2021-22 UEFA Champions League, Group Stage
  • Robert Lewandowski (26', 61', 84')
  • Serge Gnabry (32')
  • Leroy Sané (49')
  • Morato (38')
  • Darwin Núñez (74')

Robert Lewandowski's hat trick steers Bayern Munich into Champions League knockouts

Robert Lewandowski scored a hat-trick, set up another goal and missed a penalty in his 100th Champions League appearance as Bayern Munich crushed Benfica 5-2 on Tuesday to cruise into the knockout stage with two Group E matches to spare.

Lewandowski headed in his first goal in the 26th minute and chipped in another just past the hour after also setting up Serge Gnabry for a sensational backheel flick in the 32nd minute.

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The striker missed a penalty in first half stoppage time but sealed his hat trick in the 85th minute. It was his 81st goal in the competition.

Benfica cut the deficit before the break with Morato's 38th minute header which, was the first goal conceded by Bayern in four Champions League matches, but a superb Leroy Sane shot early in the second half ended any hopes of a comeback. The visitors scored again in the 75th with Darwin Nunez.

Bayern are top on 12 points following their fourth win in the group, with Benfica stuck on four. Barcelona moved into second place on six after beating Dynamo Kiev, who are last with one point.

The top two teams advance to the knockout stage.

With Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann back on the bench after a two-week absence due to a COVID-19 infection, it was Benfica who had a better start when they put the ball in the net but the effort was ruled offside.

Lewandowski punished them not long after when he headed in a Kingsley Coman cross at the far post to open his account.

Before Benfica had time to recover, Bayern, who a week ago suffered their heaviest German Cup defeat ever with a 5-0 loss to Borussia Monchengladbach, struck again as Lewandowski set up Gnabry whose backheel left goalkeeper Odisseas Vlachodimos frozen.

The visitors pulled a goal back when Brazilian Morato rose to head home seven minutes before the break and they grew more hopeful when Lewandowski's tame penalty was saved by Vlachodimos in stoppage time before the interval.

But the hosts moved into turbo drive after half-time with Sane thundering in a half-volley to make it 3-1 before setting up Lewandowski for a delightful chip over the keeper in the 61st.

The hosts were caught napping when Darwin Nunez was left in space to pull a goal back with 15 minutes left. But Lewandowski was not yet done, bagging his fourth Champions League hat trick in the 85th to book Bayern's spot in the round of 16.