Two late goals from FC Bayern München forward Roy Makaay turned this match on its head after Celtic FC had threatened to pull off a shock victory at the Olympiastadion.
The Netherlands striker had missed a few chances before his efforts on 73 and 86 minutes cancelled out Alan Thompson's opening goal in a thrilling second half. Makaay has now scored an impressive 14 goals in 30 UEFA Champions League games – but few will have been as welcome as the ones which saw off a brave Celtic team.
After failing to win any of their six group games last season, Bayern had not played in European competition for ten months and it showed as they started the game sluggishly. But clear-cut chances were at a minimum: Celtic goalkeeper Magnus Hedman was relieved to see a curling Owen Hargreaves free-kick narrowly go wide of the post as Claudio Pizarro lunged to get a decisive touch on the ball.
Kahn on form
Celtic ended the first half strongly and could have broken the deadlock when Bobe Balde outjumped a static home defence to head Thompson's free-kick towards the top corner. Captain Oliver Kahn showed he is back to his best form with a flying save to tip the ball over the crossbar.
It was a completely different story in the second period. Bayern began confidently and Makaay and Zé Roberto both came close with headers that flew narrowly wide. As the home side streamed forward, though, gaps were appearing in their defence and the visitors capitalised in stunning fashion.
There looked to be no danger when Didier Agathe swung in a deep cross that was always sailing beyond Hartson in the centre of the area. But Thompson had escaped the attentions of his marker Hasan Salihamidzic at the back post and stooped to head in the opening goal.
Bayern hit back
Bayern were shaken but tried to hit back immediately. Salihamidzic had the chance to atone for his previous error when he had a free header just five metres from goal but he headed the ball off target. That effort was followed by a fizzing snapshot from the quiet Michael Ballack that was well gathered by Hedman.
Then Makaay got in on the act, heading a corner just over before levelling the scores with a great strike. Stanislav Varga's headed clearance lacked power and the Dutchman pounced to drill a fierce volley inside Hedman's near post with 17 minutes still to play.
Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld sensed a chance to turn things around and brought on Roque Santa Cruz to boost his forward options. But there were still chances at the other end, as Pizarro almost put through his own net but was relieved to see his sliced clearance go over the bar from close range.
Makaay late drama
Both sides would probably have settled on a draw after 86 minutes, when Makaay picked up the ball near the right touchline and looked up. He had time and space to swing in a high cross for the onrushing Ballack - but the playmaker missed the ball, which bounced and spun dramatically past Hedman and into the net.
The goal sparked wild celebrations among home fans but ensured Celtic's run of having never won in Germany was extended to eight games. One year ago – almost to the day – Makaay scored a hat-trick at this ground as his former club RC Deportivo La Coruña beat Bayern 3-2. This time his return was only two goals but his new employers reaped the benefit.