Berlin, Germany | AFP | Record-breaking Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski was hailed for his “extreme quota of goals” on Saturday as the defending German champions warmed up for their European duel against Tottenham with a nervy win at strugglers Paderborn which took them to the top of the Bundesliga.
Lewandowski became the first player in Bundesliga history to score 10 goals in the first six games to seala 3-2 victory at bottom club Paderborn.
While Bayern squeezed past Paderborn, Leipzig were shocked 3-1 at home to Schalke to surrender top spot.
Bayern took full advantage to claim first place before Tuesday’s key Champions League clash at Spurs, but not before conceding two second-half goals.
Philippe Coutinho, who is rebooting his career on loan in Munich after an unhappy stint at Barcelona, played a key role by setting up Serge Gnabry’s opening goal with a sublime first-half pass.
Having scored his first Bayern goal the week before in a rout of Cologne, the Brazilian playmaker tapped home Gnabry’s neat pass after the break before substitute Kai Proeger pulled a goal back for Paderborn.
With time almost up, Lewandowski showed great finishing prowess to put away a Niklas Suele pass and make it 3-1, becoming the first Bayern player to score in each of the first six matches of the season.
He is also the first Bundesliga player to reach 10 goals after the first six games.
“It’s an extreme quota, which helps when they decide games like that,” said midfielder Joshua Kimmich of Lewandowski’s goal haul.
“To have ten already is something else.”
There were, however, nervous looks in Bayern’s ranks during the final ten minutes after Paderborn defender Jamilu Collins beat Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer from 30 metres out.
“We didn’t finish them off,” admitted Gnabry.
“In the second half, we had so many goal opportunities to decide the game, but our finishing was missing.
“Tottenham will be a completely different game and, of course, we must improve, but I think we can do well there.”
– Harit inspires Schalke –
In Leipzig, Morocco international midfielder Amine Harit inspired Schalke to an impressive away win, winning and drilling home a penalty, then setting up a first Bundesliga goal for Welsh teenager Rabbi Matondo.
The Royal Blues raced into a 2-0 lead with first-half goals as Senegalese centre-back Salif Sane headed home from a corner on 29 minutes before Harit’s penalty.
The referee took a long look at the replays after Harit went down after the faintest of contact from Mali defender Amadou Haidara.
Schalke, under ex-Huddersfield coach David Wagner, made sure of the three points when Matondo claimed his first Bundesliga goal since joining from Manchester City.
Harit again did the damage, punishing a mistake in midfield then putting in a well-timed pass which sent Liverpool-born Matondo away to fire home on 58 minutes.
Emil Forsberg’s consolation goal came too late for Leipzig.
The shock result shook up the table with Bayern now top, Leipzig drop to second and Schalke jumped from fifth to third.
Questions about Borussia Dortmund’s mentality will again be raised after more defensive lapses in their 2-2 draw at home to Werder Bremen left them seventh.
Milot Rashica gave Bremen an early lead at Signal Iduna Park, but Germany pair Mario Goetze and Marco Reus both scored with headers to put Dortmund 2-1 up at half-time.
However, Werder claimed a point when Marco Friedl poked the ball home ten minutes into the second half.
The disappointing draw comes after Dortmund skipper Reus was left fuming after his side leaked a late own goal in last Sunday’s 2-2 at mid-table Eintracht Frankfurt.
“We should have had a third goal and conceding their final goal really hurts. We didn’t play well,” said Reus after the Bremen defeat.
Borussia Moenchengladbach went fourth as goals from French strikers Alassane Plea and Marcus Thuram sealed a 2-0 victory at Hoffenheim.
Bayer Leverkusen are just behind them in fifth thanks to late goals from forwards Kevin Volland and Kai Havertz that added to a Florian Niederlechner’s first half own goal in a 3-0 win at Augsburg.