Robert Lewandowski moved joint-second in the Bundesliga’s all-time top scorers list as Bayern Munich claimed a 3-1 win over Werder Bremen on Saturday.
The Pole matched Klaus Fischer’s tally of 268 goals as he joined Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry on the scoresheet in a comfortable win that extended the champions’ lead at the summit to five points.
Lewandowski now needs another 97 goals to match Bayern legend Gerd Muller’s incredible tally of 365.
Werder were given hope that they might put the champions under pressure when Ludwig Augustinsson produced the first shot on target of the match, cutting in before releasing a weak right-footed effort.
But it was all Bayern from there, with Gnabry and Joshua Kimmich signalling the visitors’ intent as they each fired just over the bar in quick succession.
And they got a deserved breakthrough with 22 minutes gone, Thomas Muller flicking on a Kimmich corner for Goretzka to powerfully head into the corner.
Gnabry missed a simple header of his own moments later, before hitting the post following an offside flag that might well have been overruled by VAR had the ball found the back of the net.
However, the forward would not be denied a goal, which came after Muller beautifully controlled a chipped pass with his chest and laid the ball on a plate in the box to make it 2-0 at half-time.
One interesting subplot from a one-sided game was Lewandowski’s search for the goal that would take him level with Fischer, which appeared set to elude him after he struck the post and crossbar in the second half.
But the former Borussia Dortmund forward evidenced his knack for being in the right place at the right time as the ball somewhat fortuitously fell to him after hitting Goretzka from a corner and he smashed it home.
He so nearly moved ahead of Fischer in the standings late on, hitting the woodwork for a third time after great control in the box, but that proved to be his last action as Hansi Flick made use of his bench in the closing stages.
There was still time, though, for the hosts to grab a consolation, Niclas Fullkrug following in for a tap-in after the visitors’ high line had been caught napping.
What does it mean? Bayern put pressure on chasers
RB Leipzig go into Sunday’s meeting with Eintracht Frankfurt knowing that nothing other than a win will do after the champions stretched their lead at the top to five points.
That will not be easy, as Adi Hutter’s high-flying side proved in beating Bayern in late February, though they have not won either of their two games since beating Flick’s men.
Muller leads Bayern forward
Had luck been with Lewandowski, he could well have been the clear man of the match for Bayern rather than reflecting on a game that saw him hit the woodwork on three occasions.
In the end, though, his contribution was overshadowed by Muller who, as well as providing two assists, clocked up a remarkable seven key passes and engaged in more duels (12) than any of his teammates.
Although he played a role in Werder’s late goal, Josh Sargent would have hoped to have a bigger influence on proceedings.
The American picked up a number of promising positions but failed to do much with them, completing just 11 passes in the opposition’s half all game.
Key Opta facts
– Bayern have scored in each of their previous 59 matches in all competitions. Since the start of the Bundesliga in 1963, only one team has managed that feat previously: Bayern themselves did so between March 2013 and April 2014 (61 matches).
– Lewandowski has scored against 16 out of 17 Bundesliga teams he has faced this season. Previously, only Gerd Muller (1966-67, 1969-70), Ailton (2003-04) and Lewandowski himself (2019-20) have managed that feat. On matchday 27 against RB Leipzig he can became the first player to score against all other Bundesliga teams within a single season.
– Lewandowski became the first player since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in September 2017 against Borussia Monchengladbach to hit the woodwork three times in a single Bundesliga match – a joint record since detailed data collection (2004-05).
– Goretzka has been directly involved in five Bundesliga goals (two goals, three assists) in his last three appearances, that is one more goal involvement than in his previous 16 matches this season.
Bayern return to Champions League action on Wednesday when they host Lazio in a last-16 tie that is all but decided following a 4-1 away win in the first leg.
As for Werder, they must wait a week before hosting Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga.
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