Robert Lewandowski stated his case for the Ballon d’Or by scoring his 10th Bundesliga goal in nine games this season for leaders Bayern Munich in a 4-0 romp at home to Hoffenheim on Saturday.
Having claimed a record 41 Bundesliga goals last season, Lewandowski has picked up where he left off.
The Poland striker is among the favourites to win the Ballon d’Or on November 29 having been named FIFA’s best male player of 2020.
Lewandowski showed his class with a stunning strike after Serge Gnabry gave the hosts a first-half lead in front of 60,000 fans at the Allianz Arena, the biggest home crowd since the pandemic hit Germany in March 2020.
Replacements Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Kingsley Coman grabbed late goals to seal the win which keeps Bayern a point clear at the top of the table ahead of Borussia Dortmund, who won 3-1 at Arminia Bielefeld.
Bayern dominated even though head coach Julian Nagelsmann is quarantining at home after testing positive for Covid-19.
“It was a deserved victory. The team played very strong football for 30 minutes,” said Nagelsmann’s assistant coach Dino Toppmoeller.
“After going 2-0 up, there was a lack of sharpness in defence. In the end, we stepped up a gear.”
“We’ll all be happy if Julian comes back as soon as possible.”
Gnabry’s opening goal came after he had already had one disallowed. Lewandowski had also chipped Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann only to watch the ball fly agonisingly wide of the post.
Bayern finally made their domination count on 16 minutes when Jamal Musiala played the ball in to Gnabry, who fired between Baumann’s legs for his sixth league goal this season.
Lewandowski made it 2-0 with a superb finish from the edge of the area.
The floodgates opened with eight minutes left as Choupo-Moting and then Coman fired home to complete the rout.
– Dortmund respond to Ajax rout -Borussia Dortmund bounced back from their midweek Champions League drubbing at Ajax against Arminia Bielefeld.
Emre Can and Mats Hummels claimed first-half goals before England midfielder Jude Bellingham dribbled past defenders, then chipped the ball in from a tight angle.
“We wanted to give an answer here to the game on Tuesday, which was unfortunately, a step backwards,” admitted Hummels.
With regular penalty-taker Erling Braut Haaland sidelined with a hip injury, Can stepped up to convert an early spot-kick.
Hummels produced a spectacular volley from the edge of the area to make it 2-0 at half-time before Bellingham grabbed the third 18 minutes from time. Striker Fabian Klos converted a late Bielefeld penalty.
Freiburg remain the only unbeaten team in Germany’s top flight and rose to third with a 2-0 win at Wolfsburg, thanks to goals by Philipp Lienhart and Lucas Hoeler.
Wolfsburg won their first four league games under Mark van Bommel to lead the table in mid-September, but four straight defeats leave them eighth.
Second-half goals by Emil Forsberg, Yussuf Poulsen, Dominik Szoboszlai, who set up the fourth for 18-year-old Hugo Novoa Ramos on his league debut, saw RB Leipzig fight back to claim a 4-1 home win over bottom side Greuther Fuerth.
The win eases pressure on American head coach Jesse Marsch after Leipzig lost their first three Champions League games, including Tuesday’s 3-2 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain.