MUNICH ⸺ Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski broke Gerd Mueller’s 49-year-old Bundesliga goal-scoring record for a single season on Saturday when he netted for the 41st time in the last minute of their last match, a 5-2 win over Augsburg.
The Poland striker is already second on the all-time scorers list in the Bundesliga with 277 goals, behind only Mueller’s 365. Mueller set the previous record of 40 goals in the 1971/72 season, which Lewandowski equalled last week.
Lewandowski missed more than half a dozen clear scoring chances in the game and looked set to miss out on the record, with Augsburg determined not to let him add to his tally and snatch the record away from Mueller, who was idolised by Augsburg coach Markus Weinzierl in his youth.
But the Pole was not to be denied and in the final minute, when keeper Rafal Gikiewicz spilled a Leroy Sane shot, the forward rounded the keeper to score.
With coach Hansi Flick and several of the old guard — Javi Martinez, David Alaba and Jerome Boateng — bidding farewell to the club, it was an emotional afternoon for Bayern and the 250 invited fans in the 75,000-seat arena.
It did not take long for the hosts, who had wrapped up the championship weeks ago, to take the lead. Augsburg’s Jeffrey Gouweleeuw stabbed the ball into his own net from a Serge Gnabry cutback in the ninth minute.
Gnabry then headed in their second goal in the 23rd after Gikiewicz had saved a point blank effort by Lewandowski.
A minute later Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer denied Daniel Caligiuri from the penalty spot, before Joshua Kimmich launched a 20-metre missile to make it 3-0 for the hosts.
Kingsley Coman also got onto the scoresheet, scoring two minutes before the break, with his low crisp shot whizzing past Gikiewicz.
The visitors came to life midway through the second half, scoring twice with Andre Hahn and Florian Niederlechner. But it was Lewandowski who had the last say.
At the other end of the table former Bundesliga champions Werder Bremen were relegated for the first time since 1980 following their 4-2 defeat to Borussia Moenchengladbach, along with already-relegated Schalke 04.
“We tried to turn it around but it did not work,” said coach Thomas Schaaf, a former Bremen player and longtime coach, who was brought back for the final game of the season.
“It is hard for me to talk at the moment. The players are sitting in the changing room. Silence.”
Cologne will go into the relegation playoffs after scoring an 86th-minute winner over Schalke while Union Berlin will play in the new Europa Conference League after finishing seventh thanks to Max Kruse’s dramatic stoppage time winner against RB Leipzig.
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Pritha Sarkar; Reuters