Bayern Munich 5-0 Hertha Berlin: Lewandowski nets hat-trick as champions cruise

By Sports Desk August 28, 2021

Robert Lewandowski created a new personal best as his hat-trick helped Bayern Munich to a commanding 5-0 win over Hertha Berlin at the Allianz Arena.

The Pole netted in his 13th successive Bundesliga match, with Thomas Muller and Jamal Musiala also on target at the start of each half as Julian Nagelsmann’s men moved level on points with leaders Bayer Leverkusen and Freiburg.

Only the late Gerd Muller (16, 1969-70) has found the net in more consecutive league matches than Lewandowski, who surpassed his previous best streak of 12 from the 2012-13 season.

Meanwhile, Bayern are now unbeaten in 27 home league matches against Hertha, who are the only side yet to register a point in the German top flight this term.

Bayern edged in front after just six minutes. A quick counter culminated in Lewandowski dummying Alphonso Davies’ pass for the onrushing Muller to clinically tuck away his first league goal of the season.  
 
The lead was doubled in the 35th minute. Lewandowski’s initial header from Serge Gnabry’s centre crashed against the crossbar, but he reacted quickest by rising above the defender to nod home the rebound. 
 
Fresh from scoring twice in the 12-0 DFB-Pokal demolition of fifth-tier Bremer in midweek, Musiala got in on the act four minutes after the break as he neatly bent a shot into the far corner. 
 
Lewandowski grabbed his second 20 minutes from time. Substitute Leroy Sane played a neat one-two with Muller before squaring for the striker, who made no mistake from close range. 
 
And the Pole completed his treble with six minutes remaining; heading home after Tanguy Nianzou cushioned Joshua Kimmich’s corner invitingly into his path.

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    Mohamed Salah committed his long-term future to Liverpool on Friday by signing a new three-year deal.

    The Egypt international was due to be out of contract at the end of the upcoming season, leading to strong links with a move away from Anfield.

    However, out of the blue, Salah has penned an extension to – temporarily, at least – bring an end to speculation over his future.

    After losing Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich, albeit with Darwin Nunez signed as a replacement of sorts, tying down Salah is a major boost for Liverpool ahead of the new season.

    Here, Stats Perform looks at just how important Salah has been for Liverpool over the past five years, and how his record compares to Europe's other elite attackers.

    ALREADY AMONG LIVERPOOL GREATS

    It is difficult to remember now, but Salah's arrival from Roma in a deal rising to £43million raised more than a few eyebrows due to his disappointing earlier spell with Chelsea.

    Six major honours later, including one as a key part in the club's first Premier League title triumph, and Salah will go down as one of Liverpool's all-time greats.

    The 30-year-old has made 254 appearances for the Reds in total, 235 of those being starts, and has scored 156 goals while assisting 58 more.

    Those 156 goals rank him ninth on the list of Liverpool's record scorers, with considerable ground to make up on Ian Rush at the top of that list with 346 goals.


    CLOSING IN ON GERRARD RECORD

    Salah might struggle to overhaul Rush, but he will also have another record in his sights when the 2022-23 campaign gets up and running next month.

    With 164 direct goal involvements in the Premier League, Salah trails only Steven Gerrard (212) among Reds players in the competition in that regard.

    Indeed, only two players from Europe's top five leagues have scored and assisted more goals across the same period – Robert Lewandowski (184) and Lionel Messi (200).

    Kylian Mbappe, seen by many as the most desirable player in world football, is fourth on that list on 163 goal involvements, while Ciro Immobile is fifth with 159.


    PREMIER LEAGUE PEDIGREE

    Salah has scored 118 goals for Liverpool in the Premier League alone, which is 13 more than next-best Harry Kane among all clubs since the start of the 2017-18 season.

    Those strikes have helped Salah to three Golden Boot awards – only Arsenal legend Thierry Henry (4) has finished top of the competition's scoring charts more often.

    The former Basel forward also ranks top for minutes per goal among those to have played at least 100 times (126 minutes per goal), shots (678) and touches in the opposition box (1,575).

    However, one metric he does not lead is assists, with Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne boasting 58 to Salah's 46.


    MORE TO COME FROM MO

    Salah's output has been consistent across his five years at Anfield, starting between 45 and 49 games a season and registering double figures for assists in all but one of those campaigns.

    He has remained a prolific scorer throughout, with a high of 44 goals in the 2017-18 season and a low – but still respectable – 23 in the 2019-20 campaign. The latter was the season when Liverpool won the Premier League.

    The Al Mokawloon youth product has managed 31 goals in each of the past two seasons, while the 15 assists registered last season was a career-high.

    All that suggests Salah is far from finished on Merseyside, and with a new three-year deal signed, Liverpool fans have plenty more to look forward to from their 'Egyptian king'.

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    Defending champion Djokovic won 6-0 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 53 minutes to book a last-16 clash with Dutch wild card Tim van Rijthoven.

    The 20-time grand slam winner will carry out due diligence on Wimbledon rookie Van Rijthoven, who is through to the fourth round on his debut and has reeled off eight successive wins.

    Van Rijthoven won the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships in the lead-up to this fortnight, stunning world number one Daniil Medvedev in the final.

    Yet on the form that saw Djokovic crush Kecmanovic's hopes, Van Rijthoven will surely stand little hope of going any deeper into the tournament.

    Djokovic won 88 per cent of points when landing his first serve in court, and he has now reached the fourth round at Wimbledon on 14 occasions, a performance only beaten in men's singles by Roger Federer (18) and Jimmy Connors (16).

    "I thought I started off very, very well, very strong with a lot of good intensity, good focus," Djokovic said in an on-court interview.

    "Honestly, I think I've been playing better and better as the tournament progresses, so that's something you wish for as a player, that every match you play you raise a level of tennis up a notch, at least, and I think that's what is happening at the moment.

    "I know I can always do better, I always expect the highest from myself, and so far, so good, and I'm looking forward to the next challenge."

    Data slam: Familiarity breeds familiar outcome

    The battle of these Davis Cup team-mates was always unlikely to go the way of the 25th seed, and so it proved that Kecmanovic could not cope with the animal that Centre Court brings out in Djokovic.

    This was a third career meeting in tournament action for the pair, with both previous encounters having come at the Serbia Open. Kecmanovic took the opener against Djokovic before slumping to defeat when they played in Belgrade in April, but this was a rout, the 22-year-old underdog trampled.

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    Kecmanovic– 13/27

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
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    Kecmanovic – 1/5

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    Kecmanovic - 1/4

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    Ivo Karlovic – one of only two tennis stars taller than the giant Isner – had set the benchmark with 13,728 across his career, the most since aces were first tracked in 1991.

    But Isner has chipped away at that total over the course of this week at the All England Club.

    The American's 54 aces in five sets against Enzo Couacaud in the first round made him the first player to pass 50 in a grand slam match since he had last done so versus Steven Johnson at the 2020 US Open.

    And there were a further 36 in an epic second-round win over Andy Murray, leaving Isner just four short of matching Karlovic and five away from passing him.

    Against Jannik Sinner, in Friday's third round, Isner raced past his target, tallying 12 aces in the first set alone.

    It is a record Isner is likely to own for some time, with 43-year-old Karlovic absent from the ATP Tour this year and playing only six main-draw matches in 2021.

    Roger Federer is third on the list, way back on 11,478.

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