One of the most extraordinary games of all time? When first met second at the Red Bull Arena on Matchday 33, RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich showed the world how top-of-the-table matches are done in the Bundesliga.
With the promoted side leading 4-2 with 84 minutes on the clock, an already enthralling game raised the bar even further as the champions showed why they are top of the pile for a fifth consecutive season as they turned the game on its head in a crazy closing ten minutes. It finished 5-4 to Bayern in the highest-scoring fixture of the season on the matchday that also saw the most goals of the campaign.
A once-in-a-lifetime event? Not in the Bundesliga. Since its inception in 1963, the German top flight has now witnessed 53 matches with nine goals or more. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Bayern have been protagonists in 14 of those encounters, including their first-ever match at RB Leipzig.
But what about those other ‘nine-goal thrillers’? bundesliga.com has dug deep into the archives and dusted off some old video cassettes to bring you a handful of the best. And be prepared: Late drama is a common theme throughout.
2014/15, Matchday 21
Bayer Leverkusen 4-5 Wolfsburg
How often does someone score a hat-trick and not get to leave with the match ball? Ask Bas Dost and he will no doubt gleefully point towards Heung Min Son. The big Dutchman scored four against Son’s Leverkusen, but that isn’t even half the story.
The Wolves were three up by half-time at the BayArena before Son brought it back to 3-2 by the hour. Dost and Son then both secured hat-tricks before Karim Bellarabi levelled the game at 4-4 – a most improbable scoreline considering Wolfsburg’s half-time lead.
Die Werkself were then reduced to ten men with Emir Spahic’s dismissal before Dost broke Leverkusen hearts in the 93rd minute as he turned home Vieirinha’s cross from the right to spark wild celebrations as Wolfsburg went on to finish second to Bayern in the Bundesliga and also lift the DFB Cup under Dieter Hecking.
Watch: Highlights of Wolfsburg's dramatic 5-4 win in Leverkusen:
2014/15, Matchday 9
Eintracht Frankfurt 4-5 Stuttgart
How many players can say they’ve experienced two 5-4 thrillers in the Bundesliga at the age of just 21? Well, Timo Werner can. Despite his two goals against Bayern, Werner and Leipzig left empty handed, but that goalscoring boot was on the other foot in 2014 during the striker's time at Stuttgart.
Frankfurt and the Swabians exchanged the lead throughout the game, and Eintracht eventually found themselves 4-3 up after 65 minutes. Enter 18-year-old Werner, and within ten minutes the youngster gave us an early display of what we would all become accustomed to this season as he ran at the Frankfurt defence before calmly slotting away his sixth Bundesliga goal with a tidy left-footed finish from a narrow angle.
That strike brought Stuttgart back level before club legend Christian Gentner wrapped up a sensational victory with just moments to go.
Watch: Highlights of Stuttgart's 5-4 win at Frankfurt in 2014:
2012/13, Matchday 18
Schalke 5-4 Hannover
The Bundesliga doesn’t need to warm up after the winter break – as shown when Schalke and Hannover contested the first game of 2013 on the Friday night and got straight down to business. Admittedly, it took until the 44th minute for the opening goal from Jefferson Farfan, but after that the floodgates opened.
Six goals in the space of 20 minutes after the break quickly had the hosts 4-3 in front before Lewis Holtby put Schalke 5-3 ahead. However, the best was yet to come as Mame Biram Diouf’s outrageous overhead kick on the edge of the box set up a grandstand finish in Gelsenkirchen, but the Royal Blues held on to claim the first three points of the new year and the first under new boss Jens Keller on his Bundesliga debut with the club.
Watch: Highlights of Schalke's triumph
1998/99, Matchday 34
1860 Munich 4-5 Schalke
Schalke were also living on cloud nine in May 1999. With both 1860 and the Royal Blues having nothing left to play for on the final day, the two teams put on a show for Bundesliga fans. The lead changed hands four times at the Olympiastadion in Munich, with the hosts already leading 4-3 by half-time!
Schalke drew level for the third time when Germany international Olaf Thon made it 4-4 with just over 20 minutes to play. Whilst the game appeared to petering out to a draw, Ünal Alpugan was fouled in the Munich box and Schalke were awarded a 90th-minute penalty, which Hami Mandirali duly converted to send the travelling Royal Blue fans into raptures and ensure Schalke leapfrogged their opponents in the table.
1997/98, Matchday 13
Duisburg 4-5 Borussia Mönchengladbach
A thriller that absolutely lived up to the name as this local derby went the distance in Duisburg. It was already 1-1 after nine minutes at the MSV-Arena and then 2-2 by half-time. The goalscoring continued apace in the second half as Gladbach took the lead for the first time through Andrzej Juskowiak and Stefan Effenberg.
Duisburg brought it back to 4-3 before Borussia keeper Uwe Kamps saved Michael Zeyer’s penalty with six minutes remaining. However, the Zebras weren’t about to lie down and let the Foals charge to the finishing line as Bachirou Salou popped up with his second goal of the season to draw the game level once again in the 88th minute.
The match was not over there, though, and Gladbach did manage to get their noses in front when it mattered, with Juskowiak making it 5-4 to the visitors in injury time. The visitors may have won the local bragging rights that season, but they only finished outside of the relegation zone on goal difference in a campaign more famously remembered for promoted Kaiserslautern’s title victory.
1964/65, Matchday 23
Borussia Dortmund 5-4 Eintracht Braunschweig
We have to wind back the clock all the way to 1965 for the first ‘nine-goal thriller’ in Bundesliga history. In what was just the league's second-ever season, Dortmund took part in a game with nine goals for the third time as they went the distance at home to Eintracht Braunschweig.
In a game featuring BVB legends Timo Konietzka and Lother Emmerich, the teams scored six goals in the space of 20 second-half minutes to leave the match delicately poised at 4-4 heading into the closing stages.
Dortmund then showed the never-say-die attitude that we’ve come to know of them in over 60 years of Bundesliga football when Konietzka headed home his 21st goal of the season with just three minutes remaining on the clock to secure all three – or two as was the rule back then – points at their old Rote Erde stadium.