Lewandowski smashes Champions League hat trick records in win over Salzburg

Robert Lewandowski set two new Champions League goal-scoring records as Bayern Munich romped into the quarterfinals at the expense of FC Salzburg.

After stuttering to a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Bayern dished out a 7-1 thrashing at the Allianz Arena to go striding into the last eight with an 8-2 aggregate victory.

The 33-year-old striker scored three goals to take himself beyond the 40-goal mark in all competitions for the seventh consecutive season, once again underpinning his importance to his side.

After failing to muster a single effort on target in the first leg, Lewandowski wasted little time righting that particular wrong in the second, getting things under way by successfully converting an early penalty with just 12 minutes on the clock. A second spot kick made it two on 21 minutes, before a third followed along less than 120 seconds later when the evergreen Poland international capitalised on a fortunate ricochet to tap home from close range.

Coming inside the first 23 minutes of the match, Lewandowski’s hat trick becomes the earliest ever scored by a player from the start of a Champions League match, pilfering the honours from former Milan forward Marco Simeone, who scored three times inside the first 24 minutes of a game against Rosenborg in 1996.

Taking just 11 minutes from first goal to last, Lewandowski’s three-goal extravaganza against Salzburg also ranks as the quickest hat trick ever scored in the knockout phases of the Champions League. And it’s the second entry Lewandowski now has in the all-time list.

But where does it rank overall?

8. Neymar (14 minutes)

The Brazil star hit three goals in less than a quarter of an hour either side of half-time in a 6-1 win for Barcelona over Celtic in 2013. Certainly impressive but positively sluggish in comparison to the rest of the rapid-fire hat tricks on this list.

The Shakhtar Donetsk striker actually scored five goals in a 7-0 win at BATE Borisov in 2014, which is the joint-most ever scored by an individual player in a single Champions League match — level with Lionel Messi, who scored five for Barca against Bayer Leverkusen in 2012.

It just so happens that the first three of Adriano’s goals against BATE came only 12 minutes apart, making them the fourth fastest hat trick ever scored in the competition.

6=. Robert Lewandowki (12 minutes)

No stranger to the expedited hat trick, Lewandowski scored his first 12-minute treble for Bayern in a 6-0 drubbing of Crvena Zvezda in the 2019 group stage.

The striker actually went onto score four goals in 15 minutes as he and his side enjoyed a prolific night in Belgrade.

4=. Robert Lewandowski (11 minutes)

Lewandowski bettered his own personal record by one minute with his first-half flurry against Salzburg. Indeed, he now jointly shares third place on the overall Champions League quickest hat-trick podium with some exalted company.

3.= Raheem Sterling (11 minutes)

Manchester City came from a goal down to trounce Atalanta 5-1 in the 2019-20 group stage with a second-half hat trick from Sterling proving the catalyst for an inspired comeback.

In fine form at the time, the goals represented the City forward’s 12th, 13th and 14th goals in his last 17 home Champions League appearances

Ronaldo has scored no fewer than eight hat tricks (a record he jointly holds with Lionel Messi) in Champions League competition, the fastest of which being the 11-minute special for Real Madrid against Malmo in 2015.

2. Mike Newell (9 minutes)

Blackburn striker Newell needed just nine minutes to score a “perfect” hat trick (left foot, right root, header) in a 4-1 win against Rosenborg in 1995, after Rovers qualified for the inaugural Champions League by winning the Premier League title the previous season.

Despite his haul coming almost 30 years ago, Newell still holds the record for the quickest ever perfect hat-trick scored in UEFA competition.

An unwavering ever-present at the top of the list since 2011, Gomis’ incredible eight-minute hat trick for Lyon in the French side’s 7-1 humbling of Dinamo Zagreb is unlikely to be beaten any time soon.

Amazingly enough, it only came after Lyon had somehow managed to go a goal down in Croatia.