However, Rodriguez sealed the win for the Bundesliga leaders in stoppage time with a handsome free-kick that found the top corner to make it 3-1 to the Bavarians.
RUDI VOLLER ACCEPTS Bayer Leverkusen will struggle to keep hold of Leon Bailey if he continues progressing and believes only Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga have the power to retain star players as long as they want.
There were often too many gaps in their back line, allowing Bayern to penetrate and punish them on the counter, evidenced by the second, where Ribery was afforded far too much time and space to conjure up the goal.
The defeat broke Leverkusen's 14-match unbeaten run in all competitions, dating back to the end of September, but the hosts stay fourth in the table. However, Jupp Heynckes came out and told the media that Bayern would not be selling any players during the transfer window. The champions re-signed their former youth striker from Hoffenheim this summer.
While goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is still recovering from a fractured foot, Mueller wore the captain's armband and Sven Ulreich was in Bayern's goal.
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With five minutes remaining in the half, James Rodriguez sent a fine cross towards Niklas Sule, but the German global could not find the target with a header close range.
With three minutes gone, Ribery could have opened the scoring for the visitors after finding space inside the box, but his strike sailed over the crossbar. Arturo Vidal worked out two opportunities in the opening period but Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno was on guard twice to maintain parity.
Leverkusen warmed up for Bayern with a 2-2 draw in a friendly against third-tier Preussen Muenster as Argentina striker Lucas Alario netted both goals following his recovery from a groin injury.
However Rodriguez, on loan from Real Madrid, showed his class by coolly slotting home a free kick on the edge of the area after being fouled just outside the box.