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Europe: Champions League
5 - 2
(2 - 1)
FC Bayern
R. Lewandowski (26), S. Gnabry (32), X R. Lewandowski (45), L. Sané (49), R. Lewandowski (61), R. Lewandowski (84)
F. Rodrigues (38), D. Núñez (74)

Bayern seal early qualification to Champions League last 16 with easy win over Benfica

By Rune Gjerulff   @runegjerulff

Robert Lewandowski bagged a hat-trick, provided an assist and missed a penalty as Bayern München crushed Benfica 5-2 to seal early qualification to the Champions League round of 16.
Robert Lewandowski.
Robert Lewandowski.Photo: Sven Mandel / CC-BY-SA-4.0
Bayern München booked a spot in the Champions League knockout stages with a crushing 5-2 victory over Benfica at Allianz Arena on Tuesday, making it four wins out of four group stage games.

Benfica actually looked to have taken the lead in the 15th minute as Lucas Verissimo had the ball in the net after a corner, but the goal was ruled out because Pizzi was offside in the build-up.

Instead, it was Bayern who broke the deadlock in the 26th minute, with Robert Lewandowski heading in Kingsley Coman's cross at the back post in his 100th Champions League appearance.

The Polish international was the provider six minutes later as he cut the ball back for Serge Gnabry, who doubled the score with a backheel finish.

Benfica pulled one back through Morato in the 38th minute, but suffered another setback when Bayern were awarded a penalty just before the break following a handball by Verissimo. Lewandowski, however, missed from the spot.

But the German champions were far from finished and added to their lead in the opening phase of the second half thanks to a goal from Leroy Sané and Lewandowki's second goal of the evening.

Benfica did manage to get on the scoresheet again with 75 minutes played, with Darwin Nunez grabbing a consolation goal, before Robert Lewandowski completed his hat-trick and closed the show.

The win means Bayern are six points clear of second-placed Barcelona and eight points ahead of Benfica in third place with two rounds of the group stages remaining.

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