Against Eintracht, Bayern looked as if they had turned on energy saving mode for today’s match against Lazio in the 1/8 finals of the Champions League. Ace of the Bavarians and the Polish national team, Robert Lewandowski, always put the team’s interests ahead of his own. For me, however, his pursuit of Gerd Mueller’s record is fascinating. “Left” is close, but still far away – writes the head of Sport.Interia.pl, Michał Białoński.
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Bayern is tired, weakened by the coronavirus attack, and in addition is mentally preparing for the Champions League. For these reasons, he did not live up to Eintracht, but “Lewy” completed the next stage in the race to 40 goals in the season. He already has 26 of them. To compensate for Mueller’s incredible achievement in 1971/72, he must score at least one goal in each of the remaining 12 games and record a hat-trick once. A difficult task, it can be said that the Himalayas in the winter season – not only the Champions League will be burdened with the match, but also the March struggle for participation in the world championship, in which we count on Robert’s performance the most. But who can do it if not he?
Gerd Mueller was in the prime of football when he broke a great record – he was 26. He has won the title of top scorer seven times in total. Interestingly, in the season 71/72, as many as 15 matches did not hit the net at all. He impressed in games such as Rot-Weiss Oberhausen, which scored five goals, and Borussia Dortmund, which he scored four times. His phenomenal record was also due to four hat-tricks (with Hamburger, SV, VfL Bochum, Werder and Eintracht).
Robert has only four league appearances so far with no goalscorer. If, at the age of 32, he had managed to catch up with Mueller’s 26-year-old in such a difficult season, full of covid catch-up (for the first time the World Cup qualifiers close in one year), it would be a big deal.
On Tuesday in Rome for “Lewy” and his colleagues only one goal will be important – the quarter-final of the Champions League. Lazio is not a favorite, but they can afford the kind of surprise we saw last week in Barcelona by PSG.
The Romans started getting a pass to the 1/8 finals already in the first round of the Champions League group stage, when they dismissed 3-1 another Bundesliga representative – Borussia Dortmund. Now they will also try to take advantage of the Bavarians’ staffing problems. Coronavirus of Thomas Mueller and Benjamin Pavard, injuries of Costa, Gnabry, Kouassi, Nubla, Tilman – the list of those absent from the Hansi Flick team is really long. In addition, Leon Goretzka and Javi Maritnez, fresh from COVID-19 infection, are unable to play for the full 90 minutes. Personnel problems, which are combined with a lack of physical and mental freshness, are the bane of Hansie Flick.
On August 23, the Bavarians won the Champions League. The marathon of the new, crazy season has already started on September 18 and since then they have played 22 matches in the Bundesliga, six in the Champions League, two in the German Cup and during the club World Cup, the European Super Cup and the German Super Cup. 34 meetings with great effect – all trophies won. But are we not witnessing the end of the toughness of this winning machine, which is not wide enough to replace those who dropped out?
Lazio has 31 games in the leg, much less traveling the world. It did not have to go to Budapest for the European Super Cup, or to Qatar for the club World Cup, which Bayern was going through. Such details can make a difference.
Most football fans rub their hands thinking about the confrontation of snipers: Ciro Immobile – Robert Lewandowski. Nobody doubts who is better who won the Footballer of the Year title. Nevertheless, the rivalry between both men promises to be all the more interesting as it was the Italian who took the “Golden Boot” from under Robert’s nose at the end of last season. The trophy for the best goalscorer of the European leagues went to Immobile also because Serie A has four more rounds than in the Bundesliga, so there are more chances of scoring goals.