Robert Lewandowski came off the bench to extend Bayern Munich's winning run to 13 matches by scoring a last-gasp penalty to earn a 2-1 come-from-behind victory against Wolfsburg.
Bayern looked set to be heading for a draw at the Volkswagen Arena after Arjen Robben had seen an earlier penalty saved, but Gian-Luca Itter showed his inexperience with a tug on the Dutchman, handing the visitors another spot-kick, which Lewandowski tucked past Koen Casteels.
It was the Poland international's 16th goal in 15 Bundesliga matches against Wolfsburg, a record which includes 12 in his last six against the Wolves, and opened up a 21-point advantage over Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig – who take on Eintracht Frankfurt on Monday – at the summit.
Bayern have not suffered defeat since going down 2-1 to Borussia Monchengladbach on November 25 but they looked in danger of losing when Wolfsburg defended stoically after Daniel Didavi's opener.
That goal was missed by a section of the home supporters who did not take their seats until after 19 minutes and 45 seconds – a reference to the year of the club's founding – over poor results, and they were unable to cling on for an impressive draw despite Casteels saving a spot-kick from Robben in the 55th minute.
The former Netherlands international made up for his failure to convert by setting up Sandro Wagner for Bayern's equaliser, and then prompting a foul from Itter which allowed Lewandowski to send Jupp Heynckes' men into Tuesday's Champions League tie with Besiktas in fine form.
Heynckes made eight changes to his starting XI with one eye on midweek, Thiago Alcantara making his first appearance since November having been sidelined with a knee injury
Sven Ulreich signed a new contract until 2021 last Sunday and was making his 200th Bundesliga appearance at the Volkswagen Arena, but it took just eight minutes for him to be beaten.
Yunus Malli swung a deep cross in from the left and Didavi towered over Juan Bernat at the back post to connect with a header that the diving Ulreich was unable to keep out, the goal scored against an eerie backdrop in the absence of Wolfsburg's ultras.
Casteels took no chances with a free-kick from Robben that threatened to sneak in, before Wolfsburg fans involved in the boycott filtered back into the stands.
Bayern dominated possession but were unable to test Casteels again before the break, with Franck Ribery receiving just a yellow card for catching Steffen in the face with his hand after referee Sascha Stegemann reviewed video footage.
Bayern had a glorious chance to level 10 minutes after the restart when Steffen fouled Tolisso in the box as the Frenchman tried to follow up an effort from Wagner, but Robben saw Casteels tipped the spot-kick onto his right-hand post.
The Dutchman remained positive and surged past Itter on the right, cutting back for Wagner to head in his second goal since joining from Hoffenheim in January.
Thomas Muller's introduction for Thiago helped breathe some life into Bayern as Wolfsburg sat back and attempted to hang on to a point, but Lewandowski denied them after replacing Wagner.
He found a gap low to Casteels' left from the spot after Itter was penalised for pulling Robben back, leaving Wolfsburg with one win in their last eight Bundesliga outings ahead of a huge clash with third-bottom Mainz on Friday.
KEY OPTA STATS
- No player has scored more goals against Wolfsburg than Lewandowski (16).
- Lewandowski scored his 137th goal for Bayern. Only six players in Bayern’s Bundesliga history have scored more.
- Jupp Heynckes' side have won 13 straight games, the longest winning run in his coaching career.
- Since 2015-16, no player has scored more headers in the Bundesliga than Sandro Wagner (11).
- Arjen Robben has missed a penalty for the first time with Bayern since the Champions League final against Chelsea FC in 2012.
