Lewandowski joins Ronaldo in exclusive Champions League club

By Sports Desk August 19, 2020

Robert Lewandowski's header to crown Bayern Munich's 3-0 Champions League semi-final victory over Lyon gave him a place in the competition's history alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.

It was the Poland striker's 15th goal in this season's tournament, part of a remarkable haul of 55 across all competitions.

Ronaldo is the only other player to hit that number, although he has incredibly done so on three occasions – each time in successful campaigns for Real Madrid.

In 2013-14, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner struck an unmatched 17, while he scored 16 and 15 in 2015-16 and 2017-18 respectively.

Lewandowski has now scored in nine consecutive Champions League matches.

Only Ronaldo in 2018 (11) and fellow former Manchester United favourite Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2003 (also nine) have netted in as many successive outings.

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    Robert Lewandowski vowed to keep targeting the quick kills as his hat-trick helped Bayern Munich crush Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0 in the Bundesliga.

    Lewandowski, who scored 34 goals in 31 league games last season, already has 10 in five matches this time around – the most by any player in the history of the competition at this early stage.

    He had Bayern two clear in just 26 minutes, with a classy left-footed finish followed by a superb header, and there was little doubt from that point that Hansi Flick's side would take maximum points.

    Lewandowski completed his hat-trick in the second half before two substitutes, Leroy Sane and 17-year-old Jamal Musiala, put the finishing touches to the rout.

    "We always want to show the best football. When we have a chance of winning like today, we try to decide it early," Lewandowski said.

    "After the 3-0 win it was decided, then we were able to go down the gears a bit in the last 30 minutes."

    He shrugged off the attention on his own performance and said Bayern, with Bundesliga and Champions League targets, need to avoid over-working themselves.

    "The statistics are not that important to me, I am focused on the team and the game," Lewandowski said. "In the current time, with a game every three days, you also have to be careful. We have an enormous number of games by the end of the year."

    Flick said the victory was all the more special because it came in the wake of a Champions League victory over Atletico Madrid.

    He made four changes from the side that beat Atletico 4-0 and used five substitutions, testing the depth of his squad and finding it met his needs.

    "Victories in the Champions League are all the more beautiful when you win in the Bundesliga afterwards," Flick said, quoted on Bayern's website.

    "We have to measure the stakes and take the players out earlier so that they don't always have to go 90 minutes."

    Lewandowski only had five shots, but four hit the target and three beat Eintracht goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, who had little chance with any of the goals.

    Trapp said: "Lewandowski didn't need a lot of chances today and scored three goals. Still, I thought we did pretty well, at least in the first half.

    "In the end, you have to say that they played well and deserved to win. Lewandowski is definitely one of the best in the world."

    Bayern did however suffer a blow with the loss of Alphonso Davies to an ankle ligament injury.

    The Canada international appeared to stumble on the pitch, going down awkwardly, and was substituted inside the opening five minutes, a miserable moment for the teenager who faces six to eight weeks on the sidelines, according to Flick's early understanding.

    Davies made 29 Bundesliga appearances last term, with Bayern winning 23 of those matches, scoring 87 goals; the versatile wideman netted three times, providing five assists and creating 37 chances.

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    Ramos had been substituted at half-time in last week's defeat to Cadiz and sat out the midweek meeting with Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, a second straight home reverse.

    But Madrid's form returned along with their skipper on Saturday as they beat bitter rivals Barcelona 3-1.

    Zidane's led through Federico Valverde's fifth-minute goal but were pegged back soon enough by Ansu Fati, who then had the Spanish champions on the back foot early in the second half.

    However, Ramos earned a penalty from an altercation with Clement Lenglet in the Barca box – a tug spotted by the VAR – and netted himself from 12 yards.

    That set the stage for Luka Modric to clinch the points in the 90th minute after Ramos had led a brave defensive effort.

    The World Cup winner's importance to Madrid is certainly not in doubt. Including the Shakhtar game, they have lost seven of their past eight Champions League games without him.

    "We know what Sergio is and what he represents, not only as a player," Zidane said.

    "He is always positive on the field and we always want him in our team. It is important for the team to see how he played today."

    Ramos made three tackles, four clearances, three interceptions and a block in defence, but his most telling contribution was in attack.

    The defender felt the penalty award was "very clear" but, while Barca coach Ronald Koeman was left disappointed, Zidane was reluctant to be drawn into such a discussion.

    "[The referee] went to look at the play and he called a penalty," Zidane said. "I never speak of the referees and I will not do it today either.

    "Regardless of this play, we deserved this victory, although Barca also had their chances."

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    Inter lost 2-1 to bitter rivals Milan last weekend, either side of draws with Lazio and Borussia Monchengladbach, and they made hard work of overcoming Genoa on Saturday.

    The Nerazzurri failed to register a single shot on target in the first half of a league game for the first time under Antonio Conte, who has been under increasing pressure.

    But Inter made the breakthrough thanks to Lukaku's 10th goal in eight matches this term for club and country, which Danilo D'Ambrosio added to 11 minutes from time as the visitors moved up to third.

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