It’s fair to say Robert Lewandowski made an impact after coming on as a half-time substitute in Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga clash with Wolfsburg on Tuesday. In a meeting between last season’s top two, Bayern were trailing 1-0 at the interval to Daniel Caligiuri’s strike, before Lewandowski put on an unprecedented nine-minute scoring barrage. Starting in the 51st minute and finishing on the hour mark, the Poland striker scored an incredible five goals to leave Bayern strolling to victory, 5-1.
The damage began when former Bayern defender Dante helped the ball into Lewandowski’s path after a fine flick from Arturo Vidal, leaving Bayern’s No. 9 to apply a cool finish. Just over a minute later came the second. This time Lewandowski was afforded space outside the box and made his opponents pay with a low drive into the corner of the net. The former Borussia Dortmund man had his hat trick two minutes later, beating the increasingly beleaguered Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio at the second attempt after he had intially struck the post when found just onside in the box by Bayern captain Philipp Lahm.
Lewandowski and Bayern did not have to wait long for their fourth goal. It came in the 57th minute when Douglas Costa’s fine run and cross was hammered into the net by the super-sub as Arjen Robben and others looked on from the stands with a growing look of disbelief.
The highlight, though, was still to come. Completing the greatest spell of his career, and one of the most remarkable of any player in the history of top-level soccer, Lewandowski leapt with both feet off the ground to meet Mario Götze's cross with a stunning flying volley into the corner of the net from the edge of the box.
It could have been even better for Lewandowski. It required a fine goal-line clearance from Wolfsburg defender Ricardo Rodriguez to prevent him from completing his double hat-trick and keep the final score at just the 5-1. Still, Lewandowski had become the first substitute in Bundesliga history to fire five goals, while scoring the fastest five goals in the history of the league.
For Bayern Munich, the victory will be particularly sweet after they went down 4-1 to Wolfsburg in what was the Bavarians’ biggest loss of last season. The win also takes Pep Guardiola’s side, at least temporarily, three points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, and above Borussia Dortmund, who will have a chance to continue their perfect start to the season on Wednesday at Hoffenheim.
Last year’s runners-up Wolfsburg, meanwhile, remain in third, although it is still to be seen how quickly they can recover from Tuesday’s chastening loss, especially having impressed in the opening half. There will be particularly painful memories for Switzerland international Benaglio, who was also in goal when Wolfsburg were beaten 5-1 by Lewandowski’s Borussia Dortmund team in 2011. Lewandowski, though, just scored the one that day.