Smoke rose high from the Olympiastadion’s east end as the sun set on the capital, with echoes of the Pokal’s storied past ringing around the terraces ahead of German football’s season finale.
Both sides had been here before - Leipzig were looking to repeat their feat of just a season ago, and Dominik Szoboszlai’s run and through ball fed Timo Werner inside four minutes, but the former Chelsea striker squandered the opportunity when faced with the imposing Kevin Trapp.
Travelling from Hesse were an army of 50,000 passionate Frankfurt supporters, intent on spurring their side on to what would be a sixth Pokal triumph, and any early fears of one-way Leipzig traffic were vanquished as end-to-end football ensued.
Hoping to hold onto his position as competition top-scorer, the talismanic Randal Kolo Muani hit the side-netting with a powerful drive, before Nkunku popped up at the other end to see his shot deflected just wide.
As the clock ticked towards half-time, the defences became increasingly assured, but there was no doubting the levels of desire on display from both sides.
There was renewed attacking intensity after the break, and Kolo Muani was once again the catalyst for Frankfurt. His flick was volleyed goalward by Mario Gotze, but Janis Blaswich batted away.
That save seemed to switch the run of play, and suddenly Leipzig were on the front foot, for which they were rewarded with 20 minutes remaining.
A promising passage of play was recycled to Nkunku, who cut inside to strike, his shot eventually bouncing past a helpless Trapp via two cruel deflections.
Leipzig were in the driving seat, and with glory in their sights, Nkunku became the creator, feeding Szoboszlai to fire into the far corner and double his side’s lead.
Daniel Siebert’s final whistle sparked scenes of ecstasy and disappointment in equal measure across the Olympiastadion, as the Leipzig players celebrated a second DFB-Pokal victory in as many years, and a second major trophy in the club’s short 14-year history.
Glasner looked dejected as he bowed out with defeat in his final game in charge, while Nkunku may have supplied his parting gift to Leipzig supporters, as it looks likely he will leave the club in the summer.