FRANKFURT: Bayern Munich benefited from a historic video replay decision as they opened the Bundesliga season with a win against Bayer Leverkusen at a rain-soaked Allianz Arena.
The defending champions, who are bidding for a sixth successive title, were given a second-half penalty after referee Tobias Stieler consulted the video assistant referee (VAR) system which has been introduced to the German top flight.
The official was unsure Robert Lewandowski had been fouled but, after going to the video referees based in Cologne, he awarded a spot-kick and the Poland striker converted for 3-0.
Bayern took an early lead when centre-back Niklas Sule headed in Sebastian Rudy’s inswinging free-kick as the two summer arrivals from Hoffenheim combined.
Corentin Tolisso, another new signing from French side Lyon, doubled the lead with a close-range header after the visitors failed to deal with a corner.
After a heavy thunderstorm led to the second half being delayed by about 15 minutes, Lewandowski confidently converted low into the corner when Charles Aranguiz pulled back the Bayern player by his shoulder.
The away side, who flirted with relegation last season before finishing 12th, reduced the deficit when Admir Mehmedi lashed in a 20-yard drive.
But it was not enough to stop Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who were missing a host of key players through injury, extending their unbeaten home run to a 23rd league match.
Bayern have won 18 and drawn five since losing to Mainz in March 2016.