Robert Lewandowski scored a record-breaking hat-trick as Bayern Munich thrashed Salzburg 7-1 to advance to the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday.
After struggling in their 1-1 draw in the first leg three weeks ago, Lewandowski hit the ground running and had a treble by the 23rd minute. That made it the earliest hat-trick in Champions League history.
It crushed Salzburg after a bright start and Serge Gnabry was on target as Bayern registered four first-half goals in a Champions League knockout game for the fourth time – as many as all other clubs combined.
Substitute Maurits Kjaergaard pulled one back for Salzburg between a double from Thomas Muller, with Leroy Sane having the final say in a one-sided encounter that saw Bayern seal an 8-2 aggregate win.
Lewandowski buried a penalty after his excellent turn drew a foul from Maximilian Wober, who then saw a free-kick he gave away following a tackle on the Pole upgraded to a spot-kick following a VAR review. It resulted in another cool finish into the bottom-left corner from the striker.
The hat-trick was completed when Lewandowski blocked Salzburg goalkeeper Philipp Kohn’s clearance and bundled the ball home with his thigh after it came back off the post.
23 – Robert Lewandowski has completed a hat-trick within 23 minutes against FC RB Salzburg tonight; the earliest treble ever scored by a player in UEFA Champions League history from the start of a match, overtaking Marco Simone for Milan v Rosenborg in 1996 (24 mins). Snappy. pic.twitter.com/aVNNmGdgVV
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 8, 2022
The onslaught continued as Mohamed Camara was caught in possession on the edge of Salzburg’s box by Kingsley Coman and Gnabry drilled home from the Frenchman’s pass.
Muller rifled a fine finish into the bottom-right corner as Bayern continued to dominate after the restart, but Kjaergaard pulled one back for Salzburg nine minutes after replacing Chukwubuike Adamu.
Sane set up Muller for his second of the game in the 83rd minute and was on target himself two minutes later, steering Lewandowski’s flick home at the near post to complete a resounding victory.
What does it mean? Lewandowski back on song in Europe
After failing to register a single effort on goal in Bayern’s two previous Champions League games – the first time that has happened in his career – Lewandowski hit the ground running at the Allianz Arena.
He took little time to score his fifth hat-trick in the competition, a tally that is only bettered by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi (both eight).
Most Champions League hat-tricks:
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 8, 2022
Manuel Neuer made his 104th Champions League appearance for Bayern – surpassing Oliver Kahn as the Bayern goalkeeper with the most appearances in the competition. He was unable to mark the occasion with a clean sheet, though.
Salzburg were always going to be up against it in Munich, but Wober’s clumsy challenges all but ended their hopes of progressing before the midway point of the first half had been reached.
Key Opta Stats: Worst loss for Salzburg
– Salzburg suffered their heaviest ever defeat in the Champions League, with their previous biggest loss in the competition also coming against Bayern Munich in November 2020 (6-2).
– Bayern have won all six of their games in European competition when hosting an Austrian opponent, scoring 22 goals and only conceding four in return.
– Lewandowski became the third player to score 10+ goals in three or more different Champions League seasons after Ronaldo (seven seasons) and Messi (five).
– Muller has scored 26 Champions League knockout stage goals for Bayern, more than any other player for the club in the competition’s history.
– Kjaergaard (18y 255d) became the youngest Danish goalscorer in Champions League history and also Salzburg’s youngest scorer in the competition.
Bayern have a tricky trip to top-four chasing Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday, while Salzburg are up against Sturm Graz on Sunday.Follow us on Social Media