In terms of supersubs, you could probably only name a handful of players who have come on to fundamentally change the direction of a game. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from the bench to win the Champoons League for Manchester United is likely the most famous example of this. But now there is another name to add to that short list – Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski who earned his spot last night with a rather impressive appearance from the bench. With Bayern trailing Wolsfburg by 1-0 at half time, Bayern boss Pep Guardiola had to make a change to swing the balance of the game back in their favour.
Step forward Polish striker Lewandowski who came on and scored five goals in nine amazing minutes to silence Wolfsburg. His breathtaking substitute performance even stunned his own manager with Guardiola unable to believe exactly what was happening. From his first touch, Lewandowski looked dangerous and hungry for goals. He only had to wait six minutes before his first arrived converting a failed clearance from Dante to draw Munich level. Less than a minute later, the Pole put Bayern into the lead with a drilled finish from the edge of the area. Now with a hat trick in sight, Lewandowski appeared to step up a gear and four minutes later found the net again although this time it took three attempts to put it in. The post and a save from the goalkeeper only temporarily denied Lewandowski but eventually he fired past Diego Benalgio to what earn the fastest hat trick in Bundesliga history.
His fourth followed two minutes later when he met a perfectly placed Douglas Costa cross to secure the vital three points for Bayern. As if four was not enough, Lewandowski had one more trick up his sleeve and saved the very best for last. Three minutes after his fourth, Lewandowski added his fifth goal with a stunning overhead bicycle kick at the edge of the area. His spectacular effort left the stadium stunned as they tried to work out exactly what had just transpired. Lewandowski could have added a sixth later in the game but was denied by a goal line clearance by Wolfsburg fullback Roberto Rodriguez. As the full time whistle blew, the Bayern team celebrated with Lewandowski as Wolfsburg’s players trudged off the pitch shaking their heads.
Lewandowski’s goal glut earns him another spot in a unique club for players who have scored five in one match. He joins Marco Negri, Andy Cole, Cristiano Ronaldo, Miroslav Klose, Radamel Falcao, Jurgen Klinsmann and Dieter Hoeness who was the last player to score five for Bayern in the Bundesliga back in 1984. Unsurprisingly Lewandowski win the man of the match award for his superb performance from the bench. Remarkably the player was omitted from the starting line up in the first place due to a niggling injury that had him doubtful to play at all. Guardiola may have taken a gamble in playing him but it paid off in spectacular fashion.
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