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Lewandowski hattrick sends Bayern Munich into UCL Round of 16

Polish striker has scored 81 goals in 100 matches in the UEFA Champions League

Robert Lewandowski was at his clinical best for Bayern Munich as he got a hat trick in their 5-2 win against Benfica to send them into the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 with two games to spare, making them the first team to book their ticket.

Having won their first three group matches against Barcelona, Dynamo Kiev and Benfica, Bayern Munich only needed to win against the Portuguese side on matchday four of the UEFA Champions League to qualify for the Round of 16.

Unlike in the first leg, Bayern Munich opened the scoring in the first half through Lewandowski, who was making his 100th appearance in the competition. The Polish striker got on the end of a cross from Kingsley Coman after some terrific work down the flank by the Frenchman, heading the ball into the net after 26 minutes to give Bayern the lead.

Without wasting much time, Bayern doubled their lead through Serge Gnabry, whose quick thinking allowed him to improvise and stylishly flick the ball into the back of the net following a square ball across the box from Lewandowski after 32 minutes.

Benfica pulled one back after 38 minutes as defender Morato rose highest to head home a brilliant cross from Alex Grimaldo and reduce the deficit for the Portuguese side.

Bayern Munich restored their two-goal advantage only four minutes into the second half as Leroy Sane blasted home a volley after a cushioned header from Alphonso Davies in the 49th minute.

Lewandowski added his second and Bayern’s fourth in the 61st minute as he calmly chipped a pass from Sane over the Benfica goalkeeper to secure the result for the Bavarian giants.

Benfica pulled another goal back, this time, through Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez. The striker received a pass from Joao Mario following a quick counter before slotting a finish under Manuel Neuer in the 74th minute.

With the match almost done, Lewandowski completed his hattrick for Bayern Munich in a similar fashion to his second. Neuer played a long ball over the top and the striker ran clear on goal before chipping the ball over the Benfica goalkeeper to round off the scoring in the 85th minute.

Bayern Munich have become the first team to qualify for the knockout stages in this season’s UEFA Champions League after maintaining a 100% record throughout the group stage so far.

Lewandowski has continued his incredible goalscoring record in the UEFA Champions League as he scored his 81st goal in the competition in only 100 matches.

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