Bayern thrash Salzburg to advance to the quarters
Robert Lewandowski scored a hat-trick in the first 23 minutes to help Bayern Munich beat Red Bull Salzburg and advance to the Champions League quarter-finals.
On his 100th appearance in the competition, the Poland captain confidently stroked home two penalties inside 21 minutes, after being needlessly hauled down twice by Salzburg defender Maximilian Wober, the second confirmed after a VAR review.
The first spot-kick, which Lewandowski stroked into the bottom-left corner, was his 40th goal of the season in all competitions.
He scored his third goal after chasing down a clearance attempt by visiting goalkeeper Philipp Kohn and tapping in from close range.
It is the first time a Champions League hat-trick has been achieved as early as the 23rd minute, albeit it is not the quickest treble in competition history, with Bafetimbi Gomis setting the record with three goals in eight minutes for Lyon in a 7-1 win over Dinamo Zagreb in 2011.
Bayern’s early start placed them comfortably in charge of a game that some in the Bavarian media had labelled as “all or nothing” after the six-time champions were beaten to a humiliating 1-1 draw in the first leg in Austria.
Salzburg under Matthias Jaissle had early chances, with Nicolas Capaldo and Nicolas Seiwald both failing to convert wonderful opportunities.
They were punished by the lethal Lewandowski before another defensive blunder allowed Serge Gnabry to add a fourth with a low shot that slid under Kohn, and Thomas Muller hammered in a fifth after the break.
On an otherwise dismal night for the visitors, Maurits Kjaergaard managed a consolation goal with a thunderous shot into the top-left corner.
But that just appeared to rouse Julian Nagelsmann’s squad, with Muller capping off a well-worked move for number six before Leroy Sane hammered home late on.