Lewandowski equals Mueller’s Bundesliga scoring record

Lewandowski
Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski equalled a 49-year-old Bundesliga scoring record on Saturday with his 40th goal of the season as champions Bayern Munich drew 2-2 in Freiburg.

Lewandowski, 32, converted a 26th-minute penalty kick to draw level with Bayern Munich icon Gerd Mueller who had scored his 40 goals in 1971/1972.

The Poland star revealed a t-shirt with a picture of Mueller and the writing “4ever Gerd” and got a guard of honour from team-mates and staff to mark the historic occasion.

Leroy Sane scored the other goal for Bayern Munich who had clinched a record-extending ninth straight title a week ago.

Manuel Gulde and Christian Guenter were on target for mid-table Freiburg on the penultimate matchday.

“This is a big honour. For me but also for modern Bundesliga history in Germany. It was a legendary record that stood for a long time.

“It was unbelievable what Gerd Mueller achieved. I never thought I could share a record with him,” Lewandowski said.

“The record belongs to the whole team. There is not just my name on the list but that of the whole team.”

Coach Hansi Flick also said that “this is also an achievement from the team which has to feed him”.

The club’s board member for sports, Hasan Salihamidzic, also named Lewandowski “the best striker in the world” at the moment.

Flick gave reserve goalkeeper Alexander Nuebel a first Bundesliga start and Lewandowski aimed inches right on their first chance 20 minutes into the game.

The Polish marksman then tied Mueller’s record with a penalty kick into the bottom right corner after Lukas Kuebler tripped Thomas Mueller.

Celebrations were however short-lived as Freiburg levelled three minutes later when Gulde headed home a corner-kick.

Bayern Munich had a second goal from Serge Gnabry in the 51st minute, after a sensational solo from Sane was ruled out for offside.

But Sane then made it 2-1 himself two minutes later, sliding into a low cross from Mueller.

Lewandowski should have gained sole possession of the record in the 78th minute, but he was first denied by goalkeeper Mark Flekken.

Then, shockingly, he failed to net from half a metre out as he mis-cued the ball sideways and into Flekken’s arms.

He and Bayern Munich paid the price for the inexplicable miss as Freiburg levelled three minutes later from captain Guenter.

Elsewhere, Mueller’s former West Germany team-mate Bernd Hoelzenbein lost Eintracht Frankfurt’s scoring record from 1976/1977 when Andre Silva got a brace for a tally of 27.

But the team’s UEFA Champions League ambitions took another big hit in a 4-3 defeat at relegated Schalke 04 who scored three goals in nine minutes to reverse a 2-1 deficit.

Eintracht Frankfurt remain one point behind Cup winners Borussia Dortmund who in fourth visit now safe Mainz on Sunday, and three points behind Wolfsburg who face second-placed RB Leipzig.

Bayer Leverkusen clinched a Europa League berth in sixth in spite of being held 1-1 by Union Berlin who are now seventh and in the Conference League spot.

This was because Borussia Moenchengladbach lost 2-1 against VfB Stuttgart.

In the lowlands, Hertha Berlin are safe after a 0-0 draw with second-last Cologne.

So also are Augsburg after a 2-0 over Werder Bremen who slipped into the relegation play-off spot in third-last.

They are one point ahead of Cologne and one behind Arminia Bielefeld who drew 1-1 with Hoffenheim.

“I am proud. The lads have changed. They showed that they are a team. You can love them again,” Hertha coach Pal Dardai said.

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