Robert Lewandowski's goal eight minutes from time spared Bayern Munich’s blushes as they toiled against fourth-tier side Drochtersen/Assel in the DFB-Pokal before winning 1-0.
Niko Kovac named arguably his strongest side possible but his team struggled to create chances against diligent and organised opponents until late on.
Thomas Muller thought he had opened the scoring with 12 minutes to go, only for Franck Ribery to be adjudged offside, before Lewandowski finally put Bayern ahead by diverting Leon Goretzka's shot home.
Nevertheless, it was hardly a convincing performance from Kovac's men ahead of their Bundesliga opener next week.
Bayern's big guns had been rolled out at the Kehdinger Stadion but they were limited to few opportunities.
Javi Martinez had a header cleared off the line and Mats Hummels nodded over, yet Drochtersen/Assel were otherwise comfortable in the first half.
They even threatened themselves when Manuel Neuer, on his 300th Bayern appearance, saved from Florian Nagel with his feet.
It was more of the same after the break and within six minutes Kovac called for Kingsley Coman and Goretzka from the bench.
Thiago Alcantara then saw a shaped shot from range crash back off the crossbar and fall the right side of the line from a Drochtersen/Assel perspective.
The fourth-tier side would have welcomed a break to regroup and they got one as Bayern fans threw beachballs and tape onto the pitch in an apparent protest.
Play eventually restarted, after substitute Sandro Wagner had appealed for calm, and Bayern lost momentum.
Facing extra-time, Bayern finally had the ball in the net when Muller poked in Coman's cross only for a hurdling Ribery to be deemed offside.
Yet Kovac's side found a way through again shortly after. After good work from Ribery, Goretzka fired in a shot and Lewandowski stuck out a leg to divert the ball into the net, as Bayern breathed a sigh of relief.
What does it mean: Kovac has work to do
Having made an excellent first impression when his Bayern side routed Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0 in the DFL-Supercup final, Kovac’s honeymoon period may soon be over.
Bayern were overwhelming favourites to not just win, but win comfortably, and they looked worryingly short of ideas.
Smaller teams in the Bundesliga will surely have noted Drochtersen/Assel’s tactics when it comes to trying to stop Kovac's side in the league.
Pat on the back: Drochtersen/Assel’s diligent showing
Teams far superior to Drochtersen/Assel have been picked apart at will by Bayern so their display deserves plaudits.
They were brilliantly organised, unafraid to play it about when they could and deserved to take their illustrious opponents to extra time.
Boot up the backside: Arjen anonymous as Bayern struggle
Kovac would have been looking to Ribery and Arjen Robben to create openings and though the former finally woke up late on, Bayern's other winger was anonymous before being replaced early in the second half.
With Coman and James Rodriguez candidates to come into the team, Robben cannot afford too many poor performances.
Kovac's side will look to improve when Bayern's Bundesliga title defence begins at home to Hoffenheim on Friday. Drochtersen/Assel will be expecting a more straightforward assignment when they return to Regionalliga Nord action.
24. September 2018
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