in the 2-1 victory at Cologne on Matchday 6 - have helped Bayern equal the Bundesliga record for most team goals after seven rounds of fixtures (27), and cement their standing as the most free-scoring team across Europe's top five leagues since Hansi Flick took charge 12 months ago.
In that time, Bayern have tallied an eye-watering 163 goals in 49 games at a clip of 3.3 per game. Lewandowski, who produced a brace in Flick's first league match at the helm - a 4-0 win in Dortmund - has accounted for 48 of them.
Unsurprisingly, no player in Europe has hit more competitive goals this calendar year than LewanGOALski, who is on 38 in 32 games and counting with nine fixtures remaining before the winter break. The recently crowned UEFA Best Player struck 48 times in as many games last year - a continental best ahead of Barcelona's Lionel Messi - and has ranked in the top five for five years running.
Right now, Lewandowski is the finest striker on the planet by some distance. Luckily for Dortmund - who had only conceded twice in six league games before their former charge reared his prolific head - it's another four months before they have to deal with the indomitable Pole again.