Robert Lewandowski set a new record for the first half of a Bundesliga season on Sunday by netting his 21st league goal of 2020/21 as leaders Bayern Munich went four points clear with a 2-1 win over Freiburg.
Lewandowski’s early strike was cancelled out by a Nils Petersen equaliser before Thomas Mueller grabbed Bayern’s late winner having earlier set up his Polish team-mate’s record-breaking goal.
The win saw Bayern open a four-point lead as the only top five club to win this weekend.
With a game in hand, Lewandowski has broken Gerd Mueller’s record of 20 goals in 17 matches for the first half of a German league season, set in 1968/69.
Lewandowski, FIFA’s best male player of 2020, has now scored nine goals in his last six league games.
He is on course to also break Mueller’s all-time record of 40 goals in a single Bundesliga season from 1971/72.
At exactly the same point during his record season, 49 years ago, ‘The Bomber’ Mueller had scored 17 goals, compared to Lewandowski’s 21.
Before kick-off, Bayern board member Oliver Kahn said the European champions will not sign any new players in this transfer window.
However, Bayern again looked vulnerable and jaded after a league defeat at Moenchengladbach and shock German Cup exit at second division Holstein Kiel.
As heavy snow fell in Munich, Lewandowski needed just seven minutes to give Bayern the lead when he fired home Mueller’s pass after a Serge Gnabry run.
Leroy Sane replaced Gnabry around the half-hour mark after the Germany winger limped off with a thigh strain.
Lewandowski hit the post early in the first half and Freiburg goalkeeper Florian Mueller reacted quickly with a low save to deny Leon Goretzka.
Petersen grabbed Freiburg’s equaliser a minute after coming on as his low diving header hit the net from his first touch of the game on 62 minutes.
Mueller restored their lead when he side-footed Sane’s attempted volley into the net for the winning goal 16 minutes from the whistle.
However the visitors laid seige to the Bayern goal and Petersen nearly grabbed another equaliser in added time when he clattered the Bayern crossbar, which sent snow flying, with Manuel Neuer beaten.