Robert Lewandowski got a hat-trick and his 300th Bundesliga goal as league leaders Bayern Munich set a new goalscoring record during their 4-0 win at Cologne on Saturday.
Borussia Dortmund's 5-1 win over Freiburg had cut the champions' lead at the top ahead of a tricky away fixture on Matchday 19, but the visitors got off to a flyer when Lewandowski tucked away their first chance. A swift Bayern counter ended with Thomas Müller sliding the Pole in, and he swept the ball past Marvin Schwäbe from inside the area. A VAR check confirmed that Lewandowski was onside, meaning that Bayern had scored for a record 66th consecutive Bundesliga match. Julian Nagelsmann's team had welcomed back Manuel Neuer in goal and Corentin Tolisso in midfield for this game, and the latter thumped home to make it 2-0 midway through the half. Marcel Sabitzer's crossfield pass was headed on by Tolisso, with Müller touching the ball back into the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner's path. Tolisso used his right foot to get the ball out of his feet, and then smashed a left-footed volley into the roof of the net from just inside the area. Cologne had won their previous three games but struggled to get a foothold in this one, although Mark Uth had a goal disallowed for offside on 32 minutes. Florian Kainz then set up another opportunity in first-half injury-time, but a first-time Ondrej Duda effort from eight yards out drifted the wrong side of the post.
Jonas Hector glanced a header wide as Cologne briefly threatened a second-half comeback, but Schwäbe denied Lewandowski in another one-on-one situation before Bayern attacker Jamal Musiala clipped the outside of the post from a tight angle. Uth continued to look dangerous with what little service he was given, but shortly after coming on Leroy Sane slipped in Lewandowski for 3-0. Cologne substitute Dejan Ljubicic then forced Neuer into a good save, Anthony Modeste nodded over, and defender Timo Hübers crashed a header off the bar as the home side sought some consolation. Instead Bayern went from back to front again and Sane set up Lewandowski for another left-footed finish in a near carbon copy of the third goal. The Poland captain's hat-trick strike was the 300th Bundesliga goal of his career - and his 23rd of the season - with his latest stunning performance restoring Bayern's six-point advantage at the top of the table.
Watch: Lewandowski reacts to his 300-goal milestone
- Lewandowski is only the second player to have hit 300 Bundesliga goals in his career. Former Bayern star Gerd Müller - the Bundesliga's all-time record goalscorer with 365 – reached the milestone in June 1976.
- Former Dortmund striker Lewandowski has now scored 18 times in 17 Bundesliga matches against Cologne. He got a goal in the Matchday 2 win over the Billy Goats, and has been on the scoresheet in his last seven matches against them.
- Müller now has 16 assists in the Bundesliga this term. That's a new Bundesliga record for this stage of the campaign, and - just like in the last two seasons - he leads the way league-wide in that category.
- Bayern extended their goalscoring streak in the Bundesliga to 66 matches, breaking a previous record they set under Jupp Heynckes and Pep Guardiola between April 2012 and April 2014.
- Nine of Modeste's 12 Bundesliga goals this season have been headers - the most of any player in Europe's top five league.
- The Billy Goats had been hoping to make it four Bundesliga wins in a row for the first time in exactly three years.
Cologne: Schwäbe - Schmitz (Ehizibue 80'), Kilian, Hübers, Hector (c) - Özcan - Schaub (Thielmann 58'), Duda (Ljubicic 58'), Kainz - Modeste (Andersson 72'), Uth (Schindler 73')
Unused subs: Urbig, J. Horn, Lemperle, Ostrak
Out: T. Horn (illness), Köbbing (knee), Mere (illness), Skhiri (Africa Cup of Nations)
Coach: Steffen Baumgart
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Kimmich, Pavard, Süle, Sabitzer (Richards 75') - Roca (Wanner 83'), Tolisso (Nianzou 75') - Gnabry, Müller (Tillman 83'), Musiala (Sane 60') - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Ulreich, Upamecano, Copado
Out: Choupo-Moting (Africa Cup of Nations), Coman (not included), Davies (heart), Goretzka (knee), Hernandez (not included), Sarr (Africa Cup of Nations), Stanisic (match fitness)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann