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Football history is littered with stories of inspired substitutions: Ole Gunar Solskjaer and Teddy Sheringham winning Manchester United the 1999 Champions League from the bench and Mario Goetze doing likewise for Germany in the 2014 World Cup final are just two of countless examples. However, none have been quite as ruthlessly extraordinary as what Robert Lewandowski did a year ago, today.
With Bayern Munich trailing 1-0 during the second half to Wolfsburg during a Bundesliga clash at the Allianz Arena, Pep Guardiola thought it'd be a good idea to throw one of world football's most fearsome centre forwards onto the pitch to make something happen. Eight minutes and 59 seconds later and Bayern were leading 5-1, the prolific Pole having scored all five of the German champions' goals.
Lewandowski's barnstorming nine minutes set Bundesliga records for the fastest hat-trick (three goals in four minutes), and most goals scored by a substitute (five). Lewandowski's five goals in nine minutes was also the fastest in any major European league since Opta records began.
As if destroying all Wolfsburg's hopes and dreams wasn't ruthless enough, the former Borussia Dortmund hitman hit a brace against Mainz four days later, in a 3-0 victory and followed that up with a Champions League hat-trick against Dinamo Zagreb three days after that, meaning the Poland captain had found the back of the net 10 times in a single week. As a point of reference, that's two more goals than Radamel Falcao has managed in the last two years and just one less than Mario Balotelli.
Some say Wolfsburg's defence are still waking up in cold sweats and whispering 'Lewandowski' in hushed tones. A bit like 'A Nightmare On Elm Street' but with a Polish striker instead of a horribly deformed bloke with a shit jumper and knives on his hands.
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