MUNICH - Bayern Munich substitute Robert Lewandowski single-handedly destroyed VfL Wolfsburg by scoring five times in nine minutes, including the league's fastest hat-trick, as the champions crushed their rivals 5-1 on Tuesday to extend their perfect Bundesliga start to six wins.
The Poland striker came on after the break and stunned Wolfsburg with three goals in four minutes, starting in the 51st from close range, to turn the game on its head.
He struck twice more in the next five minutes, including a spectacular volley for the fastest five-goal haul in the Bundesliga's 52-year history, leaving coach Pep Guardiola looking around in complete disbelief with his hands on his head.
The win lifted Bayern to a maximum 18 points, three ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, who are in action at Hoffenheim on Wednesday.
Wolfsburg, who had not conceded a goal in their last four matches in all competitions and played an outstanding first half to keep the Bavarians at bay, are third on 11.
"I am very happy for Robert," Guardiola told reporters. "For his confidence and our future this was extremely important.
"I can't really understand it. Five goals. Neither as a coach nor as a player did I ever experience something like this and I can't really explain it. Five goals against Wolfsburg are never easy," said the Spaniard.
It was Wolfsburg, however, who had the better start with Caligiuri controlling a deep cross from Julian Draxler and thundering an unstoppable shot past Manuel Neuer.
Wolfsburg almost scored again when Neuer charged out of the box to clear a ball but chested it into the path of Josuha Guilavogui who tried his luck from 40 metres with the ball hitting the post and rolling wide.
Guardiola brought on Lewandowski for the second half and the 27-year-old exploded into action six minutes later.
Nine minutes after that Bayern, who host Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League next week, were 5-1 up and the Wolves were in a complete daze as Lewandowski, the league's top scorer two seasons ago, took his tally for this campaign to eight goals.
"What can I say?," Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking said. "A world-class striker shot five times on goal and could have scored seven. That is how it happened.
"But with our quality this should not happen. We had a good first half and Bayern could not up the pace of the game and then came these nine minutes. It's inexplicable."
New signing Vedad Ibisevic struck twice, including deep into second-half stoppage time, as Hertha Berlin edged past Cologne 2-0 to climb up to fifth on 10 points.
Sandro Wagner, plagued by injuries for several seasons, also grabbed two goals for promoted Darmstadt 98 in their 2-1 win over Werder Bremen, who had Fin Bartels sent off late in the game following a second booking.
Hamburg SV, who needed a relegation playoff last season to stay up, notched their second win in three matches courtesy of Michael Gregoritsch's 87th-minute goal in their 1-0 victory at promoted Ingolstadt to make it two wins in three matches to move up to sixth on 10.