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Predatory Pole

Lewandowski back on the goal trail

Four games without a goal is hardly unusual – unless you are Robert Lewandowski towards the end of your best-ever Bundesliga season, when the passing of a few goalless games will be reported as a mini-crisis. The Pole provided the perfect riposte in Saturday’s match against Schalke with a brace within 12 second-half minutes, taking him up to 27 league goals. The last man to reach that total after 30 games was Köln’s Dieter Müller some 40 years ago.

“I’m delighted,” the prolific Lewandowski declared after his seventh two-or-more goal haul in the Bundesliga this term, “I hope I manage a couple more in the next few games.” The 27-year-old somewhat surprisingly started last Wednesday’s Champions League meeting with Benfica on the bench for tactical reasons. Lewy freely admitted he was annoyed with the decision, “but maybe it’s good to stop sometimes and then go for it again.”

Every player would ideally play all of every game of course, “but that’s impossible,” Lewandowski continued. “You can’t give it 100 percent every three days for a whole season.” Furthermore, the Poland striker revealed, he has been battling a few “minor problems” since the last international break. “But I’m feeling good again now.”

‘We want a trip to Berlin'

That was very much in evidence against Schalke. For his first goal, Lewy spun on a sixpence and finished with his left foot. “If you leave Lewandowski unmarked in the box and no-one bothers to challenge, he’ll ruthlessly put away the chance,” Schalke boss André Breitenreiter acknowledged afterwards. His headed second from a precise Rafinha cross was a routine matter for a world-class finisher like the Pole.

Naturally, FCB and their fans hope Lewandowski retains his predatory streak for the rest of the campaign. “The most important phase of the season is upon us,” he said on Sunday, “we’ll only maintain peak form if we continue to play well in the league and always try to score a second and third goal.” The plan worked well against Schalke, but will it be enough against Bremen in Tuesday’s cup semi-final? “We were knocked out by Dortmund at this stage last year, so we have to win. We want a trip to Berlin.”