Beyond the Bison: Nine Minutes

Doug Hendry, Editor-in-chief

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FC Bayern Munich was down 1-0 against Wolfsburg in the second half of their Bundesliga match in front of 75,000 fans. Not much was working for Bayern’s coach Pep Guardiola, so he subbed in the long-time Polish star Robert Lewandowski at halftime to try and spark his club.

And spark them he did.

Lewandowski didn’t have much work to do in order to put his team on the board in the 51st minute. Sitting just outside the six-yard box, the ball rolled his way after a few deflections off defenders, and Lewandowski slotted it past goalkeeper Diego Benaglio inside the left post.

1-1.

Now, this isn’t some middle-of-the-road squad going up against Bayern Munich—Wolfsburg finished second behind Munich a season ago and is now in fourth place through six games played. Unfortunately, their defense didn’t show that talent, and did little to irritate Lewandowski.

His second goal was a bit more impressive than the first, and it was ultimately the game-winner. In the 52nd minute, Lewandowski blasted a strike from outside the arch at the top of the 18 into the same location where his first goal ended up. Same story, same ending, as Benaglio’s outstretched arms did little to prevent the second goal of the night for No. 9.

2-1.

Thanks to Lewandowski’s game-winning goal, Bayern Munich, arguably the top talent in the Bundesliga, sits at the top of the 18-team league thanks to a 6-0-0 record and 17 goal differential.

As for this game, there was still plenty left to happen. In the 55th minute, a perfect through ball set up a run for Thomas Müller and led to a Mario Götze pass across the box to the feet of Lewandowski.

At the same location as his first goal, his first attempt actually hit off the post and second attempt was stopped by Benaglio. Third time’s the charm, right? As both tries landed back at his feet, Lewandowski nailed home his third attempt past the keeper and two defenders for a hat trick.

3-1.

This was the fastest hat trick ever recorded in Bundesliga history (three goals in four minutes). Michael Tonnies had last held the record in 1991 after he secured a hat trick in six minutes.

In the 57th minute, Douglas Costa made a blazing run down the left side through three defenders before crossing the ball into the box. Sitting just at the penalty marker was Lewandowski, whose well-timed half-volley gave Benaglio no chance at stopping the incoming missile.

4-1.

At this point, it seemed that nobody was even trying to limit Lewandowski or even get in his way as goal after goal came from his cleats. Still, after an incredible spurt of energy, and to put it lightly, a momentum swing, Bayern Munich was not finished yet.

Finally, a true world-class goal came once the game was already out of reach for Wolfsburg in the 60th minute. A bicycle kick from the top of the box curled into the back left corner of the net, freezing Benaglio in place.

5-1.

His five goals in nine minutes was the fastest recorded five-goal spurt in Bundesliga history, and his season total of eight goals places him at the top of the league’s leader board. This was history in the making, and nothing that anybody watching had expected.

Nothing could be done at this point in the game, and nothing could be said from either side. All that could be seen was the eruption from the crowd–although being a home match for Wolfsburg–and the evolution of a world-class striker in Lewandowski.

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