10 of football's best individual goal gluts: Ole, Oleg and the one Lewandowski didn't beat
1. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (vs Nottingham Forest, 1999)
Lewandowski's scoring rate was impressive, but he was let down by a whole 30 minutes without a goal at the end of Tuesday night's match. Poor, really.
That meant the Pole scored five in 45 minutes, one for every nine minutes he spent on the field. OK it's still not that bad
But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's strike rate as a substitute for Manchester United at Nottingham Forest was even better. The Norwegian only had 18 minutes on the field after being introduced as a late substitute at the City Ground in 1999, but it was enough to score four times past poor Dave Beasant as United triumphed 8-1.
Fergie's lot went on to win the Treble and Forest were relegated. The team that finished the game for them that day included the likes of Hugo Porfirio and Jesper Mattsson (remember him? No, us neither).
2. Denis Law (vs Luton, 1961)
It wasn't Law's lucky day on January 28, 1961. The Manchester City striker scored six times in an FA Cup tie at Luton Town, only for the game to be abandoned after 69 minutes because of a waterlogged pitch. Not only were Law's goals wiped from the records but City then lost the rearranged fixture, having led 6-2 when the original match was halted. Law's double hat-trick would have been an FA Cup record and George Best repeated the feat for Manchester United at Northampton Town nine years later.
This time, the six goals stood. But the record was broken again in 1971 by Bournemouth's Ted MacDougall, who scored nine times against Margate and the world's unluckiest goalkeeper. Chic Brodie once found a hand grenade in his goalkeeping cap ahead of a game, then almost had his leg broken by a pitch-invading Jack Russell, before a crossbar broke and fell on his head in another match.
3. Panagiotis Pontikos (vs Ayios Athanasios, 2007)
Australia's Archie Thompson (more on him later) holds the world record for a full international match but he can only dream of being as prolific as Olympos Xylofagou striker Pontikos.
In a Cypriot third division match in 2007, the brilliantly named Xylofagou – named after some sort of xylophone-based cigarette, presumably – thrashed SEK Ayios Athanasios 24-3.
Much of that was down to the finishing of Pontikos, who netted 16. He had only scored four by half-time but 12 more followed after the interval, with the second-half goals coming in the 47th, 50th, 55th, 56th, 58th, 61st, 68th, 75th, 76th, 83rd, 86th and 87th minutes. We suspect heads went down in the Athanasios defence.
That was still only enough for Pontikos to equal the world record at club level, after Stephan Staniso also hit 16 for Racing Club in a French Cup match against Aubry Asturies in 1942.
4. Robert Lewandowski (vs Real Madrid, 2013)
Yes, Lewa's appearing on his own list because it's not the first time the striker has scored nearly as prolifically as he did against Wolfsburg. Take your pick really: first there were the four goals he scored for Borussia Dortmund in a Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid in 2013. And incredibly, he's scored a four-minute hat-trick twice in the space of just three months.
The Poland international bagged three times in three minutes and 59 seconds against Georgia in June, then shaved 40 seconds off that personal best as his first three goals against Wolfsburg came within three minutes and 19 seconds. Not surprisingly, his speedy treble earned him a new Bundesliga record.
5. Dieter Muller (vs Werder Bremen, 1977)
Lewandowski's goal spree was one short of the Bundesliga record set by Muller in 1977. Muller scored six for Cologne against Werder Bremen, netting in the 12th, 23rd, 32nd, 52nd, 73rd and 85th minutes. We'll have to take his word for it, though: there's no video footage of the match because the cameramen were on strike. That fourth goal, an overhead kick from 110 yards, was particularly special. As for the fifth, the backheel assist from the octopus that jumped down from the terraces; well that was just incredible...
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