bundesliga

Bayern Munich thump Wolfsburg to go top on historic afternoon for Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski became the Bundesliga’s outright record non-German goalscorer as Bayern Munich swatted aside Wolfsburg to move back to the top of the table for the first time since September on Saturday.

Bayern Munich 6-0 Wolfsburg

Goals: 1-0 Gnabry (34'), 2-0 Lewandowski (37'), 3-0 James (52'), 4-0 Müller (76'), 5-0 Kimmich (82'), 6-0 Lewandowski (85')

Lewandowski had moved level with Claudio Pizarro on 195 goals in last weekend’s 5-1 rout of Borussia Mönchengladbach, and the Bayern striker was at it again back at the Allianz Arena, testing Koen Casteels early on. Wolfsburg broke ranks as Yannick Gerhardt sent a header narrowly over, but normal service was resumed in emphatic fashion when Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Müller combined down the right-hand side to tee up Serge Gnabry for a richly deserved opener. Bayern smelled blood and duly doubled up moments later, with James Rodriguez showing great invention to release Gnabry. The Germany international - handed a new contract earlier in the week - could have gone himself, but selflessly squared for Lewandowski to tuck away his record-breaking 196th Bundesliga goal.

A chastening afternoon for Wolfsburg only got worse after the restart. Gnabry was allowed to drift inside and feed James, who took a touch to set himself on the edge of the area before nonchalantly caressing the ball into the bottom left-hand corner. Red shirts formed an orderly queue as Bayern laid siege to the Wolfsburg goal, with Casteels thwarting Müller from close range and substitute Leon Goretzka's thunderous follow-up. The partisan home crowd were in party mood, but the decibel levels went up a notch when Müller connected with a low Franck Ribery cross to add a fourth after a fine solo run from Renato Sanches. Kimmich headed in another Ribery delivery and Lewandowski followed suit with a backwards header a contortionist would have been proud of to send the defending champions back to the summit on goal difference.

James Rodriguez scored his fourth Bundesliga goal of the season. - imago images / Jan Huebner

Match stats

  • Bayern have won 12 of their last 13 Bundesliga games, making light work of the nine-point deficit to Dortmund after Matchday 15.
  • Lewandowski has scored 197 Bundesliga goals in 281 Bundesliga appearances, and has plundered 20 goals in 17 Bundesliga meetings with Wolfsburg, including at least one in his last eight.
  • Werder Bremen striker Pizarro, a former teammate of Lewandowski’s at Bayern, had held the record as the Bundesliga’s record foreign goalscorer since 23 October 2010. The Poland captain was making his 150th Bundesliga appearance for Bayern.
  • James scored his first Bundesliga goal since finding the net in October's reverse fixture in Wolfsburg.
  • Four of Gnabry's seven Bundesliga goals this season have given Bayern a 1-0 lead.
  • Wolfsburg coach Bruno Labbadia has lost 14 Bundesliga matches in a row against Bayern - a Bundesliga record.

Line-ups

Bayern: Neuer (c) - Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Rafinha - Martinez (Goretzka 54'), Thiago - Müller, James (Sanches 74'), Gnabry (Ribery 55') - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Ulreich, Süle, Davies, Jeong
Out: Alaba (ankle), Coman (thigh), Robben (calf), Tolisso (knee)
Coach: Niko Kovac

Wolfsburg: Casteels - William, Knoche, Brooks, Roussillon - Gerhardt (Malli 83'), Guilavogui (c), Arnold (Rexhbecaj 68') - Mehmedi (Steffen 58') - Weghorst, Brekalo
Unused subs: Pervan, Verhaegh, Klaus, Uduokhai
Out: Azzaoui (knee), Camacho (ankle), Ginczek (ankle), Jung (muscular)
Coach: Bruno Labbadia

Watch: Thiago: "Title in Bayern's hands"