Lewandowski hits five goals in nine minutes: three more impact subs
The prolific Pole turned the top of the table Bundesliga clash upside down with astonishing scoring spree
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski confirmed his reputation as one of Europe's deadliest marksmen with an extraordinary scoring spree, netting five goals in nine minutes against Wolfburg on Tuesday night, to leave his manager Pep Guardiola visibly stunned.
The prolific Pole was introduced as a substitute at half time in the top of the table Bundesliga clash, with second placed Wolfsburg leading Bayern Munich 1 – 0 at the break.
What followed was a masterclass in centre forward play as Lewandowski hit five goals in just nine minutes. With his fifth, a stunning scissor kick, the pick of the bunch.
The understandably shell-shocked Wolfsburg side failed to recover and the game ended 5-1 to the current German title holders.
After the match Lewandowski was suitably chuffed, telling reporters: "This was just crazy. Five goals, that's just unbelievable. I just wanted to shoot and wasn't thinking about what happened afterwards. I am very, very satisfied. This was a great evening for me."
His captain Phillip Lahm however quipped: "You have to remain critical - Lewandowski could have grabbed seven tonight, he missed two big chances!"
Lewandowski's performance set multiple records: he was the first Bundesliga substitute to score more than three goals; it was the fastest five goal haul in a major European league; he now has as many league goals as Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney, Sergio Aguero, Diego Costa, Olivier Giroud and Christian Benteke combined and in nine minutes scored more league goals than Nicklas Bendtner has managed in over three years.
He has also outperformed a third of Europe's top teams.
While his performance was extraordinary, he is not the first man to go from bench-warmer to match-winner. Here are three more incredible impact substitutes:
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer vs Nottingham Forest 1999
The 'baby faced assassin' is perhaps best remembered for his cameo at the Camp Nou in 1999 but it was a substitute appearance earlier on in that season that stood out. Coming on against an ailing Forest side who would go on to be relegated, Solskjaer was told to play conservatively as United were already leading 4-1, but ended up scoring four in ten minutes - including one from an impossibly acute angle after rounding Forest keeper Dave Beasant – to turn the score line into an 8-1 rout.
Lars Ricken vs Juventus 1997
Borussia Dortmund fans could take a crumb of comfort from seeing their former frontman Lewandowski score five as it may have reminded them of their own incredible impact sub. Local boy Lars Ricken came on in the second half of Dortmund's 1997 Champions League final with Juventus and within 16 seconds had coolly lobbed Angelo Peruzzi for the winning goal. At just 20 years of age Ricken had written his name into the history books and would go on to be one of the game's great one-club men.
Tim Krul vs Costa Rica 2014
Never one to shy away from a big decision, Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal made one of his biggest at the end of the World Cup quarter-final with Costa Rica in 2014. Worried that his No1 goalkeeper might not be up to the task of penalties, LVG replaced Jasper Cillesen in the 120th minute for 'penalty specialist' Tim Krul. Krul saved two and the Dutch went through and Van Gaal's impact substitution was considered a masterstroke. How much of a masterstroke was later up for debate, when the Dutch went out in the semi-finals on penalties, with Cillesen unable to be substituted and his confidence clearly shot.