Robert Lewandowski. The Polish international is without question one of the most talented strikers of the modern game but even by the standards of the clinical Bayern Munich forward, the night of September 22, 2015 was something special. When things go right for you, they can go really right and Lewandowski felt that to the fullest extent when, with his side trailing at half time, he was brought on as a substitute – only to go on and score five goals in the space of nine second half minutes shortly thereafter to guide his side from the jaws of defeat to a confident trouncing of opponents Wolfsburg.
A goal behind to a first half Daniel Caligiuri strike, Bayern Munich’s super sub began his goalscoring escapades in the 51st minute when he was on hand to slot home a scrappy goal from close range. At this stage, the decision by manager Pep Guardiola to bring on the Polish striker was looking like a good choice. Six minutes on the pitch and he had them level. Still, it suggested nothing of what was yet to come.
Within sixty seconds of the restart, Bayern had recouped the ball and fed it into Lewandowski. With a trademark shift of the ball, he opened up the space outside the box and lashed in a low drive to turn the game on its head. The commentators hadn’t yet finished recounting his previous strike and already the number 9 had pounced once more and this time from 25 yards – as if he needed to justify he had more in the locker than just the scrappy tap-in of his opener.
Three minutes later and the hat-trick was sealed. It was becoming clear that it was set to be a special night in the history of Bayern Munich that Tuesday night. Not that Lewandowski made it easy for himself, being helped out with a fair degree of luck when his first strike hit the post, then the ball ricocheted between himself and Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio before he managed to poke it home. By 57 minutes, he had another with a much more assured header meeting Douglas Costa’s cross.
Yet, the best was still to come. Just nine minutes after striking the first, Lewandowski took full advantage of some lax defending allowing a cross into him and unleashed a thunderous acrobatic volley into the net to make it 5-1.