Robert Lewandowski’s ability to concentrate on the point seems at a similarly high level as his goal-scoring skills. Only days after the disappointing outcome of the 2021 Ballon d’Or award, the 33-year-old turned into the man of the match in the German Clasico.
The Pole not only scored two decisive goals, his 15th and 16th this season, after only 14 rounds of matches, but delivered a masterpiece of fighting spirit on Saturday night.
It was Lewandowski, who made Bayern win the delicate and nail-biting duel against Borussia Dortmund 3-2.
“I saw him in the 97th minute clearing a ball with enormous effort near our box. That might tell the story,” Julian Nagelsmann said. The Bayern coach added, “We saw the world’s best player and an outstanding striker.”
Having lost the Ballon d’Or vote narrowly to Argentine star Lionel Messi, the Bayern striker in a thrilling game proved his class on all levels professional sport requires, Xinhua reports. Over most of the 101 minutes, including 10 minutes of extra time, the Bayern striker must have heard the chants from the stands. Dortmund’s fans praised Paris striker Messi, trying to disturb the Ballon d’Or runner-up.
Lewandowski’s on-pitch answers not only impressed his coach but the German record international Lothar Matthaus.
“He is my man of the match,” the 60-year-old TV pundit said. “His attitude is fantastic. He not only cares for the team but keeps on scoring goals,” Matthaus added.
“We are still shocked by the decision in Paris as we stick to our opinion, Robert deserved the award,” Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn said.
The Bayern striker set a new national league record by scoring his 118th away goal. He scored 22 league goals (in 15 games) and 26 in all competitions against his former club Dortmund.
Last season, the Pole with 41 goals outpaced the nearly 50-year-old record of German striker legend Gerd Muller of 40 season goals scored in 1972.
While Dortmund’s upset fans blamed referee Felix Zwayer, for deliberately pointing at the penalty spot, the Bavarian’s forward scored the winning goal being booed by most of the 15,000 fans in the Dortmund arena.
German international Mats Hummels cleared the ball with his elbow in the 78th minute. A doubtful decision as Dortmund claims. While fans’ protests grew and Dortmund coach Marco Rose saw the red card, Lewandowski kept his nerves together scoring the winning goal.
In Dortmund, the forward turned into Bayern’s Mr. Ice-cold.
“Sadly, we talk about penalties or possible penalties after a demonstration of outstanding football,” Matthaus said.
Lewandowski until the final whistle kept Dortmund’s wavering defence busy, forcing several players into defending actions at the same time.
“As we saw, the Messi chants and a lot of other comments, I better don’t mention, didn’t disturb him but triggered additional motivation. He gave the right answer on the pitch,” Nagelsmann said.
The Bayern coach must have felt vindicated as he predicted, the “team dealing better with the opponent top-scorer might win the game.” Lewandowski’s Dortmund counterpart Erling Haaland only scored once.