The ultimate supersub? Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski came off the bench to score five goals in nine minutes and single-handedly crush VfL Wolfsburg.
On the way he scored the Bundesliga’s fastest hattrick.
Wolfsburg, having not conceded in their past four matches, went into the break with a goal advantage thanks to Daniel Caligiuri. But everything changed after the introduction of Lewandowski who scored his first from close range on 51 minutes.
His final tally including a spectacular volley was the fastest five-goal haul in the Bundesliga’s 52-year history, leaving coach Pep Guardiola looking around in complete disbelief with his hands on his head.
The 5-1 win lifted Bayern to a maximum 18 points, three ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, who are in action at Hoffenheim on Wednesday. Wolfsburg are third.
“I am very happy for Robert,” Guardiola told reporters. “For his confidence and our future this was extremely important.
“I can’t really understand it. Five goals. Neither as a coach nor as a player did I ever experience something like this and I can’t really explain it. Five goals against Wolfsburg are never easy,” said the Spaniard.
It was Wolfsburg, however, who had the better start with Caligiuri controlling a deep cross from Julian Draxler and thundering an unstoppable shot past Manuel Neuer.
Wolfsburg almost scored again when Neuer charged out of the box to clear a ball but chested it into the path of Josuha Guilavogui who tried his luck from 40 metres with the ball hitting the post and rolling wide.
Guardiola brought on Lewandowski for the second half and the 27-year-old exploded into action six minutes later.
Nine minutes after that Bayern, who host Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League next week, were 5-1 up and the Wolves were in a complete daze as Lewandowski, the league’s top scorer two seasons ago, took his tally for this campaign to eight goals.
“What can I say?,” Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking said. “A world-class striker shot five times on goal and could have scored seven. That is how it happened.
“But with our quality this should not happen. We had a good first half and Bayern could not up the pace of the game and then came these nine minutes. It’s inexplicable.”