When Lewandowski sent Bayern top of the table in Leverkusen

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There’s a sense of deja-vu this weekend as first face second at the BayArena. It was the same scenario only 10 months ago when Bayern also faced Bayer Leverkusen, with the newly crowned Best FIFA Men’s Player ensuring a happy ending for the visitors.

Leverkusen club officials congratulated Robert Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer on their FIFA Best awards before the game.

Bayern in Leverkusen as challengers

Things were slightly different in December 2020, though. The champions were actually a point behind league leaders Leverkusen, but had the chance to reclaim top spot in the final game before Christmas with a win.

And Bayern were given an extra motivational boost going into the top-of-the-table clash after Robert Lewandowski had been named the world’s best footballer at the Best FIFA Football Awards only a few days earlier. And he showed the world in Leverkusen just why he deserved that accolade.

Lewandowski cancels out Schick

Lewandowski was on the spot just before half-time to level proceedings.

But he and his teammates first had to fight back from an early setback. An excellent volley from Patrik Schick in the 14th minute saw Bayern fall behind. But it didn’t take long for the now officially best player in the world to find a suitable reply as he headed home Thomas Müller’s cross to make it 1-1 on the stroke of half-time. The champions wanted their throne back and pushed for a second goal after the break, but without success.

It looked like the Werkself would walk away with a point and top spot going into the new year, but Lewandowski would have the final say. Joshua Kimmich won the ball back deep into the Leverkusen half in added time and played the Polish striker through. His deflected shot found the back of the net in the 93rd minute to send Bayern back to first place in the Bundesliga table.

Robert Lewandowski celebrates his added-time winner in Leverkusen to send Bayern top – never to be caught.

Ballon d’Or nomination another motivational boost?

Lewandowski has another chance to show why he’s the best in a top-of-the-table clash this Sunday. Maybe Bayern will benefit from another motivational boost given the 33-year-old has just been named among the 30 nominees for the Ballon d’Or.

Find out about the Ballon d’Or and Bayern’s other nominees:

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