Created on 22-09-2015 at 21:50 PM by Chris Hamley
Second-half sub Robert Lewandowski single-handedly fired Bayern to an extraordinary 5-1 win over title rivals VfL Wolfsburg on Tuesday night, the Polish striker blasting five goals in a stunning nine-minute spell leading up to the hour mark. Lewandowski’s heroics meant Bayern enhanced their already impressive record during the world-famous Oktoberfest and also maintained their perfect start to the 2015/16 Bundesliga campaign.
The teams went into the match second and third in the table but the Reds’ thumping victory over one of the league’s genuine title contenders takes Pep Guardiola’s team back to the top of the standings overnight.
The 75,000 full house at the Allianz Arena saw the home side make the early running but the visitors take the lead through Daniel Caligiuri after 26 minutes. However, nothing could have prepared the crowd for the startling events after Lewandowski’s half-time introduction as the Pole helped himself to an historic five goals in a truly breathtaking ten minute spell.
A sixth win in six matches sees the Reds reclaim first place in the table on the maximum 18 points, at least until Dortmund’s trip to Hoffenheim on Wednesday. The Bavarians are back in action away to Mainz on Saturday, before the home Champions League meeting with Dynamo Zagreb on Tuesday 29 September.
Four changes for Pep
Bayern coach Guardiola made four changes to the team that beat Darmstadt at the weekend, with Philipp Lahm, Thomas Müller, Thiago and Xabi Alsonso returning to the side in place of Kingsley Coman, Joshua Kimmich, Rafinha and Sebastian Rode, who all began on the bench along with Lewandowski.
The home team lined up with Manual Neuer in goal, Juan Bernat, David Alaba, Jerome Boateng and captain Lahm in defence, Alonso in the holding role, Arturo Vidal and Thiago in central midfield, and Mario Götze, Müller and Douglas Costa up front.
For the Wolves, ex-FCB men Dante and Luiz Gustavo formed an all-Brazilian central defensive unit along with their fellow-countryman Naldo.
A goal down at the break
Following an official farewell to Dante and a minute’s silence in memory of former FCB coaching great Dettmar Cramer, referee Tobias Stieler whistled play underway on a wet night in Munich. The sides felt each other out for the first ten minutes before the men in red took the initiative, Vidal shooting over the bar, Müller whipping a shot just wide from Costa’s lay-off, and VfL keeper Diego Benaglio saving from the Brazilian.
But the Wolves fired off a warning shot after 18 minutes when Julian Draxler came up inches short of opening the scoring, an honour reserved for Caligiuri on 26 minutes with an unstoppable thunderbolt past Neuer from ten yards out.
Munich immediately went in search of an equaliser but Benaglio saved from Costa, with Draxler warming Neuer’s gloves at the other end. The keeper almost gifted the Wolves a second when he raced 40 yards from goal only to lose possession, but Josuha Guilavogui’s long-range chip drifted wide of the goal and the sides turned round with Dieter Hecking’s men a goal up.
Lewy’s stunning haul
Guardiola made two changes for the second half with Javi Martinez and Lewandowski replacing Bernat and Thiago. And the Polish hitman exploded onto the scene with a stunning five-goal blast in the 51st, 52nd, 54th, 57th and 60th minutes, single-handedly taking his side from 1-0 down to 5-1 up in the space of under nine minutes.
Lewandowski’s first was a close-range finish after great work from Vidal and Müller; his second was a skimming drive from outside the box and past Benaglio’s outstretched right hand; his third was testament to the striker’s persistence as he buried the follow-up following a shot against the post and a Benaglio save; his fourth was a right-footed belter from Costa’s cross; and his fifth a sumptuous volley on the full from a Götze cross.
The pace dropped a shade after the breathtaking spell but there were still chances for the men in red, Müller seeing his shot saved and yet another Lewandowski effort being cleared off the line. The Pole and his team-mates might have had more, but as it was the match will be remembered as the evening when Lewandowski wrote a new chapter in Bundesliga history.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley