MUNICH • After four seasons of Lionel Messi's scoring exploits at Barcelona, Pep Guardiola would be forgiven for thinking he had seen it all.
On Tuesday, the Bayern Munich manager sent Robert Lewandowski on at half-time with his side trailing Wolfsburg 0-1 at the Allianz Arena.
Eight minutes and 59 seconds later, the Pole had five goals.
His first three came after 199 seconds - the fastest hat-trick in Bundesliga history.
LEWANDOWSKI'S 1ST GOAL
The demolition act resembled a lottery ticket - 51', 52', 55', 57', 60'. But he was way more efficient than lucky, even if his third goal was the result of his rebounded effort falling right back to him.
His haul came from nine shots and 30 touches. And his tally could have been more as he missed two clear chances.
It was his best return since scoring all four for former club Borussia Dortmund in their 4-1 win over Real Madrid in the 2013 Champions League semi-final.
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski now boasts the fastest five-goal performance in the history of the top four European leagues.
Substitute Lewandowski netted five goals in 8min 59sec for Bayern against Wolfsburg on Tuesday.
SPANISH LA LIGA
Barcelona's Laszlo Kubala got a quintet of goals in 19 minutes against Sporting Gijon in 1952. The Hungarian striker had two goals before that spell. No player in La Liga has ever topped his seven-goal tally.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Jermain Defoe scored five second-half goals for Tottenham against Wigan in 36 minutes in 2009.
ITALIAN SERIE A
Lazio forward Miroslav Klose took 39 minutes to put five goals past Bologna in 2013.
"To score four goals in a Champions League semi-final was very important and a big story in my career. But to score five goals means this is another big evening for me," said Lewandowski after the 5-1 victory sent Bayern to the top of the Bundesliga.
Guardiola held his head in disbelief on the sidelines as Lewandowski scored his superb fifth goal with a turn and volley that gave Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio no chance.
To put Lewandowski's haul in perspective, both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur needed six league games to score five goals.
"I've never experienced anything like that in my life! Five goals in nine minutes! Wow!" said Guardiola. "I may never see anything like that again either."
Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking, who had not seen his side concede in their last four matches in all competitions, took the astonishing defeat with good grace.
"What can you say?" he said. "A world-class striker shot five times on goal and could have scored seven times."
Lewandowski did not need seven to break a host of records.
His haul was the first time a player has come off the bench to score five goals in a Bundesliga game. And it was the first time five goals have been scored in a single German league match since Michael Toennies in August 1991 in a 6-2 win for Duisburg against Karlsruhe.
He also set the record for the fastest five goals scored by one player in Bundesliga history.
The impact of his performance was still being felt the following morning on social media.
Former England striker and TV pundit Gary Lineker simply wrote "Utterly ridiculous!"
Former Norway international Jan Aage Fjortoft, who played in the Bundesliga, was similarly concise.
"That's a miracle," he tweeted.
It was little surprise that Lewandowski was named Man of the Match and he proved the ankle injury which kept him out of Saturday's 3-0 win at Darmstadt was not an issue. "I think the ankle's fine," said the 27-year-old with a grin.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS