Welcome to the point of the season when Bayern Munich does things like this:
That is Bayern forward Robert Lewandowski eviscerating the sporting soul of 19-year-old Marc Stendera (number 21 in white) – a player young enough for therapy to help.
On Saturday, the young Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder was a pawn for one of the world’s best strikers. Bored with heading game-winning goals into open nets against former teams (as “Bob Lewy” did last week at Borussia Dortmund), the Poland international drew, tapped, and powered his way into another Best Vine of the Week competition, giving the two-time reigning German champions an early 1-0 lead. Lewandowski would add another after half time.
The second was Lewandowski’s 16th league goal of the season and his 20th in all competitions – numbers that won’t force Lewandowski into the conversation with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for world’s best player. But just as his four-goal game in the Champions League semifinals against Real Madrid two years ago showed, Bob’s talent level can turn a game at any time. And that talent level keeps him in the conversation with the rest of the world’s pure number nines. If there’s a list of lead strikers that are better than Lewandowski, it’s a short one.
As for Bayern, the two-time defending Bundesliga champions are 10 points up on second place Wolfsburg and on pace to best last year’s 90-point haul. The team’s up to 73 league goals despite no single player scoring more than 17 times (Arjen Robben). Four players have at least nine goals, three have at least seven assists; in terms of heroes, the team is choosing to beat opponents a number of different ways.
Today, one of those ways featured a back-to-goal flick, a volley under the bar from 14 yards out, and another show of the incredible talents at Bayern’s disposal.