Lewandowski hat-trick steers Bayern past Schalke

Bayern Munich's Polish forward Robert Lewandowski takes the match ball for his hattrick as he and his teammates thank their fans. [AFP Photo]

scored a hat trick and Philippe Coutinho made his debut as eased to a 3-0 win at Schalke on Saturday.

Robert Lewandowski scored a hat-trick to help champions Bayern Munich cruise to a 3-0 victory at Schalke 04 on Saturday for their first win in the Bundesliga this season.

The 31-year-old Poland forward grabbed his first goal with a 20th-minute penalty and added another with a superbly taken free kick five minutes after the restart.

He completed his ninth hat-trick in the 75th to take his season tally to five goals in two league matches.

Bayern, who stumbled to a 2-2 draw in their opener against Hertha Berlin, are on four points, two behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, who won 3-1 at Cologne on Friday.

"I can play even better. I have the potential to further improve," Lewandowski, who is close to signing a contract extension, told reporters. "You can win some matches alone but with the team you win titles."

"The Bundesliga is no easy league and that is why we constantly have to be ready. I was ready and happy to have helped the team," he said.

The striker has now converted 24 of his 27 Bundesliga penalties while also scoring 16 goals in 19 league matches against Schalke.

His second goal looked to be a wake-up call for Schalke who grabbed control of the game and were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty for a handball by Bayern's new signing Ivan Perisic.

Their revival was shortlived, however, and Lewandowski put the game beyond them when he controlled the ball at the edge of the box before completing his hat-trick with a clinical finish.

Philippe Coutinho, Bayern's biggest signing for the season, also came on in the second half for his first appearance on German soil after joining on loan from Barcelona.

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