Robert Lewandowski hit a hat-trick as Bayern Munich set a Bundesliga record in Saturday’s 4-0 away win over Cologne.
The Poland striker’s ninth-minute opener meant the champions scored in a record 66 consecutive league games, a feat never before achieved in Germany’s top tier.
Corentin Tolisso scored a fine second before two more Lewandowski goals in the second half secured a ninth league win in a row over Steffen Baumgart’s side.
Fittingly, it was Lewandowski who set Bayern’s latest goalscoring record, the striker side-footing past Marvin Schwabe from Thomas Muller’s pass and a VAR check overruling the offside call.
The visitors doubled their lead in spectacular fashion, Tolisso controlling Muller’s lay-off before rifling left-footed into the top-right corner from the edge of the box.
Cologne thought they had pulled a goal back through Mark Uth, but another VAR check showed an offside, and the hosts finished the half without another shot on target.
Cologne offered a slight threat of a comeback with a good period of pressure, but it was promptly Lewandowski quelled 62 minutes in, Lewandowski drilling home his 22nd Bundesliga goal of the season after being played through by Leroy Sane.
The pair combined again for Bayern’s fourth, Muller releasing Sane on a zig-zagging run before he prodded through for Lewandowski to finish with aplomb.
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You have to go back to February 9, 2020, and a goalless draw with RB Leipzig, to find the last occasion in which Bayern played a league game without scoring a goal.
Their latest two helped them to a comfortable win that stretched their lead at the top back to six points, Borussia Dortmund having closed the gap with a 5-1 thumping of Freiburg on Friday.
Cologne sit eighth in the table, but just two points off the top four.
Lewandowski’s goalscoring exploits can often overshadow Muller, but two assists and four chances created here were a reminder of his importance to Bayern.
The Germany star has now directly set up 150 Bundesliga goals since his debut back in August 2008. In that time, only Lionel Messi (180) has made more assists in Europe’s top five leagues.
No sniff of a Cologne goal
Cologne managed only one shot on target throughout and starting strikers Uth and Anthony Modeste were substituted even before Lewandowski netted Bayern’s fourth.
They had promising moments in the final third but this was a surprisingly toothless performance from a side whose 28 points from their first 18 games was their second-best return this century.
Bayern are back in action next Sunday away to Hertha Berlin. Cologne host Hamburg in the DFB-Pokal on Tuesday before resuming league duties at Bochum four days later.