Robert Lewandowski tied the scoring record for Gerd Mueller, 49, as the Bayern Munich forward scored his 40th Bundesliga goal of the season in a 2-2 draw at Freiburg on Saturday. Lewandowski tied Mueller’s tally, scored more than 34 games in 1971/72, in just 28 league appearances this quarter. “It is a huge honor for me and for the modern history of the Bundesliga,” Lewandowski told Sky. Lewandowski converted a penalty for the champions after 26 minutes to tie Mueller’s milestone.
As part of his penalty shootout celebrations, the Polish striker lifted his match jersey to reveal a photo of Gerd Mueller with the text “4ever Gerd” written on it.
“I never thought it would happen. What Gerd Mueller has done is amazing. Sharing the record with him makes me very, very proud,” added Lewandowski.
The game was briefly interrupted after Lewandowski scored as his Bayern team-mates formed a guard of honor at the side of the pitch the smiling 32-year-old was crossing.
Freiburg equalized almost immediately as Manuel Gulde headed for the nearest post from a corner kick in the 29th minute after slipping his marker.
Bayern, crowned German champions last weekend for the ninth consecutive season, picked up the pace after the break.
Serge Gnabry had a goal disallowed six minutes into the second half after VAR spotted he was offside by tapping at home a Leroy Sane cross.
However, the Bavarians kept the pressure on and when David Alaba’s long-range pass found Thomas Mueller in the zone moments later he faced Sane who struck home in the 53rd minute.
Freiburg had a chance to equalize as second-half substitutes Lucas Hoeler and Janik Haberer moved closer before Christian Guenter brought the teams back nine minutes to go.
Lewandowski can still break Mueller’s record as Bayern have a home game to play against Augsburg next Saturday.
He wasted a late chance to score “at least one more goal. You don’t break records like that so fast,” Lewandowski added.
The former Borussia Dortmund forward, who has scored 47 goals in 39 games in all competitions this season, is also set to be crowned Bundesliga top scorer for the sixth time in eight years.
“Robert Lewandowski shattered Gerd Mueller’s historic mark, but you don’t score goals alone,” Bayern coach Hansi Flick said.
“You need players who serve him assists. That’s why I have to give the team a huge compliment.”
Lewandowski’s tally this season includes four hat tricks as well as a four-goal run in Bayern’s nervous 4-3 home win over Hertha Berlin last October.
“It’s crazy. It’s normal for Lewandowski to score, but that’s another thing,” Bayern forward Thomas Mueller said.
“But he’s just a human, you saw him when it came to the 41st goal,” Mueller joked after Lewandowski’s late miss.
Elsewhere, already relegated Schalke earned a stunning 4-3 home win over Eintracht Frankfurt, who remain out of the Champions League spots in fifth place.
US forward Matthew Hoppe, 20, scored what turned out to be the decisive goal to seal Schalke’s victory, which could have far-reaching implications in the top four.
Borussia Dortmund, fourth ahead of their away game in Mainz, and Wolfsburg, third, who travel to RB Leipzig, can advance to the Champions League with away wins on Sunday.
At the bottom of the board, Werder Bremen’s 2-0 defeat in Augsburg pushed them into the bottom three, just above second from bottom Cologne, which were held to a goalless draw at Hertha Berlin.
Topics mentioned in this article