Lewandowski hat-trick as Bayern routs Bremen in season opener

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(Left to right) Bayern Munich’s Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara, Bayern Munich’s Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso and Bayern Munich’s Polish striker Robert Lewandowski celebrate after second goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match between FC Bayern Munich vs SV Werder Bremen in Munich, southern Germany, on Saturday. AFP PHOTO

(Left to right) Bayern Munich’s Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara, Bayern Munich’s Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso and Bayern Munich’s Polish striker Robert Lewandowski celebrate after second goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match between FC Bayern Munich vs SV Werder Bremen in Munich, southern Germany, on Saturday. AFP PHOTO

BERLIN: Robert Lewandowski claimed a hat-trick as defending champions Bayern Munich brushed Werder Bremen aside with a 6-0 win in Friday’s (Saturday in Manila) opening match of the new German league season.

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Lewandowski, the Bundesliga’s top-scorer last season with 30 goals, could have finished with five as Bayern ran riot.

“I’m just happy I scored and that we got the win,” Lewandowski told broadcaster ARD and revealed he finished the game with a hole in his goal-scoring right boot.

After Xabi Alonso scored the first goal of the 2016/17 campaign at Munich’s Allianz Arena, Lewandowski netted either side of the break before captain Philipp Lahm added a fourth.

It was no more than shooting practice for Bayern by the time Franck Ribery fired home, with Lewandowski then converting a penalty to claim his third and Munich’s sixth.

Having also hammered Hamburg 5-0 in last season’s opening game, this was another emphatic win as Bayern look to win a fifth Bundesliga title in a row.

It finished 2-0 at the break, but it could have been at least double that as Lewandowski and then Thomas Mueller both hit the woodwork in the opening 45 minutes.

Bayern won last season’s German league title by 10 points, making history with a fourth straight Bundesliga title.

They picked up under new coach Carlo Ancelotti where they left off under Pep Guardiola, who left in May to coach Manchester City, with long periods of possession.

“I am very happy. That was a very good performance from my team,” said Ancelotti after his first Bundesliga game.

“We got off to a good start and took control of the game early on.”

Bayern’s win came with Germany defenders Jerome Boateng and Holger Badstuber, plus Dutch winger Arjen Robben all recovering from injury.

New signing Renato Sanches from Benfica, a Euro 2016 winner with Portugal, started on the bench.

Germany defender Mats Hummels, their other new arrival from Borussia Dortmund, partnered Javi Martinez at centre-back.

The defending champions needed just nine minutes to take a spectacular lead.

Alonso’s volley from just outside the area found the top right-hand corner and flew past Bremen goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald.

The hosts doubled their lead just four minutes later.

Ribery’s long-range pass down the left put Lewandowski in behind the defence and the Poland hot-shot tucked his shot past Wiedwald from the tightest of angles.

He could have claimed a first-half hat-trick.

Muller’s long-range shot slammed off the post, then Lewandowski hit the crossbar and had a shot saved before the break.

The pair combined for Bayern’s third goal, which arrived just 39 seconds into the second-half.

Mueller’s curling cross was met at the far post by Lewandowski for his second on 46 minutes.

Bremen’s last win over Bayern in Munich was back in 2008 and they were barely in it as Bavarians enjoyed around 70 percent possession.

Lahm grabbed Bayern’s second when he converted Mueller’s final pass before Ribery blasted home their fifth with the Frenchman unmarked in the area.

Rafinha came on for Lahm and when the Brazil defender was fouled in the area, Lewandowski drilled home the resulting penalty on 77 minutes.

It was his second hat-trick in exactly a week after he netted three in Bayern’s 5-0 romp at Carl Zeiss Jena in the first round of the German Cup last Friday.

AFP

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