Robert Lewandowski reached 40 goals for the fifth successive season when he put Bayern Munich ahead at Union Berlin on Sunday, on their way to a 2-0 victory.
The Bundesliga’s most prolific striker made no mistake with a penalty late in the first half, after Leon Goretzka was hacked down in the 39th minute by Neven Subotic.
It took him to 40 goals from just 34 appearances in 2019-20, with Lewandowski again proving his value to the reigning German champions.
Since netting a relatively modest 25 goals in his first season at Bayern in 2014-15, the Poland star has notched successive hauls of 42, 43, 41, 40 and Sunday’s spot-kick took him to another 40, with the promise of more to come in 2019-20.
Bayern had welcomed back Lewandowski from injury as Hansi Flick’s side resumed their Bundesliga title push at Union.
Almost two-and-a-half months since their last league outing, a 2-0 home win over Augsburg, Flick’s men were back on duty in the capital on Sunday.
The break in action, caused by the coronavirus pandemic, has allowed Lewandowski to recover from a knee injury, and the prolific Polish striker was in the starting XI for Sunday’s behind-closed-doors clash against mid-table Union, leading the attack with support from Serge Gnabry and Thomas Muller.
Head coach Flick, handed that post on a permanent basis since Bayern last played, was missing injured quartet Philippe Coutinho, Corentin Tolisso, Niklas Sule and Javi Martinez.
Union were without their head coach, Urs Fischer, who travelled to Switzerland during the week after the death of his father-in-law. He has since returned to Germany but must pass a coronavirus test early next week before re-joining his squad.
Line-up #FCUFCB #MiaSanMia #FCBayern pic.twitter.com/71mLzybx0m
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) May 17, 2020
Lewandowski was a very welcome return for Bayern, with the striker having established himself as one of the most deadly attackers in Bundesliga history.
Former Bayern Munich striker Giovane Elber was a prolific scorer during his time in Bavaria, but admits that he told Lewandowski that he is even better than he was.
“[Lewandowski] told me that his father was a constant viewer of the Bundesliga and once told him, ‘You have to mirror this player, Giovane Elber,'” the Brazilian told Goal.
“So I told him this: ‘You’re not equal, you are even better than me!’ It’s impressive the focus he has, his calmness and the person that he is. He is a spectacular guy.”
Lewandowski has not accomplished everything at Bayern yet though. Among the honours he is still chasing are a Champions League title and Muller’s all-time Bundesliga record of 40 goals in a season.
The Polish star was part of the Borussia Dortmund side that fell to Bayern in the 2012-13 Champions League final, while his career high in Bundesliga goals is 30 – which he reached in 2015-16 and 2016-17.