Robert Lewandowski hits 30-goal mark as Bayern Munich thrash Bayer Leverkusen
Robert Lewandowski scored his 30th Bundesliga goal of the season as Bayern Munich came from behind to beat Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 on Saturday and take another step towards defending their title.
Bayer Leverkusen 2-4 Bayern Munich
Goals: 1-0 Alario (10'), 1-1 Coman (27'), 1-2 Goretzka (42'), 1-3 Gnabry (45'), 1-4 Lewandowski (66'), 2-4 Wirtz (89')
The visitors were given an early scare, however, when Lucas Alario latched onto Julian Baumgartlinger’s through-ball to poke home the opener against the run of play in the 10th minute. Unfazed, Bayern began to turn the screw and after Leon Goretzka and Kingsley Coman both had efforts on goal, the same duo combined to level the score just before the half-hour mark. Goretzka robbed Moussa Diaby of possession in midfield and his pass sent Coman clean through to curl a shot past Lukas Hradecky. It was largely one-way traffic towards the Leverkusen goal after that, with Lewandowski dragging a shot wide of the target before Goretzka gave the visitors the lead their superiority deserved, finishing a counter-attack from the edge of the area from Thomas Müller’s pass just before half-time. Bayern were not done there, though, and Serge Gnabry put daylight between the teams at the break when he lobbed Hradecky following Joshua Kimmich’s long ball forward.
Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz reacted at the interval by making three substitutions and although his side had more of the ball initially – they had an incredible 64 per cent of possession at one stage – Bayern bided their time and eventually scored again. Müller had fired off a warning shot when he curled wide from another counter-attack and, moments later, the 30-year-old registered his 20th assist of the campaign with a lofted cross from the right for Lewandowski to head home. The outcome was never in doubt from that point as Hansi Flick's men edged ever closer to an eighth consecutive title, although the silver lining for the hosts was a stunning first Bundesliga goal from 17-year-old midfielder Florian Wirtz, who curled a left-footed shot past Manuel Neuer in the last minute.
- Lewandowski has now equalled his personal best of 30 goals in a single season, having also done so in 2015/16 and 2016/17.
- The 31-year-old has 44 goals in 38 games all competitions this term, a figure that is also a personal best.
- Kevin Volland made his first appearance for Leverkusen in 107 days after picking up an injury on 20 February.
- Wirtz is the youngest scorer in Bundesliga history at the age of 17 years, 34 days. He takes the crown from previous holder Nuri Sahin, who scored at 17 years, 82 days.
- Müller brought his tally to 20 assists for the season after teeing up Goretzka and Lewandowski.
- Alario scored with the first shot of the game. He now has 25 goals in 72 Bundesliga outings.
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Leverkusen: Hradecky - Tapsoba, S. Bender, Dragovic - Amiri (Demirbay 46'), Aranguiz, Baumgartlinger (Paulinho 62'), Bailey (Wendell 46') - Bellarabi (Wirtz 46'), Alario (Volland 76'), Diaby
Unused subs: Özcan, Tah, Weiser, Palacios
Out: L. Bender (foot), Havertz (muscular)
Coach: Peter Bosz
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies (Hernandez 85') - Kimmich, Goretzka (Martinez 74') - Gnabry (Thiago 74'), Müller, Coman (Perisic 66') - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Ulreich, Odriozola, Singh, Zirkzee
Out: Coutinho (ankle), Mai (ankle), Süle (match fitness), Tolisso (ankle)
Coach: Hansi Flick
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