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Lewandowski even better than on TV, says Bayern new boy Coutinho

6:38 PM EDT 8/24/19
Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich 2019-20
The Bundesliga champions' new signing spoke of his admiration for the striker after a hat-trick against Schalke took his tally to five in two games

Bayern Munch new boy Philippe Coutinho has said his team-mate Robert Lewandowski is even more impressive in person than on television.

Lewandowski scored a hat-trick in the Bavarian club’s win over Schalke on Saturday, following on from a double in their first game, which was a disappointing 2-2 draw with Hertha Berlin.

Five goals in his first two games is a record for the prolific Poland international forward, and no player has scored so many in the first two matches of a Bundesliga season since Roy Makaay, also for Bayern, in 2005-06.

Coutinho, who completed a loan move to Bayern this week after a disappointing spell in Barcelona, came on as a 57th minute substitute and was on the field as Lewandowski completed his treble.

“He’s incredible, just world-class,” the Brazil international told reporters after his debut.

“It’s incredible, the way he trains. I’ve been here a week and watching him up close he’s so much better than you think on TV.

“He had a great game today, a great hat-trick and he deserves it.”

The treble was the ninth of the Poland international’s Bundesliga career, and his torrid start to the season does not look like letting up.

Bayern’s next opponents are Mainz and the 31-year-old Lewandowski has 14 goals in 14 appearances against them.

The defending Bundesliga champions, who have won seven titles in a row, needed the win as they are expected to be pushed hard by Borussia Dortmund this year.

Their surprise draw at home with Hertha handed the early initiative to Dortmund, who won their first game 5-1 over Augsburg.

They heaped more pressure on Bayern too, winning 3-1 over Koln on Friday night to open up a five-point gap over their rivals in the fledgling season.

The failure to win the opening game may have spurred Bayern on to capture Coutinho.

There was a need for attacking reinforcements after Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben left the club at the end of the 2018-19 season. Their first target was reported to be Manchester City’s Leroy Sane, but no deal could be done before Sane suffered a serious knee injury.

Instead they opted to rescue Coutinho from Barcelona, where he has struggled to fit in after a £142 million transfer from Liverpool.