Bayern Munich moved a step closer to a 10th consecutive Bundesliga table with a thrilling 4-1 win over Freiburg.
Despite some incoherence up top and their very competitive, resolute and stern opposition, second half goals from Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman and Marcel Sabitzer were enough to overcome the hosts, piling the pressure on Borussia Dortmund to maintain their title challenge.
An energetic start to proceedings teed up a predictably intense and hard-fought affair, although neither side truly found their feet in front of goal before the midway point.
Both teams might have found an early breakthrough, though; Robert Lewandowski shocked spectators with some sloppiness in the Freiburg penalty area and Lucas Holer passed up a well-worked chance for the hosts at the other end.
The fiercely competitive nature of proceedings continued after the break and Thomas Muller might have notched the opener within ten minutes of the restart, failing to take his opportunity when put through on goal by an exquisite lofted pass from Coman.
It would eventually take a set-piece situation for the visitors to secure a deserved opener. Just before the hour mark, Goretzka, making such a hugely-anticipated return from injury, was on hand to nod home a sumptuous delivery from Joshua Kimmich before wheeling away in celebration.
Just after the hour mark, the hosts were celebrating themselves. Seconds after entering the field of play, Nils Petersen steamrolled into the penalty area to latch onto Christian Gunter's lay-off before rifling the ball into Manuel Neuer's bottom corner.
In the 72nd minute, though, Gnabry proved that history does in fact repeat itself.
Within seconds after coming off the bench himself, the Germany international showed great feet in the opposing penalty area to take down Lucas Hernandez's cross, sidestep past his man and slot the ball into the near corner with aplomb.
A vital win was effectively sealed with just under ten minutes remaining when Coman nabbed a deserved goal courtesy of some poor goalkeeping. After picking up Dayot Upamecano's brilliant long ball forward and cutting inside, the winger thumped the ball into Mark Flekken's near corner from range.
The result was put beyond any shred of doubt in the seventh minute of stoppage time when Marcel Sabitzer got in on the act; the Austrian notching his first Bundesliga goal for the club by sweeping in Gnabry's pull back.
Bayern Munich player ratings
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Manuel Neuer (GK) - 6/10 - Largely commanding when called upon, although could do nothing about Petersen's thumping finish.
Benjamin Pavard (RB) - 6/10 - Consistently alert on the back foot, making three ball recoveries. Sacrificed for Serge Gnabry with around 20 minutes remaining.
Tanguy Nianzou (CB) - 7/10 - Distributed the ball very nicely at times, maintaining a pass accuracy of 96%, and proved resolute at the back with a dominant aerial showing.
Dayot Upamecano (CB) - 8/10 - Seemed to be a target for Freiburg (understandable, if you've watched the Frenchman play at all this season) but remained composed with the ball - notably assisting his side's third - and positionally aware to register seven clearances.
Lucas Hernandez (LB) - 8/10 - Tenacious defensive work pressing hard and rarely giving his opposition the space or time they required, while also putting in a great cross to assist Gnabry's strike.
Joshua Kimmich (CM) - 7/10 - Routinely smooth in his distribution, including a delicious delivery for Goretzka's opener, providing an ever-reliable pivot for his side.
Leon Goretzka (CM) - 8/10 - Put in a dynamic end-to-end performance on his return, putting himself about to break up play while also scoring the opening goal.
Thomas Muller (AM) - 6/10 - Slightly leggy but still managed to knit things together nicely at times, managing three key passes.
Leroy Sane (RW) - 2/10 - Showed elusive movement to pick up some nice pockets of space with the ball... and then proceeded to do nothing at all with the opportunities.
Robert Lewandowski (ST) - 2/10 - A couple of uncharacteristically misjudged touches in the early stages set the tone for a massively disappointing outing, before being hooked off after 60 minutes - likely with Benfica in mind.
Kingsley Coman (LW) - 8/10 - His side's most prominent danger, showing blistering pace and drive as well as electric feet to threaten in the final third, before getting himself a merited goal.
Jamal Musiala (CF) - 7/10 - Provided some fluidity and creativity, giving Freiburg much more to think about, in place of the underwhelming Lewandowski.
Corentin Tolisso (CM) - 6/10 - Kept things ticking along in the centre, helping his side to see out the contest. Bizarrely brought off for Niklas Sule, though.
Serge Gnabry (RW) - 9/10 - Lovely winning goal within seconds of his introduction - did someone say impact sub? Oh, and an assist for good measure.
Marcel Sabitzer (CM) - 7/10 - Scored a first league goal for Bayern, finishing Gnabry's pullback well.
Niklas Sule (CB) - 6/10 - Resilient and solid at the back.