Robert Lewandowski achieved the seemingly impossible on Matchday 33 by equalling Gerd Müller’s 40-goal single-season haul for Bayern Munich. And as difficult as the feat itself was to accomplish, so too were some of the goals he scored.
The 32-year-old has been in a league of his own in the scoring stakes this season, and finally managed to reel in Müller’s 49-year record with a penalty against Freiburg last Saturday. It was the Polish hitman’s eighth spot-kick of the campaign, but he also found the net from far less promising positions.
According to the xGoals model, the Bayern No.9 should have 26.9 goals at this juncture of the season – not 40. No other player in the Bundesliga has such a big difference between their expected goals and their real-life tally.
Watch: All of Lewandowski's 40 goals in 2020/21
In other words, Lewandowski must have scored a significant number of goals with a very low goal probability rating. As can be seen in the video above, not only did Lewandowski find the target from positions only four to six per cent of Bundesliga players score from, he often did so with a number of opposition defenders between him and the goal.
“I’m really happy, it’s a big honour,” he said after equalling Müller’s record on Matchday 33. “For me but also for the modern history of the Bundesliga in Germany.
If he continues to score at such a furious rate, even Müller’s Bundesliga all-time scoring record of 365 could potentially become a target, with Lewandowski now just 89 adrift. Given his dietary discipline and dedication to his craft, it does not appear to be outside the realms of possibility.