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Bayern thrash Salzburg to march into UEFA Champions League quarterfinal

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Berlin, March 9 (IANS) Robert Lewandowski scored the earliest hat-trick in UEFA Champions League history to pave the way for Bayern Munich’s 7-1 (aggregate 8-2) victory over Salzburg in the second leg of the last-16.

The record German champions started powerfully on Tuesday night and took only two minutes to test Salzburg goalkeeper Philipp Kohn, who had to palm away Lewandowski’s dangerous effort.

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Lewandowski continued his threat as he was brought down by Salzburg’s Maximilian Wober to win a penalty in the 12th minute. The striker stepped up and opened the scoring after sending Kohn the wrong way, Xinhua reports.

Salzburg almost responded out of the blue, but Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer was on guard to tip Nicolas Seiwald’s shot over the bar with 15 minutes gone.

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Lewandowski got another penalty with 21 minutes played. The striker made no mistake from the spot and caught Kohn flat-footed again.

The Poland international snatched his treble moments later after Thomas Muller received possession in midfield before chipping the ball into the path of the relentless Lewandowski, who finished the job into an open goal.

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Things went from bad to worse at the half-hour mark as Kingsley Coman dispossessed Mohamed Camara to set up Serge Gnabry. The German international had space on the right wing and drilled the ball past hapless Kohn.

After the restart, the Bavarians started where they left off as Muller got his name on the scoreboard after hammering a shot into the top right corner with 54 minutes gone.

Salzburg showed signs of life in the 70th minute when substitute Maurits Kjaergaard overcame Neuer to reduce the arrears.

Bayern’s progression was never in danger though, as Julian Nagelsmann’s men responded in style after Muller wrapped up his brace in the 82nd minute before Leroy Sane made it 7-1 with five minutes remaining.

“I think the result is a statement. We started very well into the clash and gained momentum with each goal. We are all very satisfied with the performance,” said Bayern Munich team captain Neuer.

–IANS

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