Bayern Munich celebrated their 2020/21 Bundesliga title with a dominant victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday, as Robert Lewandowski closed to within one goal of Gerd Müller's single-season record of 40 in the German top flight.
Bayern had already sealed their ninth straight Meisterschale before a ball was kicked at the Allianz Arena - with Borussia Dortmund's 3-2 win over RB Leipzig giving them an unassailable lead at the top of the table – and they didn't need long to get the party started. Gladbach were guilty of some absent-minded defending as they let Lewandowski drift into the area completely unmarked, the Pole collecting a cross from David Alaba and driving into the far corner for 1-0. Stefan Lainer thumped over at the other end, but Bayern were quickly on the hunt again, with Kingsley Coman showing fancy footwork before hitting the post from a tight angle. Bayern finally doubled their lead when Jamal Musiala squared for Thomas Müller, whose shot bamboozled Yann Sommer after taking a deflection off Denis Zakaria. Lewandowski made it 3-0 with a moment of magic, volleying in acrobatically at the near post when Florian Neuhaus got a head to Müller's cross. Alphonso Davies then dispossessed Lainer on the edge of his own area before racing clear on the counter-attack and releasing Lewandowski - the Bayern No.9 fed Coman, who drilled into the far corner to round out a sensational first-half performance from the newly crowned champions.
Müller had a sight of goal shortly after the interval, but headed straight at Sommer after meeting Lewandowski's inch-perfect cross. The hosts looked happy to pick up where they'd left off before the break, although Gladbach did finally show some signs of life, with substitute Alassane Plea firing wide of the mark. It wasn't just Lewandowski chasing records at the Allianz Arena - Manuel Neuer had a chance to match Oliver Kahn's all-time mark of 204 clean sheets in the Bundesliga, and his defence looked determined to help him get over the line; when the Foals cantered clear with a three-on-one counter, Benjamin Pavard produced a superb tackle to dispossess Zakaria and keep the scoreline at 4-0. And it was soon 5-0, with Neuhaus conceding a penalty after handling inside the area. Sommer had somehow kept Lewandowski, Musiala and Müller at bay in the previous action, before the VAR intervened, but was powerless to prevent Lewandowski slotting in for his hat-trick - taking his tally for the season to an eye-watering 39 goals. The only black spot for Bayern was a red card for Tanguy Nianzou, who exited the fray mere minutes after he had entered it, bringing down Breel Embolo when he was through on goal. But Hansi Flick's side still had the last word, with Leroy Sane applying the final flourish to a brilliant victory that was well worthy of the 30-time Bundesliga champions.
- Lewandowski's opener was the earliest of the 395 goals he has scored in all competitions for Borussia Dortmund and Bayern since arriving in Germany in 2010.
- The prolific Pole surpassed the 200-goal mark in the Bundesliga for Bayern in his 217th outing.
- This was Lewandowski's fifth hat-trick (or better) of the campaign.
- Bayern have scored at least once in their last 69 matches in all competitions. The last time they failed to net was in a goalless draw against Leipzig on 9 February 2020.
- Müller netted his 129th Bundesliga goal, putting him in joint 25th place on the all-time scoring list alongside Karl Allgöwer.
- Sane ended a 17-game scoring drought in the Bundesliga, finding the back of the net for the first time since 3 January (against Mainz).
Watch: Lewandowski: "I have to believe I can break scoring record"
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Pavard, Boateng (Martinez 71'), Hernandez, Davies - Kimmich, Alaba (Goretzka 60', Nianzou 70') - Musiala (Gnabry 60'), Müller, Coman (Sane 60') - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Nübel, Süle, Sarr, Roca
Out: Costa (metatarsal), Choupo-Moting (back), Hoffmann (knee), Tolisso (thigh)
Coach: Hansi Flick
Gladbach: Sommer (c) - Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini (Wendt 69') - Zakaria, Neuhaus - Lazaro (Wolf 46'), Hofmann (Stindl 69'), Thuram (Plea 46') - Embolo (Herrmann 84')
Unused subs: Sippel, Kramer, Beyer, Jantschke
Out: Doucoure (Achilles' tendon)
Coach: Marco Rose
Watch: Flick: "I'll celebrate with a glass of wine"