A first-half hat-trick for Bayern Munich in their Champions League match against Napoli saw Mario Gomez break Michael Ballack’s German record for goals scored in the competition.
The opening goal for Gomez in the 17th minute, a low drive, was Bayern’s 250th in the Champions League, and a neat volley in the 23rd minute and a close-range effort in the 42nd took his own Champions League tally to 17 – 13 of them in the last 10 matches – exceeding Ballack’s 16, and gave Bayern a 3–0 half-time advantage.
The second half was a somewhat different story, with a number of bad-tempered incidents that led to a sending-off for each side and a late fightback after the dismissal of Bayern’s Holger Badstuber that allowed Italian Serie A side Napoli to recover to 3–2 and almost grab the draw. Even then, Gomez could have added to his own tally with a halfway-line effort that was scrambled clear at the post by Napoli goalkeeper Morgan de Sanctis.
Thanks to Gomez’s first-half performance, the Bundesliga giants held on and now top Champions League Group A with 10 points.
However, the result was tempered by a suspected broken collarbone for another of Bayern’s star players, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Gomez was more concerned for his team-mate’s wellbeing after the match than for his own record goals haul.
"No matter how bad the injury is, we were obviously all affected by it," said Gomez. “The team was shocked. It took us a while to find our feet again and clear our heads. 'Basti' is our midfield motor. He dictates the tempo of the game and you could see that we lost our rhythm without him. It's a bitter one, but we're a top team and if we want to stay that way we'll have to compensate for his absence."
- Watch Bayern v Napoli highlights at uefa.com
- Mario Gomez profile
- Red Bull Salzburg site at redbulls.com