Robert Lewandowski scored a hat-trick in the first 23 minutes to help Bayern Munich beat Red Bull Salzburg and advance to the Champions League quarter-finals.
On his 100th appearance in the competition, the Poland captain easily stroked home two penalties inside 21 minutes, after being hauled down twice by Salzburg defender Maximilian Wober, the second confirmed after a VAR review.
Lewandowski’s first penalty kick, which he stroked into the bottom-left corner, was his 40th goal of the season in all competitions.
After chasing down an attempted clearance from opposing goalkeeper Philipp Kohn, he scored his third goal from close range.
Although it is the first time a Champions League hat-trick has been scored in the 23rd minute, it is not the fastest treble in the competition, with Bafetimbi Gomis’ three goals in eight minutes for Lyon in a 7-1 win against Dinamo Zagreb in 2011 holding the mark.
Bayern’s early start placed them in command of a game that some in the Bavarian media had dubbed “all or nothing” after the six-time champions were beaten to a humiliating 1-1 draw in the first leg in Austria.
Salzburg, led by Matthias Jaissle, had early chances, with Nicolas Capaldo and Nicolas Seiwald both missing golden openings.
They were punished by the lethal Lewandowski before another defensive blunder allowed Serge Gnabry to add a fourth with a low shot that wiggled under Kohn, and Thomas Muller added a fifth after the half.
Maurits Kjaergaard managed a consolation goal with a thunderous shot into the top-left corner on an otherwise dreary night for the visitors.
But that only seemed to energize Julian Nagelsmann’s side, with Muller completing a well-worked move for number six before Leroy Sane hammered home late.
Bayern inspired by Lewandowski’s masterclass
After narrowly scraping a late draw in the first leg, much had been made of Bayern’s defensive deficiencies, and Salzburg appeared to have a serious chance of becoming the first Austrian team to reach the final eight of this competition since 1985.
But when it came down to it, they couldn’t match a masterpiece at the Allianz Arena, with Lewandowski serving as the trigger for a straightforward yet brutal performance by the hosts.
The 33-year-old again outfoxed Wober to set the tone for the second leg, and his third – in which he scored 85 Champions League goals in three fewer games than Lionel Messi and 17 more than Cristiano Ronaldo – was all about his will to keep going.
After Cristiano Ronaldo (seven) and Lionel Messi (five), Lewandowski has become only the third player in Champions League history to score 10 or more goals in three or more different seasons.
Not willing to rest on his laurels after being named the league’s best scorer this season, Robert Lewandowski assisted on Muller’s second goal before setting up Sane for Bayern’s sixth goal of the night.
He now has 12 goals in the tournament, one more than Sebastien Haller, who has had an outstanding season for Ajax thus far.
In total, the Pole has 42 goals in 35 games for Bayern in all competitions, an astounding strike rate that puts him on track to beat his previous season’s total of 48 goals.