Leverkusen spurned a golden early chance when Heung-Min Son dragged wide with only Manuel Neuer to beat before Stefan Kiessling was incorrectly flagged offside as he went one-on-one with the Bayern keeper.
Mario Mandzukic eventually gave Bayern a lead they scarcely deserved with a towering header on the stroke of half time, before Schweinsteiger put daylight between the sides with a magical 25-yard free-kick that cleared the wall and clipped the underside of the bar as it flew past Bernd Leno
Stefan Kiessling nodded in a consolation in injury time but it was too little too late for the plucky visitors.
The records continue to tumble in this remarkable season for Bayern, who have now eclipsed Leverkusen’s record of going unbeaten for the first 26 games of a Bundesliga campaign.
Bayern started brightly and Robben fired an early warning sign when he cut in from the right and tested Leverkusen keeper Bernd Leno with a low drive.
Leverkusen survived the early onslaught and created a golden chance that Son simply had to score. Son took up a brilliant position in front of goal, but could only drag his low shot wide with only Neuer to beat. It was an inexplicable miss.
Bayern, playing Daniel van Buyten alongside Jerome Boateng in the centre of defence, were in trouble again when they stepped up too late and allowed Stefan Kiessling beat the offside trap, but the Germany striker was perplexed to see the assistant referee’s flag incorrectly raised.
While Bayern continued to see more of the ball – 80% of it at one stage – they struggled to create any chances of note, and Leverkusen almost opened the scoring through a spectacular effort by Simon Rolfes, whose thunderous 30-yard effort on the run was tipped over by the fully stretched Neuer.
With Leverkusen looking like reaching half time on level terms, they succumbed a minute before the break through Mandzukic, who leapt high to power his header past Leno.
Sami Hyppia’s half time team talk went out the window seven minutes into the second half when Schweinsteiger struck a beautiful free-kick over the wall and into the roof of the net.
It was an inspirational moment by the Bayern captain, and one that took the wind out of Leverkusen’s sails. The visitors failed to reach their heights of the first half and surrendered to a clear but honourable defeat. But the game ended on a high note for Leverkusen as Kiessling leapt above Rafinha to nod in at the far post.
The result puts Bayern within touching distance of another Bundesliga title. They have 71 points from 25 games and need only two more wins to wrap up their second successive title.
With 17 consecutive league wins, 21 consecutive home league wins and 50 unbeaten in the league, the records keep on falling for Guardiola's brilliant side.
- Sports & Recreation
- Bayern Munich
- Bayer Leverkusen
- Bastian Schweinsteiger
- Pep Guardiola
- Manuel Neuer
- Mario Mandzukic