Robert Lewandowski broke the record for most league goals in a calendar year as the champions Bayern Munich crushed VfL Wolfsburg 4-0 on Friday to go into the winter break with a nine-point lead at the top of the standings.
Lewandowski capped off the rout with three minutes from the end, volleying in his 43rd for 2021 to better Gerd Muller’s 42-goal run from 1972.
Thomas Muller — no relation to Gerd — celebrated his 400th Bundesliga appearance with a goal and an assist in the win.
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“I am very satisfied with the way we played,” said Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann. “It was a bit tougher in the first half when Wolfsburg were a bit more disciplined. We started well but then lost some possession.
“But we defended well and our second half was impressive with the way we were pressing extremely high. The result was deserved,” he added.
Muller opened their account, tapping in on the rebound in the seventh minute after keeper Koen Casteels had palmed a Serge Gnabry shot into his path.
He then set up Dayot Upamecano with a clever chip to head in their second goal in the 57th before Leroy Sane curled a superb shot into the top far corner two minutes later to put the game to bed.
Lewandowski was desperate to end the year on a high after missing out on the world player of the year award to Lionel Messi but first fired over the bar in the 66th and was then denied at point-blank range by Casteels with a superb piece of goalkeeping.
But he did not miss from close range in the 87th minute to hand toothless Wolfsburg their fourth consecutive league loss and their seventh straight defeat in all competitions.
Lewandowski has now scored 19 league goals, two more than the entire Wolfsburg team this season.
The Wolves drop to 12th place, three points above the relegation playoff spot.
Bayern, chasing a record-extending 10th straight league crown, are on 43 points, with Borussia Dortmund, in second place on 34, travelling to Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
With 56 league goals at the halfway mark Bayern are also on track to break the record for most league goals in a Bundesliga season (101) set by Bayern in the 1971-72 campaign.
The Bundesliga will break for three weeks and then resume on Jan. 7.