Robert Lewandowski ties Bayern Munich legend Gerd Müller with 21st Bundesliga goal of the season
Robert Lewandowski levelled Gerd Müller's long-standing Bundesliga record for most goals after 19 rounds of fixtures by scoring for the 21st time this season in Bayern Munich's 5-0 demolition of Schalke.
Müller set the gold standard during the 1972/73 campaign, courtesy of a Matchday 18 double against Oberhausen. He went on to score 36 goals and claim a second successive Bundesliga top scorer's prize (one of a record seven overall).
Lewandowski, who is chasing his third Torjägerkanone on the bounce and fifth in total, now needs just one more goal to match his league-best tally of last season. His 21st strike of 2019/20 has also put him one clear of RB Leipzig counterpart Timo Werner at the head of the sharpshooter's table.
Even when he posted a single-season career-best 30 goals in 2015/16, the irrepressible Bayern No.9 'only' had 17 at this juncture.
"Everyone knows that Lewandowski is just an incredible player," said Lewy's awestruck teenaged teammate Alphonso Davies after the Schalke rout. "Watching him play at a young age is incredible. Being able to play on the pitch with him, in training every day, you see a burst of magic from him. Him scoring that many goals in that many games puts a smile on everybody's faces."
As well as tying Müller and overtaking Werner with his close-range effort against Schalke, Lewandowski became only the second player in history to score in nine consecutive Bundesliga meetings with one club.
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The Poland striker has 12 goals to show for his last nine top-flight assignments against the Royal Blues, matching Schalke icon Klaus Fischer's hot streak against VfB Stuttgart, and 17 in as many games overall. He has only come up with the goods more often in matches against Augsburg (19) and Wolfsburg (20).
Better yet, Lewandowski - who earlier in the season became the first player in history to score in the first 11 matches of a campaign - could still become the first since the legendary Müller to hit 40 single-season goals.
Müller's unsurpassed 40-goal haul of 1971/72 earned him his second European Golden Boot. To date, he is the only Bundesliga player to claim the prize. The question is: for how much longer?
Lewandowski is currently second in the continental charts behind former Borussia Dortmund forward Ciro Immobile (23 goals), but will have the opportunity to swell his tally when Bayern travel to one of his favourite opponents, Mainz, on Matchday 20.
In 15 games against the 05ers, Legendowski has helped himself to 15 goals, including five braces. Indeed, of all 18 current Bundesliga clubs, Fortuna Düsseldorf are they only team missing from his bumper-crop collection.
Little wonder Lewandowski is the Bundesliga's record non-German scorer with 223 goals - already some 26 better off than ex-Bayern teammate Claudio Pizarro - and the third most prolific all told behind Fischer (268) and Müller (365).
Since joining Dortmund from Lech Poznan in summer 2010, he has struck double figures in all but one (his first) of his nine full seasons of Bundesliga football, hitting or breaking the 20-goal barrier six times and registering 30-goal hauls twice in succession in 2015/16 and 2016/17.
Ominously, it was only last July, that he said how he wants to continue banging in the goals deep into his 30s: "I want to play for at least another four years."
After all, why should the best out-and-out striker of his generation even think about slowing down when he has reached 31 without missing more than four matches of a 34-game season in the Bundesliga?
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