Before the season started, Bayern lost out on the Super Cup to a Wolfsburg side, who had won the German Cup and finished runners-up in the Bundesliga the previous season. Even losing their star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City that season didn’t stop them as they made a strong start to the season, and kept four clean sheets in a row prior to a big game at the Allianz Arena.
They were in good form, while Bayern the powerhouse were struggling. Pep was under pressure and on his last year of his contract, having not delivered the holy grail, the Champions League, a bad start to the league campaign would have possibly seen him leave, but not on his terms but that of Bayern. It did not help that Guardiola wanted to play a false nine in his team, with Mario Gotze and Thomas Muller preferred to Robert Lewandowski in the forward role.
The game starts, and Caliguiri scores for Wolfsburg. Bayern trail 0–1 at half time.
Mario Gotze was struggling, the team lacked the fluency of the previous seasons. But this Wolfsburg team was no silly team. We saw Benaglio in goal who was a good keeper (and is), decent defenders in Rodriguez, Dante(ex-Bayern player too) and Naldo. Luis Gustavo was holding the midfield, and Julian Draxler was the one to replace De Bruyne.
Which only amplifies the achievement which was going to happen.
Seeing the Gotze experiment failing, he brings on the Polish center forward at half time in place of Thiago.
51st minute: It’s all a bit chaotic as Bayern want the goal to put them back, as Muller tries to shoot but the ball falls into Lewandowski’s path. He is a sharp shooter and promptly puts Bayern level. That is super sub stuff. 1–1.
52nd minute: Just after kickoff, Bayern win the ball back. The ball is quickly moved to Lewandowski who turns, shoots from distance and celebrates, as Bayern take the lead in a potential title decider having been a goal down in front of their fans. That is seriously good stuff from Lewandowski. 2–1.
55th minute: Bayern want more. So does Lewandowski. First he hits the post, then Benaglio saves at the near post, but he is not to be stopped. The third effort is squeezed into the goal, and Bayern look like they will get the three points thanks to their talismanic forward.Fastest Bundesliga hattrick and a rare distinction of a substitute scoring hat trick. 3–1.
57th minute: Bayern are now just coasting. New signing Douglas Costa rips up the left flank and puts in a cross which Lewandowski volleys it into the net from close range. This is turning out to be one of the best nights ever for Lewandowski. An injured Arjen Robben can only stand in the stands and clap at this master class. He didn’t score this quickly for Dortmund when he hit four past Real Madrid in the CL. 4–1.
60th minute: The best of the lot. Gotze puts the cross in and Lewy just flies in and puts the ball into top corner past a hapless Benaglio who will be wondering how the heck he managed to run into a striker in such impervious form. The technique on the goal is fantastic. Wolfsburg haven’t been terrible but now find themselves 5–1 down, and in disarray all because of a substitute striker.
Even Pep couldn’t actually believe it.
And he brought through Lionel Messi. Just let that sink in for a moment. As the English Bundesliga commentator said: You just can’t be that good! Of course Philipp Lahm wanted more. He should have scored seven. But hey, that’s Bayern for you.
Four world records were made that day as he scored 5 goals in exactly 8 minutes 59 seconds. It was just incredible.
After a middling first season since coming on a free transfer from BVB, this game put Lewandowski on the world map, as well as making sure of his status as a Bayern cult hero. He hasn’t looked back and has kept up the goal run for Bayern and Poland.
Pep Guardiola’s status was saved that night. Bayern recovered their mojo, and Pep got to leave on his own terms, to Manchester City for the season after that. Still couldn’t win the CL, being thwarted by Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid in the semis. But they won the league. Again.
Wolfsburg never recovered from that. With the primary owners Volkswagen also suffering from the US sanctions on their cars not meeting pollution requirements, they struggled on the field. They did beat Real Madrid 2–0 in the CL quarterfinal first leg, but a Cristiano Ronaldo hattrick dented their hopes. Selling players more frequently and many problems arose, as the team barely avoided relegation by the end of next season.
- Images by: