Robert Lewandowski breaks record with latest hat-trick; Muller (2), Gnabry and Sane net in Munich
Robert Lewandowski scored a hat-trick inside the first 23 minutes as FC Bayern cruised into the last eight.
Lewandowski’s hat-trick is the earliest ever scored by a player in Champions League history (group stage to final) from the start of a match, overtaking Marco Simone for Milan versus Rosenborg in September 1996 (24 minutes).
The Polish striker has reached 85 Champions League goals in 104 games, quicker than any other player with Messi second on that list (107) .
Lewandowski’s hat-trick was his fifth in the competition. Only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (both eight) have more.
Lewandowski, not for the first time, spearheaded the goal glut for FC Bayern converting two penalties after being felled by Maximilian Wöber twice then blocking a clearance from goalkeeper Philipp Köhn and tapping in to seal a quickfire hat-trick.
Serge Gnabry all but rubber-stamped Bayern’s place in the last eight with a fourth goal before half-time but there was no let-up after the break. Thomas Muller gleefully helped himself to two goals.Muller stole the second-half show, rattling in two ruthless strikes ,either side of Maurits Kjærgaard’s excellent consolation, with Leroy Sane thumping in number seven late on – it was a record seventh time the Bavarian outfit had hit seven in a game in the competition.
RB Salzburg are out after being beaten by seasoned contenders at their scintillating best, and the Austrians can look back on a highly creditable campaign in which they deservedly became the first team from their country to reach this stage and pushed FC Bayern all the way in the first leg.
Player of the Match: Robert Lewandowski :”Three goals, one assist – he’s always really important. Even though Bayern were on top, the three goals changed the game completely. RB Salzburg tried to attack but went 3-0 down because of the individual class of Lewandowski and his technical ability. One on one, he was too strong throughout the game for the centre-halves.”
UEFA Technical Observer panel.
FC Bayern have lost only one of their last 18 matches in the Champions League round of 16 (W12 D5).
RB Salzburg have won only three of their 13 Champions League matches outside of Austria (D3 L7).
RB Salzburg coach: Matthias Jaissle said,”A really, really tough evening for our boys. But other teams have been turned over here too. Against such a top side, you need to deliver a top performance and we didn’t do that today.”
RB Salzburg defender Rasmus Kristensen said ,”Today it was an opponent on a different level. We had some chances but if you don’t make them count, it is difficult. We gave everything but it wasn’t enough. It had nothing to do with attitude, focus or the match plan. They were simply better in all aspects.”
FC Bayern forward Thomas Muller said , “There wasn’t any uncertainty before the game. Tension, sure. Everyone knew about the game and its importance. Things went well for us today. We had the luck that was completely missing in Salzburg. We could have gone 1-0 down after five minutes. You’re always a little dependent on situations like that, but overall we were better.”
FC Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann said ; “It was definitely a very, very good game. Technically incredible from us. We opened up so many situations with beautiful football that didn’t lead to goals. Yet we still scored seven.”