Robert Lewandowski's 199th goal for Bayern Munich was not enough to claim the points as RB Leipzig fought back through Emil Forsberg's penalty to draw 1-1 in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
In their first meeting with Leipzig since a 3-0 DFB-Pokal final win in May, Lewandowski edged closer to a double century of Bayern goals to put Niko Kovac's side ahead.
But, after Bayern had a penalty overturned by VAR, Forsberg levelled matters from 12 yards on the stroke of half-time.
A rejuvenated Leipzig found Manuel Neuer in top form after the restart, though Bayern would have snatched it had Peter Gulacsi not managed to tip Kingsley Coman's deflected effort onto the woodwork as Leipzig held firm to move back into top spot after being briefly replaced by Borussia Dortmund.
Leipzig's support was in full voice before kick-off, but the home fans were silenced within three minutes when Lewandowski raced onto Thomas Muller's pass and coolly slotted beyond Gulacsi.
Lukas Klostermann wasted a chance to provide a swift response when he blasted over, while Lewandowski passed up two presentable opportunities.
Lewandowski looked set to have the chance to score his 200th Bayern goal when the visitors were awarded a penalty for a foul on Lucas Hernandez, but the referee changed his decision after a VAR check.
Bayern's frustrations were compounded in first-half stoppage time, Hernandez bringing down Yussuf Poulsen and Forsberg stepping up to tuck home from 12 yards.
Bayern would have restored their lead if not for a last-ditch block from Ibrahima Konate, before Neuer brilliantly denied Marcel Sabitzer on the hour.
Gulacsi made an outstanding save of his own soon after, denying Corentin Tolisso, with Timo Werner drilling wide at the other end.
Leipzig's goalkeeper had the final say, though, preventing Coman's strike looping in before he appeared to get a hand to Niklas Sule's last-gasp header to ensure a deserved share of the spoils.
What does it mean? Bayern face genuine challengers again
Bayern just edged out Borussia Dortmund last term, while Leipzig came in third. There is now an undoubted top three in the Bundesliga and based on this display, Leipzig are more than capable of testing Bayern this season.
Whether that will translate into a title challenge remains to be seen, but with both Leipzig and Dortmund improving their squads, Bayern should not have a clear path to an eighth successive league crown.
Nagelsmann's tactical tweak pays off
Julian Nagelsmann has enjoyed a fine start to his tenure in charge of Leipzig, though his decision to start with a back three backfired in the first half.
The former Hoffenheim coach made a change to a back four at half-time in a switch that worked well in helping to push Bayern back and give Leipzig's creative players more space to operate.
Rare Thiago error leaves Bayern exposed
Making his 200th Bayern appearance, Thiago Alcantara gave away a simple pass in the build-up to Leipzig's penalty, causing panic in the visitors' defence before Hernandez clumsily bundled into Poulsen.
Key Opta Facts
- Bayern Munich have only won four of their 25 away games in Bundesliga history against the team which was on top of the table going into the matchday (D5 L16).
- For the first time in Bundesliga history, seven Frenchmen played in a single game. Among foreign countries, only Brazil (three times), Switzerland and Croatia (both once) have had as many different players in a single Bundesliga game.
- Bayern have conceded all their four goals in this Bundesliga season before half-time – only Union Berlin have conceded more in this period (five).
- Bayern forward Robert Lewandowski scored his seventh goal in this Bundesliga season – the only player to score more goals on the opening four matchdays was Peter Meyer for Borussia Monchengladbach in the 1967-68 season.
- Bayern midfielder Thomas Muller has failed to score in his last 13 Bundesliga games – he has never gone more games without scoring (also 13 games in the 2011-12 season).
Bayern host Red Star Belgrade in their first Champions League outing of the season on Wednesday, a day after RB Leipzig face Benfica in the same competition.