Pizarro leads Bayern to easy win over Lille
Champions League Group F, Allianz Arena - Bayern Munich 6 (Schweinsteiger 5, Pizarro 18, 28, 33, Robben 23, Kroos 66) Lille 1 (Kalou 57)
Claudio Pizarro scored a brilliant hat-trick, as Bayern Munich thrashed Lille 6-1 at the Allianz Arena to go top of Champions League Group F.
The Peruvian netted all three of his goals in the space of 15 first-half minutes, completing the third fastest hat-trick in Champions League history with barely over half an hour on the clock, as last year’s runners-up overwhelmed Lille with their quick passing and fluid movement.
The French side are now eliminated from this year’s competition, with four defeats in four games and 12 goals conceded.
Bayern had taken the lead through Bastian Schweinsteiger’s free-kick in the fifth minute, before Pizarro opened his account in the 18th minute.
Arjen Robben’s deflected free-kick five minutes later made it 3-0, before Pizarro added two more as Bayern went 5-0 up after 34 minutes.
After Thomas Mueller had seen an early chance saved by Lille goalkeeper Mickael Landreau, the French side immediately conceded a free-kick when Florent Balmont fouled Schweinsteiger on the edge of the area. He took the set-piece himself, and curled a beautiful free-kick over the wall past Landreau at the near post for the opener.
Pizarro made it 2-0 to Bayern with a stunning finish from the edge of the box after a quick exchange of passes with Franck Ribery, then Robben extended the lead with another set-piece five minutes later.
The Dutchman was slightly fortuitous, as his effort from 20 yards out hit Balmont in the middle of the wall, with the ball then trickling to the other side of Landreau's goal.
If there was an element of luck about that goal, the fourth and fifth were as a result of Bayern’s quick passing and ability to break on the counter.
Pizarro scored his second when he poked home Philipp Lahm's first time cross past Landreau at the near post, with the Germany full-back having been set up through the vacant right flank by Mueller.
Lahm was the source of Pizarro’s third on 33 minutes, when he ran onto Schweinsteiger’s magnificent, expansive crossfield ball, before crossing for the striker to head home from close range.
Bayern’s 5-0 half-time lead was a Champions League record, and inevitably they relaxed a little at the start of the second half.
Kalou, who was a Champions League winner with Chelsea on this very ground last May, pulled one back on 57 minutes when he held off Javi Martinez on the edge of the area before shooting past Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer off the underside of the crossbar.
But Bayern, who became only the second team in Champions League history after Real Madrid to score 500 goals in the competition, made it 6-1 midway through the second half.
Schweinsteiger again found Lahm powering down the right flank, and the 28-year-old passed across the area for Kroos to guide a low finish past Landreau.
Bayern could have added to their tally, but Landreau made important saves to deny Robben and substitute Xherdan Shaqiri in the final stages.
Jupp Heynckes’s team now face a trip to Valencia on matchday five, before concluding their group campaign with a home game against BATE Borisov.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Claudio Pizarro - Bayern Munich: Philipp Lahm was a constant threat down the right, and Bastian Schweinsteiger was brilliant in the middle of the park, while the movement of Franck Ribery caused constant problems for the Lille defence. But a 15 minute hat-trick means that Pizarro is man of the match.