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Robben hits Bayern winner in nine-goal thriller

Berlin (AFP) – Arjen Robben’s superb solo goal five minutes into time added on sealed a dramatic 5-4 comeback win for Bayern Munich at RB Leipzig in an electric top-of-the-table clash on Saturday.

Carlo Ancelotti’s star-studded Bayern, who were already confirmed as Bundesliga champions for the fifth straight year, were 4-3 down on 90 minutes until David Alaba drilled home a free-kick a minute later.

Robben, 33, then proved he had the legs to sprint clear of the tiring home defence as he capped a superb run with the winner.

“It was a crazy game,” said Ancelotti.

“We had a difficult start, but at the end it was enough for this crazy result.

“Both teams played great football, but could have defended better.”

It was heartbreak for second-placed Leipzig, who were minutes from avenging their 3-0 defeat at Bayern’s Allianz Arena last December.

“Congratulations Bayern for this mad victory and congrats to those who were in the stadium to witness it,” said Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuettl.

“We didn’t win any points today, but won a few hearts and some sympathy.

“We looked like being the winners for a long time against the best team in Germany.”

Bayern’s last-gasp victory leaves them 13-points clear in the table and captain Philipp Lahm will lift the Bundesliga trophy after next Saturday’s home match against Freiburg.

Leipzig’s Timo Werner netted twice and with 21 league goals is the Bundesliga’s leading German striker, and a shoe-in when Germany’s squad for next month’s Confederations Cup is announced on Wednesday.

In the race to be the league’s top-scorer, Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski also scored twice to leave him on 30 goals, one more than nearest rival, Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with a game left.

The first goal came after just 65 seconds when Leipzig’s Marcel Sabitzer headed home, then Werner hit the post on 12 minutes.

Bayern drew level when a Lahm cross clipped the arm of defender Bernardo and Lewandowski drilled home the penalty on 16 minutes.

Leipzig restored their lead when Xabi Alonso fouled playmaker Emil Forsberg and Werner netted from the spot.

Danish striker Yussuf Poulsen made it 3-1 to Leipzig just after the break when his shot wrong-footed Bayern’s third-choice goalkeeper Tom Starke after clipping Alonso’s boot.

– Dramatic finale –

But Bayern stayed in touch as Thiago Alcantara headed home Alonso’s cross on 60 minutes, before Werner grabbed his second five minutes later after turning Germany defender Jerome Boateng.

When Robben hit the crossbar with a free-kick on 84 minutes, Lewandowski reacted fastest to head home the rebound, cutting their deficit to one goal again and setting the scene for the dramatic finale. 

Questions will be asked of Bayern’s defence, which shipped four goals for the first time since losing 4-1 at Wolfsburg in January 2015.

With Bayern and Leipzig already assured direct Champions League places, the battle rages on for the third automatic place after third-placed Dortmund drew 1-1 at Augsburg.

Aubameyang’s equaliser cancelled out Alfred Finnbogason’s early strike for Augsburg.

The result leaves Dortmund level on 61 points with fourth-placed Hoffenheim, who romped to a 5-3 victory at Werder Bremen as ex-Leicester City striker Andrej Kramaric netted twice.

Hertha Berlin and sixth-placed Freiburg, who drew 1-1 at home to Ingolstadt, are in pole position to qualify for the Europa League next season.

Hertha are fifth after 19-year-old defender Jordan Torunarigha scored his first goal for the club in a 2-0 win at already relegated Darmstadt, with Salomon Kalou netting the opener.

Ingolstadt, 17th in the table, had their relegation confirmed after Hamburg’s 1-1 draw at home to Schalke left them four points adrift with one game left.

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