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Lewandowski hat-trick hero as Bayern thumps Benfica in the Champions League

Bayern Munich forwards Robert Lewandowski, Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane celebrating a goal against Benfica. | PHOTO: Alexander Hassenstein/GettyImages |

Bayern Munich secured passage to the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday night, seeing off Benfica 5-2 at the Allianz Arena.

Robert Lewandowski marked his 100th appearance in the Champions League with his 79th, 80th and 81st goals in the competition as Bayern Munich sealed their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Further goals from Germany wingers Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane secured the win and confirmed Bayern as winners of Group E with two games still remaining and one of the few sides to have already qualified for the round of 16 including Juventus in Group H.

Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski bagged a hat-trick on his 100th Champions League appearance as Bayern defeated Benfica 5-2 at Allianz Arena on Tuesday, 2 November. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

A demented beginning to the game led to opportunities at both ends, with Benfica putting the ball in the net first. Lucas Verissimo’s tap-in, however, was ruled out by the VAR as Pizzi was adjudged to have assisted his colleague from an offside position.

The visitors started brightly, with Pizzi forcing a save from Manuel Neuer in the first minute before the visitors had the disallowed goal for offside against the same man in the 15th minute.

It was, eventually Julien Nagelsman’s side that broke the deadlock in the 26th minute. Kingsley Coman twisted his full-back inside-out before teeing up Robert Lewandowski at the back stick. Six minutes later, Serge Gnabry was calmly back-heeling Lewandowski’s cut back to make it 2-0, after the Pole latched onto a sensational ball by Joshua Kimmich.

Benfica managed to pull one back in the 38th minute when Morato headed in Alex Grimaldo’s cross to score a Champions League goal past Manuel Neuer for the first time this campaign. Bayern could have restored their two-goal cushion before the half-time whistle, although Lewandowski’s shocking effort from the spot was easily saved by Odysseas Vlachodimos.

It only took the 2020 Champions League winners four minutes after the resumption to get a third, though. Alphonso Davies headed down Kimmich’s beautiful clipped pass into the path of Leroy Sane, before the German emphatically fired home a half-volley into the far corner.

Leroy Sane

Bayern Munich winger Leroy Sane with a staggering goal against Benfica in a Champions League clash. Bayern won the match 5-2 as Lewandowski bagged a hat-trick. | PHOTO: Boris Streubel/GettyImages |

Julian Nagelsmann’s men then made it four with a staggering strike. Kimmich set his side on the counter with a perfectly executed first-time ball through to Sane, who kept his cool to lay off Lewandowski. The striker made up for his earlier error by taking a touch to step past his defender and dink the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper.

The visitors bagged themselves a consolation with 15 minutes remaining, as Joao Mario drove forward on the counter before feeding Darwin Nunez, who slid the ball through the legs of Neuer, who has now conceded 10 goals in the last three matches.

The hosts were not yet done. They bagged their fifth as Lewandowski brought down Manuel Neuer’s incredible long-range pass from the sky, before lobbing the goalkeeper with ease to seal his hat-trick.

Benfica was put out of their misery soon after, as the referee blew up to seal a thumping victory and a place in the last 16 for Die Roten.

Both sides will be back in their respective league action. Bayern will host Freiburg in a Bundesliga clash on Saturday, 6 November whilst Benfica will seek to bounce back to winning ways when they host SC Braga in Portugal Primeira Liga on Monday, 8 November before the international break.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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