If you have ever wondered why Bayern Munich are the most successful club in the history of German football, look no further than Saturday's spellbinding 5-4 win at second-placed RB Leipzig.

Trailing 3-1 after 47 minutes and 4-2 with seven left on the clock in a game with nothing tangible riding on it, most would have thrown in the towel - but not the red machine.

Their inimitable champion spirit to the fore, Carlo Ancelotti's never-say-die ensemble married unwavering belief with ruthless execution to complete the unlikeliest of turnarounds.

"I've got no idea what just happened," a bemused Bayern captain Philipp Lahm told Sky reporters following the penultimate outing of his playing career. "Games like that can happen when you don't have the right balance between defence and attack, but it's always nice when the team still has the drive to try to win the game."

To see a player of Lahm's stature and longevity scratching his head for answers is saying something. Nine goals, two penalties and three efforts that went in via the woodwork is not an every-day occurrence in football. And then there was the coup de grâce: Arjen Robben's sensational solo winner, four minutes into added time.

"When Leipzig were 4-2 up, I thought there would still be something in it for us if we could get another goal," recalled Robert Lewandowski, who registered his 29th and 30th Bundesliga goals of the season at the weekend. "You always have to show why you're the boss when it's first against second. That's what we did."

Leipzig barks muzzled for the second time after a chastening 3-0 reverse at the Allianz Arena in December, the Bundesliga gatecrashers are a long way from being the finished article. Nevertheless, to have even been involved in the title race as Bundesliga debutants - let alone kept it alive until Matchday 31 - is quite the achievement.

Watch: Arjen Robben reacts to Bayern's incredible comeback win at Leipzig

"Leipzig have been fantastic all season, they've surprised everyone," Ancelotti said graciously of Bayern's nearest challengers. "They've got young players, they're motivated and they'll be playing in the Champions League next season, which will be a fantastic experience for them. It's the start of something great for them."

The first chapter closed on a newfangled rivalry that is redefining the landscape of the Bundesliga title race, future meetings between Bayern and Leipzig will need no introduction. What was, on this occasion, a business-end dead rubber between Germany's top two, might very well be the difference between first and second on the Bundesliga podium in years to come. Just don't expect the record 26-time champions to relinquish their crown without a fight.

Chris Mayer-Lodge

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Relive Bayern's dramatic victory at the Red Bull Arena right here