Robert Lewandowski broke Gerd Muller’s long-standing record for the most Bundesliga goals in a calendar year after notching number 43 in Bayern Munich’s 4-0 thumping of Wolfsburg on Friday night.
The Poland striker looked like having to settle for only a share of the record as Bayern’s last game of 2021 entered the final three minutes with the points sewn up at 3-0 but Lewandowski still not on the scoresheet.
However, the 33-year-old was not to be denied and he wrote his name in the record books in style with an acrobatic finish from Jamal Musiala’s header back into the middle of the area.
Lewandowski’s goal – his 24th in 21 matches against Wolfsburg – saw him eclipse the record of 42 that former Bayern and West Germany great Muller had set in 1972.
Thomas Muller, making his 400th Bundesliga appearance, had earlier set the runaway Bundesliga leaders on the road to victory with a seventh-minute opener and Dayot Upamecano and Leroy Sane put the result beyond doubt before Lewandowski added the icing to the cake.
Serie A pacesetters Inter Milan were in similarly clinical mood as they thrashed rock-bottom Salernitana 5-0 away from home.
The Italian champions needed only 12 minutes to break down their struggling opponents with Ivan Perisic putting Inter ahead and Denzel Dumfries made it 2-0 before half-time.
Alexis Sanchez added a third just after the break and late goals from substitutes Lautaro Martinez and Roberto Gagliardini wrapped up a sixth successive league win for Inter, who moved four points clear of AC Milan ahead of their weekend showdown with fourth-placed Napoli.
Friday’s other game in Italy saw Lazio beat second-bottom Genoa 3-1, Pedro, Francesco Acerbi and Mattia Zaccagni doing the damage before Filippo Melegoni’s late consolation.
In Spain, Celta Vigo put further daylight between themselves and the relegation zone with a 3-1 win over Espanyol.
Santi Mina, Iago Aspas and Denis Suarez were on the scoresheet for the hosts and Espanyol could only reply through Loren Moron in stoppage time.