Eventful week: Bayern’s Lewandowski goes from car-crash to double against Schalke
Champions go 10 points clear at the top
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski was delighted to finish a week which started with a car crash and ended with two goals in Saturday’s 3-0 Bundesliga win over Schalke.
Lewandowski chested down Arturo Vidal’s header, then hit the back of the net on 54 minutes at Munich’s Allianz Arena to end his dry patch after 390 minutes without a goal.
The Poland hot-shot headed home his 27th league goal of the season on 65 minutes to leave him as the Bundesliga’s top scorer, four ahead of Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Arturo Vidal then claimed Bayern’s third to leave them 10 points clear ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, who host Hamburg on Sunday.
It was a sweet end to a bad week for Lewandowski who was an unscathed victim in a car crash in Munich last Sunday.
According to German media reports, his luxury car received €25,000 of damage after being hit by another vehicle, but he was uninjured.
He then started on the bench, coming on for the last few minutes, in Bayern’s 2-2 second-leg draw at Benfica on Wednesday which secured their Champions League semi-final berth with a 3-2 aggregate win.
“For me, it was a quiet week because I didn’t really play in the Champions League,” he said.
“We were slow in the first half, but played really well after the break.”
“Now I feel really good and there are always phases when things don’t go that well,” he added having failed to score in his last four games.
The Bayern squad hope to bid farewell to coach Pep Guardiola with the treble before he leaves to coach Manchester City next season.
With four league games left, and depending on other results, Bayern could be confirmed as the first club to win four straight German league titles when they host Borussia Moechengladbach in a fortnight.
Bayern face Werder Bremen in the German Cup semi-finals on Tuesday and have drawn Atletico Madrid in the Champions League’s last four, away on April 27 with the return leg in Munich on May 3.
“That won’t be an easy game, but in the semi-finals there are no easy opponents,” Lewandowski said of Atletico.
“We’re Bayern Munich and we have to try to score a goal in Madrid, then show in Munich that we want to reach the final.”
Guardiola was pleased with his team’s performance in the Bundesliga on the back of a Champions League match.
“I was a footballer myself and I know how hard it is to play three days after a Champions League game,” said the Spaniard.
“But that is no excuse, in the half we didn’t play for long periods and the difference between the first and second half was huge.
“I’m happy with the win and in the league we have taken a big step forward.
“Now we want to reach the cup final and I hope this game was a lesson for our players for Tuesday against Bremen.”
Bayern’s Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer singled out Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal for a superb display which saw him set up Lewandowski’s first goal and then score their third.
“He is a great player who is always the best man in our important games,” said Neuer after Vidal also scored in Bayern’s 2-2 draw at Benfica.
“With his aggressiveness, he is world-class in the one-on-one situations.”