In his 100th Champions League appearance, Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski hit a hat-trick and missed a penalty in their lively 5:2 dismantling of Benfica.
Bayern Munich book their spot in the Round of 16 in emphatic fashion with two games to spare following a comfortable, if not faultless performance against Portuguese side Benfica. With five goals scored, which included a hat-trick from the sensational Lewandowski, it would take a brave man to ignore the six-time winners this season.
Credit where it is due to Benfica, who scored two goals in Munich in a brave performance. They knew they faced an uphill battle as they competed for long periods with a side who, at this moment, are playing like they are from a different planet.
Lewandowski opened the scoring, heading in his first goal in the 26th minute and chipped in another beauty just past the hour- also turning provider, setting up Serge Gnabry with a sensational backheel flick in the 32nd minute.
The scoring machine missed a penalty in first half stoppage time after converting 14 in a row prior to the game, just as it seemed the hat-trick may be slipping away from him, the Polish talisman sealed his hat-trick in the 85th minute. Making it his 81st goal in his 100th Champions league game. Absolutely ridiculous numbers.
Benfica made a fight of it, netting the first goals against Bayern in this seasons competition- finding the back of the net just before the break with Felipe Morato’s 38th minute header (the first time Bayern had conceded in four Champions League matches).
However, a superb shot by Leroy Sane– the hero of the reverse fixture- early in the second half had killed off any hopes of a comeback by the Portuguese giants. Benfica did manage to find the net again in the 75th with a Darwin Nunez effort.
Bayern are top on 12 points and have qualified from the group stages with two games remaining following their fourth win out of four in the group, with Benfica stuck on four. Barcelona moved into second place on six after beating Dynamo Kyiv, who are last with one point.
Just some context ahead of the Ballon D’Or announcement; Robert Lewandowski has scored 81 goals in 100 UEFA Champions League matches (group stage to final). Lionel Messi had scored 77 goals by his 100th appearance and Cristiano Ronaldo had 64. Surely it is his for the taking?
Bayern: Neuer (c) – Pavard, Nianzou, Upamecano, Davies (Richards 64’) – Kimmich (Sabitzer 72’), Goretzka – Gnabry (Sarr 85’), Sane (Müller 72’), Coman (Musiala 64’) – Lewandowski
Unused subs: Cuisance, Früchlt, Roca, Stanisic, Tolisso
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Benfica: Vlachodimos – Gilberto, Verissimo, Vertonghen, Morato – Mario, Meite, Grimaldo – Pizzi (c) (Silva 64’), Yaremchuk (Nunez 64’), Everton (Goncalves 64’)
Unused subs: Leite, Fernandes, Bernardo, Otamendi, Radonjic, Ramos, Ferro Svilar, Weigl
Coach: Jorge de Jesus
*Goalscorers marked in BOLD
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Feature Image Credit Embed from Getty Images
Image Credit Embed from Getty Images