|Rabiot would be a great signing for Barcelona – Xavi|
|JaVale McGee: Lakers are going to be ´one of the most fun teams ever´|
|Dolphins owner Ross: National anthem policy a ´placeholder´|
|Boga leaves Chelsea for Sassuolo|
|Schurrle in talks to leave Borussia Dortmund|
|Guardiola happy with Mahrez and Man City despite loss|
|Dodgers top Brewers in Machado´s debut|
|Raptors GM apologises to DeRozan after Spurs trade|
|Manchester City 0 Borussia Dortmund 1: Gotze spoils Mahrez´s debut in ICC opener|
|United fans keeping De Gea at Old Trafford – Herrera|
|Keita: I turned down Barca and Bayern for Liverpool|
|Merritt stays ahead as rain halts Barbasol Championship|
|Roma had to sell Alisson to Liverpool, says Totti|
|Donald Trump: Kneeling players should be suspended without pay|
|Cardinals´ Carpenter makes history|
|Nationals pair Strasburg, Zimmerman activated from DL|
|Premier League-linked Plattenhardt feels at home at Hertha|
|Johnson expecting tough Granollers challenge|
|Good Luck at last! Colts quarterback fit for training camp|
|Haase humbles Rublev as Cecchinato charges on|
|Benzema hits back at ´crazy´ De Laurentiis over age jibe|
|Leeds Rhinos finally end winless streak in Super League|
|No freaky Friday for Spieth as he bounces back in round two|
|Double boost for Bouchard in Gstaad|
|Iconic Ronaldo to raise Serie A level - Roma´s Hamm|
|Brighton birthday boy March renews contract|
|Lamela hoping injuries are behind him after signing Tottenham extension|
|Where will I get my massage? - Roma´s Pallotta mocks UEFA ban|
|Rashid struck by Lightning amid speculation over Test recall|
|Major misses a mixed blessing for Fowler and Kuchar|
|Fleetwood, McIlroy and Spieth bare teeth as Kisner and Johnson lead|
|The Open 2018 diary: Fleetwood´s swinging in the rain, but it´s a slog for McIlroy|
|Fees agreed as Fabri closes in on Fulham move|
|Neymar and Mbappe have a very good relationship, claims PSG president|
|Boufal joins Celta Vigo on loan from Southampton|
|Leicester sign Ward from Liverpool amid Schmeichel speculation|
|Kisner philosophical after run-in with the Barry Burn|
|Gattuso unsure of Bonucci future|
|Verdasco, Gasquet advance but Ruud´s run is over in Bastad|
|James to remain at Bayern Munich, says Rummenigge|
|Texans QB Watson expects to be fit for training camp|
|Torpedo Moscow deny cancelling player´s contract over racist abuse|
|Napoli decry Cavani, Di Maria rumours as fake news|
|Kisner feels the Burn, Spieth on the surge|
|Woods: I could have cleaned up my round|
|Lille swoop for free agent Fonte|
|Sagan completes hat-trick after bunch sprint|
|´Amateur´ DFB needs Lahm´s help - Rummenigge|
|Horner expects Ricciardo new deal ´pretty quickly´|
|Diakhaby swaps Monaco for Huddersfield|
|Tottenham´s Lamela signs to 2022|
|Atletico´s Rodrigo excited to wear Simeone´s 14|
|F1 Raceweek: Red Bulls steal show from Mercedes but Ricciardo to start from back|
|Fakhar hits historic double hundred as Pakistan thrash Zimbabwe|
|Roma president Pallotta hit with three-month UEFA suspension|
|Hamburg extend contract of coveted youngster Jann-Fiete Arp|
|Steady start for Kisner as Woods endures mixed day at Carnoustie|
|Zach Johnson: Dustin comparisons are unfair|
|Neymar backs Tite for Brazil despite World Cup failure|
|Vinicius wants to play with ´idol´ Neymar but Perez calms transfer talk|
|One hundred not out for Els at The Open|
|Magnificent Maharaj takes eight wickets to stymie Sri Lanka|
|If I lose I´ll go down swinging - McIlroy ready for Carnoustie battle|
|UEFA confirms AC Milan reinstated to 2018-19 Europa League|
|Fleetwood: Open Championship is the one for me|
|Canberra coach Stuart brands bunker ´waste of time´ after controversial Cronulla loss|
|Son signs five-year Tottenham extension|
|Fleetwood cards fine 65 to share Open lead|
|WATCH: Evra belts out Bocelli in Ronaldo welcome video|
|I´ll always carry Roma in my heart, says Liverpool signing Alisson|